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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
We are bombarded by information about America’s “skills gap.” Every day, news stories report the now infamous 6 million unfilled jobs in the country. At the same time, those of us engaged with the nation’s workforce development system struggle to help under-skilled job seekers work toward economic security and meaningful career paths.
Employers struggle too; they’re reassessing their entry level skill and educational requirements and their pay rates. They’re hoping to find a solution to vacancies that put stress on managers and cause existing staff to do “double-duty” to get the work done.
But production is not the only cost of the ongoing American Skills Gap, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder. Their April, 2017 survey of over 2,300 employers and 3,400 workers tells a story of higher employee turnover, reduced staff morale, lower quality work… Read more →