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Who We Are

Screenshot of About Us Factsheet

The Coalition for Career Development Center (CCD) Center is an industry-led nonpartisan coalition committed to making career readiness the first priority of American education and dedicated to transforming career development through priorities including education reform, research initiatives, stakeholder engagement, and more. The CCD Center believes in providing ALL learners with high-quality career development services and technologies that will help secure productive employment in their chosen careers as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. 


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We generate, gather, and disseminate evidence-based career readiness policy and practice to mobilize community-level, future readiness and talent development efforts, including:

  • Research

  • Policy briefs

  • Case studies

  • Condition of Career Readiness in the United States Report​

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We build partnerships, lead networks, support communities of practice, and host events to advance evidence-based career readiness policy and practice, including:

  • The State Leaders of Career Development Network

  • Thought leader convenings

  • Stakeholder policy forums

  • Diverse community voices

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We position leaders for success in developing career readiness campaigns, strategic plans, initiatives, and partnerships through:

  • Strategic partnerships

  • Capacity-building

  • Technical assistance

  • Opportunities to engage


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.

Five pillars infographic

Prioritizing 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.

Providing Professional 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.

Ensuring Accountability

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.

Screenshot of Pillar Recommendations Document

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.

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