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 →
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 →
To be good at workforce development is to be good with people. Good with the employers and business people shaping the landscape of jobs, and good with the individuals that walk in our American Job Centers each day looking for work and better opportunities. Case managers are on the frontlines of this important work, and investing in their skills and professional development is a critical part of ensuring that American Job Centers (AJCs) bring value to their communities.
If you’re looking for new professional development resources for your case managers, look no further than Case Counselor Training: Four Indicators of Effective Service Delivery, a training we developed with Jobs for the Future and ETA’s Region 1 team. The training is organized around four key skill areas:Writing Effective Case Notes – Case managers learn how to capture and record valuable notes… Read more →
As we prepare for the holiday weekend, we here at Maher just wanted to pause briefly to recognize the contributions of American workers for the hard work, long hours and competitive spirit that have made this country “work” for over 2 centuries.
Historically, “Labor Day” had its roots in the labor movement and was created in order to celebrate the contributions of labor to the American economy, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website exploring the history of the Day. On this special day we all celebrate the men and women who built America’s infrastructure, our dams, bridges and roadways, and we also recognize those who are building the information superhighway, securing our communities, caring for our elderly and youth, preparing our food and educating our young – all… Read more →
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 →
Wayne Gretzky, famed hockey player, is known for his saying “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” Recently, the State of Oregon hosted the Joint Workforce Symposium in Portland, Oregon and the theme of the meeting was “Finding Pathways to Economic Vitality Through a Dynamic Future.” Maher & Maher was in the middle of the action by sponsoring one of the events for state workforce boards and liaisons that explored the implication of artificial intelligence and drones on our sector and job development work with businesses and individual customers. This interactive session not only fostered stimulating conversation about how to position the system to remain relevant in this technologically evolving work environment, it also provided participants with a hands-on experience with drones.
During the session leading up to our event, Vivek Wadhwa (Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie… Read more →
The skills gap in America offers an opportunity for the private and public sector to merge their missions and develop true partnerships. The skills gap may be one reason why, since 2004, U.S. worker productivity has been expanding at its slowest rate in the post-war era. This ominous gap is a key focus for Maher as we partner with our clients to create talent development solutions to up-skill workers. It’s also top of mind as we provide technical assistance to workforce systems challenged with helping job seekers advance their skills to achieve economic security and a meaningful career path.
For our two worlds (private and public) to share common challenges is not new. However, the pain associated with this specific challenge goes deep for both private and public entities.
The skills gap is a real and growing challenge – and… Read more →
Many times, workforce system leaders look to economic projections to find growing occupations and industries so they can best target limited resources at sectors that are expanding and offer family-sustaining careers. Of course, that is as it should be.
Sometimes we can miss, however, real opportunities for great jobs in sectors that may not be among the fastest growing, but which present opportunity due to their “greying workforces.”
We found this great site – Your Skills, Your Future – that the Cleveland, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce has launched in partnership with private sector partners, to educate students, parents and job seekers in careers in manufacturing. We like the work, so we thought we’d share.
Here’s some of what they get right. They talk directly to the worker, in plain language and using terms that resonate with job… Read more →
Recently, I was in Kansas doing State and Local Strategic Board training with my colleague, Terri Lonowski. During the training session, we watched a senior manager overseeing global executive development and diversity for a major firm have an epiphany about how his company needed to embrace talent acquisition and development within a supply chain management relationship framework. His “AHA” moment transformed the dynamics in the room and the very nature of the conversation moving forward. This business representative then wanted to apply the sound practices associated with supply chain management to the workforce development system. He is certainly not the first business person to make that connection, as evidenced by the US Chamber Foundation’s recent work in this area in collaboration with state and local workforce development systems.
The challenge before us is whether the economic development, workforce development and education partners, along… Read more →