Initially, Maher & Maher was engaged by the ETA Regional Office to assess the Territory’s One Stop Career Center system and to make recommendations to improve the system. ETA’s Boston Region requested that Maher complete a comprehensive evaluation of policy, management, reporting, and service delivery structures and processes, of the relatively small statewide WIA program in the U.S.V.I. The project deliverable was a “targeted management report.” During that initial project, Maher developed policy papers designed to transform the system, including re-structuring service delivery processes and instituting data-driven decision making.
As a result of that report, the ETA Regional Administrator determined that reorganizing the program to fit the principles of good customer service, efficiency, and WIA concepts required additional technical assistance. ETA and the VI subsequently re-engaged Maher to develop detailed service delivery processes and train all staff to implement the re-structured workforce system. As a result, Maher provided assistance in transforming the VI’s collection of workforce programs into a demand-driven, integrated, and customer-focused system at the One Stop level.
Maher dispatched a three-person team for four days to identify needs that could be met through technical assistance and an all-staff training session. Clearly the next transformational step for the VI was to organize its Centers on a functional basis, essentially collapsing WIA and Wagner-Peyser funded programs and staff into one operating unit. Even more important than the content-based elements was a need to continue to change the culture of the agency. Most One-Stop staff were fully accustomed to functioning in the overly top-down, directive, bureaucratic and program-centered “siloed” environment that had developed in the Agency over a number of years, while system transformation demands a customer-focused, integrated approach driven by employer needs. Further, change management principles demand full involvement of those affected by change in shaping that change. A lengthy list of TAT needs was developed, and the training focused on the following:
In addition, a number of technical assistance issues were resolved during the two Maher team visits, and the remaining issues were framed as recommendations for the VI to pursue. Those recommendations revolved around the following: