Last week in Washington, D.C., we joined about 150 senior leaders from workforce development at the National Association of State Workforce Agencies’ (NASWA) 2016 Winter Policy Forum.
As you might imagine, this year’s event was chock full of updates and insights about the System’s looming implementation of the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and several panels provided robust dialogue about how folks are tackling the challenge (and opportunity) of the new law.
Personal favorites for me included panels on day one that assembled leaders from professional associations representing all our key partners – from Vocational Rehabilitation, Vets and Human Services, and another that featured Congressional staffers focused on the original drafts of WIOA and on progress toward its successful implementation.
But, the Conference’s most dynamic session was its last – a lively round-table discussion that… Read more →
Workforce leaders from around the U.S. and from all Federal Partners convened on the Washington, D.C. Hilton January 26th -28th for a two-and-a-half-day conference focused on efforts to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and the Maher & Maher team played a critical support role in the session’s success. Branded "One Team, One Vision, One Conversation," ETA joined with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) to lead a rigorous discussion of the challenges and opportunities partner Agencies, state and locals face in bringing WIOA to life. As the technical assistance contractor to the ETA, Maher & Maher staff helped in formulating the agenda, identifying speakers and workshop facilitators and in supporting on-site logistics for the nearly 800 attendees.
“It wasn’t easy to make this happen seamlessly on the heels of a 2’ snowstorm over the weekend,… Read more →
Maher & Maher is pleased to announce the ApprenticeshipUSA Toolkit, which we have designed for the Department of Labor to benefit workforce agencies and their partners throughout the country. This toolkit provides resources to help the public workforce system use apprenticeship as a talent development strategy. It is an action-oriented solution that uses customized technical assistance to meet the challenges of public workforce systems.
The Toolkit has been designed to help workforce development professionals at every level of the workforce system. For example, the toolkit includes:Web-based training as an introduction to apprenticeship training within the workforce system Roadmaps for exploring apprenticeship, building partnerships, and launching apprenticeship strategies Videos for those designing strategy to highlight best practices Tutorials and resources to jump start an apprenticeship strategy Desk aids for those serving customers A guide for Business Service Representatives to expand work-based training options for businesses… Read more →
As part of the “Workforce That Works!” Pennsylvania Workforce Board Development Symposium on December 8th, Maher & Maher provided focused discussions on methods to ensure that the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (W.I.O.A.) is centered around the needs of jobseeker and employer customers.
Christy Montgomery from the Maher & Maher team provided a plenary session on the role Customer Centered Design can play across workforce services to ensure that we are meeting client needs and creating positive outcomes. This session was in conjunction with a presentation by Leo Miller, Regional Administrator of ETA’s Region 2 Philadelphia office, who encouraged the local boards in Pennsylvania to strive to be innovative as they embark on the changes of W.I.O.A. Following Leo’s charge for innovative change, Christy covered key components of customer centered… Read more →
Savannah, GA.: The Maher Team had a busy week at SETA’s 2015 Conference in Savannah, Georgia in late September. A group of our consulting staff from our Federal Workforce Solutions Practice delivered a series of professional development workshops intended to help folks improve System performance and better prepare for the looming implementation of the Nation’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Led by Rick Maher, the Firm’s President and CEO, members of the Maher Team descended on Savannah with a purpose – to help engage attendees in a positive and engaging discussion of the new Act and how to best prepare for System change.
“I was proud of our Team. They were everywhere – running workshops, staging video shoots for training products and attending sessions themselves,” said Maher. “When we stop learning ourselves, we cannot be as… Read more →
Washington, D.C.: The Maher Team recently visited the White House in support of our clients at ApprenticeshipUSA.
The recent White House Summit on ApprenticeshipUSA was a capstone event following this Summer’s launch of the Sectors of Excellence in Apprenticeship (SEA) initiative. Part of President Obama’s call to double the number of the Nation’s apprentices by 2020, SEA brought together leaders from six key industry sectors – Construction, Information Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Healthcare and Logistics/Transportation – in regional meetings around the U.S. These SEA events saw industry leaders and leaders from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship come together, brainstorm actions and make commitments to advance the application of apprenticeship in meeting the Nation’s talent needs today and tomorrow.
“The SEA events were great,” said Amy Young, Maher… Read more →
In today’s economy, making sure that the skills of the available workforce meet the needs of local industry is crucial. By developing career pathways for workers that are aligned with the needs of industry, people can become and remain employed, industry grows, and the overall regional and national economies benefit.
That’s where Sector Planning comes in, and it all starts with focused, active partnerships between businesses and those engaged in workforce development. These “Sector Partnerships” are defined as:
“Focused, active partnerships among businesses in a target industry sector and workforce development organizations, educators, training providers, labor unions, community organizations, and other key stakeholders”
Working together, these collaborations identify industry needs for workers with specific skills, education, and credentials, and then make sure that educational and training opportunities are available to help people… Read more →
Last week I had the honor of working with nearly 500 professionals from across a broad array of partners in Little Rock, Arkansas in the state’s first, wide-scale planning meeting for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). We were packed into every square inch of our hotel space – a challenge for our team of facilitators. Importantly, our job was made easier by the willingness of those present to "dive in" to the serious business of implementing the new law.
The audience included all the usual attendees – Board members, WIA and Wagner-Peyser staff, community colleges and CBOs – but also a strong showing from "new" WIOA partners in Rehabilitation Services, TANF, Registered Apprenticeship and more.
It was my job to convey the essential elements of the new legislation, give folks an overview of how the Law would change the way we do… Read more →
At a recent team meeting it was exciting to hear how social learning was at play. From peer-to-peer sharing in support of a client’s Lean implementation, to sales representatives partaking in strategic planning best practices in a virtual classroom session, to a project team collaborating on process improvements in the development of a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), the value of social learning was front and center.
Social learning is not a new concept in the business community – we work in teams, seek out peers for guidance and information, engage in collaborative problem-solving, and learn together in classes. Leveraging the knowledge capital of employees by sharing information and expertise in the workplace is a proven business practice with a long history. Whether through informal mentoring or a simple water-cooler chat, social learning is a powerful process that connects employees with subject matter… Read more →
We recently completed another strategic planning engagement for a college in Illinois, and I was moved by the engagement, interest and passion this group brought to the task of finding a better future for their institution and the community it serves.
South Suburban Community College brought about 100 leaders together from this region just south of Chicago for an intensive, 2-day event designed to drive innovation and planning to guide the institution’s next five years. Using our Community-Centered Strategic Planning Process, stakeholders from the community representing K-12, the university system, economic and workforce development and employers joined those internal to the college (including students) in the effort.
This process is intense, it is time-consuming and it isn’t for everybody. It just works.
We use the essence of the “Re-Claiming the American Dream” report from the American Association of… Read more →