Our History

The VECAP organization is committed to improving and advancing the fields of vocational evaluation and career assessment services.

VECAP is a nonprofit organization originally founded in 1967 to promote the professions and services of vocational evaluation and work adjustment. Originally known as the Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Organization (VEWAA), the name “VECAP” was established in 2003 to better reflect the specialized focus of the organization.

Over the past decade, VECAP’s membership has expanded significantly and is proudly comprised of professionals from a variety of disciplines. One of our greatest strengths is our diverse membership pool which includes strong representation from vocational evaluators, special educators, workforce development professionals, career/guidance counselors, the justice system and others with a vested interest in vocational evaluation and career assessment.

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What’s the Bird Mean?

By Mike Ahlers, 2003 VECAP President

The phoenix was a fabulous mythical Arabian bird, said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry. It was said that only one phoenix existed at any one time, and it was very long-lived – no ancient sources gave it a life-span less than 500 years. As its end approached, the phoenix made a nest of aromatic branches and spices, set it on fire, and was consumed in the flames. From the ashes (according to some sources, from the midst of the flames) miraculously sprang a new phoenix.

The ancient Egyptians linked the myth of the phoenix with the longings for immortality that were so strong in their civilization, and from there its symbolism spread around the Mediterranean world of late antiquity. At the close of the first century Clement of Rome became the first Christian to interpret the myth of the phoenix as an allegory of the resurrection and of life after death. The phoenix was also compared to undying Rome, and it appears on the coinage of the late Roman Empire as a symbol of the Eternal City.

In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is the symbol of high virtue and grace, of power and prosperity. It represents the union of yin and yang. It was thought to be a gentle creature, alighting so gently that it crushed nothing, and eating only dewdrops. It reflected the empress, and only she could wear the phoenix symbol. Jewelry with the phoenix design showed that the wearer was a person of high moral values, and so the phoenix could only be worn by people of importance.

A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration.

The phoenix was chosen as the logo for the Vocational Evaluation and Career Assessment Professionals because of its rich symbolism and obvious similarities to our organization. Only one phoenix lives at any one time and our organization represents the one organization true to vocational evaluators and career assessment professionals. The phoenix arose from its own ashes, much like we emerged from a rich history as the Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Organization. Persons who wear the phoenix must have high moral values. We maintain a capacity for vision, collecting information about our environment and will, therefore, continue to survive with never-ending inspiration.