When it comes to implementing innovations, Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) grantees are at the forefront. From day one, these state and local grantees envisioned a better way of doing things – whether it be new or proven interventions, revamped systems and processes, or bold new service strategies to transform the customer experience. And, Maher & Maher has been with the WIF grantee community every step of the way, bringing a comprehensive program of technical assistance and support, individualized performance coaching, and a transfer of knowledge to the broader workforce system.
Since 2012, WIF grants competitively awarded by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) have funded 43 efforts to test and rigorously evaluate pilot projects. And each year since, WIF has brought together these leaders of change from across the country to Washington, DC for an annual convening held at the U.S. Department of Labor. The recent 2016… Read more →
For the last 10 years, the Maher & Maher team has had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of state and regional clients to support planning and other activities focused on aligning partners around shared strategies to better understand and meet the workforce needs of key industry sectors in their areas. The passage of WIOA in 2014 has brought increased intensity to this work, given the priority WIOA places upon the development of industry sector-driven partnerships and strategies and the importance of aligning supply-side efforts to demand-side needs through the integration of well-articulated career pathways. It’s a significant achievement that workforce systems across the country have or are completing their initial strategic plans under WIOA. For us, the key question now becomes: How can workforce systems operationalize their industry sector and career pathways strategies in service delivery for job seeker, worker, and business customers… Read more →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Savannah, GA.: The Maher Team had a busy week at SETA’s 2015 Conference in Savannah, Georgia in late September. A group of our consulting staff from our Federal Workforce Solutions Practice delivered a series of professional development workshops intended to help folks improve System performance and better prepare for the looming implementation of the Nation’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Led by Rick Maher, the Firm’s President and CEO, members of the Maher Team descended on Savannah with a purpose – to help engage attendees in a positive and engaging discussion of the new Act and how to best prepare for System change.
“I was proud of our Team. They were everywhere – running workshops, staging video shoots for training products and attending sessions themselves,” said Maher. “When we stop learning ourselves, we cannot be as… Read more →
Washington, D.C.: The Maher Team recently visited the White House in support of our clients at ApprenticeshipUSA.
The recent White House Summit on ApprenticeshipUSA was a capstone event following this Summer’s launch of the Sectors of Excellence in Apprenticeship (SEA) initiative. Part of President Obama’s call to double the number of the Nation’s apprentices by 2020, SEA brought together leaders from six key industry sectors – Construction, Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Healthcare and Logistics/Transportation – in regional meetings around the U.S. These SEA events saw industry leaders and leaders from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship come together, brainstorm actions and make commitments to advance the application of apprenticeship in meeting the Nation’s talent needs today and tomorrow.
“The SEA events were great,” said Amy Young, Maher… Read more →
In many parts of the country, local Boards and their partners have integrated an industry sector focus as a key driver of their partnership development work, their strategic planning and policy efforts, and their structure for business service delivery. Integrating a sector focus as a key driver of service delivery for job seekers and workers, however, is less common. Applying sector strategies to career center service planning and delivery for these customers transforms the service experience and has been shown to improve outcomes for job seekers, workers, and business alike. Absent this focus, services for job seekers and workers may not be tied to career opportunities and career pathways in target industry sectors.
What would a sector-focused service delivery experience look and “feel” like to a job seeker or worker customer? When done right, career center organization, partnerships, customer flow, and service planning and delivery… Read more →
Last week I had the honor of working with nearly 500 professionals from across a broad array of partners in Little Rock, Arkansas in the state’s first, wide-scale planning meeting for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). We were packed into every square inch of our hotel space – a challenge for our team of facilitators. Importantly, our job was made easier by the willingness of those present to "dive in" to the serious business of implementing the new law.
The audience included all the usual attendees – Board members, WIA and Wagner-Peyser staff, community colleges and CBOs – but also a strong showing from "new" WIOA partners in Rehabilitation Services, TANF, Registered Apprenticeship and more.
It was my job to convey the essential elements of the new legislation, give folks an overview of how the Law would change the way we do… Read more →
We recently completed an online “virtual institute” for the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) that brought teams from six states together with leaders from Washington to consider innovative approaches to reemployment services for the Nation’s unemployed.
The “Reemployment Connections Virtual Institute” saw states form cross-functional teams that followed a scripted process over an intensive, six-week timeline. State teams were brought together in an online institute – using virtual meetings, training sessions, in-person state-level meetings and scheduled topical chats with subject matter experts to drive the process. State team facilitators worked in concert with a national facilitator to keep teams on track, and a dedicated web community was used for sharing best practices by and between states.
The outcomes from the Institute were state plans to re-connect UI claimants to re-employment services using… Read more →