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 →
It’s National Apprenticeship Week – a celebration of business, labor, education, community, and government support for apprenticeship as a work-based learning strategy. As part of that celebration, we’re reflecting on the important work states are doing to expand the number of businesses and industries that use apprenticeship as a talent development strategy, while increasing the numbers of youth and adults participating in apprenticeship programs.
Maher & Maher is working alongside states in this important work. As we support states in their efforts, we’re seeing states focus on four key strategies that set them up for long-term, sustainable growth.
Strengthening alignment between apprenticeship and education and workforce systems. States are moving away from siloed apprenticeship systems, and aligning apprenticeship with higher education, career and technical education, and the workforce investment system. Maryland, Kentucky, Nevada, and… Read more →
Recently, I was in Kansas doing State and Local Strategic Board training with my colleague, Terri Lonowski. During the training session, we watched a senior manager overseeing global executive development and diversity for a major firm have an epiphany about how his company needed to embrace talent acquisition and development within a supply chain management relationship framework. His “AHA” moment transformed the dynamics in the room and the very nature of the conversation moving forward. This business representative then wanted to apply the sound practices associated with supply chain management to the workforce development system. He is certainly not the first business person to make that connection, as evidenced by the US Chamber Foundation’s recent work in this area in collaboration with state and local workforce development systems.
The challenge before us is whether the economic development, workforce development and education partners, along… Read more →
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 →