State Career Development Associations Shine with Help from NCDA!

By Wendy LaBenne

NCDA has 38 chartered state divisions, or career development associations (CDA). Each state CDA has at least one (and most likely numerous) leaders that serve their state members, while serving as a connection to NCDA. For example, the president of the state CDA may attend the annual NCDA Global Career Development Conference (at a discounted rate) and bring the national information home to the state CDA. The state president is always a member of NCDA, but not all state members are NCDA members.

Current state CDA members are already benefiting from the resources their leaders are using. These members may be future leaders and need to know what is available to guide the state CDA in years to come. Because so many new resources have been developed recently, now is the time to learn about these resources. NCDA makes these available to state leaders to assist state CDAs in their goals to provide support to all the career counselors and specialists operating in that state. Here are a few that both current and aspiring leaders may want to make use of.


The Handbook

The first place to look for your most pressing state CDA answers is the State Leaders Handbook which can be found online under About NCDA: State Divisions. Within the Handbook, leaders can learn about ideas for membership generation, professional development programming and communication with state CDA members. Perhaps you are thinking of starting a state CDA? The Handbook has valuable information for you too!


Online Contact List

Beyond the Handbook, NCDA has a list of state CDA leaders which you can access under About NCDA: State Divisions: State Contacts. Use the contact list to ask another president a question or if you moved into a state with a CDA and want to get involved. This is a great resource if you are looking to identify how another state CDA approaches an issue you are facing or you would like to join your state CDA.


NCDA Benefits for State CDAs

While there is a complete list of benefits NCDA provides to state CDAs in the State Leaders Handbook, here are some of the highlights. State leaders have access to the State Leaders Toolkit through the members’ only section of the website. This Toolkit provides information to help state leaders run their state CDA effectively. Included in the Toolkit are resources on leadership development, membership marketing and strategic planning and goal setting. To expand upon the Toolkit, there are quarterly webinars being developed on each of the topic areas of the Toolkit. After the webinar is completed, the recording will be housed in the members only section of the NCDA website for access by state leaders. The first webinar was March 28, 2017 and should be uploaded within a few weeks for viewing by future leaders.


In addition the virtual resources and support, state CDA leaders can attend an in-person training at the NCDA annual conference. Based on the request of past participants, this year's training will be expanded from two to four hours. During the training, state leaders will have an opportunity to interact with other state leaders to learn about initiatives in their state as well as have a group of peers with whom to brainstorm to resolve issues common to most states. Additionally, state leaders will have an opportunity to interact with NCDA Board members.


State CDAs can receive help with their events from NCDA. First, marketing to a wider audience occurs when state events are posted on the NCDA home page calendar. Second, states may request NCDA materials and doorprizes for distribution at state events.


Other exciting benefits include grants to assist with state CDA initiatives, state CDA awards given at the annual conference and collaborating with NCDA headquarters to offer regional Career Practitioner Institutes.


People Support for State CDA Leaders

The primary support for state CDA leaders is the State Trustee on the NCDA Board of Directors. The role of the State Trustee is to be a resource for state CDA leaders for questions and concerns as well as an advocate to the Board on behalf of the state CDAs. The Trustee typically sends quarterly e-mails to state CDA presidents to keep them informed related to NCDA initiatives. For those wishing to start a new state CDA, the first person to contact is the State Trustee.


In addition, to the State Trustee, there is a State CDA Advisory Group. These are the individuals who provide a lot of the virtual resources and support for state CDAs including the toolkit and webinars. These individuals are all past-presidents of state CDAs who now focus on helping state CDAs to be successful.


State leaders may wish to contact NCDA leaders to request participation in state events. For example, last year, NCDA President David Reile presented “Creating a Values-Focused Life and Career” to the Maryland Career Development Association's spring conference. Other presenters on a variety of topics may be found by checking the Speaker's Bureau on the member's only section of the website.


Wendy La Benne If you have any questions regarding the resources and support available for state CDAs, please contact Wendy LaBenne, State Trustee, at wlabenne@gmail.com.




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