VCDA: 2020 Vision-Creating Career Pathways for the Future Workforce
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VCDA Conference for Career Development Specialists, Counselors, Students and other related professionals.

 Export to Your Calendar 3/20/2020
When: March 20, 2020
9:00 AM until 4:00 PM
Where: Northern Virginia Community College – Annandale Campus
8333 Little River Turnpike
Ernst Cultural Center
Annandale, Virginia  22003
United States
Contact: Amanda Flora

Online registration is available until: 3/10/2020
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VCDA: 2020 Vision-Creating Career Pathways for the Future Workforce

Sponsored by the Virginia Career Development Association/Northern Virginia Community College



8:15 am: Coffee / Registration

9:00-10:30 am: Welcome & Panel Presentation: The Future Workforce

10:45-11:35 am: Session 1

11:45 am-12:30 pm: Lunch

12:30 - 1:20 pm Session 2

1:30 - 2:20 pm Session 3

2:30 - 3:20 pm Session 4

3:30 pm Coffee & Networking

Conference Session Descriptions


Session 1: 10:45 am- 11:35 am

S1-1     Authentic Learning Experiences in the K-12 Setting 

Matt Bechtel, Educational Specialist, Work-Based Learning, Fairfax County Public Schools

Steven Myers, Resource Teacher, Service Learning, Fairfax County Public Schools

This breakout session will focus on authentic learning experiences that are available for students in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Topics such as work-based learning, service learning, and career pathways will be explored. Participants will learn the different ways students in FCPS engage in authentic learning and how this helps prepare every student to graduate college, career, and civic ready.


S1-2     Creating Career Connections Through a Collaborative Culture: Business and Community Partnerships
Shelli Farquharson, Career Experience Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools

Tiffany Bryant, School Counselor, Fairfax County Public Schools

Learn how to create connections in your community to provide career experiences for students. The presenters will share success stories about their collaboration with business partners, chambers of commerce, rotary clubs, higher education, parents, alumni and other stakeholders to provide work-based learning programs to boost students awareness about the world of work and career pathways.


S1-3     Tech Pathways, An Innovative Program to address the IT Talent Demand 

Alex Cooley, Labor Market Research Manager, Northern Virginia Community College

Technology is infiltrating every industry—and as a result, employers across the nation are searching for skilled IT talent. In northern Virginia, more than 110,000 IT jobs are projected over the next decade. A new first-of-its-kind initiative, called Tech Pathways, launched in the region in 2019 to address the IT talent demand by raising awareness of technology careers among K-12 students. Tech Pathways is a collaborative effort among all local jurisdictions. In this session, we will discuss the need for IT talent and some of the creative solutions that the region is implementing in order to meet employer needs. This session will include an overview of Tech Pathways and will discuss best practices for combining curriculum with career awareness for students.

Session 2: 12:30 pm- 1:20 pm

Roundtable Discussions

12:30-12:55 pm: Roundtable 1        |         12:55-1:20 pm: Roundtable 2


S2-1     Military Spouse Employment – Current and Retiree Issues

            Karen Santiano Francis, Program Coordinator-020/NCR

Military spouse unemployment and underemployment have been an issue for many years and is a hardship for current spouses and families. We must also consider the ramifications for retiree spouses who have lost remaining earning potential, seniority possibilities, and career advancement. Despite programs from various organizations to help with finding jobs and benefits, spouses need more than job placement – they want and need careers. Those with advanced degrees and career aspirations have many hurdles to overcome to continue with their careers, such as re-licensure in every state if needed. In this program, attendees will learn about the barriers for career development that military spouses face and discuss strategies for assisting them along this path.


S2-2     TCE's Career Re-Engineering  "High-Touch & Hi-Tech"
Francina R. Harrison, CEO of The Career Engineer

The Career Engineer (TCE) helps career changers increase their market value with 21st-century career education, re-engineering, social technology, and REALationship℠ networking. TCE has created "award-winning" programming for the transitional professional that delivers our method of "Concept – Execution – Connections" to increase sustainability. Our program can merge legacy career readiness programs with our methods blending "21st-century innovation & human ingenuity." The first-tier, “Concept" invests explorations in self-awareness, self-concept, stress, and satisfaction. Our next tiers, "Execution & Connections," are designed to ignite skill awakening, proactive empowerment, and strategic execution toward a new mindset of "career entrepreneurship" versus career entitlement.


S2-3     Work-Based Learning through Career Pathways

Clabe Slone, Educational Consultant / R & D      

This breakout session will focus on core areas that employers, schools, and communities should focus on to develop work-based learning strategies to assist students to be college and career ready. Topics will include: academics, essential skills, work ethic, social development, leadership, and project-based internships. Participants will be presented with current strategies that correlate with the U.S. Department of Labor and preparing students for the workforce.  Ideas on developing a pipeline through apprenticeships, internships, and job shadowing will also be discussed, along with educational platforms that can engage students through a process working with career and guidance counselors.


S2-4     Identifying a Satisfying Work Fit

Jennifer Landis-Santos, Career Wellness Coach

When evaluating the potential for a satisfying work fit, one needs self knowledge and job knowledge. This discussion briefly goes over natural abilities (or aptitudes). When taken into account with interests and values aptitudes reveal which roles, environments, and tasks lead to the most potential for personal satisfaction on the job. Additionally, we will review Gallup’s October 2019 report entitled "Not Just a Job: Quality of Work in the U.S" that identifies findings on dimensions beyond compensation that factor into quality jobs.


S2-5     Virginia Registered Apprenticeship Program

Crystal Thrower, Registered Apprenticeship Consultant

Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s mission is to make Virginia a better place to work, live, and conduct business. We will achieve this goal by promoting safe, healthful workplaces, best employment practices, job training through Registered Apprenticeship, the protection of youth in hazardous employment, and safe operation of boiler and pressure vessels.  The Division of Registered Apprenticeship - DOLI provides workers with job training opportunities for lifelong skills and helps employers meet their needs for highly skilled workers through a proven, cost-effective system. We assist employers by developing on-the-job training programs in conjunction with occupation specific Related Technical Instruction.


S2-6     Workplace Skills Beyond the Curriculum: Increasing Student's Emotional Intelligence to Prepare Them for the World of Work

Dr. Amanda Flora, Assistant Professor, University of Virginia


With the increase of Artificial Intelligence and other technology trends, emotional intelligence (EI) is expected to be valued in the workplace more than ever before. Many employers cite social and “soft” skills as the top qualifications they seek in recruitment. In this workshop, we will discuss the current data on the topic and discuss activities and ideas for increasing EI characteristics in students.

Session 3: 1:30 pm- 2:20 pm


S3-1     The Career Exploration Lab: From Theory to Action!

            Niki Rosett-Haubner, School Counselor, Fairfax County Public Schools

The Career Exploration Lab’s mission is to provide all students opportunities for growth of career awareness and focused career exploration during high school.  Students spend dedicated time increasing their career self-efficacy through interest inventories, personality assessments, career research, guided discussion and reflection.  Additionally, they have opportunities for Service and Work-Based Learning through “Middle School Career Exploration facilitated by High School Service Learners” and a “Day of Service”.  The presenter will share lessons and strategies used in the career exploration lab as well as details about incorporating Service and Work-Based Learning into the school day.


S3-2     Focus on the Collaborative Future

            Tiffanie Rosier, STEM Outreach Coordinator

In creating collaborative partnerships organizations must look at the mission, goals, importance and value of creating these community initiatives.  In order to provide access for high school students to enter into a post-secondary education environment or career pathway, organizations must create the opportunities for engagement, access to resources and navigational tools to assist students with access to education.  Throughout the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with others to share ideas on how to provide opportunities for access and ensure student success beyond K-12.


S3-3     Virginia's Career Pathways Project for Individuals with Disabilities

Dr. Maureen McGuire-Kuletz

Under a grant funded by the US Department of Education, the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services and the George Washington University Center for Rehabilitation Counseling Research and Education offers individuals with disabilities a new way to navigate their career. CPID encourages people to attain marketable career credentials, qualify for skilled jobs and earn a livable wage.


S3-4    S3-4    Understanding the "New-Collar" Tech Workforce         

Charles Britt, Tech Professional & Career Advisor

Technology has not only changed the way people work, it has also created a demand for tech jobs that’s expected to rise 12% by 2024.  Technology is integral to nearly every industry in the country.  This allows people with a tech background to have a thriving career in nearly any geographical area, field, and industry.  The challenge for the career development professional is often understanding the broad range of careers as well as specific educational and training requirements, both which continue to evolve as technologies change.  Having worked in the tech field for over 15 years and with experience supporting workforce development programs nationwide, the presenter will provide valuable insight and actionable strategies in order to effectively guide youth and young adults into one of many the high-demand tech careers.


Session 4: 2:30 pm- 3:20 pm

S4-1     Career Development for the Future Workforce

Dr. Melissa Wheeler, Counseling Core Faculty, University of Phoenix

Dr. Janelle Bettis, Assistant Professor, Bowie State University

The fourth industrial revolution has changed how we look for work, the type of work we do, and the skills needed to be successful in the future workforce.  Researchers have predicted increased job polarization in the next decade and the need for workers to be agile, flexible, and able to handle multiple tasks at one time.  This presentation will discuss the skills needed for success in the future workforce and career development theories that can frame interventions with students and clients.


S4-2     Achievement in Career Engagement (ACE)

Carla Kersey, Project Development Coordinator; Jennie Sloan

Achievement In Career Engagement (ACE) is a PROCESS of developing work-based learning skills through an Endorsement Program, based on levels of successful accomplishments, personalized by students, and confirmed through KEDC.  ACE is designed to give students an individual digital and social profile page that will allow them develop well-rounded characteristics and show future employers their capabilities in the workforce.


S4-3     Virginia Career VIEW High School...We're Back and Brand New!

Dr. Michele G. Seibert

Virginia Career VIEW's high school resources are back and better than ever! Discover how to navigate our grades 9-12 brand new website to access career assessments and identify resources that meet college and career planning goals. Resources correspond to Virginia School Counseling Standards and the Profile of a Graduate including the 21 workplace readiness skills and the 5 "C"s: critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication and citizenship. Learn how to access tools that support multiple paths toward college and career readiness including opportunities for internships, externships, and credentialing. 9-12 focused.


Conference Location, Directions, and Parking


8333 Little River Turnpike  Annandale, VA 22003  

PARKING at NOVA Annandale:  VCDA parking is included with registration in Lots B14, B15 & B16


FROM THE BELTWAY (495): Take 236 West (Little River Turnpike). Turn left at Wakefield Chapel Road.  Turn left into the large parking lot behind the college (it is the third left turn).

FROM WEST ON 236: Right turn at the light at Wakefield Chapel Road.  Turn left into the large parking lot behind the college (it is the third left turn).

FROM BRADDOCK ROAD: Turn right onto Wakefield Chapel Road.  Drive 1.3 miles and turn right into the second entrance of the NOVA Community College parking lot.



VCDA has reserved two small blocks of hotel rooms.  The Hotels’ room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 12%) in effect at the time of check out.  The group room rates listed below are net non-commissonable.  If you would like to reserve a room see below for registration details.  Reservations must be placed on or before Thursday, February 27, 2020, (the “Cutoff Date”) to receive the group rate.  Please identify yourself as part of the Virginia Career Development Association group

Residence Inn Fairfax Merrifield 


HYATT House Falls Church/Merrifield


Each hotel is about 4 miles from the NOVA campus and both have complementary parking and breakfast included in the room rate.  The HYATT House is within easy walking distance to restaurants and shopping.

All reservations must be guaranteed with a major credit card. The hotel will not hold any reservations unless secured by credit card.  Individual VCDA conference attendees are to pay all guest room charges including applicable taxes.


Virginia Counselors Association agrees that neither the Group nor attendees of the Event shall be authorized to resell room reservations made pursuant to this offer.


This offer is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, including health and safety codes, alcoholic beverage control laws, disability laws, federal anti-terrorism laws and regulations, and the like. Hotel and VCDA attendees agree to comply with such laws.



*VCDA Member: $85

*Presenter: $25 off registration fee

*NCDA Member: $100

 VCA Member: $100

 Non-Member: $125

 Student: $50

*Promo Codes are needed for the registrants who are in the following categories, in order to get a reduced registration fee.  Contact Amanda Flora for promocode at

-  VCDA Members

-  NCDA Members

-  Presenters


In the event of inclement weather, a decision will be made and all registered participants and presenters will be notified by 5 pm the day prior. If you are unable to attend because of inclement weather and request a refund but the conference is not cancelled, the board will review your refund request. Only partial refunds or credits for future events will be issued

Complaint Policy: If you have a complaint or dispute regarding this event, please write a letter and include the following:  Your  name, address, telephone number, email, name of event, date and location of the event, complaint and desired resolution to Amanda Flora ( You will receive a reply in 30 days from the date you submitted the complaint/dispute.

Cancellation PolicyTo receive a full refund, minus a $10 administrative fee, registrants must cancel at least 3 days prior to the start of the workshop.  Cancellations and/or no shows with less than a 3 day notice will be reviewed after all expenses have been paid, a determination will be made regarding the ability to honor the request minus cost of guaranteed meals/special event fees. An administrative fee of $10.00 will be assessed for any refund with less than a 3 day notice. Submit cancellations/refund requests to Amanda Flora (

Virginia Counselors Association
316 Hodges Cove Road, Yorktown, VA 23692 | Ph: 757.766.5466 | Fax: 757.766.5467 |