WSM Introduces The Montgomery County Career Advisory Program (MoCo CAP)

WorkSource Montgomery is pleased to announce MoCo CAP, an innovative new initiative to improve the future of Montgomery County’s youth. 

MoCo CAP, short for Montgomery County Career Advisory Program, is a collaborative effort headed by WorkSource Montgomery, along with partners Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Montgomery College, and the Universities at Shady Grove. The goal is to address the College and Career Readiness pillar laid out by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. 

This program will help bring the 80,000-plus MCPS students in grades 6 through 12 up to the state’s revised standards, including having all students meet the new College and Career Readiness standard by the end of 10th grade. 

So, what is this Blueprint?

Developed from the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, the Blueprint Law is a 10-year, $3.8 billion plan to overhaul Maryland’s public education system from prekindergarten through post-secondary systems. 

The landmark legislation was fully passed by the Maryland legislature in February 2021. 

More than 1 million Maryland public school students across 24 jurisdictions will be impacted by Blueprint’s extensive policy changes aimed at closing achievement gaps and unheard-of investments from state and local resources. 

The Blueprint organizes the work into five distinct pillars: 

  • Pillar 1: Early Childhood Education
    • Initiatives address broadening access to full day Pre-K, expanding wraparound services for students and families, and increasing funding to support students with special needs. 
  • Pillar 2: High Quality and Diverse Teachers and Leaders
    • Pillar 2 aims to elevate the teaching profession by implementing a career ladder, competitive salaries, and incentives for National Board-certified teachers, along with systems focusing on teacher retention. 
  • Pillar 3: College and Career Readiness 
    • This pillar sets a new CCR standard to prepare graduates for success in college and the workforce by ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to complete entry-level credit-bearing college courses and work in high-wage and high-demand industries. 
  • Pillar 4: More Resources for All Students to be Successful 
    • Initiatives in this pillar focus on strengthening wraparound services and targeted supports for students and families, establishing the Maryland Consortium on Coordinated Community Supports and a workgroup on English learners, and developing a funding formula based on a new measure of poverty concentration. 
  • Pillar 5: Governance and Accountability 
    • The final pillar creates Expert Review Teams to visit schools to understand Blueprint implementation on the ground level, along with sharing best practices. It also creates a new Accountability and Implementation Board to plan and monitor how the law is being operated. 

How does MoCo CAP work? 

MoCo CAP is responsible in Montgomery County to address Pillar 3’s College and Career Readiness (CCR) mandate by guiding MCPS middle and high school students as they navigate their future career paths 

This includes developing career pathways and preparing all public school students to meet the new CCR standard by the end of their 10th grade year, creating a Career and Technical Education (CTE) system in line with industry needs, and helping adjust pre-K through 12th grade curriculum and assessments. 

To achieve these goals, MoCo CAP will place Career Coaches in every middle and high school throughout the county to help students learn to advocate for themselves, explore areas of interest to them, and navigate the different CCR pathways. They will also work closely with educators to support career awareness in the classroom. 

Using RIASEC (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional) as the common language to help students self-identify, Career Coaches will guide students through post-secondary options to hopefully pursue a meaningful and viable career path that matches their interests. 

The Career Coaches will also provide students with resources to continually engage them and develop lifelong career management skills, support MCPS teachers, and expand opportunities such as career exploration labs, internships, apprenticeships, and industry chats. 

What is RIASEC? 

RIASEC is a personality-type framework and vocabulary for career development used by MoCo CAP to help describe personal interests and preferences for students, along with the style of work needed for jobs and tasks. 

An important aspect of RIASEC is how students use the themes to self-report, empowering themselves to make connections between these themes and their post-secondary options. 

So, what does RIASEC stand for? 


“Doers” who work with machines, tools, plants, animals, or the environment. They like to: 

  • Build and repair things. 
  • Being physically active. 
  • Be outdoors. 
  • Work with animals. 
  • Operate tools/machines. 


“Thinkers” who enjoy observing, learning, investigating, analyzing, evaluating, and using math and science to solve problems. They like to: 

  • Understand why things happen. 
  • Research to find answers. 
  • Solve problems using math or science. 
  • Think deeply. 


“Creators” who work in unstructured environments using imagination, art, and creative self-expression. They like to: 

  • Sketch, draw, and paint. 
  • Play a musical instrument. 
  • Sing, act, and dance. 
  • Design fashion or interiors. 


“Helpers” who work with others to listen, understand, empathize, inform, help teach, or heal. They like to: 

  • Help people with problems. 
  • Do volunteer work. 
  • Teach or train. 
  • Take care of others. 


“Persuaders” who influence, persuade, sell, compete, or lead people and projects to achieve organizational goals. They like to: 

  • Debate ideas. 
  • Persuade people. 
  • Start businesses. 
  • Sell things. 


“Organizers” who work with data and systems, and are accurate, organized, and follow instructions. They like to: 

  • Find patterns in data. 
  • Organize collections. 
  • Follow a set plan. 
  • Create structures and systems. 

RIASEC provides the language for discussions and dialogue about ever-shifting job opportunities and career decisions. 

Explore the RIASEC themes here and see how well they align with your interests! Keep an eye out for chances to share your themes on WorkSource Montgomery’s social media accounts. 

What’s NEXT? 

WorkSource Montgomery and its partners are busy strategizing and planning to lay the foundational groundwork for this huge initiative. WSM is in the process of recruiting and training approximately 50 Career Coaches, so they are ready to serve MCPS schools come January 2024!  

A new informational website, brand identity, and social media accounts are also in the works for MoCo CAP.  

So, keep an eye out for more news about the initiative and how you can learn more, engage with us, and find ways to support! 

Stay informed on the latest workforce development trends, insights, and our local partnerships in Montgomery County.
For both the individual job seeker and the community organizations that support them, this newsletter provides job search resources and information on job fairs, hiring events, and workshops available in our community.

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