State & Regional Workforce Solutions | Maher & Maher
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Category State & Regional Workforce Solutions

“Slumdog Millionaires?”

Lessons on Job Training I Learned in the Slums of Mumbai

I recently spent some time touring India. We did the “northern route” (for those who know the terrain), and I was there on vacation, but learned important lessons about career training as well. Let me explain.

First, for the travelers among you, I started in Delhi, and move on to Varanasi (Hindus make a pilgrimage there like Muslims might to Mecca), Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur and finished up in Mumbai (formerly Bombay).

It was a trip full of contrasts – from the busy streets of Old Delhi, to the Hindu priests and faithful on the banks of the Ganges, the Taj Mahal and opulent palaces of the Maharajas’, to the unspeakable condition of Mumbai’s slums. If you think there is a growing divide between the rich and poor in America … Read more →

Using Process Mapping to Support Transformational Change

A few weeks ago, my colleague Lynn Bajorek shared a blog post that described Maher & Maher’s recent process mapping work with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training (OET). In the post, Lynn detailed how we used “as-is” and “should-be” process mapping with OET and its partners to examine several critical processes (Rapid Response, annual monitoring, and policy development), identify inefficiencies and challenges, and develop enhanced processes to better align the performance of these functions with the agency’s mission and goals. As part of our work with OET, we also developed and facilitated a virtual process mapping “how-to” training for staff.

On the face of it, process mapping appears pretty straightforward: you pick a process that needs some attention; map how that process takes place today and define… Read more →

Process Map to Fully Align Your Organization’s Functions with its Mission and Goals

To effectively lead change and innovation, organizations need to strategically allocate resources and establish efficient processes. The Maher & Maher Process Improvement Process℠ helps organizations to look critically at their internal or external processes to identify inefficiencies and ensure all resources and functions are aligned to achieve the identified mission and goals. 

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training (OET) recently engaged Maher & Maher to lead the organization through an intensive process mapping effort designed to maximize the agency’s resources and strategic implementation of three processes critical to the agency’s mission: Rapid Response, Monitoring, and Policy Development. The project provided OET with “as-is” maps which outlined the current, inefficient processes; “should be” maps which included new and refined steps to maximize efficiency and effectiveness; and clear recommendations… Read more →

The Longpath: Building a Workforce System for the Future

There was an air of excitement when upwards of 1,000 people from across North Carolina came together last week for the annual NCWorks Partnership Conference to learn and discuss topics around “Back to the Future: The Next 30 Years.” Maher & Maher was there to present at the North Carolina Workforce Board Association pre-conference, as well as several sessions – Washington Update, WIOA Fundamentals and Service Strategies Backward Mapping – at the conference itself. I was also invited to participate in the “Futurist Five” general session.

During the Futurist Five session, we talked quite a bit about the power of partnerships and key ingredients for their success, including the involvement of community partners, leveraging sector partnerships, having staff with heart and passion, partnering for the longpath, and doing it with style and swagger. 

This idea of the longpath, as articulated by Ari… Read more →

Leveraging Your Local Financial Institutions to Further Your Workforce Development Goals

We all know that strategic investments in the workforce system can change lives, help businesses survive and communities thrive. Recently, I was at the NCWorks Partnership conference in Greensboro, NC and heard a presentation from Jeanne Bond with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. She put meat on the bones for me regarding the new Community Reinvestment Act funding opportunities for workforce development, and I thought I would pass along the information.

When I was working in Kentucky, both the Federal Reserve of St. Louis and Cleveland supported the Commonwealth and its communities’ workforce development efforts like sponsoring our Work Ready Communities Best Practices conference. In addition, local financial institutions were often members of state and local workforce boards. The good news, though, is that there are even more ways to leverage financial institutions in this work. 

The Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas… Read more →

Maher & Maher Presents on Apprenticeship and WBL

as Pathways to Jobs and Performance Results for Sector Strategies...

The Garden State Employment and Training Association (GSETA) invited us to present to their 35th Annual Workforce Development Conference, which included workforce development professionals and partners organizations from across New Jersey. I was excited to accept this opportunity to discuss how we can best reach successful sector strategy and WIOA outcomes through Apprenticeship and Work Based Learning in my home state. 

Growing broad, bi-partisan support for Apprenticeship recognizes the critical import of bridging the skills gap in the modern workforce, and the clear ability of Apprenticeship programs to deliver outcomes. Case studies of a number of national efforts to expand apprenticeship offer clear evidence that while multiple variables may impact success, integrating sector strategy efforts with apprenticeship as a key implementation strategy produces improved outcomes for employers as well as job seekers. 

Read more →

Maher Successfully Executes Over 150 Individual Projects to Support Workforce System Excellence

For the past three years, Maher & Maher (Maher) has partnered with United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration’s (ETA) Office of Regional Management and six ETA Regional Offices to implement over 150 technical assistance projects in 34 states around the country. Financed through Federal Technical Assistance and Training funds, the projects built the capacity of states and regions to provide innovative, effective and customer-centered workforce service design and delivery.  Projects included:

Intensive consulting around sector strategies and high-impact State and Local Workforce Boards; Development of various training curricula around topics such as effective monitoring, case management and soft skills for job seekers; Delivery of workshops on various topics, including service integration, strategic board training, sectors 101, career pathways, creating a customer centered one-stop, youth program design, and partnerships; and A Customer Centered Design Challenge that brought together local teams to tackle system challenges through… Read more →

Forming, Storming and Norming Around Regions, Sector Strategies and Career Pathways

It is wonderful when regionalism comes together like it did with the six workforce development regions in Minnesota! In order to help stand up these newly formed regions, Minnesota asked Maher to partner with the regions to assess sector strategies implementation status in the context of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Maher team reviewed each regional plan and then identified and provided technical assistance over a three-month period.

Across the regions, several common technical assistance themes emerged:

Advancing a regional approach to sector strategies that is strategic and systemic in nature; Building a common understanding and structure to support sector strategies and employer-led industry partnerships among local boards and partners; Creating an integrated approach to business services; Supporting and sustaining long-term sector partnership and employer relationships; and Developing performance metrics/benchmarks.

In response to these needs, Maher coaches worked with regions on a… Read more →

Maher & Maher announces partnership with the Virginia Community College System

Maher & Maher is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Virginia Community College System and its workforce partners on the development of a Sector Strategy and Career Pathways Academy.

This effort builds upon a decade of work in the Commonwealth to align education and training programs in ways that makes it easier for individuals to access and complete pathways to family-supporting careers. By pairing together sector strategies and career pathways, this initiative hopes to improve the relevance and effectiveness of education and training programs, leading to more positive outcomes for individuals and businesses.

A primary emphasis will be on operationalizing these strategies in service delivery so that sector strategies and career pathways become the “way of conducting business” throughout Virginia’s workforce system. This is a transformational change endeavor for the entire system—from workforce board members, educational leaders,… Read more →

Tesla Partners for Talent Development

Public/Private Partnership Models Solution for the Skills Gap

We were so interested in this news from NY State and Tesla, announcing a new partnership with a Long Island college to train a future workforce. This is just one more example of employers taking new initiative in working with educational and governmental partners to tackle the skills gap proactively.

As importantly, this partnership with Tesla uses elements of a proven training model – apprenticeship – to be part of the solution. Students work while they learn through internships, and work toward the “high probability” of a full-time job upon graduation. Although this is not an apprenticeship program in the traditional sense, the solution “borrows” key elements from that oldest of all training models to make it work for Tesla and students as well.

Of particular note for us, is the potential… Read more →

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