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Maher & Maher, an IMPAQ Company - Investment Advisors for Talent Development.
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Adult Education and Pre-Apprenticeship – a Promising Partnership!

Quality pre-apprenticeship programs provide pathways to apprenticeship for under-represented, disadvantaged, or low-skilled individuals.  Successful programs incorporate industry-approved training and curriculum, integrate hands-on training, lead to industry-recognized credentials, and provide robust supportive services.  Pre-apprenticeship programs do not stand alone; quality programs partner directly with apprenticeship sponsors and include explicit pathways into apprenticeship programs (and other employment opportunities) for successful participants.

These characteristics of pre-apprenticeship programs make them a great option for the adults and youth who receive services through Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs.  Across the country, ABE providers are partnering with or operating pre-apprenticeship programs and providing a recruitment pipeline into pre-apprenticeships.  For example:

In Delaware, Sussex Technical School partnered with the USDOL Office of Apprenticeship and the local Adult High School to create a 1-year electrical pre-apprenticeship program for the ESL population.  ​They created an integrated instructional class that runs… Read more →

Managing Performance to Drive Innovation and Continuous Improvement

Through our work across the country, we have noticed an exciting trend – an increased focus by states and regions on using data collection, analysis, and continuous improvement techniques to actively manage their WIOA performance. This increased focus is key because although WIOA encourages workforce systems to experiment with new and innovative service delivery strategies, we all know that testing innovation may also risk your program’s ability to meet and exceed WIOA initially. Trying something new is an experiment – it’s risky and doesn’t always translate immediately to success as defined by WIOA.  

The good news is there are strategies to mitigate this risk, maximize your outcomes and free you up to try innovative ideas and strategies. For example, our data analysis (and direct work with state and local clients) suggest that confusion around both the indicators’ intent and… Read more →

Building Online Courses with Peer Learning

It’s been years since I completed my master’s degree in Instructional Technology from a reputable Philadelphia university. At that time, online courses were few and far between. In fact, if a course was offered online, it was delivered in the framework of blended learning because in-class sessions were still required for discussion and exams.

I’ve always been a perpetual learner.  However, I tend to focus my skill-sharpening around the development of just-in-time learning, video demonstrations, and webinars. As an e/mLearning Developer, I have to stay current with technology because tools and learning platforms are constantly updated.

As our clients continue to transition instructor-led training to online learning, or even look to revamp dated online learning, they present a growing desire to discuss topics, ideas, challenges, and perspectives with their Learning and Development peers.

While I… Read more →

Blended Virtual Learning that Works

A Little Background

Maher has worked with a mix of clients to move lengthy in-person classroom training (what we refer to as instructor-led training, or ILT) to a blended virtual instructor-led delivery format, or VILT. This allows clients to expand course offerings to a wider audience and eliminates the cost of meeting rooms and other logistics, such as travel, for both facilitators and participants. While controlling costs is an important consideration, this approach also presents significant learning benefits for participants:

A cohort model allows learners to study together over a set time period and connect in ways that extend beyond the initial learning experience. Blended formats are convenient and allow for an expanded cohort of participants. This broadens the depth of peer expertise shared during the course. Peer learning allows colleagues across the nation or around the globe to collaborate or problem-solve in new ways. … Read more →

How Do You Learn?

An Interview with Michael Colella, Information Technology Manager at Maher & Maher

As Chief Learning Officer at Maher, I like to connect with team members on how they view professional development and how they develop themselves.

Michael Colella joined Maher in March of this year as our Information Technology (IT) Manager. I wanted to get his perspective on development as a systems and technology expert.  He was ready and willing to let me pick his brain—thank you Mike!

Question: “Why do you think professional development is so important today?”

In our age of technology and connectivity the business landscape has become extremely competitive. Successful businesses aim to acquire the most talented individuals to drive innovation. Companies often expand their talent pool search by offering employees the ability to work remotely.  With an expanded talent pool for employers… Read more →

A Digital Transformation is Upon Us. What Does That Mean to the Workplace?

The digital transformation is a key business initiative at the forefront of most leading organizations. It is not a trend that is losing ground; rather, it is picking up exponential speed.  Those that plan to wait until the ground settles to find their place in the transformation will be left behind.  It is undeniable that our workplace will change significantly in the next five years, and this new way of work, more than any other in recent history, will have a profound impact on how we ready our future workforce. Job-seekers, as well as those who are currently employed, will need to upskill to adapt in the workplace.

I just spent two days at the Future Workplace Summit in Boston, Massachusetts.  The event focused on how the workplace is changing and presented best practices for leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual and Augmented Realities (VR… Read more →

Artificial Intelligence Changing the Way We Learn

When I first heard the term, Artificial Intelligence (AI), it reminded me of the 1968 iconic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. Yes, I realize many of my coworkers were likely not even born yet and might see that film as dated and old-school; but for me at eight, it was a glance into our future. As an adult, I can imagine how my father regretted his decision to take me to that movie after being bombarded with questions like, “Why is that computer talking?” Yet, here we stand, asking for guidance from voice-powered personal assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google, or Cortana. 

Many companies are exploring AI technology today.  Being in the learning and development field, I ask myself, “What effect will AI have on learning and performance improvement strategies and on the professionals that are accountable for Talent Development?”

Read more →

Microlearning as a Tool for Learning in the Digital Transformation Age

In consulting with clients on upskilling in today’s workplace, there is frequent interest in the use of short and focused videos (microlearning).  A while back one of our talented Instructional Designers, Erin Audia, shared great perspective on the value of Video as a Medium for Microlearning.  We are resharing it since it still hits the mark quite accurately.

IMPAQ/Maher Education Fund Announces Awardees

Today, IMPAQ and Maher & Maher announced the awardees of the IMPAQ/Maher Education Fund.

Through Maher & Maher's background in workforce development technical assistance, and IMPAQ’s expertise in workforce development research, we recognize the valuable contributions that workforce boards make toward advancing occupational readiness and preparing job seekers for good jobs in growth sectors.

The IMPAQ/Maher Education Fund provides grants to workforce boards and intermediaries in Maryland and New Jersey, to help expand and extend their services. These grants will supplement other forms of workforce funding and allow local leaders maximum flexibility in designing, implementing, and measuring local workforce development programs.

After a competitive application process, three $20,000 grants were awarded:

Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (Millersville, MD) will be using funds to implement a Patient Care Technician (PCT) Pipeline Program, which will recruit, support, and place PCTs… Read more →

IMPAQ Welcomes Dr. Adaeze Enekwechi as President

Dr. Adaeze Enekwechi joins IMPAQ as President. Dr. Enekwechi will oversee all program areas of IMPAQ’s companies, including IMPAQ International, Maher & Maher, and ASCEND.

Dr. Enekwechi brings to the IMPAQ companies a deep understanding of Federal programs and policy, including delivery system reform, payment systems, and critical policy issues facing our nation and the world.

She will be responsible for strategic and tactical oversight of all research, technical assistance, and technology services across all practice areas, including health care, workforce development, social programs, education, and international development.

“Dr. Enekwechi is a data-driven and results-focused executive,” said IMPAQ CEO, Avi Benus. “We are thrilled to have her lead our research and client-service teams as they deliver innovative solutions to complex public policy and program issues.”

Prior to joining IMPAQ, Dr. Enekwechi served as Vice President… Read more →

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