On October 6, 2016, Linda Christopher, Executive Director of OC STEM spoke as the lunchtime keynote at the Orange County Regional Counselor Event for 2015. The event was organized through the Orange County Doing What Matters Jobs and the Economy Initiative, which is a four-pronged framework to respond to the call of our nation, state, and regions to close the skills gap. The goals of Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy are to supply in-demand skills for employers, create relevant career pathways and stackable credentials, promote student success and get Californians into open jobs.

The presentation focused on the ways in which confidence and self-efficacy in career exploration may lead to more interest, rewards, and confidence about desired career goals.

The concept was explored through a study called Contextual Supports and Barriers to Career Choice: A Social Cognitive Analysis performed by Robert W.Lent of the University of Maryland, Steven D. Brown of Loyola University Chicago, and Gail Hackett of Arizona State University.