Government Articles

New Dawn for Career Development: Announcing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

By V. Scott Solberg, Eleanor Castine, and Bridget Brown

This article highlights the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the key components and opportunities for career development professionals embedded within the Act. This easy to read summary emphasizes career development terminology, service delivery, and advocacy, while educating and informing career development professionals on how they can help promote the profession.

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Emotions and Employability: A focus on the soft skills of women offenders

By N. Jonas Ohrberg

While incarcerated, women offenders have an opportunity to pursue an education and improve career related skills. Although programs available to them may provide educational opportunities, they often ignore the development of effective interpersonal skills. This article stresses the need for programs that will teach women offenders about emotional awareness and help them develop effective interpersonal skills. [Eds. Note: This article originally appeared in Career Convergence in 2008. Because of the uniqueness of this article, it is being reprinted now.]

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Military to Civilian: Assisting Transitioning Army Personnel in Navigating the Civilian Job Market

By Natesha Smith

The U.S. Army as well as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has an active role in providing transition assistance programs to discharged or retired soldiers. Due to the stressful life of transitioning personnel, unanswered questions and uncertainty may be brought to the attention of civilian career practitioners. This article addresses such topics as culture shock, transferable skills and tools for exploring the market for the post-military population. [Eds. Note: This article originally appeared here in August 2008. It is being repeated in celebration of Career Convergence's All Conference issue. See NCDA NEWS for more details.]

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Post 9-11 Veterans with Bachelor’s Degrees Apply for Federal Jobs and Pathways Internships

By Kathryn Troutman

Student veterans can leverage their military experience and land great federal jobs; but only if they understand how their competencies relate to federal service. Presented here are four case studies of student veterans finding federal job announcements leading to viable career opportunities.

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GRIT: A Shared Perspective Between Advisors & Ex-Offenders

By Mylene Culbreath

Ex-Offender transition into the community college system has been highly supported by the federal government. Unfortunately, advisor training has not reflected the investment. With the increased need to develop the skills to assist this population, the GRIT method offers a practical approach to a complex problem.

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Veterans Develop Career Confidence in Higher Education

By Sarah Minnis

Why are so many veterans unemployed? Who wouldn’t want to hire bright, capable individuals with leadership experience and the ability to make thoughtful decisions? What is it like to be a veteran preparing for graduation from higher education and thinking about a civilian career? This article explores research on student veterans’ career transitions and identifies higher education best practices to support student veterans.

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Government Relations: Strengthening NCDA’s Position in DC

By E. Niel Carey and Matt Kent

This article provides an overview of the work and current status of the NCDA Government Relations Committee, including the support provided by its new legislative consultant, LobbyIt.com

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The Minimum Wage Debate

By Charles Lehman

Proposed federal legislation raising the minimum wage is a current political and economic issue. Over three million workers would be directly affected. Recent research suggests an increase would not have adverse effects on employment of these workers which are concentrated in certain industries and occupations but consist of individuals across all age, sex and ethnic groups.

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Offender Workforce Development: The Past, Present, and Future

By Imants Jaunarajs

One segment of the workforce comprises of ex-offenders; what efforts have been put into place to help these individuals, and what career development facilitators should know to effectively guide the successful reentry back into the world of work. This article will serve as a general guide to those professionals who have recently began working in workforce development or private practice.

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Find Your Federal Job Fit

Book Review By: Lindsey Marx

This book review analyzes Janet Ruck and Karol Taylor’s book Find Your Federal Job Fit. The book includes five sections that offer self-reflection tools and straightforward career preparation advice for the federal job seeker.

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The Common Core State Standard: What Career Development Practitioners Need to Know

By Niel Carey and Rich Feller

The Common Core State Standard is an initiative to “provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them”. As a career development practitioner it is helpful to know if your state is implementing these core standards and how it may impact your clients and/or client's family's career development opportunities.

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Necessary Skills: Being Marketable for Federal Positions

By Amiko Matsumoto

Technical competencies are important for any job, but federal agencies look for additional skills in those they hire, such as teamwork and strategic thinking. Here's what federal hiring managers and HR specialists say are just as important.

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The Patchwork Career of a Military Spouse

By Lori Cleymans

Military spouses are often told that they also serve alongside their active duty spouse, supporting their career throughout the years. This service often calls for sacrifice and for many military spouses their career is what suffers. Over the years the resume of a military spouse becomes a hodge-podge of jobs and skill sets. Focusing on transferrable skills and new opportunities can increase satisfaction.

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South Carolina Legislation Calls for Enhanced K-12 Career Guidance, CDF Certification

by Ray Davis

Current legislation in the South Carolina State Legislature seeks to enhance the role of career development as being essential to economic development, school improvement, and the present and future prosperity of citizens. Included in this K-12 reform is revitalized career guidance and counseling and career development certification through Career Development Facilitator training. In honor of NCDA's 100th anniversary, Career Convergence is publishing articles of historical significance. This month, our web magazine is reprinting articles from our debut issue in 2003.

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Career Development for Transitioning Veterans

Book Review by Tracy Capozzoli

The reasons why transitioning personnel seek out individualized career services are varied and unique. This new NCDA monograph brings to light numerous career concerns and is an excellent place to start learning how to work with veterans.

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What's Happening in Washington DC? Become informed and get involved!

By Stephanie Vance and Niel Carey

Do you provide career development services at any level (K-12, community college, college, graduate school – and beyond)? Or perhaps to the un- or under-employed through one-stop centers? Maybe to mid- to upper-level professionals seeking a life/career change? How about to military veterans in transition? Conduct career research or teach graduate students? If yes, then you need to know what is happening in Washington DC.

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Federal Government Hiring: Individuals with Disabilities

By Imants Jaunarajs

How have individuals with disabilities been able to gain the opportunity to achieve their career and life goals? Politics aside, the federal government provides resources and services for individuals with disabilities to obtain work. As career development practitioners, it is imperative that we are culturally competent and understand the resources and services available to our clients. This article seeks to provide an overview of four current resources for clients that disclose having a disability, while providing a brief historical perspective.

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From Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots (and other career services for new veterans)

By Jennifer Kim

Here are a few helmet-to-hardhat resources. Career Convergence is re-running this article because of its value to those who work with military or veteran clients. If you have veteran career resources to share or if you work in a program serving new veterans, please submit it to Career Convergence.

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Reconnecting to Reemployment Services: A Look at U.S. Department of Labor’s REA Initiative

By Susan Pines

A U.S. Department of Labor initiative adds face-to-face interaction to the automated unemployment insurance (UI) claim-filing system. The program’s purpose is to reconnect UI claimants to reemployment services while confirming UI eligibility through an in-person consultation at an American Job Center.

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Making Things Happen in Washington, DC – We Need Your Help!

By E. Niel Carey

At NCDA, our Government Relations goals this year will focus on effectively communicating with members of Congress and key federal departments including Education, Labor and Veterans Affairs to strengthen legislative, policy and resource support for our members. This message is most effectively communicated by you – as a constituent, and that is why we need your help and your active involvement!

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Today’s Veterans: Using Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) Approach to Build Upon Their Career Dreams

By Mary Buzzetta and Shirley Rowe

This article will provide an overview of the challenges veterans face in relation to their career development. Effective application of the Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) approach as a foundation for assisting veterans in building upon their career dreams will be discussed. Specific strategies will be provided to illustrate how the CIP approach can be applicable to supporting veterans in their career development process.

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Veterans Career & Employment Issues: The Role of Career Development in Military to Civilian Transitions

Presented By Robert A. Miles and Carmen T. Stein

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Career Counseling Trends in Rural America

By Cynthia Gurne

The role of the career counselor is expanding in rural America to encompass more of what we might normally think of as workforce development by adding tasks such as advocacy, planning, and collaborating. The career counselor is becoming an important tool in helping rural communities grow economically and expand their skilled workforce base.

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How to Dead Reckon the Job Market: An Army Ranger’s Job Search Story

By Andreas Lucido

Career counselors working with transitioning military can use this Army Ranger's advice directly with clients.

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Building Workforce Strength

By Ron Elsdon

Workforce strength is sure to become essential to recruiting and retaining quality employees in our emerging workplace. Workforce strength will also be essential for organizations who wish to remain competitive. Knowing what workforce strength is and how we can help employees and employers develop it is critical for career development professionals.

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Five Steps Your Client Can Take to Apply for Federal Jobs

By Diane Hudson Burns

Properly writing and formatting a federal resume is the key to applying and qualifying for federal jobs. Do your clients know this? They should because even with hiring and pay freezes, the federal government is still hiring. To properly craft a federal resume, work with your clients to fully analyze federal job announcements to identify keywords and required skills.

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Got Influence? Top 3 Things Career Counselors Can Do to Make a Difference in Washington, D.C. – and Beyond!

By Stephanie Vance

The author shares tips from her experience as the Advocacy Guru and her book The Influence Game to aid career development professionals in making a difference.

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Perspectives from a Government Agency

By Owen Highfill

Armed with the sincere desire to make a meaningful difference in society, this young Presidential Management Fellow found herself working for a federal agency involved in the housing crisis. Now as a speakers bureau representative, she is challenged to tell students both why they might want to consider careers in the federal government and what lies ahead in the future of mortgage finance.

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Career Development and the Legislative Process

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Key Job Search Lessons from a U.S. State Department Intern

By Andreas Lucido

Navigating a government job search can be difficult. Through personal experience, a veteran and former U.S. State Department intern identifies some key tips for starting on a great career path while ensuring the process doesn’t become overwhelming. Learn how to help your clients navigate the public sector job search more effectively from this personal narrative.

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Getting Hired By the Federal Government

By Ted Daywalt

The Federal government hires people with nearly every level of education and experience. Your clients may need your help when applying for Federal positions.

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Best Places to Work in the Federal Government: What Your Clients Need to Know

By Amanda Davis

The 2011 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings were recently released, and the government is already hard at work using these results to improve employee satisfaction and attract the next generation of top talent to federal agencies. Learn more about which agencies ranked the highest, how agencies are using this data as a recruitment tool and, most importantly, how you can put this information to work for your clients.

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Accelerating Veterans and Transitioning Military Personnel towards Job Readiness, Employment, and Successful Reintegration

By John C. Koontz

VETPROPULSION® is a new and exciting approach to getting veterans and transitioning military personnel employed. It is an intense employment seminar designed to utilize the VetCTMS© toolkit and teach a proven, six-step modern job search process. Participants work together as part of a team and keep motivated while successfully gaining their employment desires.

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USDA Rural Development: Committed to the Future of Rural Career Opportunities

By Colleen Callahan, Julie Wilson and Molly Hammond

As job seekers hunt for new opportunities, most probably assume that their only option is to look in metropolitan areas for work. What about the idea of a career path in a rural area? There are opportunities to build a career in many rural communities across this country and the USDA helps make this a reality.

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A Toolkit for Vets

By John Koontz

The Veterans Career Transition Management System (VetCMTS) is an innovative and comprehensive job search system designed to assist transitioning military personnel and veterans to successfully move into the civilian work world. It provides a variety of tools including: a reference manual, telescripts for contacting employers, daily progress sheets to track activities, and a weekly progress sheet. The toolkit is designed to allow veterans to take ownership of their career development and facilitate the process of finding suitable employment.

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Hiring Reform Celebrates First Anniversary

By Amanda Davis and Brooke Bohnet

At the one year anniversary of federal hiring reform, the "Partnership for Public Service" looks at what has changed in the way government recruits and hires our nation's best talent. Federal hiring reform officially began May 2010 when President Obama outlined new hiring policies in a Presidential Memorandum, and the government has made strides on reforming hiring processes since focusing on the effort.

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Government Work – Is It For Me?

By: Danielle Gruen

Looking to broaden your understanding of government work and its opportunities? Perhaps considering employment within a government agency or department either for yourself or for clients? Effective decision-making requires current and accurate information on government work, exploration of opportunities, and examination of the labor market.

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Increasing Awareness of Federal Government Career Opportunities

By Imants Jaunarajs and Tori Spring

Three years ago, The Career Center at The University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) decided to “develop a plan to increase campus wide awareness of federal job and internship opportunities”. This is our story of how we implemented an innovative public service initiative on campus.

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Promoting Federal, State and Local Incentives for Enhancing Individual Career Development

By Cynthia Gurne

The government is a major funder of career programs, either directly from the various federal agencies or through state and local pipelines. Being aware of these programs, eligibility for participation and methods of applying can enable a career service provider to more effectively help clients enter, develop or transition from a career field.

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Associate Editor, Government Dept. Position Open

Call for Volunteers

If you are an NCDA member working in local/state/federal government, corrections, military, or workforce development, please consider serving as an Associate Editor.

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20 Ways to Get Published in 2011

By Jennifer Kim

Do you have knowledge of career development related to local/state/federal government, corrections, military, or workforce development? Are you interested in writing an article for the Government section of Career Convergence, but not sure about the topic? Here are 20 ideas to get you started.

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Management Strategies for a Virtual Career Services Program

By Barbara Reuper-Baum

What if you were asked to design a program that would provide a wide range of career services to over 60,000 people working in over 500 locations around the world—and told that you must do so without putting counselors in any of these locations?

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Informational Interviews: Teaching Clients Effective Techniques

By Christine Toresdahl

Informational Interviews, a tool used by job seekers and career-changers to obtain information about careers, trends, and industries, are a powerful method to find job openings. However, many individuals are reluctant to use this tool. This article offers a workshop format one Workforce Center is using to help them overcome these barriers.

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Top Web Tools for America's Job Seekers

By Janet E. Wall

Given that our unemployment rate continues to flirt with double digits, we all try to find ways to help our clients and customers. Over the last few years several online tools have been developed. Here is a listing of what some consider the best tools.

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The Association of Counselors and Educators in Government (ACEG)

By Don Hill

Learn more about the Association of Counselors and Educators in Government (ACEG)! The ACEG is a division of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and is comprised of counselors and educators who work with members of the Armed Services and their families (active duty or retired) and civilian employees of the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

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Civilian to Military: Assisting Clients Seeking a Military Option

By Ted Hagert

In today's economy, many individuals are looking at the military as a viable option for employment. Here is a plan of action to assist counselors who are unfamiliar with the military and its vast career options.

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Guide to America's Federal Jobs

Book Review By Jennifer A. Smith

This new directory provides comprehensive information on finding, applying and getting hired in the federal government. The resources provided will be invaluable to counselors and to both seasoned and first-time federal job seekers.

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Perceptions Keep Businesses From Reaping Benefits Local Workforce Centers Can Provide

By Kristine Kinzli

Getting businesses past the negative perceptions of their workforce center and engaging them in the value saving programs are today's assignments for the workforce center professional.

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Capitol Briefing: Mobilizing For Change

By Thomas R. Stowell

As Congress considers reauthorization of career and workforce legislation and the impact of newly proposed initiatives, we look to our members to advocate for issues important to our organization and profession. The Government Relations Committee provides support and information to aid your efforts. Members can dramatically impact policy decisions related to NCDA's legislative agenda through advocacy, education, and collaboration.

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The Advocacy Imperative Goes On

By Amy Mazur

Advocacy continues to be an important competency for career development professionals. Beginning with some visibility at the 2008 NCDA Global Conference in Washington, DC, the work of a small group of Boston career development professionals continues to motivate and define competency for them and others in the greater NCDA community.

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Uncle Sam Wants You!

By Karol Taylor

Civil service is again coming into vogue. Career counselors and coaches are being approached by clients seeking direction toward federal government careers. More and more students are requesting instruction on completing and posting their federal resume. Are you prepared to assist them?

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Bridging Employment Gaps: Strategies from a Military Spouse

By Stefani Schomaker

The frequent relocation of military families requires military spouses to use creative strategies for bridging gaps in their employment. These same tactics can be utilized by ALL job seekers.

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Policy that Moves Beyond Employment toward Worker Resiliency

By Natesha Smith

The advocation of public policy by career development professionals has primarily been focused on education, training and employment. However, for future progress in policy development, it would be wise for career professionals to play a key role in identifying strategic goals that emphasize resiliency and employability in workers.

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The Value of Servant Leadership Skills in Government Employees

By Darrell Norman Burrell and Brian C. Grizzell

In order to meet changing leadership challenges, government employees with managerial authority must seek skill development and executive training in Servant Leadership, which encompasses empowering, motivating, and nurturing employees towards collaboration, knowledge sharing, and team building cultures.

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A Look at Restorative Justice: What Are We Going To Do With All These Ex-Offenders?

By Stephen Sisco

Unquestionably unemployment contributes to an increased rate of parole revocation, which is a major risk factor for recidivism. Professionals who assist ex-offenders in the search for employment must possess a comprehensive set of workforce development skills.

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Bridging the Gap from Job to Career for U.S. Veterans

By Jennifer Phillips, Jennifer Braud, Lindsay Andrews, and Emily E. Bullock

This article addresses the complexities of U.S. war veterans' career development. It addresses many of the barriers associated with this population including homelessness. The Cognitive Information Processing (CIP) Approach to career counseling is presented as a method for assisting veterans from initial placement to long-term career development.

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Try-Decide-Attitude: Successful Responses to the Job Search

Book Reviews by Karol Taylor

Since so many job seekers seem discouraged and overwhelmed, particularly those in State and Federal One Stops and Rapid Response agencies, resources such as these motivational pocket books are a valuable tool.

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Why Government Managers Need to Develop Critical Thinking Skills

By Asila Safi and Darrell Norman Burrell

Evolving leadership challenges like succession planning in government, international cultural genocide, and international terrorism have made decision making for government managers very tough with extreme implications. All government managers need to develop and utilize critical thinking skills. The engagement in managerial critical thinking is about learning to overcome and become self aware of biases, false assumptions, myths, and faulty paradigms that can hamper effective decision making.

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Career Development for People with Psychiatric Disabilities

By Janice D. Rubin

This article outlines the career development strategies and approaches that have been successful in identifying career areas and employment opportunities for people with psychiatric disabilities. Strategies offered are especially helpful to practitioners who work with state vocational rehabilitation offices.

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Teach Job Search Skills with Improv

By Andy Wainer

The use of Improv techniques in career counseling can add some fun to learning job search skills. Relevant Improv techniques are suggested for many of the skills clients need to engage in career exploration and conduct a successful job search. Best of all, it benefits clients in a variety of settings - from One-Stops to students to private practice.

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Addressing New Veterans' Employment Needs with e-Tools

By Denise Felder

Veterans returning home after recently serving in the Middle East face many adjustments, including career planning. This article details a few of the Department of Labor's online resources available to recently separated military personnel, their families and the career counselors assisting them in finding information about job searching, career development and post-secondary education.

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The Career Readiness Certificate: An Economic Success Story

by Barbara Bolin

The Career Readiness Certificate is fast becoming a national portable skills credential. Based on three WorkKeys assessments, it is filling an important role in our education / training system. The Career Readiness Certificate objectively certifies applied skills and trainability so it is particularly valuable to exiting CTE high school students. The Consortium now consists of 43 states, and close to 60,000 Certificates have already been issued.

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The Presidential Management Fellowship Internship Program

by Darrell Norman Burrell

In the aftermath of 9/11 and the events of Hurricane Katrina, the need for people with advanced degrees and fresh ideas has never been more important in the management ranks of government. The article discusses the Presidential Management Fellowship Internship Program which is a little known option for getting into government on a fast-track to senior management jobs.

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Career Development Services Within Maryland Correctional Educational Facilities

by Diana M. Bailey

The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) manages and delivers correctional education services "behind the fence". The article provides statistics on the need for services and the outcome of services offered for Maryland's incarcerated population.

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Our Point of View: It is Better to Volunteer!

by Sue Pressman and Tanya Bodzin

The authors offer insight into governmental consulting opportunities. They suggest that it is better to volunteer one's services than do disservice to the counseling profession by accepting low compensation rates. Finally, they make recommendations for raising the compensation bar for the career counselor.

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Quality Standards For Career Centers?

by Howard Splete and Bill Freed

NCDA has supported professional standards for career development service providers, as Nationally Certified Career Counselors (NCCC) and Global Career Development Facilitators (GCDF) . What have we done to promote similar professional standards for the organization and administration of career centers and their programs? Are they needed?

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Get Hired! How to Land the Ideal Federal Job and Negotiate a Top Salary

Book Review by Janet Ruck

Have you tried to help your clients wind through the maze of the federal hiring process? If so, you know that Uncle Sam is not a benevolent recruiter. Lily Whiteman has tackled this challenge and provided counselors with a valuable resource.

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The Importance of Self-Marketing

by Janet M. Ruck

Emphasizing accomplishments rather than just listing skills, can be an effective form of self-marketing that federal employees can use.

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Competency Based Workshops Help Internal Revenue Service Employees Manage Their Careers

by Dan Vale

IRS career management workshops help employees maximize their career potential, and facilitate the achievement of the IRS strategic goals of retention and reorganization. These workshops form an integral part of the career development services the IRS offers its employees.

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Competitive Sourcing: Crisis and Opportunity

by Janet M. Ruck

Competitive sourcing (also known as public-private competition for work currently preformed by federal employees) is intended to spur the government to work more efficiently and ensure that taxpayers are receiving the best service at the most reasonable cost. For the federal employees whose functions have been identified as those that could be performed by the private sector it means turmoil, anxiety and often, loss of federal status.

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The Career Readiness Certificate: New Resource for Job Seekers and Employers

by Barbara Bolin

Since it's inception in 2003, the Career Readiness Certificate Consortium has grown to include 37 states. The Certificate is fast becoming a national credential because of its benefits to employers and employees.

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People with Disabilities: Exploring Self-Employment as a Career Option

by Greg Wimer

Entrepreneurship is an exciting way for people with disabilities to realize their full potential while becoming financially self-supporting.

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The One-Stop Career Center: A Resource For Job Seekers

by Marjorie Hendrickson

The Workforce Investment Act delineates basic principles to guide service delivery to employers, their employees and job seekers through local One-Stop Career Centers. This article includes a brief background of the Workforce Investment Act and how the One-Stop system delivers career services to communities.

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Tips on Understanding Federal Vacancy Announcements and Applying for Federal Jobs

by Elda Schwartz

The tips provided in this article are intended to simplify the federal application process by helping applicants understand how to decipher a vacancy announcement and prepare a well-written application package that will lead to a job interview.

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New Developments in Federal Employment

by Elda Schwartz

More jobseekers are looking to the federal government as an employer of choice. People are realizing that there is more to federal employment that is appealing in this post 9/11 era in which there is a reawakening of interest in public service. Excellent federal benefits and regular working hours are appealing to people wanting to balance family and work life.

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The O'NET System for Career Development Professionals

by Janet Wall

The US Department of Labor has produced a comprehensive, dynamic, and high-quality system of occupational information and supporting tools. These are available without cost to career development and workforce practitioners and researchers.

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The Internal Revenue Service Creates New Career Management Tool

by Daniel Vale

The Career Advancement and Progression Guide (CAP) is a tool used by IRS managers, employees and personnel services representatives to help plan employees' career progression and to facilitate overall IRS workforce planning. CAP includes diagrams of employees' most likely career path options and other vital information about various job series and career paths.

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Articles Wanted!

Government authors needed.

Contact the Associate Editor, Government Department, to contribute. Articles can relate to any career development in any governmental area including local/state/federal, corrections, military, workforce development, etc.

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Fast Track to Federal and Commercial Occupational Information Sources

By Peter Manzi

Accurate and timely information about occupations, job growth and labor demands is more important than ever in today's volatile job market. This article offers a clear guide to some of the best government and commercial sources for occupational information.

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The Internal Revenue Service is Reaching Beyond the "Horizons" with Mentoring Opportunities

by Judith L. Button

Are you looking for a chance to introduce adult learning principles that excite, educate and motivate employees in your organization? The underpinnings of a structured mentoring program, sponsored at the Internal Revenue Service, can show you how. Mentoring has long since been applauded for its vital cornerstone approaches that deliver extraordinary synergies and strategies that assist employees in becoming the ultimate drivers of their career. See how the IRS is "Reaching beyond the HORIZONS with mentoring opportunities."

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Resources to Help Military Service Members Make Successful Transitions to the Civilian Workforce

by Larry Woods

Career development facilitators and career counselors can help military service members make a smooth transition from the military to the civilian workforce by becoming familiar with the wide variety of resources that are designed for this purpose.

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Using the Workforce Investment Act and Other Resources to Foster Career Resiliency in our Youth

by Fran Abbott

How many more youth are we going to loose to the streets, substance abuse, violence, unemployment and chronic under employment, violence? As career development professionals, we know that our young people are our future.

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