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NEWSLETTER - March 2021


Welcome members and friends to PACDA’s inaugural newsletter. Thanks to a wonderful new volunteer Latara Jones, PACDA is able to bring you all sorts of interesting news and information.

Words can’t express how proud I am of PACDA’s enthusiastic and talented leadership team. PACDA volunteers have produced excellent programs that have drawn many dozens of career professionals from across Pennsylvania, as well as from Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia and beyond.

Safiya Edwards and Angela Cutchineal lead the program team, while Christopher Stancil has almost single-handedly created PACDA’s social media presence and he promotes our programs. Peter Ostrander, as Technology Committee Chair, sets up and supports PACDA’s educational webinars.

Under Debra Franke’s leadership, PACDA volunteers have created a website that has served as a model for multiple other organizations. Judy Panagakas and Debra are currently working on a website directory of career coaches (see separate article).

In collaboration with Craig ToedtmanDave Novick led the process to create our first-ever membership survey, which continues to inform programming and other decisions. Thanks to Stephanie Welder, PACDA is now able to grant NCDA continuing education units as well as issue certificates for school counselors to request Act 48 credits. Tanya Sheldon and Beth Wilson have formed PACDA partnerships with other organizations so you can access a wider variety of programs with discounts or other benefits.

Rachel Minard and Debra Franke are PACDA’s recruitment and welcome team for individuals interested in contributing to PACDA. If only there were space to name the many other volunteers who make PACDA “where it’s at” for career professionals.

Is anyone still wondering why our new organization deserved to win the prestigious NCDA award for “Outstanding State Division”?

In the background of all these accomplishments lurks Covid-19 and its impact on how, where, and even whether we work. This poem can inspire us to see the light at the end of the covid tunnel:

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed. (Kitty O’Meara)

Kim Neubauer

President, PACA


One Year Later: The Job Market and Economic Changes during COVID-19

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

12 - 2 PM

Webinar: Link sent after registration

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that we work and live. One year later, we reflect on the changes over the past year, and what it means for the future of the world of work. Learn from our expert presenters about the impact of the pandemic on various populations, our economy, and the future of the job market.


The richness of a professional organization is in its opportunities to contribute, build skills, and expand your professional network. PACDA highly values its engaged volunteers. Debra Franke and Rachel Minard would be happy to explore your interests and match you with a best-fit committee role.

The priority areas where PACDA would like to add volunteers are communications, social media, sponsorships, partnerships, technology and a treasurer apprentice.

Go to our Get Involved page and click “Volunteer for a Committee” or email

Missed a PACDA event? Webinars are recorded and available in the Store.


The Membership Committee conducted a survey to learn about your needs and expectations.

PACDA committees have already moved forward in utilizing the survey data to guide and put action plans in place that respond to your needs. As always, if you have a suggestion that will benefit members, please let us know by emailing

Read a summary of the survey results.


Christopher Stancil will be starting an Ed.D. program at West Chester University this summer.

Jon Niles completed his Master's in Counselor Education from Penn State University and is now working as a Career Counselor at University of the District of Columbia.

Send your updates to


The Essential Guide to Career Certifications is available to PACDA members through the generosity of Brand, Career Coach, Consultant and Trainer, Brand Career Management. It is an excellent overview of the many certifications for career professionals to consider earning. Access it on the Member Resources page.


What inspired you to join the PADCA Programming Committee? I have been working in the career development field for 15 years and currently work as an administrator of the Career Development Center at Holy Family University in Philadelphia. I have hosted many events and been charged with strategic planning, and served on assessment committees and strategic planning committees. There have been many opportunities to dive into the higher level concepts and goals. I was inspired to bring this experience to PACDA.

What does the PACDA Programming Committee do? The Programming Committee organizes events for the entire PACDA community. The goal is to create opportunities for information sharing so we can support career development professionals across the state and beyond.

How have you and your team adapted the PACDA programs to meet the needs of our membership during the COVID-19 pandemic? We are always looking at trends and creating programming that aligns with the expectations of the current job market so that we can better prepare folks for guiding their clients/participants and/or students/graduates.

What do you see in the future for PACDA, and your place in it? I see continued growth within the Programming Committee. A new Co-Chair will be officially appointed in June 2021, Lauren Granese. Lauren and I will be working together to launch new program ideas and new content for our members.

One year later: Reflection and resilience through the intersecting lens of career and personal life - The Career Counselor’s Responsibility

Angela Cutchineal, MSHE, PCM and Lauren Granese, M. Ed., NCC

It’s been a year since our world was turned upside-down by COVID-19. How has the career counselor role changed as a result?

The siloing of our career and livelihoods has been put to the test with the onset of the pandemic last March, especially in the area of mental health. The question arises of how we, as career practitioners, can effectively assist our clients, students, and graduates.

Read the article


PACDA Partners with organizations whose fields and learning opportunities overlap with career services and whose programming will be of interest to our members. By partnering, both of our organizations maximize resources, avoid duplication, amplify each other's efforts and increase event participation.

PACDA sees Partnerships as a benefit for our members! Many of our Partners offer a registration discount to PACDA members so your precious professional development dollars stretch further. Attending Partner events results in expanding your network beyond PACDA.

Learn more about two exciting upcoming Partner programs and PACDA Member discounts. Hurry... the first event is March 23.

Tech training provider reaches underrepresented

Per Scholas is a national nonprofit that has been advancing economic mobility for over 25 years. With campuses in 14 cities, Per Scholas has trained more than 13,000 individuals nationally in tech skills, building bridges to careers in technology through their no-cost technology training.

All Per Scholas courses are 100% cost-free to learners and they work with learners throughout their training providing technical skills and professional development to prepare them for positions and interviews. Following graduation, Per Scholas continues to provide ongoing career coaching, networking opportunities and career services support.

On March 15, Per Scholas launched its first class in Pittsburgh - a 14 week remote Full Stack Java Developer course in partnership with TEKsystems.

Candidates for upcoming classes can submit their information and once a class date is announced they'll be contacted by the admissions team.

Learn more:

Much thanks to Earl Buford, Incoming President of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), for bringing our attention to this via a LinkedIn post.

Coming Soon!

In June we will be launching FIND A CAREER COACH on the PACDA website, a place where individuals who are seeking a career coach can search a database to find one that matches their needs. PACDA members who wish to be included in the database can email

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