SFI Group participates in the annual Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA) conference

Quezon City, Philippines – The Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA) held its annual conference in the Philippines at the Ateneo De Manila University on May 22 – 24, 2017, with the theme “Customizing Career Services: Issues and Challenges”. SFI Group leader Mr. Luis Alberto Anastacio, a proud member of the prestigious career development association, presented the organization’s career development advocacies and programs in the Philippines through a learning session entitled, “Integrative Career Development Program for the Philippines”, which the organization’s key people attended.

Dr. David Reile, President of the National Career Development Association (NCDA) flew in from the United States to attend. University of Santo Tomas Counseling and Career Center director Dr. Lucila Bance was also in the session, together with Association of Placement Practitioners of Colleges and Universities (APPCU) Ex-Officio Dr. Conchita Concepcion and Dr. Changhua Rich of American College Testing (ACT). Kuder representatives Mr. Bailey Rowell and Mr. Kelvin Tan were also present to support Mr. Anastacio’s sharing of best practices in implementing large-scale career development programs in the country. In addition, Dr. Brian Schwartz and Mr. Allan Gatenby of Success Partners and Institute of Career Certification International (ICCI) were also present in the learning session.

Dr. Josefina Santamaria keynoted the conference on the first day, May 22, 2017. She discussed Career Planning in the Philippines in retrospect and in prospect. Dr. Santamaria shared the highlights of career planning in the Philippines, beginning in the 1950s, as well as the past efforts to address this need, and future challenges as perceived by college students and employees in entry-level jobs in the Philippines today.

Selected speakers facilitated the breakout sessions and panel discussions in the morning and in the afternoon. Topics discussed included best practices in career guidance and counseling, career assessments, adjunct career theories and practice, career resilience, issues and problems in career development practice, research in career development, mental health and program development. Kuder later hosted a dinner buffet for the APCDA participants at the Rizal Library Hall. The guests enjoyed the company of each other as select Ateneo students of Ateneo welcomed them with Filipino dance numbers.

Dr. Regina Hechanova’s keynote address on the second day of the conference moved the participants. She touted the workforce of the future and its implications on the present. More specifically, she gave palpable insights on workforce trends that will influence the workforce in the future, the impact of issues such as political and economic shifts, diversity issues, and technological changes in the workplace. She stressed that as new work designs and organizational structures become more common, the employee engagement and the mental health of workers are likewise affected. Dr. Hechanova predicted that how these issues will be dealt with will provide important implications for career development and management.

In line with this, the breakout sessions and panel discussions followed. The topics included best practices in career development, LGBT career counseling, career development prospects, career services in the 21st century context, and career guidance and the K-12 curriculum. The application of selected career theories to practice, integration of technology in career practice, and the role of parents in career development of children were also discussed. Some speakers mentioned the importance of research and scientific writing to career development practice, the career soft skills, and innovative techniques in career assessments in their respective learning sessions.

On the last day of the conference, Dr. Jim Bright delivered the keynote address on his life’s work, the Chaos Theory of Careers. Dr. Bright has developed a chaos- and complexity-based theory that provides an account of the complexity of influences on career development, the nature of change and unplanned events, as well as the limiting factors and emerging patterns in individual careers. The said model has implications on leadership, creativity, and occupational stress, particularly through his Beyond Personal Mastery model. Prior to his address, the learning sessions in the morning tackled career adaptability, career self-efficacy, career development branding, and program efficacy reports presented by the selected APCDA members.

Representating the SFI Group were its President and CEO Mr. Anastacio, SFI CareerCenter director Ms. Gina Jusay, and SFI CareerCenter Career Coaches Mr. Richard Monteverde and Mr. Erick Atilano.

SFI CareerCenter spotlighted at PGCA’s 53rd Annual Conference

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – SFI CareerCenter (SFICC) sponsored an exhibit at the 53rd Annual conference of the Philippine Guidance and Counseling Association (PGCA), Inc. held May 17-19 of this year at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay.

The conference welcomed approximately a thousand members of the PGCA, advocates of career development, guidance counselors and practitioners across the Philippines.

“Advocating Change, Healing Lives” became this year’s theme.  Plenary and learning sessions highlighted counseling practices as well as current issues and trends in counseling services and programs that cut across a variety of indigent population.

Dr. Carmelo Callueng of the Rowan University of New Jersey delivered the keynote address on the morning of May 17, discussing Mental Health in Schools: Policy and Advocacy to Advance Counseling and Research in the Philippines.

Mr. Antonio Tinio facilitated the plenary sessions that followed the keynote. Dr. Dinah Palmera Nadera presented a backgrounder on the Philippine Mental Health Situationer and Dr. Maria Regina Hechanova, RPsy on the development of community based relapse prevention program “Katatagan Kontra Droga sa Komunidad”, while Mr. Paolo Trinidad energized the participants through his Laughter Therapy for Guidance Counselors.

Candidates for the PGCA board member election were introduced before noon, with affiliates casting their votes until the 2nd day of the conference. On May 18, Carmencita Salonga, Eduardo Caligner, Evangeline Aguilan, Arsie Lumiqued, Jr. And Christopher Hernandez and Ricardo Guanzon were announced as the new board members.

Other sets of plenary and learning sessions were organized for the succeeding two days of the conference. Director Dominique Tutay of the Department of Labor & Employment’s Bureau of Local Employment discussed Career Advocacy in the Philippines, Fr. Joselito Sarabia shared insights on the Counseling Needs of the Grieving Children and Families of EJK (Extra- Judicial Killing) Victims and Senator Risa Hontiveros discussed the recently signed Philippine Mental Health Law.  Other guest professionals also discussed their studies and insights in breakout sessions.

Aside from the local speakers, the PGCA committee also invited delegates from different countries who are also board members of the Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA). Professor Narender K. Chadha, PhD shared insights on his study, “Existing Counseling Services in India and Futuristic Approach to Strengthening”, and facilitated a learning session on Career Orientation Styles and Counseling Practices. Dr. Brian Hutchison on the other hand discussed Trauma Informed Care in Schools during his plenary session and led a Career Intervention Workshop Using Narrative and Value-Based Techniques for the learning session.

There were also paper presentations of recent studies done by selected PGCA members on the afternoon of the May 18, second day. Questions and clarifications were acknowledged after each researcher discussed their study.

The SFI CareerCenter occupied one of the booths in the plenary hall, where the souvenir kits were given away. The team also welcomed inquiries on the company’s advocacies, programs and services. Director Gina Jusay oversaw the booth and its activities, with Senior Program Officer Richard Monteverde, Program Specialist Erick Atilano, HR Specialist Abigail Coladilla, and Training Assistants Antonio Tomenio III, Gellyn Inocencio and Jane Pones comprising the core team at the booth. Registrations for interested practitioners and advocates were opened at the booth.