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Category Technical Assistance (TA) Strategies

Stockholder Development in the First State

During a Delaware Workforce Development Board (DWDB) meeting in 2017, Region 2 ETA Administrator Leo Miller issued a challenge to the DWDB to truly seize the opportunity in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in order to reimagine the workforce development system in the First State. The Chair of the DWDB, Gary Stockbridge, accepted that challenge right then and there and refocused the meeting and the trajectory of the workforce system in Delaware. As a result of this transformational meeting, Delaware partnered with Maher & Maher in 2017 to retool its strategic planning process.  

The first endeavor we undertook was to broaden the engagement of partners in the development of the strategic plan, as well as to align the DWDB’s planning activities with key initiatives underway among workforce system partners. The Board’s Steering Committee utilized a highly interactive Board Retreat that not only included… Read more →

Distilling Federal Regulations into Successful Technical Assistance

Change is the one constant in the national workforce system. Whether a government agency is issuing new regulations or stripping down existing ones, our challenge is to help practitioners comply with new requirements and continue their commitment to customer-centered design and transformational change.

With any policy, buy-in at all levels is vital to full implementation, which is why the Maher team takes a holistic approach. We work closely with our clients to gain a deep understanding of regulatory changes while maintaining the broader vision for the workforce system. For more than 20 years, Maher has played the role of change agent, helping to streamline the implementation of and reduce confusion around several federal regulations such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and updated Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations for apprenticeship for our clients at the US Department of Labor (USDOL). We have done the same kind… Read more →

2018 Budget Talks: The Winds of Change are in the Air

Re-imagining America’s Workforce Development System

With the House Appropriations Committee approving the FY 2018 Labor-HHS Ed Funding bill, we have yet another opportunity to consider how the public workforce system must evolve to meet the needs of its business and individual customers.

Some suggest that the focus lies solely with meeting the needs of the business customer.  Others suggest we must invest in career pathways and position them as the core of the workforce delivery system.  Then there are those who think technology should rule the day and that the physical American Job Center is becoming obsolete. No matter which school of thought you subscribe to, it is clear that our system must embrace change to remain relevant to our businesses, individual customers and our national, state and regional economies. We have been “tweaking” for nearly 20 years as federal budgets shrink to … Read more →

Maher Supports State Apprenticeship Expansion Grantees in Nation’s Capital

For the past decade, Maher & Maher has been a strategic partner to the Office of Apprenticeship at the US Department of Labor, and is leading several initiatives to expand apprenticeship in all industries, states and demographic populations.

The first week of May brought Apprenticeship to the forefront with two nationally attended conferences, the first of which was managed by the Maher Apprenticeship Team as a part of its State Apprenticeship Expansion (SAE) Grant contract with the Office of Apprenticeship.

Over 100 apprenticeship, workforce, and education professionals from states and territories receiving SAE Grants as well as representatives from the Office of Apprenticeship attended the SAE Grantee Conference in Arlington, Virginia to work with their state peers, Maher technical assistance coaches and subject matter experts, and U.S. Department of Labor staff on grant-specific challenges and opportunities.

Conference attendees expressed their appreciation for being… Read more →

Maher & Maher Presents at the Maryland Raising the Bar Conference on Advancing Apprenticeship

On March 15, 2017, Amy Young and Rebecca Livingston presented “Advancing Apprenticeship Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)” to a standing-room-only crowd at the Maryland Workforce Association’s Raising the Bar Conference. This session highlighted opportunities for Apprenticeship under WIOA and how to utilize Apprenticeship for WIOA customers. The session ended with an interactive activity on how to effectively implement Apprenticeships in Maryland and provided a wealth of resources to continue this important work beyond the conference.

Maher & Maher is a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm based in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The firm is U.S. Department of Labor’s national technical assistance provider supporting the Employment and Training Administration’s implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and a number of other priority initiatives of the administration that advance and… Read more →

Maher Supports Sector Strategies in Florida

Last week Maher & Maher continued our support of sector strategies in Florida with the design and facilitation of a workshop in Tampa for our client, CareerSource Florida. This workshop was one of a series of events we’re doing to help CareerSource Florida advance the implementation of sector-based workforce development in the state.

Maher designed the event, and Rick Maher facilitated it. We worked with the client and local leaders to handle all session logistics for 100+ registrants. Attendees included regional employers, Workforce Development Boards, community colleges, K-12 system and representatives from Apprenticeship, Vocational Rehabilitation, Organized Labor and other community-based organizations. “This was a great group of professionals representing the full array of stakeholders needed to make sectors work,” said Rick Maher. “The energy level was high and we had great engagement. I’m looking for great things ahead from the folks… Read more →

Maher & Maher Awarded $30M Contract Vehicle to Continue Technical Assistance for WIOA

In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA) awarded Maher & Maher a new 5-year, $30 million blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to provide the agency with continued technical assistance and training support to advance the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The BPA opens tremendous opportunity for any office within ETA to quickly and easily engage Maher’s services in a broad array of technical assistance, training and outreach activities, including needs assessments, facilitation services, federal staff and grantee training, in-person and virtual events, performance coaching and subject matter expertise, peer learning, toolkits and guides, disseminating lessons learned, and accelerating the adoption of evidence-based practices.

The BPA is advantageous for federal staff because it allows access to Maher services directly – without the need for competitive proposals. This saves ETA staff time and money by expediting the procurement process and tapping needed… Read more →

A Learning Laboratory for Innovation

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 →

From Strategy to Service Delivery: Operationalizing Industry Sector and Career Pathway Priorities

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 →

Maher & Maher - Strong at SETA

Content-rich and timely topics drew standing room only crowds to Maher & Maher’s four engaging workshops at SETA (Southeastern Employment & Training Association) 2016 Fall Conference in Biloxi, with record attendance of over 650.

Beth Brinly, Maher’s Vice President for Workforce Innovation, wowed attendees with her three workshops.  Her first session was Procurement of Youth Services Under WIOA, which offered an opportunity to review key WIOA Youth Final Rules.  Participants engaged in a spirited discussion exploring the pros and cons of Pay for Performance contracting.  The conversation then shifted to the elements needed in Request for Proposals and an examination of rating elements of proposals.  Some of the feedback included: “Great information and presenter!  Enjoyed group interactions and RFP tips.” and “Beth was very knowledgeable and passionate about this subject!”

The second interactive workshop,… Read more →