Rep. Thompson introduces bill to expand career counseling

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U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to expand career counseling programs.

The Creating Opportunities to Thrive and Advance Act (COTA), which Thompson sponsored along with Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), would amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to bolster career guidance for adult learners through public outreach.

“Adult learners should be made aware of their options,” Thompson, co-chair of the bipartisan House Career and Technical Education Caucus, said. “This bill will promote workforce development programs and high-quality career counseling. Increased awareness of career choices will open doors to success and help workers land high-wage, family-sustaining jobs.”

The public outreach would be done through various channels, including public service announcements, social media campaigns, job fairs, and other means to educate the public about workforce development programs.

“As the economy makes strides to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know folks have been affected by the changing job landscape and economic uncertainty. That’s why we’ve got to support programs that provide opportunities for workers to pursue education and workforce credentials and to get the career counseling they need. Unfortunately, knowledge of these resources can be limited. That’s why I’m proud to join Congressman Thompson in introducing the bipartisan Creating Opportunities to Thrive and Advance Act to ensure that we can get the word out about workforce programs and ensure we reach the communities and workers who will benefit from these opportunities,” Kilmer said.

The bill is endorsed by several groups, including the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), Advance CTE, National Skills Coalition, Jobs For the Future (JFF), National Association of Workforce Boards, Association of Woodworking and Furnishing Suppliers, and the National Career Development Association (NCDA).

“The National Career Development Association (NCDA) is delighted with the release of the Creating Opportunities to Thrive and Advance Act, sponsored by NCDA’s 2021 Legislative Award Winner, Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA), and co-led by Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA). As the recognized organization representing the career development profession, NCDA is dedicated to ensuring every student is college- or career-ready upon graduation. The availability of quality career development programs is vital to achieve this goal,” Dr. Sharon Givens, NCDA national president, said.