Local Workforce leaders represented Southwest Missouri for the Show-Me State’s kickoff of sector strategies in a planning/training event held earlier this month in Osage Beach. Tucked away on the banks of the Lake of the Ozarks, about 130 professionals from the state’s workforce system and their partners from education, economic development, and workforce worked over two days to plan for advancing sector-based work in the ten economic regions of the state.
“I am always amazed to see folks from different silos come together around a common goal and witness them break down traditional walls in favor of creating new opportunities for the common customers we all have,” said Richard D. Maher, President & CEO of Maher & Maher. “With thinner budgets every year, our work is getting harder and more complex in a globally competitive world. The old ways of working are not going to get it done any longer, and the folks in Missouri clearly understand that. Although the goals of the session were to learn more about sector-strategies and plan to use sector-based approaches to guide the workforce system’s work, ultimately it is all about working collaboratively to help develop talent for high-yield sectors within regional economies – and that is really at the core of WIOA.”
Southwest Missouri leaders included Mark Turnbull and Cary Beasley from the Joplin Regional Partnership, Tom Franklin from Crowder College, Mary Bader from Carthage Schools, Leah Barber and Troy Roland from the Joplin Job Center, Janet Douglas from Family Support Division, Cathee Wolford from Vocational Rehabilitation, along with Jasen Jones and Sherri Rhuems from the Workforce Investment Board.
Participants worked together in regional teams over the course of two days. The efforts started with an objective self-assessment around the Six Critical Success Factors that we’ve developed for world-class sector work, and continued with action planning around priorities for the development of sector strategies on a selected target sector. Skilled Maher & Maher facilitators were assigned to each regional team and will continue to work with regional and state leaders to advance each plan moving forward. Consulting facilitators for Southwest Missouri included Rodney Bradshaw previously with the Houston WIB and Scott Sheely previously with the WIB in Lancaster, PA.
Southwest Missouri had a head start on the two-day assignments given the WIB’s early work in research and development of the targeted sectors in collaboration with the Joplin Regional Partnership. Employer and partner engagement got underway in September with the WIB’s annual Workforce Summit and the launch of the SectorReady framework.
“We believe states need to take the lead on sectors as they consider how they are going to integrate around WIOA,” continued Maher. “Sector-based work requires collaborating, working regionally, and focusing on both job seekers and business. If you do sectors right, you’ll do WIOA right. States need to define regional economies and put policy in place, but the work and decisions happen regionally and locally – and that’s what our process is designed to foster and advance.”
Maher & Maher is a specialized change management and talent development consulting firm based in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. The Firm is currently involved in Sector-Strategy initiatives in multiple state and regional areas, as well as the contracted partner to USDOL-ETA for Sector Strategies and WIOA technical assistance. For more information about our services visit us at www.mahernet.com or call us at 1-888-90-Maher.