• Developed by University of Missouri Extension to help hard-to-reach adults and teens prepare for success in work and life
  • Used in the workplace to teach employees soft skills


Two editions are available for purchase. Both include a CD of the book's Addenda chapters to make copying handouts easier.

Tackling the Tough Skills coverCB13 (For adults and older teens), Third Edition (2015)

  • Title: Tackling the Tough Skills: A Curriculum Building Skills for Work and Life (Third Edition, 2015)
  • Appropriate for adults and older teens
  • Contains mix of adult and teen scenarios
  • Instructors may choose content and activities for use with either age group
  • Both curriculum and Addenda CD included
  • Note: If you can only purchase one version and want to be able to use it with both adults and teens, we suggest this one.

Order CB13 curriculum for adults and older teens

Tackling the Tough Skills for Teens cover

CB22 (For younger teens), Second Edition (2015)

  • Title: Tackling the Tough Skills for Teens: A Curriculum Building Skills for Work and Life (Second Edition, 2015)
  • For use with younger teens 
  • Same basic content and activities as the Adult/Older Teen version
  • Scenarios and content pertain to teen situations only
  • Both curriculum and Addenda CD included

Order CB 22 curriculum for younger teens


  • Teaches critical thinking skills through reflection, discussion, small group work, and role playing
  • 247 humorously illustrated pages — includes 93 pages that may be copied for overheads and handouts
  • Easy-to-use 3-ring binder
  • Adaptable to a wide range of participants — used with teen and adult audiences worldwide
  • Flexible format lets you select a chapter, an activity, or use the whole book
  • Creative and fun content includes dozens of original activities that make learning fun, yet challenging

About the author and educator

As both author of Tackling the Tough Skills and the program educator, Rosilee Trotta brings a kaleidoscope of life experiences to any training she leads. Life changed for Rosilee when she became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador at age 18. Hooked on the euphoria of learning from other people and their wisdom, Rosilee continued her own schooling in inner-city hospitals, day-care centers, housing projects and social service agencies, as well as in an Eskimo village above the Arctic Circle. Along the way, she picked up degrees in nursing, psychology, sociology, and social work, ending with a master's in social work and becoming a licensed clinical social worker.

As urban youth and family specialist for University of Missouri Extension from 1992 to 2010, Rosilee was primarily involved in workforce development, offender re-entry programs, and offering training and educational insights into her curriculum. She taught workshops on parenting, diversity, conflict resolution, leadership, and anything relevant to families, youth and the workplace. In addition, Rosilee has served on a variety of boards dedicated to helping adults and children realize their potential. After retiring in May 2010, Rosilee continues her work with University of Missouri Extension as a workforce development consultant and educator of the Tackling the Tough Skills curriculum.


Chris Sharp of St. Charles, Missouri, illustrated the curriculum.

Take a look!

Want to see what the two versions of our Tackling the Tough Skills curriculum look like? Our signature frog, Toughy, shows you below in this 6-second Vine video!
(Enlarged image: https://vine.co/v/bLZuBjOqlAL)