The Establishment of the New England Consortium of State CDAs

By Edward Anthony Colozzi

New England is the oldest region of the United States, predating the American Revolution by more than 150 years with the establishment of the 1620 Plymouth Colony. New England helped launch and sustain the American Revolution and was the leading force in American literature and higher education. The region was the center of the American Industrial Revolution and played an important role during and after the Civil War as a fervent intellectual, political, and cultural promoter of abolitionism and civil rights.

New England has an impressive history in respect to our field as well, starting with the life and legacy of Frank Parsons, often referred to as the founding father of vocational psychology. Parsons worked in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, and his 1909 book delineated the principles of vocation choice. His life’s work greatly influenced career development research and practice worldwide, including the roots of the National Vocational Guidance Association (NVGA), later to become the National Career Development Association, that occurred during the very first national conference on this topic in Boston in 1910.

Today, New England is aiming to once again be the forerunner of innovation in the field of career development. New Englanders are close neighbors, geographically, and able to fairly easily travel to neighboring New England states for a variety of reasons including intra-region commerce, travel to work locations differing from one’s residence, and recreational travel. With this is mind, leaders of six New England state career development associations, specifically Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the joint Vermont/New Hampshire CDA, bonded to form a consortium.

NEC Conversations, Collaboration and Establishment

The idea for an NEC was shared in 2016 with NCDA President Spencer Niles who encouraged the effort. Informal conversations with New England CDA leaders occurred over a year, culminating in the first NEC Zoom Conference call December 2017, when initial drafts of an NEC Position Paper, as well as Mission and Vision Statements, were reviewed. Following numerous Zoom Conference calls and e-mails, including the creation of an NEC Google file for sharing information, the NEC was formally established in March 2019. The NCDA Executive Director and select staff and Board members were kept informed throughout the process. At the 2019 NCDA Global Conference in Houston TX, the NCDA Board received the NEC Position Paper, discussed the NEC and informed the leaders that NCDA was happy to support the consortium efforts. Two of the founding members, Amy Jaffe (Maine) and Angela Bourassa (Vermont/New Hampshire), presented the collaboration at a Best Practices Panel arranged by Carolyn Jones, NCDA Trustee for State Divisions. Other state leaders are encouraged to consider a similar idea.

NEC Guidelines, Mission and Vision and Statements

The NEC shares the following for purposes of encouraging participation from those in the New England area as well as aiding other state cdas in starting such a movement.

Mission Statement: Collaborating to promote excellence in career development research and practice throughout New England for Providers, Customers and Stakeholders.

Vision Statement: Shaping the future of our New England communities by providing resources and leadership that inspire youth and adults to achieve their fullest potential, and participate and contribute their gifts and talents across their career-life roles.

The NEC Position Paper includes a rationale for collaboration, benefits, challenges and suggestions for effectively implementing the NEC. The following NEC Guidelines specify a reasonable approach to incentivize intra-region travel for professional development activities for the purpose of networking or gaining continuing education units (CEUs), while remaining sensitive to the existing, varying CDA dues/fee structures.

Each NEC State Division CDA that is sponsoring a professional development activity (e.g., workshop, webinar or conference, appropriate networking activity) will agree to allow members in good standing of any of the six NEC State Division CDA’s, [Ct CDA; Maine CDA; MCDA, RICDA and the joint VT/NH CDA] to participate in that NEC activity at the “member” rate, if there is a “member” rate for that activity set by the NEC CDA that is offering/sponsoring that activity. If a “non-member” from any of the six New England States, or any other location, wants to attend such an activity, they will be charged the “non-member” rate that the sponsoring NEC State Division CDA would normally charge any “non-member”, including NCDA members residing in the six New England States who are not currently members of our local State Division CDA’s in New England, that now comprise the NEC.

NEC Welcomes Your Membership!

These guidelines may encourage “non-members” throughout the six New England States to consider membership in their local State Division CDA’s and NCDA, including those NCDA members who are not currently members of their local State Division CDA.

Ten Founding Members (FM) of the NEC are the following current and past presidents of six NCDA State Divisions. Interested members and non-members are welcome to reach out to the following Best Contact Persons (C) for questions regarding specific membership information about their local State Division CDA.

For further information about the NEC, starting a conversation about a similar initiative among State Division CDA’s in your region, or obtaining a PDF of the full NEC Position Paper, contact Edward Colozzi below.

Connecticut: CT CDA
(C&FM) Linda Kobylarz, Past President lindakoby@aol.com
(FM) MIke Shavel, Past President CT CDA and President of the CT ACA

Rhode Island: RICDA www.ricda.org
(C&FM) Donna Remington, Past President donna.remington@jwu.edu
(FM) Alexandra Finney: Co-President
(FM) Holly Ashton, Co-President

Maine: Maine CDA www.maine-cda.org
(C&FM) Amy Jaffe, Past President amyjaffe@gmail.com

Massachusetts: MCDA
(C&FM) Edward Anthony Colozzi, President careercoachcolozzi@verizon.net (c) 781-721-1200

Vermont/New Hampshire: VT/NH CDA vtnhcda.org
(C&FM) Angela Bourassa, President abourassa@mansd.org
(FM) Squeak Stone, Past President; (FM) Douglas Cullen, Founding Past President


Ed ColozziEdward Anthony Colozzi, Ed.D., is the retired owner of Career Development and Counseling Services and a former MA state licensed mental health counselor,  nationally certified counselor, and master career counselor. Ed is an active MA State Certified Trainer, an NCDA Fellow, and is President of the MA Career Development Association (MCDA). Learn more about Dr Colozzi at www.creatingcareerswithconfidence.com  or email him at careercoachcolozzi@verizon.net


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