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OEA “How-To” Guide and Three Short Publications for Elected Officials

Maher & Maher, together with partners Anthology Communications, Economic Modeling Specialists International, Innovative Leadership Australia, and EntreWorks Consulting, worked on all aspects of the comprehensive “Local Officials Guide to Defense Industry Adjustment” for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).  We worked with OEA leadership to identify the contents, outline, and flow of the 90-plus-page document and developed the tools and resources that are referenced throughout the Guide.  In 2013, we followed that up by producing three Guides designed to meet the specific needs of local elected officials:

  • Organizing a Regional Economic Adjustment Response
  • Workforce Transitions
  • Business Transitions

These Guides provide only the “highest points” that elected officials need to lead regional transformation initiatives.

The Maher-led team wrote and edited the content, which focused on all aspects of the process for preparing communities for defense industry downturns and other defense-related shifts.  Aligned to a framework of organizing, planning, and implementing, the Guide explores defense industry adjustments within regional economic contexts; stresses the importance of both short- and long-term response strategies that are grounded in industry sector and cluster development; and provides readers with a comprehensive roadmap for navigating all stages and aspects of economic adjustment scenarios.  The Guide also included a primer on economic adjustment, metrics, and data indicators to assist regional planners with preparing for defense industry adjustment.  And while the Guide concerns itself primarily with the defense industry, its content is applicable to a wide variety of other economic transition scenarios, such as plant closings and attendant mass layoffs.

In addition to developing all aspects of the content, the Maher team developed a brand and original graphics for the publication, and placed photos to ensure a print-ready, actionable publication for OEA’s stakeholders. 

The large “How To” Guide provides great detail on all aspects of the three-step OEA adjustment process, while the three shorter Guides really hone in on elected officials’ needs:

  • Organizing a Regional Economic Adjustment Response – A summary of the major actions elected officials should take to ensure a full-on response, from organizing (reaching out to key stakeholders, forming a leadership group and organization, and  defining the geographical boundaries and assets of the regional economy); planning (creating a regional shared vision and short and long-term adjustment plans; to implementing the plan and funding a sustainable long-term adjustment response.
  • Workforce Transitions – Divided into three sections, including addressing immediate needs of workers; mid-term strategies for aligning reemployment and training efforts with targeted regional industry demands; and longer-term strategies to support economic diversification and growth and workforce enhancement.
  • Business Transitions – Discusses ways to assist affected businesses, including key challenges, the need for early outreach and Collaborative Planning ; and various support resources for business.