The Garden State Employment and Training Association (GSETA) invited us to present to their 35th Annual Workforce Development Conference, which included workforce development professionals and partners organizations from across New Jersey. I was excited to accept this opportunity to discuss how we can best reach successful sector strategy and WIOA outcomes through Apprenticeship and Work Based Learning in my home state.
Growing broad, bi-partisan support for Apprenticeship recognizes the critical import of bridging the skills gap in the modern workforce, and the clear ability of Apprenticeship programs to deliver outcomes. Case studies of a number of national efforts to expand apprenticeship offer clear evidence that while multiple variables may impact success, integrating sector strategy efforts with apprenticeship as a key implementation strategy produces improved outcomes for employers as well as job seekers.… Read more →
It is wonderful when regionalism comes together like it did with the six workforce development regions in Minnesota! In order to help stand up these newly formed regions, Minnesota asked Maher to partner with the regions to assess sector strategies implementation status in the context of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The Maher team reviewed each regional plan and then identified and provided technical assistance over a three-month period.
Across the regions, several common technical assistance themes emerged:Advancing a regional approach to sector strategies that is strategic and systemic in nature; Building a common understanding and structure to support sector strategies and employer-led industry partnerships among local boards and partners; Creating an integrated approach to business services; Supporting and sustaining long-term sector partnership and employer relationships; and Developing performance metrics/benchmarks.
In response to these needs, Maher coaches worked with regions on a… Read more →
Maher & Maher is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Virginia Community College System and its workforce partners on the development of a Sector Strategy and Career Pathways Academy.
This effort builds upon a decade of work in the Commonwealth to align education and training programs in ways that makes it easier for individuals to access and complete pathways to family-supporting careers. By pairing together sector strategies and career pathways, this initiative hopes to improve the relevance and effectiveness of education and training programs, leading to more positive outcomes for individuals and businesses.
A primary emphasis will be on operationalizing these strategies in service delivery so that sector strategies and career pathways become the “way of conducting business” throughout Virginia’s workforce system. This is a transformational change endeavor for the entire system—from workforce board members, educational leaders,… Read more →
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 →
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 →
On September 19th, Maher & Maher joined leaders from the White House, the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and fifteen Customer Centered Design (CCD) Challenge teams from across the country at a special White House event to celebrate innovative local partnerships that embrace design thinking and put customer needs at the center of service delivery, processes and customer flow. The teams from California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin highlighted key insights they learned through their immersive research, and the programmatic transformations they’ve made for business customers and target populations including, out-of-school youth, formerly incarcerated jobseekers, English-Language Learners (ELL), and individuals with disabilities. White House and ETA leaders engaged in a robust dialogue with the teams and praised the teams for their commitment to the innovative approach to improve service delivery.
On the heels of 80+ participating teams in Round 1, Maher provided… Read more →
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) lays the groundwork for smart regional planning: aligning education and training strategies and services with the talent needs of businesses within a given labor market. As many workforce leaders can attest, this kind of regional planning, and the forming of industry sector partnerships is difficult to pull off. It requires developing a shared vision and consensus among not only workforce areas, economic development organizations and post-secondary institutions, but now, a number of other public programs including vocational rehabilitation, adult education and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. These regional groups must ultimately align services and programs and work with business customers as one voice.
There is no question that all effective regional partnerships have, at their heart, a strong convening organization, or intermediary. Intermediaries, or “conveners” as they are often called, are the backbone organization for… Read more →
The successful implementation of sector strategies and other key transformational elements in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) occurs at the regional level. But, without a universally accepted definition of a functional economic region, some states have chosen to designate their local workforce areas as “regions;” a move that can overlook the tremendous value of true economic regions in their state. As states seek to designate economic regions, we encourage them to consider two key factors that are generally included in most definitions that can help their guide decisions: 1) The region represents a cohesive network of trade in goods, services and labor, and 2) Data is the common element in identifying such regions.
Maher’s extensive experience working with states and regions strongly indicates that regional approaches built around identifying and operating in economic regions lend themselves to more successful sector strategies. There are… Read more →
We are pleased to announce that we have been selected by the state of Arkansas to support their deployment of sector strategies statewide – adding another state to a growing list of clients working to transform their workforce development system.
Sector strategies are regional, industry-focused approaches to building skilled workforces and are among the most effective ways to aligning public and private resources to address the talent needs of business – while providing family-sustaining career paths for job-seekers. Sectors-based workforce development strategies are promoted actively by federal policy and are a key element in the Nation’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which was passed by Congress in 2014.
“Sectors for us is not just another program,” said Beth Brinly, Vice-President, Workforce Innovation at Maher. “Rather, it's a culture-shift in the way we view the business of workforce development. By… Read more →
Florida’s workforce development system, and their partners, are on a course to accelerate the adoption of sectors-based approaches to talent management around the State, and our recent Sectors Strategy Institute was a solid start on their journey.
The two-day Institute, held in Orlando, brought together over 100 leaders from Florida’s twenty-four workforce development areas who attended with partners from education and economic development to learn more about sector strategies. The Institute began with a discussion of the vision Florida leaders embrace for a future workforce system and continued with several panel discussions. Leaders then worked through a series of learning activities and team-based planning exercises to help them better understand priorities and appropriate next steps.
“We have developed and deployed a model for doing these Institutes in states around the country,” said Carrie Yeats, Director of Maher’s State… Read more →