Career Readiness for ALL
The CCD Center’s work maps to five core pillars that support ALL learners’ ability to succeed and thrive in today’s employment landscape. These pillars address the entire career
development lifecycle, empowering all stakeholders to promote positive change in our nation’s education and workforce development systems.
PROVIDING PROFESSIONAL CAREER PLANNING
Career planning is facilitated by adult mentors and consists of services and activities designed to support youth and adults in defining their life goals. Informed by individual strengths and employment interests, mentors guide youth and young adults to develop goals that will help them attain the education, certification, and workforce development opportunities needed to enter and thrive in high-demand, high-wage occupational pathways.
PRIORITIZING CAREER ADVISING
Career advising encompasses services provided by a diverse range of certified professionals—whose roles and responsibilities vary—to develop youth and adults’ self-exploration capabilities, advance career exploration opportunities, and enhance planning skills. For example, career specialists support the design and evaluation of career readiness programs and services, while mentors, coaches, and counselors facilitate individualized and sequenced activities, including individualized learning plan activities, in group settings or one-on-one.
EMPHASIZING APPLIED & WORK-BASED LEARNING
Applied and work-based learning (WBL) refers to a continuum of lifelong experiences—from youth to adulthood—that increase people’s awareness of occupational pathways and the requisite skills and credentials needed to pursue and achieve them. In addition to practical application, these experiences build social capital by connecting youth and adults with mentors who can deepen their awareness and understanding of the workforce.
PROVIDING HIGH-QUALITY CAREER DEVELOPMENT TECHNOLOGY
Career development technology includes a range of innovative technology tools and practices that enhance learners’ career development planning and exploration, access to applied and WBL opportunities, and, ultimately, career outcomes.
Accountability means establishing clear and consistent standards, input measures, and outcome indicators for career development and career readiness at the state and national levels and requires schools, districts, states, and other stakeholders to measure progress toward goals.
In May 2023, the CCD Center convened its Executive Board, Advisory Council, and State Leaders Career Development Network to gain their insight into ways to reform our nation’s career readiness infrastructure by leveraging the promise of four landmark pieces of federal legislation:
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Higher Education Act (HEA)
Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V)
At the convening, participants were grouped into five Pillar Committees, each focused on a different pillar and charged with identifying challenges and opportunities within its context. Participants then developed action steps the CCD Center and its partners across sectors can take to create a national career readiness infrastructure.