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 the DWDB board members, it included stakeholders from the federal, state and community levels.
At the conclusion of the Board Retreat, participants had identified the key components of a vision, mission and guiding principles. The Steering Committee then refined them and sought internal and external customer feedback and identified four strategic goal areas – process redesign, pathways evolution, cultural transformation and resource expansion. Goal Teams were formed for each of the goal areas, expanding the participation of key internal and external stakeholders of the workforce development system. Over a period of several months and with the support of Maher facilitators, the Goal Teams developed key objectives, strategies, activities, responsible parties and timelines for their goal area.
At the conclusion of this work, the Board had a new strategic plan which was aligned with the initiatives of key partners and was supported by a broad array of stakeholders, effectively converting them from stakeholders to “stockholders.” After the engagement, Secretary of Labor Patrice Gilliam-Johnson said, “Thank you for assisting us with your expertise and moving us forward.”
If aligning education, economic development, and workforce development partners to create a common vision and action plan for the future is a strategic planning approach that appeals to you and your board, Maher is here to help! For more information about our services, visit our website or call us at 1-888-90-Maher.
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 promote the public workforce system. Maher is also currently involved in a number of sector strategy, regional planning, organizational strategic planning and training initiatives in multiple state and regional areas.
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