In order to receive funding as a Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) region, the client had to produce a regional economic/workforce development strategic implementation plan for the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL-ETA). Maher & Maher was hired to shepherd the regional Leadership Group through the process of developing that plan and then authored it. In doing so, Maher helped establish an implementation governance structure and, most importantly, helped to create the conditions for ongoing, enhanced social networking among the region’s leaders.
While we did not produce formal social network maps for the Talent for Growth initiative, we conducted extensive analysis of the region’s initial social network, and, ultimately, facilitated significant expansion of that network. After we organized the initial regional Leadership Group, we conducted a SWOT analysis using the data gathered as well as additional input from the Leadership Group. Based on that analysis, the region was expanded to include two adjacent counties from a neighboring state, and the Maher team supported outreach and engagement activities to bring additional leaders from these two counties into the regional network and Leadership Group.
Maher & Maher then organized Leadership Group members into a set of five Core Teams. Those Teams were centered on goals established as a result of the SWOT Analysis, were facilitated by our staff, and each produced a strategic plan in its area of focus:
Maher worked with the Core Team and Leadership Group chairs to re-align the five plans into one coherent approach to workforce and economic transformation, and then authored the Region’s Generation II WIRED plan, which was subsequently funded by ETA. The report is available below.
This project represented a major ongoing change management initiative for the region. With our guidance, advice, and assistance, a new bi-state economic region was not just declared, but actually coalesced through a series of initiatives developed by carefully building consensus in the social network across geographical, political, and professional lines.