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Work-Based Learning Apprenticeship

Maher & Maher works with organizations at the national, state, and local levels to design work-based learning and apprenticeship solutions that are part of career pathway systems, meet the talent needs of businesses, and build economies.


For over 30 years, Maher & Maher has delivered innovative solutions in workforce development that lead to system transformation. To advance work-based learning and apprenticeship strategies, we work with:

  • Federal agencies to launch national apprenticeship initiatives and provide technical assistance to grantees and other partners.
  • States and regions across the country to build work-based learning ecosystems and drive apprenticeship expansion.
  • Businesses and industry associations to use work-based learning models to rapidly scale their talent to meet today's work demands.

From policy to practice, Maher & Maher can help design and implement work-based learning and apprenticeship strategies by:

  • Driving stakeholder engagement by promoting the benefits of work-based learning and apprenticeship.
  • Helping states build partnerships and align public and private resources to support the rapid expansion of apprenticeships.
  • Conducting business outreach and engagement activities to promote the adoption of work-based learning programs.
  • Developing talent pipelines that increase diversity and provide businesses with a skilled workforce.
  • Training workforce development, education, and apprenticeship professionals on apprenticeship program models and how to work with businesses.
  • Assessing gaps and making improvements to work-based learning service delivery.
  • Helping businesses and industry associations design work-based learning and apprenticeship solutions.
  • Sharing innovations and educating organizations about how to replicate and scale best practices.
  • Developing state and local policies that support the expansion of work-based learning and apprenticeship programs.
  • Providing coaching and facilitation to the state and local partners driving apprenticeship expansion.
  • Creating technical assistance resources that provide actionable tools to practitioners implementing work-based learning strategies.

Work-Based Learning in Practice

Regional Sector Partnership and Work-Based Learning
WorkSource Georgia Mountains

WorkSource Georgia Mountains (WSGM) partnered with Maher & Maher to launch a regional Advanced Manufacturing Sector Partnership. The goal of the Partnership is to align workforce and education programs with the needs of employers and to build a regional talent pipeline to address the skills gap brought about by rapid growth in the manufacturing industry, combined with low unemployment. Early in the initiative, Maher & Maher completed a gap analysis and recommendations report and then convened and facilitated meetings of the Partnership. To support the Partnership’s career awareness, career pathways, and work-based learning (apprenticeship and internship) activities, our team developed an Industrial Maintenance Career Pathway, an inventory of short-term training programs in the region, and career awareness materials. Building on this momentum, Maher & Maher is partnering with WSGM to develop a unified business engagement approach, increase membership in the Partnership, and plan for a future Healthcare Sector Partnership.

Maher & Maher helped WSGM conduct a gap analysis that identified the following critical challenges:

  • The current model of specialized training is outdated and workers need a better understanding of the whole manufacturing process.
  • Employees who don’t see a clear career pathway progression tend to move on.
  • There is a lack of awareness about the wide range of opportunities in manufacturing.
  • Students with an interest in hands-on careers need more opportunities to learn about jobs in those occupations.

In response to these challenges, the Advanced Manufacturing Sector Partnership was formed and established four priorities, which Maher & Maher is spearheading:

  • Develop an enhanced set of curricula that meets employers’ technical and employability skills needs.
  • Create a region-wide career pathway for industrial maintenance technology.
  • Build on career awareness work being done by the Hall County Chamber of Commerce to promote the industry and increase the talent pipeline.
  • Expand work-based learning opportunities for incumbent workers, including on-the-job training, apprenticeships, and internships.

Building on this momentum, Maher & Maher is also partnering with WSGM to develop a unified business engagement approach; increase employer membership in and facilitate the ongoing activities of the Advanced Manufacturing Sector Partnership; and plan for a future Healthcare Sector Partnership.

For more information on this project, contact Carrie Yeats at cyeats@mahernet.com.

State Apprenticeship Expansion
U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship

Maher & Maher, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), Office of Apprenticeship, is working with every state across the country to support the expansion of apprenticeship. Since 2016, Maher & Maher has provided technical assistance to state agencies receiving grants from USDOL to grow and diversify apprenticeship programs. Our team has designed and implemented a technical assistance strategy focused on providing solutions to the unique challenges faced by each state, facilitating peer learning and adoption of innovations, and ultimately helping states achieve their apprenticeship expansion goals.

State grantees are charged with expanding apprenticeship as a workforce and talent development tool. They are in varying stages of success, emphasizing the need for customized technical assistance that can help each state raise its efforts to the next level. Over the course of the grant cycle, grantees experience a wide range of progress – some states move easily into the implementation phase of their expansion strategies, while others face start-up challenges. We tailor technical assistance to meet the evolving needs of the grantees, focusing on issues ranging from business engagement to systems integration.

Maher & Maher also designed a technical assistance approach that:

  • Created an environment for open discussion and idea sharing through structured peer learning calls for real-time problem solving and Innovation Cohorts that tackled more complex issues, such as system alignment and partnership challenges.
  • Provided customized support for state grantees based on their individual progress, challenges, and apprenticeship expansion goals through personalized coaching.
  • Developed carefully curated technical assistance plans for states deemed "at risk" of not meeting their goals.

For more information on this project, contact Gina Wells at gwells@mahernet.com.

Latest Thinking

  • Adult Education and Pre-Apprenticeship – a Promising Partnership!
    Gina Wells

    Pre-apprenticeship programs provide pathways to apprenticeship for under-represented, disadvantaged, or low-skilled individuals, and are a great option for participants in Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs. Learn about promising practices across the country and steps you can take in your state to begin building adult education and pre-apprenticeship partnerships.

  • Smart Workforce System Integration Expands Access to Apprenticeship
    Lynn Bajorek

    Smart integration into the workforce system is key to building apprenticeship-driven career pathways for individuals and talent pipelines for employers. Read about the challenges of integrating apprenticeship into the workforce system and discover tools and approaches for solving those challenges.

  • State Work-Based Learning Ecosystems are Closing the Skills Gap
    Stephanie Veck

    To accelerate efforts to close the skills gap, states are building work-based learning ecosystems to bring all stakeholders to the table. Learn about the common elements of states that have successfully implemented an ecosystem approach to work-based learning, and the innovations of one state that has embraced this approach.

  • Building on National Apprenticeship Week: Next Steps
    Mary V.L. Wright

    National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) 2019 was filled with exciting events, valuable information, and innovative examples of the ways in which apprenticeship is reshaping how we think about workforce and talent development. Learn about how to best turn your lessons learned during NAW into action to help your organization take its next steps.

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