This past week I was in Springfield, Illinois (the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln) to help our client, the Illinois Department of Commerce and its core partners at the Illinois Community College Board, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and the Illinois Department of Human Services host a statewide conference focused on the formation of WIOA regional plans and the deployment of Sector Strategies.
Teams from each of the state’s 10 economic regions were paired with a dedicated Maher facilitator and came together to author (or advance) regional plans that will guide the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) across the state and across partner programs and agencies.
It is so exciting to participate in events such as this one. Our process for helping states work regionally is integrated with our “World-Class Sector Strategies” approach. We used it originally… Read more →
On February 16th, the Maher & Maher team headed back to the White House to celebrate local partnerships that have embraced the Customer-Centered Design (CCD) Challenge. Eleven teams from across the country were selected to attend the White House Learning Exchange & Celebration, chosen for their extraordinary commitment to improving the customer experience. With the support of a Maher & Maher CCD coach, each team completed rigorous training in customer-centered design and implemented projects with job seekers and employers at the center of innovation within their systems.
The initiative kicked off in July, 2015 when over 600 practitioners attended a webinar to learn about customer-centered design and learn about the CCD challenge. This webinar was hosted by ETA’s Innovation and Opportunity Network (ION) and supported by Maher & Maher. Following the webinar, participants formed over 80 teams of 4- 10 people who had the capacity – and the… Read more →
Last week in Washington, D.C., we joined about 150 senior leaders from workforce development at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’ (NASWA) 2016 Winter Policy Forum.
As you might imagine, this year’s event was chock full of updates and insights about the System’s looming implementation of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and several panels provided robust dialogue about how folks are tackling the challenge (and opportunity) of the new law.
Personal favorites for me included panels on day one that assembled leaders from professional associations representing all our key partners – from Vocational Rehabilitation, Vets and Human Services, and another that featured Congressional staffers focused on the original drafts of WIOA and on progress toward its successful implementation.
But, the Conference’s most dynamic session was its last – a lively round-table discussion that… Read more →
Workforce leaders from around the U.S. and from all Federal Partners convened on the Washington, D.C. Hilton January 26th -28th for a two-and-a-half-day conference focused on efforts to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and the Maher & Maher team played a critical support role in the session’s success. Branded "One Team, One Vision, One Conversation," ETA joined with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) to lead a rigorous discussion of the challenges and opportunities partner Agencies, state and locals face in bringing WIOA to life. As the technical assistance contractor to the ETA, Maher & Maher staff helped in formulating the agenda, identifying speakers and workshop facilitators and in supporting on-site logistics for the nearly 800 attendees.
“It wasn’t easy to make this happen seamlessly on the heels of a 2’ snowstorm over the weekend,… Read more →
Maher & Maher is pleased to announce the ApprenticeshipUSA Toolkit, which we have designed for the Department of Labor to benefit workforce agencies and their partners throughout the country. This toolkit provides resources to help the public workforce system use apprenticeship as a talent development strategy. It is an action-oriented solution that uses customized technical assistance to meet the challenges of public workforce systems.
The Toolkit has been designed to help workforce development professionals at every level of the workforce system. For example, the toolkit includes:Web-based training as an introduction to apprenticeship training within the workforce system Roadmaps for exploring apprenticeship, building partnerships, and launching apprenticeship strategies Videos for those designing strategy to highlight best practices Tutorials and resources to jump start an apprenticeship strategy Desk aids for those serving customers A guide for Business Service Representatives to expand work-based training options for businesses… Read more →
Maher & Maher was recently in Illinois for Regional Meetings in Effingham, Bloomington, and Chicago to kick off the development of the regional planning initiative in each of the state’s 10 regions. More than 300 leaders from workforce, economic development, education, and other areas from across the state met in Regional Teams over the course of 3 days.
With the help of a team of Maher & Maher facilitators, each region prioritized its regional target industry clusters, debriefed the results of a self-assessment, completed a SWOT analysis, and developed priorities for the creation of a sector strategy for one target industry cluster. Going forward, facilitators will be providing support for each region’s ongoing collaborative planning work.
Maher & Maher is excited to have the opportunity to partner with the State of Illinois and leaders from each region as they work to enhance alignment among… Read more →
As part of the “Workforce That Works!” Pennsylvania Workforce Board Development Symposium on December 8th, Maher & Maher provided focused discussions on methods to ensure that the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (W.I.O.A.) is centered around the needs of jobseeker and employer customers.
Christy Montgomery from the Maher & Maher team provided a plenary session on the role Customer Centered Design can play across workforce services to ensure that we are meeting client needs and creating positive outcomes. This session was in conjunction with a presentation by Leo Miller, Regional Administrator of ETA’s Region 2 Philadelphia office, who encouraged the local boards in Pennsylvania to strive to be innovative as they embark on the changes of W.I.O.A. Following Leo’s charge for innovative change, Christy covered key components of customer centered… Read more →
Our recent statewide launch event with leaders in the State of Missouri was a great kick-off to our deployment of sector strategies in the state, and an excellent jump-start for the upcoming implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Tucked away on the banks of the Lake of the Ozarks, about 130 professionals from the state’s workforce system and their partners from education, economic development, and workforce worked over two days to plan for advancing sector-based work in the ten economic regions of the state.
“I am always amazed to see folks from different silos come together around a common goal and witness them break down traditional walls in favor of creating new opportunities for the common customers we all have,” said Richard D. Maher, President & CEO of Maher & Maher. “With thinner budgets every year, our work… Read more →
Maher & Maher is continuously working to provide the best service possible to our clients and share learnings across all of our areas of practice, in order to shape a strategy for growth. Last week the firm brought together key, senior staff members from all three of Maher & Maher’s professional practice areas at the Jersey Shore for some awesome views that complimented some serious discussions. We worked to identify growth opportunities as well as to address areas we want to improve as a Firm in 2016 and beyond.
“Although we were tucked away in a conference room for 12 or 13 hours, we took the time to enjoy the amazing scenes outside our window and to reflect on the work we have ahead as we strive to make our Firm the best it can be for customers and for ourselves,” said Rick Maher, the Firm… Read more →
In an earlier article this month, we defined Sector Strategies and noted that they are “industry specific.” Though we did not go into the importance of this at the time, deciding on the industries that a region should focus on is a critical and foundational requirement to developing Sector Strategies. This is no easy task, as all stakeholders in this process have to be in agreement and willing to invest time and resources to further these industries. Here’s what it looks like when everyone is in agreement:Employers in these industries are participating in conversations – ideally, within a structured Industry Partnership -- about their workforce and training needs. The local Workforce Investment Board is funding training and allocating resources targeted at occupations in these industries. The workforce system, educators, and employers are creating career pathways to build and sustain a talent pipeline for… Read more →