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 →
Today we are launching “Leading Change While Implementing Innovation” – ETA’s First Massive Open Online Classroom (MOOC) offering! I’m so pleased to be able to work with a selected group of ETA grantees as the instructor and look forward to some great learning over the five-week course.
The MOOC format – a 100% online learning format where content is available to learners 24x7, whenever schedules allow – uses a new learning format called a “flipped classroom.” This format has participants learn as much from interacting with each other as they do from the instructor. Each week will begin with a short lecture and will then continue through self-assessments, online discussions with peers and an occasional article, video or self-check quiz.
In this MOOC format (actually it's a SPOC – “Small Private Online Classroom” for this… Read more →
2016 marks the largest employer turnout for the East Coast National Return Peace Corps Volunteer Career Fair with 500 participants! Maher attended this event on April 7th in interest and support in hiring RPCVs. Matt Musante and Sara Melton attended this event and spoke with many RPCVs on Maher practices and opportunities where Peace Corps experience can be utilized to its fullest.
Maher recognizes the benefits in recruiting talented RPCVs offering high skills, diversity, and adaptability. Maher currently has two RPCV team members, Jonathan Payne and Sara Melton. Jonathan served in Panama as an Agri-Business Coordinator where he provided high-level technical assistance on agri-business principals at the national and local level. Sara served in Cape Verde as an Environmental and Small Enterprise Developer working with the Ministry of Agriculture and municipal government.
We thank Peace Corps for the opportunity to meet with… 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 →
In 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) launched ApprenticeshipUSA – a national movement to adopt apprenticeship as a talent development solution for our nation’s businesses and meet the President’s goal to double the number of apprentices in the United States over five years. Apprenticeship is a proven model, combining on-the-job training with related education, which provides career pathways for workers and a highly-skilled workforce for businesses.
Continuing the ApprenticeshipUSA movement this year, USDOL has asked for Maher & Maher’s support with a series of events for targeted industry sectors. While apprenticeship originally was used in construction and manufacturing, the modern apprenticeship model can work for any business and is increasingly being used in diverse industries, from healthcare to transportation to information technology. These “ApprenticeshipUSA Accelerator” events will bring together businesses and other industry stakeholders,… Read more →
On March 8-9, 2016 Maher & Maher, in conjunction with USDOL/ETA's Dallas Regional Office, provided in-person training for Arkansas State and local workforce system staff on effective fiscal and programmatic monitoring. In addition to the core curriculum, the training also included tailored components for State staff and Local Area Directors. Trainers included Lynn Bajorek, John Riggs and Jennifer Pirtle from Maher & Maher.
Learning objectives for the training included:Increased understanding of the requirements and benefits of monitoring, the various monitoring roles and responsibilities at the Federal, State and Local levels and the key monitoring activities required to drive compliance and effectiveness. Improved State and Local staff capacity to plan and perform monitoring activities. Expanded awareness and understanding of common monitoring issues/findings including causes and potential resolutions.
The format for the training was highly interactive and included small and full group… Read more →
Today at SETA's Southeastern Employment and Training Conference, Rick Maher, Paulette Francois and Beth Brinly collaborated to bring a packed audience an interactive and hands-on workshop to drive improved integration of service delivery in One Stops. The session combined lecture with team-based activities that allowed participants to brainstorm and prototype possible solutions to service delivery challenges.
"We wanted people to experience how Customer Centered Design (CCD) could be used to engage core partner staff in customer-focused improvements in how we deliver services in American Job Centers," said Maher. "We gave them the basics of the CCD process, modeled what it looks like when done well, and then had folks dive in themselves. It turned out really well as groups expressed being energized by the experience. The goal was to give them a form of a roadmap to use when they leave here, and I think we… Read more →
This past week I was in Springfield, Illinois (the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln) to help our client, the Illinois Department of Commerce and its core partners at the Illinois Community College Board, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and the Illinois Department of Human Services host a statewide conference focused on the formation of WIOA regional plans and the deployment of Sector Strategies.
Teams from each of the state’s 10 economic regions were paired with a dedicated Maher facilitator and came together to author (or advance) regional plans that will guide the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) across the state and across partner programs and agencies.
It is so exciting to participate in events such as this one. Our process for helping states work regionally is integrated with our “World-Class Sector Strategies” approach. We used it originally… Read more →
On February 16th, the Maher & Maher team headed back to the White House to celebrate local partnerships that have embraced the Customer-Centered Design (CCD) Challenge. Eleven teams from across the country were selected to attend the White House Learning Exchange & Celebration, chosen for their extraordinary commitment to improving the customer experience. With the support of a Maher & Maher CCD coach, each team completed rigorous training in customer-centered design and implemented projects with job seekers and employers at the center of innovation within their systems.
The initiative kicked off in July, 2015 when over 600 practitioners attended a webinar to learn about customer-centered design and learn about the CCD challenge. This webinar was hosted by ETA’s Innovation and Opportunity Network (ION) and supported by Maher & Maher. Following the webinar, participants formed over 80 teams of 4- 10 people who had the capacity – and the… Read more →
Last week in Washington, D.C., we joined about 150 senior leaders from workforce development at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’ (NASWA) 2016 Winter Policy Forum.
As you might imagine, this year’s event was chock full of updates and insights about the System’s looming implementation of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and several panels provided robust dialogue about how folks are tackling the challenge (and opportunity) of the new law.
Personal favorites for me included panels on day one that assembled leaders from professional associations representing all our key partners – from Vocational Rehabilitation, Vets and Human Services, and another that featured Congressional staffers focused on the original drafts of WIOA and on progress toward its successful implementation.
But, the Conference’s most dynamic session was its last – a lively round-table discussion that… Read more →