We are pleased to announce that we have been selected by the state of Arkansas to support their deployment of sector strategies statewide – adding another state to a growing list of clients working to transform their workforce development system.
Sector strategies are regional, industry-focused approaches to building skilled workforces and are among the most effective ways to aligning public and private resources to address the talent needs of business – while providing family-sustaining career paths for job-seekers. Sectors-based workforce development strategies are promoted actively by federal policy and are a key element in the Nation’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was passed by Congress in 2014.
“Sectors for us is not just another program,” said Beth Brinly, Vice-President, Workforce Innovation at Maher. “Rather, it's a culture-shift in the way we view the business of workforce development. By… Read more →
In our work with regional teams in a number of states over the last decade, we have learned a great deal about what enables regional partners’ success, what can hinder it, and how regional partners can create meaningful, sustained engagement and ensure real results. We’ll be sharing our thoughts and observations with you in blog posts over the upcoming months, and invite you to weigh in with input on your own experiences with successes and pitfalls in regional planning!
Over the last year, partners in regions across the country have been working to draft and finalize their WIOA regional plans. In some cases, regional partners have a history of working together and planning jointly across workforce area (and other) boundaries; in others, working together in multi-partner and multi-jurisdictional teams has been a very new enterprise. In either case, regions have had… Read more →
The Garden State Employment and Training Association (GSETA) invited me to facilitate their July Board Retreat, which included Executive Directors and Managers from Workforce Development Boards and One Stop offices from across New Jersey. I was excited to accept this opportunity to discuss the future of workforce development in my home state.
Through Board member’s evaluation of the organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, all within the context of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, we witnessed a very engaged group who, with few if any exceptions, began to demonstrate a willingness to re-imagine and explore the potential of the Association. Key themes for the event included innovation, system building, employer engagement, partnership development, and the strengthening of a talent pipeline for New Jersey.
GSETA members present stated that they were able to walk away from… Read more →
Florida’s workforce development system, and their partners, are on a course to accelerate the adoption of sectors-based approaches to talent management around the State, and our recent Sectors Strategy Institute was a solid start on their journey.
The two-day Institute, held in Orlando, brought together over 100 leaders from Florida’s twenty-four workforce development areas who attended with partners from education and economic development to learn more about sector strategies. The Institute began with a discussion of the vision Florida leaders embrace for a future workforce system and continued with several panel discussions. Leaders then worked through a series of learning activities and team-based planning exercises to help them better understand priorities and appropriate next steps.
“We have developed and deployed a model for doing these Institutes in states around the country,” said Carrie Yeats, Director of Maher’s State… Read more →
More and more businesses, workforce development organizations, and educational institutions across the country are turning to apprenticeship as a proven model for work-based learning. This customized and flexible workforce solution trains workers to the exact skill needs of business – and provides wages during training so that workers can “earn while they learn.”
The U.S. Department of Labor (US DOL) is making a historic investment in apprenticeship. After announcing Accelerator Grants to 52 states and territories in early June, US DOL just recently announced a new $50 million ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion grant competition.
Maher & Maher has partnered with US DOL to launch a number of successful apprenticeship initiatives over the last decade in order to accelerate understanding and adoption of apprenticeship, such as:A Quick-Start Toolkit providing a step-by-step guide for businesses to build apprenticeship programs A comprehensive… Read more →
Three work sessions at the recent National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) Conference in Orlando invited participants to innovate their way to improved service delivery integration, and to “fail fast” in the pursuit of better outcomes for both job seeker and employer customers. We were really energized by the enthusiasm of people from across the country as we explored ETA’s Customer Centered Design (CCD) initiative.
Customer Centered Design (CCD) is a way of exploring service delivery excellence using “design thinking” as the engine for innovation, and the Employment and Training Administration has been championing its acceptance across the Nation’s Workforce Development System aggressively. ETA’s Customer Centered Design Challenge, which we have supported as TA providers and coaches for the initiative, has seen 200 teams since last summer from across the U.S. form to re-imagine… Read more →
I recently had the honor of working with close to 100 local workforce development board members from across the state of Oklahoma, and was so impressed with their positive energy and intentions!. State officials worked in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Dallas Regional Office to promote and sponsor the event. This highly collaborative event convened at Oklahoma State University brought together board members, including board chairs, business members and board staff and a robust representation of Local Elected Officials (LEOs),to explore the many important elements of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and to train board members in their critical roles – among them to think and act more strategically in the years ahead.
We covered the essential elements of the new legislation, gave folks an overview of how the law would change the way they do business, and… Read more →
Last week’s “Responding Rapidly” Summit in Harrisburg, PA gave us the opportunity to think through the future of Rapid Response with a high-energy group of professionals throughout ETA’s Region 2 states – and it was a conversation that may need to happen across the Nation’s Workforce Development System.
Working with our V.P. of Workforce Innovation, Beth Brinly, and about 110 Rapid Responders from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, I was able – for the first time really – to think through the future of this critical program as it might function in a post-WIOA world.
Fortunately, in many areas, Rapid Response is not as overwhelmed as it once was with large scale dislocations. During the Great Recession and for years in its wake, Rapid Responders were very busy responding to events – meeting with businesses… Read more →
Last week, my colleague Lynn Bajorek and I were in Springfield, Illinois, to facilitate a strategic planning session with the leadership team of the Office of Employment and Training (OET) at the Illinois Department of Commerce.
Over the last several months we’ve been working with OET on an internal change management effort which looks both internally to better understand its assets, challenges and opportunities and externally to understand how OET can leverage and partner better within its entire workforce development system. The end result will be a "Blueprint" that fully aligns OET’s assets and resources with a clearly articulated vision, mission, and set of goals.
The OET strategic planning meeting was held in the historic Vachel Lindsay Home in Springfield.
Last week,… Read more →
Last week, seven members of the Maher team spent two full days at Midlands Technical College in West Columbia, South Carolina to support South Carolina’s Sector Strategies Regional Planning Institute. The Institute was one important part of the state’s larger Talent Pipeline Project, an effort convened by our client, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), and jointly supported by DEW’s partners, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the South Carolina Technical College System, and the South Carolina State Department of Education.
We have been partnering with South Carolina state leaders to support and facilitate the development and implementation of regional workforce planning and sector strategies since the spring of 2015. Leading up to the March Institute, we provided in-depth data analysis assistance to help the state identify statewide target industry sectors; assisted in the formation of… Read more →