Technical Assistance Strategies | Maher & Maher
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Category Technical Assistance (TA) Strategies

“Connecting the Dots”

Doing more with less is all too familiar in the field of workforce development. Over time, funding levels have eroded or been eliminated altogether, requiring workforce professionals to be creative in devising ways to serve customers more efficiently and effectively. In fact, we at Maher & Maher advise our clients every day on strategies to leverage funding and align resources to save both time and money.

Behind the scenes, we take our own advice seriously, too. It’s what we call “connecting the dots.” Our technical assistance at the federal level combined with our work with states, regions, locals, and with private business clients allows us to generate a wealth of knowledge about the challenges our clients face in developing and delivering a talent pipeline. We experience firsthand what’s working and what’s not, and document the most effective practices being… Read more →

Teach, Learn, Change

A Diverse Technical Assistance Strategy for Equal Employment Opportunities in Apprenticeship

The team at Maher & Maher are experts at digging into complex policies and developing dynamic, digestible technical assistance (TA) and training for diverse audiences.

The US Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship (OA) has been focusing for the last couple of years on increasing diversity in apprenticeship programs, both in terms of the industries that use apprenticeship as a workforce development tool and the demographics of apprentices themselves. Maher is partnering with OA on that mission, creating TA for both national staff as well as for State-level grantees.

In December 2016, the regulations regarding Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) measures for apprenticeship programs were updated for the first time in nearly four decades. The previous EEO regulations for apprenticeship were published in 1978. Since that time, many aspects of the workplace have changed dramatically.… Read more →

Maher & Maher announces partnership with the Virginia Community College System

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 →

Maher Supports Futurist Thinking

Wayne Gretzky, famed hockey player, is known for his saying “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”  While attending a workforce meeting in Portland, Oregon entitled “Finding Pathways to Economic Vitality Through a Dynamic Future,” we explored the implication of artificial intelligence and drones on our sector and job development work with businesses and individual customers.  This interactive session not only fostered stimulating conversation about how to position the system to remain relevant in this technologically evolving work environment, it also provided participants with a hands-on experience with drones.

Also during the meeting, Vivek Wadhwa (Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University College of Engineering, and Contributing Writer, Washington Post) spoke to the group about how technology is changing our future and how our choices about technology advances will dictate the future. He suggested that we face… Read more →

Stockholder Development in the First State

During a Delaware Workforce Development Board (DWDB) meeting in 2017, Region 2 ETA Administrator Leo Miller issued a challenge to the DWDB to truly seize the opportunity in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in order to reimagine the workforce development system in the First State. The Chair of the DWDB, Gary Stockbridge, accepted that challenge right then and there and refocused the meeting and the trajectory of the workforce system in Delaware. As a result of this transformational meeting, Delaware partnered with Maher & Maher in 2017 to retool its strategic planning process.  

The first endeavor we undertook was to broaden the engagement of partners in the development of the strategic plan, as well as to align the DWDB’s planning activities with key initiatives underway among workforce system partners. The Board’s Steering Committee utilized a highly interactive Board Retreat that not only included… Read more →

Distilling Federal Regulations into Successful Technical Assistance

Change is the one constant in the national workforce system. Whether a government agency is issuing new regulations or stripping down existing ones, our challenge is to help practitioners comply with new requirements and continue their commitment to customer-centered design and transformational change.

With any policy, buy-in at all levels is vital to full implementation, which is why the Maher team takes a holistic approach. We work closely with our clients to gain a deep understanding of regulatory changes while maintaining the broader vision for the workforce system. For more than 20 years, Maher has played the role of change agent, helping to streamline the implementation of and reduce confusion around several federal regulations such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and updated Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) regulations for apprenticeship for our clients at the US Department of Labor (USDOL). We have done the same kind… Read more →

2018 Budget Talks: The Winds of Change are in the Air

Re-imagining America’s Workforce Development System

With the House Appropriations Committee approving the FY 2018 Labor-HHS Ed Funding bill, we have yet another opportunity to consider how the public workforce system must evolve to meet the needs of its business and individual customers.

Some suggest that the focus lies solely with meeting the needs of the business customer.  Others suggest we must invest in career pathways and position them as the core of the workforce delivery system.  Then there are those who think technology should rule the day and that the physical American Job Center is becoming obsolete. No matter which school of thought you subscribe to, it is clear that our system must embrace change to remain relevant to our businesses, individual customers and our national, state and regional economies. We have been “tweaking” for nearly 20 years as federal budgets shrink to … Read more →

Maher Supports State Apprenticeship Expansion Grantees in Nation’s Capital

For the past decade, Maher & Maher has been a strategic partner to the Office of Apprenticeship at the US Department of Labor, and is leading several initiatives to expand apprenticeship in all industries, states and demographic populations.

The first week of May brought Apprenticeship to the forefront with two nationally attended conferences, the first of which was managed by the Maher Apprenticeship Team as a part of its State Apprenticeship Expansion (SAE) Grant contract with the Office of Apprenticeship.

Over 100 apprenticeship, workforce, and education professionals from states and territories receiving SAE Grants as well as representatives from the Office of Apprenticeship attended the SAE Grantee Conference in Arlington, Virginia to work with their state peers, Maher technical assistance coaches and subject matter experts, and U.S. Department of Labor staff on grant-specific challenges and opportunities.

Conference attendees expressed their appreciation for being… Read more →

Maher & Maher Presents at the Maryland Raising the Bar Conference on Advancing Apprenticeship

On March 15, 2017, Amy Young and Rebecca Livingston presented “Advancing Apprenticeship Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)” to a standing-room-only crowd at the Maryland Workforce Association’s Raising the Bar Conference. This session highlighted opportunities for Apprenticeship under WIOA and how to utilize Apprenticeship for WIOA customers. The session ended with an interactive activity on how to effectively implement Apprenticeships in Maryland and provided a wealth of resources to continue this important work beyond the conference.

Maher & Maher is a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm based in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The firm is U.S. Department of Labor’s national technical assistance provider supporting the Employment and Training Administration’s implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and a number of other priority initiatives of the administration that advance and… 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 →

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