A Vision for the Future of CACEE
In life, change is inevitable. In business, change is vital.
Warren G, Bennis (author, professor, and founding chairman of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California)
A hectic pace of change over the last few years continually shifts the environments in which both Canadian business and post-secondary education operate. While it is true that the underlying need for expertise, facilitation and connection in the school-to-career transition space will always remain, the way in which the players and stakeholders interact and engage also continually shifts in many regards. CACEE must always maintain a view to adapting in order to remain relevant and supportive to our membership and of course to our key stakeholders, the students.
As promised, over the last few months the National Board has been diligently working to assess this environment and stakeholder feedback to craft a vision for the future of CACEE. A vision that will drive the organization forward while continually and sustainably offering value for all CACEE members and the students we strive to serve.
Firstly, CACEE will be a volunteer-led organization for the foreseeable future. For many years, our strong suit has been the enthusiasm and passion of our dedicated volunteer members. Led by a strong national board and executive committee, CACEE will thrive and grow through well mandated committees and working groups empowered by an enhanced regional presence. Also, our organizational responsiveness will be significantly enhanced as we move from a structural dependency on quarterly in-person board meetings to more frequent and much shorter virtual meetings. Our organizational responsiveness will also be further enhanced by the increased emphasis on regional empowerment.
One of the key pillars of CACEE is attributed to our employer members. Often, our employer membership has been comprised of primarily larger national organizations. While we will continue to highly value these members and their contributions to the association, there is recognition of a need to broaden our vision to encompass additional new areas and sectors for employer member growth.
A critical new element of CACEE’s vision for the future will involve a targeted focus on Canada’s small-to-medium (SME) employer sector; a sector which, according to our federal government, employs over 90% of the private sector work force. Through leveraging existing relationships and creating new ones with affiliate organizations and associations that represent SMEs in various sectors and industries, CACEE will become the country’s leading authority and source of expertise and advocacy for all aspects of school-to-career transition for the SME sector. Under this new vision regional business development functions will be pivotal as we build relationships with these affiliate organizations and SMEs. It is this aspect that will call for a strengthened mandate and empowerment of CACEE’s regional advisory boards as they take on a greater focus in supporting membership growth, engagement and value creation. As always, strong networks, focused research, and quality professional development will play a critical role in forging the value propositions to address sustained growth in all employment sectors. Effective and beneficial joint ventures with other national and regional organizations serving the same interest and mutual value creation as CACEE will be continually considered to further enhance the programming and offerings of the association.
Of course, continuing to carve out CACEE’s place as the country’s leading resource, advocate and authority on school-to-career transition will also call for the enhancement and revitalization of many existing CACEE initiatives. Experiential learning, all aspects of diversity in hiring, an explicitly expanded mandate to address career and employment access for Indigenous students and a renewed commitment to being a valued resource to senior career centre leaders are all specific areas that CACEE will address as we transition our organization’s structure and our committee, work group, and regional advisory board mandates.
These new and revitalized areas of stakeholder value will provide many more opportunities for CACEE members to share their expertise, and to further their own careers by developing and demonstrating essential skill sets, such as:
Within the next few weeks, CACEE will strengthen the bridge between our current initiatives and vision for our next steps as an association. This will start with our call for national board nominations on March 1st. This will be followed closely by broadening the opportunities for engagement of our regional advisory boards, committees and workgroups to solidify CACEE on its path forward.
It is our hope that you will join us on this journey. Your engagement, contributions, and leadership will now be even more important to the work of CACEE. We believe that the rewards of contributing expertise and time will be mutually beneficial.
Finally, and perhaps of highest importance, we wish to thank our members for the patience that has been shown us over the last few months. Change can be difficult and CACEE has seen very significant changes over the last year. We are confident of the benefits that will be created, and we truly appreciate your support as a member of what CACEE is now and will be in the future.