Rebecca Liberty

MCDA Annual Conference 2019

Friday, June 14th, 2019
University of Maine, Orono, ME

Our keynote speaker, Rebecca Liberty, will present on “How Your Worldview Affects the Meaning of ‘Career.’” Rebecca recently served as Director of the Wilson Center for Spiritual Exploration and Multifaith Dialogue at UMaine, and has helped countless students make decisions for their future according to their values and convictions. Rebecca is also an independent “discernment coach.” She helps individuals and organizations emerge from transitions in a better and stronger place, with new habits to sustain their energy for life and work.

After the keynote, there will be two breakout sessions spanning eight career development topics, and ample opportunity for networking with colleagues over lunch and discussions.

The National Career Development Association will grant 3.5 hours of continuing education contact hours (CEUs) for attending this conference. Certificates for CEUs will be emailed to attendees after the conference. If you have not received your certificate by June 21, 2019, please contact Amy Jaffe.


Break-out Sessions and Presenters

Morning workshop options – 11:15am – 12:30pm

1. Beyond the Binary: Hiring Transgender and Non Binary People

Gia Drew, Program Director, EqualityMaine

This interactive presentation  addresses the specific needs and issues employers may face when working with and/or hiring trans and non binary employees. Maine is one of only 20 states that offer full legal protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community, including barring discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in employment. Participants in this workshop will learn how to use supportive language and terminology, understand the current economic climate lived by trans and non binary folks, and learn smart practices for supporting trans and non binary folks in the workforce.

2. LinkedIn: The World’s Largest Career Database and Why You Should Be On It

Presenter – Jim Peacock, Principal – Peak-Careers Consulting

LinkedIn continues to be the world’s largest career database. As career professionals we need to model a strong LinkedIn profile and we need to help our clients / students learn to utilize all the tools within LinkedIn to find work, network, and create and sustain professional credibility. We will review essential components of a strong LinkedIn profile and then demonstrate tools to connect with people, network to find inside information, and ensure that recruiters can find job seekers.

3. Building Bridges: Experiential Activities that Create Community

Nicole S Lazure, College Success Specialist, JMG

This workshop will cover several experiential activities designed to build community and develop inclusive cultures in an educational setting. Activities will include a variety of icebreakers and group initiatives. Participants will gain a better understanding of group process, social/emotional learning, activities that promote inclusion, and  how to integrate/celebrate diverse populations through developing meaningful connections.

4. Engaging and Supporting Students of Color

Margaret Brownlee, Director of Career Services, Southern Maine Community College

The effects of structural racism and systemic poverty impact student access and success in higher education. As career advisors, faculty, staff, and administrators, we will brainstorm ways to reverse those effects and close the equity gap. Participants will learn about racial impostor syndrome, equity vs. equality, and ways that colleges can empower all members of the community to redesign the student experience and improve career services and student success.

Afternoon workshop options: 1:30pm – 2:45pm

1. Steps-to-Work Pilot Program: Facilitating the Integration of New Mainer Employees into Maine Institutions

Mufalo Chitam, Executive Director Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition and James Brissenden, Director of Business Development, Clark Insurance Company

The State of Maine faces a critical workforce challenge but the range of available skills and experience New Mainers possess is impressive. Steps-to-Work is an experienced group of private and non-profit resource organizations ready to help employers undertake and sustain activities that attract, support, and empower New Mainer employees. Participants will learn certain basic, essential services needed to successfully integrate New Mainers into workplaces, and what the Pilot Program and its partners plan to do to address relationship gaps and build trust and reciprocity.

2. The Transformative Power of Human-Centered Design: Career Counselors as Designers

Faina Bukher,  Associate Director for the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise

Human-Centered Design is a creative approach to problem solving pioneered by the design firm IDEO. The framework develops solutions by involving the human perspective in all steps of the process. By starting with humans, their hopes, fears, and needs, we quickly uncover what’s most desirable.  Participants will learn the steps of the human-centered design process to create innovative solutions to real-world challenges including the job search process and career development, and how to effectively test their prototypes with real users, identify promising solutions, and begin implementation.

3. Tell a Better Story. Ace The Interview. Get the Job.

David Lee, Career Coach, Heart At Work Associates

People often have a hard time identifying stories that effectively answer behavioral interview questions and  illustrate their strengths, skills, and super powers. Even more challenging for most, is how to talk about these in a way that is compelling and doesn’t feel like bragging. In this workshop participants will identify key experiences they can turn into stories to communicate who they are and their value proposition to potential employers, how to be clear and intentional about choosing stories and how to develop and use storytelling skills so the interviewer wants to hear more.

4. How to Address the Special Needs of High-Risk Populations: Lessons from 20 Years Working with Incarcerated Men and Women Seeking to Re-enter the World of Work

Kathy Potter Bouchard, Life Navigator

Traditional job search approaches are not sufficient when working with clients whose backgrounds include criminal records, stigma, homelessness, mental health issues, substance use, and/or limiting core beliefs. As career practitioners we must recognize and challenge unconscious biases and judgments that can reduce the ability to be helpful. This workshop will help participants address this challenge by identifying common barriers to finding and keeping a job, using communication and relationship approaches that maintain healthy boundaries and establish trust, and why empathic listening works.  Life Maps will be introduced as a way to help clients gain insight and begin visualizing a future that includes fulfilling work.

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