One Plus One Can Reach Millions
by Edward Anthony Colozzi. Ed.D.
THE INITIAL PARTNERSHIP--NCDA and JA
This past year, a new partnership was formed between The National Career Development Association (NCDA) and Junior Achievement Worldwide (JA). These organizations bring an impressive amount of resources focused on youth career development issues. The first partnership efforts resulted in JA's sponsorship of NCDA's Each One Reach One campaign (EORO), a membership recruitment, activation and retention initiative launched this past year. The special missions of these organizations come together in that river of life called career development that affects every individual. Through this partnership, and specifically through the joint letter from NCDA and JA discussed in this article, these two organizations will reach thousands of counselors and millions of youth.
NCDA HISTORY AND PURPOSE
In 1913, the National Vocational Guidance Association was founded. In 1985 it became the National Career Development Association (NCDA). NCDA provides a voice for thousands of members who deliver career services to diverse groups in many settings. The International Symposium, a prelude to the 2004 San Francisco conference attracted professionals from over 40 countries.
NCDA's mission is promoting the career development of all people over the life span. To achieve this mission, NCDA provides service to the public and professionals involved with or interested in career development, including professional development activities, publications, research, public information, professional standards, advocacy, and recognition for achievement and service. NCDA speaks for professionalism and standards and is the recognized leader in developing standards for both career counseling and the evaluation of career information materials. NCDA works with licensing and credentialing bodies to support the recognition of career counselors and career development facilitators. NCDA sets ethical standards for the field including guidelines for the provision of career services on the Internet.
NCDA is heard in Washington DC. In cooperation with the American Counseling Association, NCDA represents the interests of our members in Congress. The national media frequently consults with NCDA on career-related issues. NCDA also promotes global sharing of workforce policy and practices, and supports and reports on research in the growing field of career development.
JA HISTORY AND PURPOSE
JA is the world's largest and fastest-growing organization dedicated to inspiring and educating young people about business, economics, and free enterprise. JA has been doing this since 1919, the same decade that witnessed the birth of what was to become NCDA. Through age-appropriate curricula, JA programs begin at the elementary school level, teaching children how they can impact the world around them as individuals, workers, and consumers. JA programs continue through the middle and high school grades, preparing students for additional key economic and workforce issues they will face in the future. Today JA reaches more than 4 million students in 99 countries worldwide.
JA provides current, state-of-the-art educational materials, computer software, and trained volunteers at no cost to the schools or students. JA programs focus on seven key content areas: business, entrepreneurship, citizenship, economics, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development. The programs focus on problem-based (i.e., "real world") interactive learning activities utilizing experiential learning.
JA is a volunteer driven, non-profit organization, and all JA programs require a community volunteer. This year more than 120,000 volunteers will teach JA programs. These volunteers use their personal experiences to make the JA curricula practical and realistic. Providing children with positive adult role models who illustrate ways to build self-confidence, develop skills, and find avenues of success in our free enterprise system is a hallmark of JA.
THE CONTINUING PARTNERSHIP
Recently, NCDA and JA partnered to develop some resources to assist k-12 counselors as they work with students to help them learn more about the world of work and encourage them to engage in the career planning process.
A joint letter from Janet Lenz, President of NCDA, and Darrell Luzzo, Senior Vice President of Education for JA Worldwide, will be sent to 4,000 counselors in the fall of 2004 to commend them on their excellent efforts to help the youth they serve as they engage them in the career exploration and planning process. This letter acknowledges that the work they do is critical to the adolescents served, and on behalf of the two organizations, invites the counselors to an exciting, new - and free - resource available at http://www.ja.org/programs/programs_supplements_counselors.shtml (in Adobe Acrobat format (for easy downloading and printing). The letter states that this resource is available for counselors at no charge whatsoever and is "our way of saying 'THANKS' for the great work you do!"
Recipients of the letter are also invited to learn more about Junior Achievement's programs by accessing www.ja.org/near/near_map.asp. Counselors often play a very important role in providing Junior Achievement programs to students of all ages, and are invited to become a part of that great work in their local areas.
The counselors are also invited to learn more about the nation's leading career development association, NCDA, by accessing www.ncda.org and encouraged to consider joining the organization. Many of the numerous benefits of membership are mentioned including newsletters, career publications at reduced rates, a professional journal (The Career Development Quarterly), workshops for professional development, and the annual conference which will be in Orlando, FL, in June, 2005.
Finally, recipients learn about the exciting National Poetry and Poster Contest that they may want to promote at their schools during National Career Development Month in November.
For more information about JA visit www.ja.org.
Edward Anthony Colozzi, Ed.D. is the owner of Career Development and Counseling Services in Winchester, MA. and is the NCDA Membership Chair. Comments may be sent directly to