CTE Caucus Hosts Roundtable Discussion on Comprehensive Career Counseling

Jul 23, 2013
Press Release

Congressmen Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), co-chairs of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, hosted a roundtable discussion today on comprehensive career counseling and how schools can better assist students to identify and prepare for the career path that is right for them.

The roundtable, which took place in the Rayburn House Office Building, featured:

  • Timothy W. Lawerence, Executive Director of SkillsUSA, a nationwide partnership of students, teachers and industry representatives working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.
  • Melanie Anderson, Director of Government Affairs for Opportunity Nation, a collaboration of more than 250 national community organizations working together to expand economic mobility and close the opportunity gap.
  • Nicole Rosett-Haubner, school counselor at Marshall Academy in Fairfax County Public Schools, from the American School Counselors Association (ASCA), a nonprofit organization with over 32,000 members. ASCA supports school counselors’ efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social and career development.

Professional school guidance counselors play a critical role in informing and guiding high school students into career fields that meet their individual needs and interests. Unfortunately, students are too often unaware of all available postsecondary options. Today’s students and tomorrow’s workers need to be familiar with the full spectrum of career opportunities so they can identify a path that fits their interests, and develop skills that fit the needs of employers. In a Society for Human Resource Management poll of employers, more than half reported they were unable to recruit workers for open positions. Further, the skilled trades are the hardest jobs to fill in the United States, with recent data citing 550,000 jobs open in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, and 246,000 jobs open in manufacturing.

While a four-year university might be the best fit for some high school students, others might find a two-year degree or a professional certification to be the most promising path to well-paying, rewarding careers. The briefing will help educators and policymakers consider the full gamut of pathways to successful professions.