When I first heard the term, Artificial Intelligence (AI), it reminded me of the 1968 iconic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. Yes, I realize many of my coworkers were likely not even born yet and might see that film as dated and old-school; but for me at eight, it was a glance into our future. As an adult, I can imagine how my father regretted his decision to take me to that movie after being bombarded with questions like, “Why is that computer talking?” Yet, here we stand, asking for guidance from voice-powered personal assistants like Alexa, Siri, Google, or Cortana.
Many companies are exploring AI technology today. Being in the learning and development field, I ask myself, “What effect will AI have on learning and performance improvement strategies and on the professionals that are accountable for Talent Development?”… Read more →
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 →
In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA) awarded Maher & Maher a new 5-year, $30 million blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to provide the agency with continued technical assistance and training support to advance the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The BPA opens tremendous opportunity for any office within ETA to quickly and easily engage Maher’s services in a broad array of technical assistance, training and outreach activities, including needs assessments, facilitation services, federal staff and grantee training, in-person and virtual events, performance coaching and subject matter expertise, peer learning, toolkits and guides, disseminating lessons learned, and accelerating the adoption of evidence-based practices.
The BPA is advantageous for federal staff because it allows access to Maher services directly – without the need for competitive proposals. This saves ETA staff time and money by expediting the procurement process and tapping needed… Read more →
There is no better way to get to know the human capital priorities and needs of businesses than to talk directly with business leaders themselves! And, that is just what the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) did. Commissioner Janet La Breck enlisted Maher & Maher and our partner, New Editions Inc., to identify high demand and rapidly changing industries and to reach out to key leaders for their involvement in a series of highly successful Business Roundtables. This effort was driven by the 2014 enactment of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) which established a new expectation for RSA and State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (VR) in working more closely and effectively with the business community. Ultimately, the Commissioner’s goal for the Business Roundtables was to garner business input for the purpose of informing the technical assistance (TA) RSA delivers to VR, as the… Read more →
Last week, my colleague Lynn Bajorek and I were in Springfield, Illinois, to facilitate a strategic planning session with the leadership team of the Office of Employment and Training (OET) at the Illinois Department of Commerce.
Over the last several months we’ve been working with OET on an internal change management effort which looks both internally to better understand its assets, challenges and opportunities and externally to understand how OET can leverage and partner better within its entire workforce development system. The end result will be a "Blueprint" that fully aligns OET’s assets and resources with a clearly articulated vision, mission, and set of goals.
Last week, our day-long session focused on the results of our surveys, interviews, and research and the development of a SWOT analysis to understand the current "as is" state of… 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 love it when our clients get recognized for leadership and innovation – particularly when they are committed to the type of transformational change we’re advocating in the Nation’s workforce development system.
Our report to the City of Atlanta was a critical look at the City’s workforce agency coupled with a hard-hitting set of recommendations designed to transform its performance. The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency( AWDA) needed to re-invent itself as part of a collaborative – working with area economic development, education and five regional workforce boards – to begin to create a talent supply chain to drive the City’s economic prosperity and build family-sustaining career opportunities for its citizens.
Enter Michael Sterling. Appointed by Mayor Kasim Reed to lead the Agency’s revival, Mike was a staunch supporter of the vision for… 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 →