Non-Profit Articles

Supporting Transgender and Gender Non-binary Job Seekers

By Brandon L. Beck

Providing career counseling to transgender and gender non-binary clients provides unique opportunities. In this article, a few important questions to consider when working with this population along with some key tips and resources for career development are provided.

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Managing Your Reputation

By Jessica Merritt

Do you know what your online reputation says about you? If you don't, it's time to find out.'s guides are free and designed to assist people in managing their online reputation. Career services professionals are encouraged to quote these resources, link to them, and pass the guides along to other professionals who can benefit from them.

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Time Management Tips For Career Counselors

By Robert White

Effective time management can be difficult for many career counselors who freely give of their time and resources in order to help others. If you fall into this category, this helpful article provides a variety of tips and strategies for improving time management skills and increasing productivity. [Ed. Note: This article was originally published in Career Convergence in 2010 and is being re-run due to its value today.]

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The Purpose of Career Counseling

By John D. Krumboltz

The prolific author, speaker and theorist John Krumboltz explains why he believes “career exploration should be a constant, thoughtful alternative.”

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The HERO Method: Bringing Powerful Tools to Job Hunters Facing Challenges

By George Valentine

Are your clients facing roadblocks? Job searchers facing challenges to employment may need the HERO Method -- a bridge to see themselves, the employer and the job hunt itself differently.

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You Can Be a Social Worker, Coach and Career Practitioner When Guiding a Homeless Veteran to a Successful Resume

By Brad Allen

This article is a discussion of how to guide a homeless veteran from the post-assessment phase of career development to the establishment of a solid resume. Positive results in this process hinge upon playing multiple service roles while addressing the housing crisis.

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Regional Workforce Development Success by Using a Sector-Based Workforce Intermediary Model

By Pauline O. Vernon

Sector partnerships are well-proven in providing positive regional workforce impact and are even identified in the Department of Labor’s new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act as an area to be promoted. Non-profits can play a major role in these partnerships, whether acting as a workforce intermediary or by providing specialized support services.

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FIRST®: Helping Today’s Youth Find Tomorrow’s STEM Careers

By Roberta Martone Pavia

FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. The not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

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Faith and Career Development: Complementary Tools in Reaching Teens

By Roger Wilcoxen

Could a career counselor and youth religious program leader use the same tools to achieve a faith-based, purpose-driven life? Yes! And these tools successfully reach teens. [Eds. Note: This article originally appeared in Career Convergence in 2007. Because of the uniqueness of this article, it is being reprinted now.]

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The Jo B. Wall HR Connection Academy: A Non-profit Connecting Students with HR Careers

By Sheryl Eldridge

The human resources (HR) field offers many rewarding career opportunities in a variety of occupations. The Jo B. Wall HR Connection Academy, Inc., was created with the mission of forming alliances and partnerships with local non-profits, the K-12 education system, the community colleges, as well as other community stakeholders, for the specific purpose of promoting the HR profession and educating young people about HR.

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Advocating, Educating, Inspiring: The Expanding Role of Career Professionals

By Angela Londoño-McConnell

The role of social justice in career development is, once again, becoming a central focus (Borgen 2005; Arthur et al, 2009). Historically, career development, social justice, and advocacy have been intrinsically intertwined. The founder of vocational psychology, Frank Parsons, advocated for the poor and disadvantaged; worked against discrimination and oppression; and believed in justice and social change. But, does social justice matter? [Eds. Note: This article originally appeared here in Sept 2012. It is being repeated in celebration of Career Convergence's All Conference issue. See NCDA NEWS for more details.]

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Do You Work as a Career Services Practitioner in a Non-Profit Setting?

By Shelly Trent

Career Convergence invites you to share your work! Submit a 950 word article to our magazine today!Complete Article >

Career Succession Planning in a Non-Profit

By Shelly Trent

Succession planning is a very important process for non-profits. Effective plans offer a sense of security brought on by knowing there are successors who are ready to step into upper-level positions. Soon many Baby Boomers will retire; does your organization have employees who are prepared to take on those roles? Is your non-profit equipped to handle a sudden loss of the CEO? Creating a succession plan where your current employees develop their talents increases loyalty and can be an enticement for them to remain with the organization.

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Pfeifer Camp’s College and Career Readiness Program: An Innovative Opportunity to Help Our Students Succeed

By Adrienne Hagen

Walk into a building lined with computers on a Saturday morning and one would never expect to see a room full of 18 high school students and staff not give the computers a second glance as they play a game requiring them to make their most intense ninja scream. As it ends, they laugh joyfully and move into small groups to discuss life after high school.

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Helping the Homeless

by Chris Hogg

Quite often, being successful in helping homeless people find meaningful work and start (or re-start) careers is as much about the counselor as it is about the client. [Eds. Note: This article from March 2006, is being re-run, in light of the value and timelessness of the message.]

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Laughing and Learning in Career Services

By Robin Salyer Fleischer

There are many positive benefits to humor and laughter. There are proven medical health and psychological benefits to laughter, and now research has shown that laughter also increases job satisfaction. This is important to career practitioners and also to those we serve in our various work settings, especially the non-profit world. It’s good for us and good for our clients!

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M-HRDI: Workforce Development Solutions

By Aaron Leson

Michigan State AFL-CIO Human Resources Development, Inc. (M-HRDI) provides employment and training services to unemployed Michigan residents. Although the organization offers a variety of services to its constituents, they have found the most success by focusing on providing business services to employers and by utilizing on-the-job-training. This article provides an overview of these services.

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Management Development Can Be a Captivating Experience for Non-Profits!

By Ellen Manning

As reported in last month’s Career Convergence, Quest, Inc., helps people with developmental disabilities achieve their dreams of going to school, having a job, living on their own, and experiencing summer camp. Through more than 650 team members, Quest makes a difference in the lives of over 1,100 people each day. This month, we will review Quest’s internal management development program, called Captivate!

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Quest, Inc.: Career Assistance for Those with Disabilities

By Shelly Trent

Quest, Inc., was founded in 1980 to provide residential and rehabilitative services to those who have disabilities. These Central Florida services have in the past few years come to include employment opportunities, vocational training, and programs for high school students with disabilities. This article provides an overview of the services provided.

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The King County Non-Profit Staff Development Coalition Project - Identifying a Need and Meeting It

By Cal Crow

For more than three decades, Washington State’s Center for Learning Connections (CLC) has been providing training, organizing conferences, and managing programs throughout the United States and elsewhere. Located at Edmonds Community College, CLC’s mission is to prepare learners to manage change and create successful futures. One of its most creative and successful projects is the Non-Profit Staff Development Coalition (NPSDC).

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Live Your Life Like a Lighthouse and be a Beacon of Hope to Others

By Pat Schwallie-Giddis

Think about who has mentored you and or who you are currently mentoring. Whether you are involved in association or foundation work, or in the non-profit world, you can and are reaching out to others.

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NCDA Plays Key Role in Delivering CDF Training to Persons who Work with Offenders

by JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey

NCDA's Career Development Facilitator curriculum has been adapted to train Offender Workforce Development Specialists (OWDS). These OWDS help prisoners plan careers, increasing the likelihood that they will stay out of prison after release. NCDA arranges the training of facilitators at the state level. Those trained in each state then provide training to others in their local organizations. 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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Learning Outcomes Assessment Step-By-Step: The Story Behind NCDA’s New Monograph

By Shawn P. Conlon

Throughout the long history of employee career development, one of the most difficult questions to answer has been, “How is my organization’s career development program impacting the lives of employees?” Through author interviews, this article explains how and why our professional association offers this resource to support the field of career development.

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Managing Employee Development in a Non-Profit

By Shelly Trent

Even in these difficult economic times when many non-profits are dealing with funding cuts, employee development remains an important part of maintaining a culture of engagement and retaining your employees. This article showcases ways your organization can begin or continue employee development efforts on a limited budget.

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Career Retention for Vulnerable Populations: A Relapse Perspective

By Shan Johnson

In the United States we are facing economic challenges that make getting a job difficult but keeping that job even more crucial. This is especially true for vulnerable populations who can fall through the cracks of our system. Career counselors can benefit from the field of addiction recovery when assisting this population with employment retention. [Ed. Note: this article is being re-run in light of its timely and positive message.]

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Developing English Skills Allows Workers to Scale the Career Ladder

By Paige Farris

The Backside Learning Center, which is part of Churchill Downs (home of the Kentucky Derby, the most exciting two minutes in sports), supports a specific population in education and career development: that of the mostly Hispanic track workers. This article explores the different opportunities available for a particular minority group through a non-profit organization created especially for them.

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New Opportunity School For Women: A Unique Career and Education Program in Appalachia

By Caroline Francis

The New Opportunity School for Women located in Berea, Kentucky, offers a free three-week career and education program targeting low-income, middle-aged women in the south central Appalachian region. The intensive curriculum includes: job search skills, self-esteem, computer basics, internships, goal setting, and learning how to become enrolled in further education.

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Refugee Resettlement: Diversifying and Revitalizing the Workforce

By Becky Burnside

Only about 2% of the over 22 million worldwide refugees will be resettled in a new country and given the opportunity to rebuild their lives. Catholic Charities’ Migration & Refugee Services provides services for resettling refugees. After assessing clients’ needs it provides on-going social services, job placement, housing, case management, English as a Second Language classes, cultural orientation, employment, and community resources.

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Louisville Free Public Library’s Job Shop: Helping People Get Back to Work

By Nicole Dixon

In today’s job market, community members need more resources that are available to the public at no cost. Local libraries can fill that need. Libraries are no longer just a place to read and check out books. Many libraries have public-use computers and other valuable resources. This article will provide information about how one library is meeting an important community need for job seekers.

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Working 50+ ---Getting Older Workers Back to Work through Community Partnerships

By Emily Allen

Right now, over 3 million older adults are searching for work, and many are dealing with the impact of long-term unemployment. AARP Foundation is working in concert with community partners to reverse the downward spiral that many older Americans and their families face.

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Keys to a Successful Non-Profit Grant: Top Five Things Funders Really Want

By Amy Smith

What key things do funders want in a viable grant proposal? With grant funding becoming increasingly competitive, ensure that your proposal catches the attention of funders. There are five key things you can do to set your application apart and position your agency to receive grant funding.

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The Nonprofit Career Guide: How to land a job that makes a difference

Book review by Jennifer Ealey & Samuel Plonk

Career counselors working with clients interested in the nonprofit sector will find Shelly Cryer’s new book useful as a resource tool. This article reviews the book and discusses the potential value for both career counselors and those looking for a career in the nonprofit world.

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Career Relaunch: Workshop for Women

By Caroline Francis and Kelly Higgins Allgeier

Due to the depressed economy over the past few years, career counselors have seen an increased number of female clients with the need to return to the workforce or obtain better-paying positions. These concerns primarily spurred the necessity for the Career Relaunch workshop for women at the University of Kentucky's Alumni Career Services. Other non-profits may follow the program described here for use in their area.

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Jewish Family and Career Services Offers Job Seekers Assistance

By Shelly Trent and Andrea Manierre-Goins

Working in non-profit means you can look to other non-profits to share their experiences in providing career-related services. One such expert is described here, with details of programs your non-profit may wish to offer.

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Job Ministry Aids Unemployed

By Shelly Trent

How can communities provide assistance to those downsized due to the economy? Job searching with the help of qualified volunteers in addition to gathering with others in the same situation can be comforting and successful. One local ministry shares their process so others may repeat the help for the unemployed.

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Partnering to Assist Former Offenders

By Anna M. Aragon

The collaboration of government agencies and community nonprofits in Colorado is a model for providing successful training and support for former offenders. Government funding increases opportunities for individuals to become self-sufficient members of society. With the improved employment opportunities and decreased recidivism, the government saves money while improving communities.

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Associate Editor Opening

Do you work in a non-profit area of career services, such as community/agency, pastoral/religious, rehabilitation, association/foundation? Career Convergence is looking for a volunteer Associate Editor for the Non-Profit department.

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Career Development Grants for Underserved Populations

By Varunee Faii Sangganjanavanich

Funding resources are vital to enhance the growth of the career development field. Career practitioners should be aware of these funding resources in order to further their knowledge, skills, and practices with diverse client populations. A review of career development grants available for underserved populations is presented.

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Urban Minority Youth Leadership Initiative: Molding Today’s Minority Inner City Youth for Tomorrow’s Successes

By Jayna Butler

The call for education and career development of inner city youth is very urgent. There is a need for school districts, nonprofit programs, and career practitioners to aid the children in the inner city in finding the gift of professional purpose. Career practitioners should be awakened by minority teens and young adults who have a quiet whisper for help.

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A Day in the Life of a Counselor: Volunteering Service with the AARP

By Jill Flansburg

As our population ages, many older workers are extending employment past the traditional retirement age, and reinventing themselves and their careers later in life. One counselor shared her unique experience working with the 50+ population at the AARP National Convention in 2010.

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Job Seekers’ Support Group

By Charles C. Healy, James D. Helin, & Joanne Sliteris

To insure the currency of job search methods for our support group, a counselor-educator teamed with employment experts to structure meetings to encourage job seekers to share what they were learning from searching. Here is what our team offered and accomplished with five different groups.

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The Nimble World of a Non-profit Agency and its Partners

By Nancy Olson

Today’s non-profit career counselor can play an integral role in helping identify the clients’ career and training options. Partnerships with companies, colleges, and funders that produce positive results is the goal.

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What Employers REALLY Want: Grasping the Unspoken Rules of the Workplace

By Steve Parese

Unconventional candidates often have difficulty finding and keeping good jobs, even when they have strong vocational skills. This article suggests one reason: individuals from challenging backgrounds often fail to meet employers’ unspoken expectations. It explains why this is so, and offers a number of straightforward strategies to address these issues.

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Disability Awareness: Our Responsibility as Counselors to Educate the Community at Large

By Jill D. Flansburg

This article appends the Hall & Parker (2010) study which found that persons with disabilities encounter more barriers to employment and accessing services in public employment offices than persons without disabilities. The author’s experience in vocational rehabilitation, career counseling and development of disability awareness programs for businesses prompts an outline of workshop content. Career counselors are encouraged to act on a grassroots level to educate their community about disability awareness.

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Reviving a Stagnant Career

By Tim Lutenski

Many people can lose enthusiasm and passion for work at some time over the course of their career. Career counselors can help both themselves and others rediscover both passion and purpose for their work by implementing several proactive measures.

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The Reality of Re-entry for the Ex-offender in the United States

By Lyn Wazny

Ex-offenders face many career-related obstacles upon release from prison. This article presents brief national statistics and some information about federal programs that were created to help ex-offenders obtain gainful employment. Also included are resources specific to the metro Denver, Colorado area.

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Manifesting a Champion Mind

By Danielle Gruen

It is more important than ever for career professionals to find ways to instill hope, foster creative thought, and maintain a positive outlook in both ourselves and our clients. It is in the mindset of the athlete, the "Champion Mind", where how to do this is understood and unveiled.

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Gardening as a Tool for Career Development

By Nancy Miller

Strategies for increasing economic empowerment and job search skills are shared via an interview with a "hands-on" practitioner.

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How a Nonprofit Agency Helps Latinos Thrive in Adams County, Colorado

By Mariela Michael

This article will discuss the old ideas that Latinos have encountered for many years. Ideas such as Latinos are not interested in education, they cannot speak English and there are no supports for Latino adults. A program to help Latinos overcome many of these career obstacles will be discussed.

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Another Career, Not by Choice

By Mary Probst

Recently the demographics of the unemployed population have changed, and more individuals who involuntarily lost their jobs due to a dwindling economy are now seeking new careers. Establishments like workforce centers, employment agencies, nonprofits and community organizations who serve these unemployed individuals have the opportunity to generate empowerment in the job seekers by identifying transferable skills.

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Economic Stress on the Non-Profits

By David Scott

Career services are affected by the stressed economic resources, particularly in the non-profit areas. How is your agency responding?

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Launch of New Disability Interest Area

By Julia Elliott

During this time of slow economic growth, career development practitioners could see an increase in the number of clients with physical or mental disabilities seeking assistance in the job search process. Career development professionals now have immediate access to Disabilities resources in NCDA's Interest Areas of the website.

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Working with Foster Youth: An Interview with Alfred Arroyos

By Maureen Nelson

Every year, 25,000 teens leave the foster youth system. Agencies like the Independent Living Skills Program help them make the leap to adulthood, college and jobs. Employment Specialist must reach out to this often-forgotten population.

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Depression and Career Development

By Roger Wilcoxen

How can clients successfully establish a career or a change when battling depression?

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Welcome New Associate Editor, Non-Profit

Dr. David Scott is now the Associate Editor of the Non-Profit Department of Career Convergence. He invites new submissions in the areas of community/agency, pastoral/religious, rehabilitation, and association/foundation.

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Growing Our Own

By Denise E. Jenkins

A creative in-house career development program at a major midwestern metropolitan hospital develops and motivates current employees and reaches out to a challenging and diverse urban community. Denise Jenkins tells the story of how her hospital uses training and development initiatives to communicate to the whole health-care team that the hospital values them.

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Knowledge + Engagement = Great Public Policy

by Bridget Brown and Romella Lee

In this third in a series of advocacy-related articles, Bridget Brown and Romella Lee from NCDAs Government Relations Committee, address the important role that state-level association leaders play in educating members and facilitating a clear vision for the association. They discuss how career professionals operating in the public sector can use public policy as a tool to enhance engagement at the state level.

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Care for Yourself First

by Pam Thorne

People who help others for a living often put themselves last when it comes to mental and physical health. This article highlights the symptoms of compassion fatigue and offers some simple solutions. (Ed's Note: This article originally appeared in Career Convergence in 2003 and is being published again due to the valuable and timeless topic).

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The Horse Whisperer Goes to Washington

By Bridget Brown & Ellen Weaver Paquette

The "Horse-Whisperer" image provides an excellent visualization of how advocacy works. In this second in a series, Bridget Brown and Ellen Weaver
Paquette continue discussing the importance of advocacy at the state and national level for programs that enhance career development opportunities for all citizens.

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Advocacy Myths and Opportunities

by Bridget Brown

This is the first installment in a series of articles providing an insiders view of some of the misconceptions associated with advocacy. Bridget Brown, from NCDAs Government Relations Committee, highlights specific tools to help career development professionals working in non-profit organizations become active in the political arena.

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Forming A Career Center-Community Bond

by Ursula B. Carmena

What goes together like toast and jam or sea and sand? How about careers and community? At the 2006 NCDA Global Conference, Ursula B. Carmena will be presenting the unique pilot project she directs, a new public library service that enlarges and supplements the field of career development in Louisiana.

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Springboard Forward: Engagement, Self-Efficacy and Hope

by Maureen Nelson

Springboard Forward partners with employers and community-based organizations to improve job performance and promote upward mobility for the low-wage workforce.

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A Look at Career Development for Persons with Mental Retardation

by John Wadsworth PhD and Karen Cocco PhD

Despite the popular view that career development is lifelong, vocational development theories have seldom been applied to persons with mental retardation. A proposed ecological model of career development for persons with developmental disabilities is discussed here. [Eds. Note: this article originally appeared here in Jan. 2003].

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Career Development Strategies for Promoting Employee Development and Retention in Social Service Org

by Debbie Walker

Social service organizations represent an opportunity for career counselors who are interested in consulting. Career counselors can help agencies implement career development programs as an employee retention and development strategy. In this article, the author presents a three-step model for initiating such a system.

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The Pre-Counseling Assessment

by Martin Elliot Jaffe

InfoPLACE is a public library based career planning program where adults can get help deciding if they are leaning toward a radical career transition or an immediate job search. The career counselors at InfoPLACE developed the Core Adult Career Transition Inventory, CACTI, to indicate the appropriate depth and direction of counseling before sessions begin.

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Effectiveness of Short-Term Training for Self-Sufficiency

by Michael E. Wonacott

This article reviews the literature on the outcomes of short-term training programs for welfare recipients and the services required to meet the self-sufficiency needs of welfare recipients participating in short-term training.
[This article was released for publication by Eric Digest ( and is available at].

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The Education, Social, and Economic Value of Informed and Considered Career Decisions

by Bridget Brown

This ACRNA special report includes the complete Summary of Key Findings, a link to the ACRNA website for the full report, and a brief overview by the Executive Director.

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