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Phil Jarvis

Nova Scotia CDA Career Summit Dinner

It is our conviction that the status quo in career development, or even working harder doing what we have been doing, will result in many citizens, businesses, indeed whole communities, falling victim to the looming labour crisis we're calling the Perfect Storm in job markets. We believe it will take a harmonized, whole-community approach to career and workforce development to weather the storm. Leaders in the career space must support each other's missions like never before. Therefore, Career Cruising is hosting a series of "Career Summit" dinners across North America to provide a venue for career leaders to explore options for collective action to move career and workforce development higher on the public agenda. A summary of issues discussed at each "Summit Dinner" will be posted on this blog after the event.


Nova Scotia CDA Career Summit Dinner

Holiday Inn Halifax Habourview, Dartmouth, NS

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Participants: Charlie Aubie, Laurie Edwards, Clarence DeSchiffart, Margo Hudson, Jan Underhill, Patrick Brush, Kimberley White, Cathy Campbell, Sandra McKenzie, John Cochrane, Peter Smith, Colleen Nix, Judy Lawrence, Glenn McMullen, Rick Miner, Barb Campbell, Teresa Francis, Karen Schaffer, Phil Jarvis

What follows is a brief summary of issues discussed.

The status quo is unacceptable. At a time when employers are having increasing difficulty finding the talent they need to be productive and competitive, too many students have no idea where they will land when/if they graduate, and too many adults are unemployed or underemployed. Economic prosperity is the only way out of the debt with which communities, provinces, even countries are struggling. Prosperity is only possible if we get the right talent in the best possible places. We can’t afford to have students graduate with no idea where to land in the work world. We need them to graduate into good entry-level jobs in which they are happy and productive. We can’t afford to have talent on the sidelines, or in the wrong jobs, and we can’t afford to have companies suffocating due to lack of talent.

We need to get employers "who get it" to the table. Career practitioners are in the centre of a circle with students and adult career seekers, with orbiting satellites of stakeholders including parents, employers, public policy makers, and community organizations. Harmonized engagement of all stakeholders is the key to sustainable whole-community solutions.

Parents care deeply about their children’s success but need the knowledge and tools to help constructively. They need to learn about the Perfect Storm and they need access to good resources. Career Cruising’s new Parent Portal should help.

Students don’t understand the urgency of preparing themselves for success beyond education by discovery their passion and purpose and beginning to explore career and life scenarios in which they can lead purposeful, authentic lives. They, too, need to hear about The Perfect Storm.

Many employers would welcome the opportunity to explore whole-community career and workforce development approaches. We need to create opportunities to bring employers that are good models and supporting career development for their employees into the dialogue.

Adults ask students in primary school what they want to be when they grow up. They should be asking, "What are you passionate about?" "What are your unique interests, skills and talents?" "How can you make the world a better place?"

The myth that a university degree is the only route to success and happiness remains pervasive, despite the fact that we have a growing number of Progress Impeded New Entrants (PINEs), young people who have completed university yet cannot land satisfactorily in the workforce. Many register in community college or trades training to get a credential that will open doors to employment. Many graduates carry a heavy student loan debt load with uncertain employment prospects, thus face many uncertain years of debt repayment.

Introducing youth and adults to potential future employers while they are still in school gives them a viable answer to the question, "Why should I learn this?" and enables employers to create a pipeline of potential future talent.

Sports teams have always used scouting and recruiting networks effectively. As the Perfect Storm grows, and companies become increasingly anxious about where their future talent is going to come from, they will have to consider creating their own local scouting networks and "stocking the pond" locally. Career Cruising’s ccInspire makes this possible in communities ready to make a whole-community commitment to career and workforce development.

The education system needs to prepare students for early success in family, community and career. At its core it should be about discovering one’s passion and purpose. It must include helping all students develop informed dreams of the life they want to lead as an adult, and equipping them with the essential 21st century skills they need to step directly out of school into successful lives. The curriculum is now driven by core academic prerequisites for university entrance, despite the fact that most students won’t, and shouldn’t, go to university immediately after high school. Moreover, many of those who do graduate from university, often with massive debt before they earn a dollar, have no idea what to do next.

We realize Career Cruising is just one organization in a cast of many doing their best to help Canadians enjoy success in their careers and lives, and businesses find the talent they need to thrive. Let us know how we can support your efforts to make a difference, and please help us achieve our goal of a deeper level of implementation of our ccEngage resources. 30-50,000 Canadians from primary students to those planning their retirement access our programs each day. Due to the lack of priority accorded to career development, in many cases their interactions are too superficial to effect the real change in their lives we seek. Please challenge your staff to get full value from the ccEngage tools they are using. We are more than ready to provide free online webinars, training and support to anyone using or contemplating using our products.

Thank you for participating in the Career Summit dinner hosted by Career Cruising. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you see opportunities for collaboration. You can reach anyone on the Career Cruising team by calling (toll-free) 1-800-965-8541 or emailing: Visit our new website at:


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