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Maher & Maher, an IMPAQ Company - Investment Advisors for Talent Development.
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Posts By Richard D. Maher

Maher Team at NAWB Conference: Premier of our Merger with IMPAQ!

Several members of the Maher Team spent last week mingling with workforce pros at the National Association of Workforce Board’s (NAWB) annual conference in Washington, D.C. Over the years we see the NAWB Conference as one of a few, key national meetings that keeps us connected with our colleagues and clients in the Workforce Development System, and also keeps us connected to important trends and challenges across the United States.

This year was particularly special for us, however, as we premiered our new relationship with IMPAQ following our much talked about acquisition by them at the end of 2017. IMPAQ and Maher staff worked together to staff our booth and briefed visitors on our new, combined capabilities that bring broader offerings and increased capacity to our clients in the U.S. and internationally.

“It was so great networking with so many friends… Read more →

“Slumdog Millionaires?”

Lessons on Job Training I Learned in the Slums of Mumbai

I recently spent some time touring India. We did the “northern route” (for those who know the terrain), and I was there on vacation, but learned important lessons about career training as well. Let me explain.

First, for the travelers among you, I started in Delhi, and moved on to Varanasi (Hindus make a pilgrimage there like Muslims might to Mecca), Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur and finished up in Mumbai (formerly Bombay).

It was a trip full of contrasts – from the busy streets of Old Delhi, to the Hindu priests and faithful on the banks of the Ganges, the Taj Mahal and opulent palaces of the Maharajas’, to the unspeakable condition of Mumbai’s slums. If you think there is a growing divide between the rich and poor in America … Read more →

IMPAQ Acquires Talent Development Consulting Firm Maher & Maher

For Immediate Release

IMPAQ Acquires Talent Development Consulting Firm Maher & Maher

January 29, 2018, Columbia, MD – IMPAQ has acquired the talent development firm Maher & Maher.

Maher & Maher is a world-class consulting firm providing business integration, change management, and leading-edge training solutions. For thirty years, the company has been advising governments and the private sector in effective strategies for addressing talent development needs.

This acquisition will allow IMPAQ to enhance workforce development programs by combining our evidence-based research and data analytics expertise with Maher & Maher’s services. Together, IMPAQ and Maher & Maher will help our clients use resources more effectively and efficiently to significantly improve outcomes. 

“Maher & Maher brings to IMPAQ skilled staff, deep domain expertise, and proven learning solutions,” said IMPAQ CEO, Avi Benus. “Combining their technical assistance experience… Read more →

Change is in the Air (again!) …What’s Your EQ?

Today’s challenging, competitive environment means most of us working in talent development are working at a fever pitch. Long hours, tight deadlines and students that “don’t have time to train.” Constantly changing markets and mandates, and the need to pivot on a dime, all adds up to a high stress environment.

At Maher we have been working to help client organizations with change for 30 years, and our research in organizational resiliency tells us that an individual’s ability to cope is rooted in individual (and organizational) traits, rooted in personality, but also able to be developed. But individual development starts with self-awareness and self-management.

Taking the time to “manage you” and de-compress isn’t always easy, but we found this short article that might help you see how emotionally intelligent folks might cope – and… Read more →

Celebrate Labor this Labor Day!

A Day to Recognize ALL America’s Workers.

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 →

Tesla Partners for Talent Development

Public/Private Partnership Models Solution for the Skills Gap

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 →

Your Skills, Your Future: TN Chamber Partners to Address Manufacturing Skills Gap

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 →

America’s Skills Gap Grows! Costs businesses nearly $1M/year according to survey.

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 →

WBL Quick Reference Desk Guide Available

We are excited to offer access to ETA’s Desk Reference Guide to Work-Based Learning (WBL) for workforce professionals. The short desktop aid offers quick access to information on the various types of WBL available for use by workforce system pros. The Maher Team produced the tool under its WIOA Technical Assistance support contract with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA).

From Registered Apprenticeship to OJT and more, the Guide provides a short tutorial on the various forms of WBL and how they could be properly administered for the benefit of system customers.  

“Today’s challenging labor market, characterized by over 6 million un-filled, middle-skilled job openings, requires innovative solutions,” said Richard (“Rick”) D. Maher, the Firm’s Presdient & CEO. “Work-based learning – in all its forms – is a powerful tool for both our System… Read more →

Maher Workforce Solutions Practices Sharpen the Saw!

Last week a group of senior staff from Maher’s Workforce Solutions practices gathered in the historic Willard Office Building in downtown D.C. for training. For two days about 20 of our professional team worked together to drive new efficiency in our development activities and benchmark best practices with the leaders in the government sector.

“We have been talking about this for the last year … looking at ways to make what we do more effective and efficient,” said Richard D. (“Rick”) Maher, the Firm’s President and CEO. “Our people are incredibly talented and work really hard to make our clients successful. We want to do a better job telling the world about what we do, and making that effort “world-class” – just like the consulting efforts we perform.”

The group gathered near the… Read more →

‘High Impact’ Workshop Draws SRO Crowd at NAWB!

An overflow audience explored the characteristics of “high impact” boards at the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) 2017 conference recently. The NAWB Conference is the nation’s largest gathering of workforce development professionals every year, and this year’s estimated 1500-1600 attendees kept the show’s reputation well secured.

“High Impact Workforce Boards have certain characteristics in our experience,” said Richard D. (“Rick”) Maher, President and CEO. “In this workshop, Beth Brinly (Maher’s V.P. of Workforce Innovation) and I defined how high impact boards operate and helped folks self-assess how they compare with this benchmark. We had an energized, standing-room only (SRO) audience and a really important conversation. It was great fun!”

Maher’s work with High Impact Boards stems from our work in states and regions across the country… Read more →

Maher Supports Sector Strategies in Florida

Last week Maher & Maher continued our support of sector strategies in Florida with the design and facilitation of a workshop in Tampa for our client, CareerSource Florida. This workshop was one of a series of events we’re doing to help CareerSource Florida advance the implementation of sector-based workforce development in the state.

Maher designed the event, and Rick Maher facilitated it. We worked with the client and local leaders to handle all session logistics for 100+ registrants. Attendees included regional employers, Workforce Development Boards, community colleges, K-12 system and representatives from Apprenticeship, Vocational Rehabilitation, Organized Labor and other community-based organizations. “This was a great group of professionals representing the full array of stakeholders needed to make sectors work,” said Rick Maher. “The energy level was high and we had great engagement. I’m looking for great things ahead from the folks… Read more →

Rick Maher’s 2016 Year-End Message

To our Valued Customers, Friends and Colleagues:

As we bring another year to a close, many members of the Maher Team are gathering to focus on the opportunities and challenges ahead in the New Year. It is a busy time – full of things to do, challenges to overcome and opportunities to seize – yet it should also be a time to reflect.

This past year has provided so much for us to be thankful for – another record year of success. We have expanded our Team to record levels as our growth continues. We welcomed new customers who joined with trusted and valued clients we have been fortunate to work with for many years. We also saw exciting new ideas take root – leading to several “firsts” in our consulting practice that helped our clients deliver against aggressive timelines and complex project… Read more →

ETA Awards Maher 5-Year, $20M BPA: Opening the Door to Continued & New Consulting & TA Opportunities

Maher & Maher is pleased to announce a new 5-year, $20M blanket purchase agreement (BPA) award from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to provide the agency with consulting and management services in support of its new online communication and learning platform – WorkforceGPS.org. The BPA also opens tremendous opportunity for any office within ETA to engage Maher’s services in a broad array of technical assistance initiatives, including everything from developing and delivering online blended learning and e-learning training opportunities, to identifying and promoting innovative best practices, and creating online content-like blog posts, discussion threads, newsletters, and the like.

The BPA is advantageous for federal staff because it allows access to Maher services directly – without the need for competitive proposals. This will save ETA staff time and money by expediting the procurement process and tapping needed technical assistance… Read more →

Garden State Employment and Training Association Board Plans for the Future of Workforce Development

The Garden State Employment and Training Association (GSETA) invited me to facilitate their July Board Retreat, which included Executive Directors and Managers from Workforce Development Boards and One Stop offices from across New Jersey.  I was excited to accept this opportunity to discuss the future of workforce development in my home state. 

Through Board member’s evaluation of the organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, all within the context of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, we witnessed a very engaged group who, with few if any exceptions, began to demonstrate a willingness to re-imagine and explore the potential of the Association.  Key themes for the event included innovation, system building, employer engagement, partnership development, and the strengthening of a talent pipeline for New Jersey. 

GSETA members present stated that they were able to walk away from… Read more →

Voices for Opportunity and Economic Mobility: A Jobs for the Future Summit - Rick Maher to Moderate

A national summit focused on economic mobility is happening this week in New Orleans, and Maher President and CEO, Rick Maher is there!

The summit takes on the crisis in economic opportunity facing American society, and brings together employers, partners, civic leaders, and other “problem solvers” to share ways to better prepare a rising generation for tomorrow’s jobs. The unique gathering of national thought leaders tackles topics as diverse as working with immigrant populations and addressing transportation barriers.

“Our leadership team felt it was important for us to support JFF in this national summit,” said Mr. Maher. “The topic is such an important one at a pivotal moment in time for our country. As we tackle the challenge of growing economic inequality, our ability to pause and take time for a deep dive in understanding the issues… Read more →

Are you BOLD enough to “Fail-Fast?” Customer Centered Design Holds a Key to WIOA Success

Three work sessions at the recent National Association of Workforce Development Professionals (NAWDP) Conference in Orlando invited participants to innovate their way to improved service delivery integration, and to “fail fast” in the pursuit of better outcomes for both job seeker and employer customers. We were really energized by the enthusiasm of people from across the country as we explored ETA’s Customer Centered Design (CCD) initiative.

Customer Centered Design (CCD) is a way of exploring service delivery excellence using “design thinking” as the engine for innovation, and the Employment and Training Administration has been championing its acceptance across the Nation’s Workforce Development System aggressively. ETA’s Customer Centered Design Challenge, which we have supported as TA providers and coaches for the initiative, has seen 200 teams since last summer from across the U.S. form to re-imagine… Read more →

Oklahoma Strategic Board Training: Statewide Conference Boosts WIOA Implementation Success

I recently had the honor of working with close to 100 local workforce development board members from across the state of Oklahoma, and was so impressed with their positive energy and intentions!. State officials worked in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Dallas Regional Office to promote and sponsor the event. This highly collaborative event convened at Oklahoma State University brought together board members, including board chairs, business members and board staff and a robust representation of Local Elected Officials (LEOs),to explore the many important elements of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and to train board members in their critical roles – among them to think and act more strategically in the years ahead.

We covered the essential elements of the new legislation, gave folks an overview of how the law would change the way they do business, and… Read more →

We’ve Lost an Extended Family Member

I am moved to share this message. Last week we said goodbye to an extended family member at Maher & Maher.

Luke Bautista, son of our long-time associate – Chris Bautista – suffered a tragic accident. A young man (age 15), Luke was described as fun, smart, a prankster (“actually a bit twisted” according to his Dad), always smiling and supportive of others. He sounds like a young man of many gifts who surely left us way too soon.

I got back from travel in time to attend Luke’s service. It was, as you might imagine, a solemn affair, but incredibly well-attended.  One could feel the support and love flowing from those in attendance for Luke’s Mom, Dad and older brother (and best-friend), CJ. I was so pleased to see so many of Chris’ Maher colleagues in attendance,… Read more →

The Future of Rapid Response: Maher Presents a new Future Orientation at ETA Region 2 Summit

Last week’s “Responding Rapidly” Summit in Harrisburg, PA gave us the opportunity to think through the future of Rapid Response with a high-energy group of professionals throughout ETA’s Region 2 states – and it was a conversation that may need to happen across the Nation’s Workforce Development System.

Working with our V.P. of Workforce Innovation, Beth Brinly, and about 110 Rapid Responders from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, I was able – for the first time really – to think through the future of this critical program as it might function in a post-WIOA world.

Fortunately, in many areas, Rapid Response is not as overwhelmed as it once was with large scale dislocations. During the Great Recession and for years in its wake, Rapid Responders were very busy responding to events – meeting with businesses… Read more →