Collaborative Initiative Will Address College and Career Preparedness Pillar of Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Legislation in Montgomery County
ROCKVILLE, MD—WorkSource Montgomery, Inc. (WSM) recently announced the Montgomery County Career Advising Program, an innovative new initiative to better the prospects of Montgomery County’s youth.
Called MoCo CAP, this collaborative effort is headed by WorkSource Montgomery (WSM), along with partners Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Montgomery College, and the Universities at Shady Grove. The goal is to address one of the requirements related to the College and Career Readiness pillar laid out by the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, a $3.8 billion overhaul of the state’s public education system.
“This is an exciting time for our county. Our K-12 students are tomorrow’s workforce, and our ability to thrive economically in the future depends on the support we provide them today,” WSM Executive Director Anthony Featherstone said. “This is why we’re excited to deploy the MoCo CAP initiative to help all MCPS students understand the workforce, their career matches, and how to achieve their education and employment goals.”
The program is designed to help all students vividly describe their own strengths, interests, and workplace values; identify how they are expanding their skills and knowledge; describe the various opportunities ahead of them; and describe their goals for their future. This understanding will enable them to make informed decisions about high school pathways and their postsecondary trajectory.
“We can’t transform the future without transforming the present,” said Dr. Genevieve Floyd, MCPS Career and Postsecondary Partnerships Supervisor. “Integrating career advising practices into our secondary structure will take time. However, it is an exciting time for our district, and I am certain our students will benefit from our collective efforts.”
To reach these goals, MoCo CAP Career Coaches will be placed in every MCPS middle, high, and special school throughout the county, ultimately reaching nearly 90,000 students. The Coaches will help students learn to advocate for themselves; enable them to clearly articulate their skills, interest, and values; and navigate the different College and Career Readiness pathways. Coaches will work with educators to support their understanding of this transformative work and how it relates to and enhances classroom instruction.
The first cohort of 32 Career Coaches began training on Tuesday, Oct. 23, with a planned deployment in schools in November and work with students to begin in January 2024 as part of a multi-phase roll out. The group reflects the diversity of Montgomery County, including having speakers of Spanish, Arabic, Oromo, Amharic, French, Creole, German, Polish, and Russian, among other languages.
“Montgomery College is proud to be partnering with MCPS and WSM on this exciting career coaching program,” said MC President Jermaine F. Williams. “All students in K-12 schools deserve to be introduced to career pathways early so they can consider which post-secondary education path will benefit them. MC is thrilled to advance equitable access to career planning, in keeping with the goals of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.”
A new informational website, brand identity, and social media accounts are also in the works for MoCo CAP.
About WorkSource Montgomery (WSM)
WSM is the fiduciary agent for Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) funding in Montgomery County. The organization operates the American Job Centers in Wheaton and Germantown and provides employment services to Montgomery County residents who are unemployed or underemployed. WSM engages employers in various industries throughout the county to ensure that their workforce needs are being met. For more information about WorkSource Montgomery, visit our website at worksourcemontgomery.com.