Target audiences

Tackling the Tough Skills curriculum is easily adaptable to a wide range of audiences.

  • Workplace and organizational educators
  • Welfare-to-work participants
  • Hard-to-reach audiences
  • Employees in the workplace
  • At-risk adults
  • At-risk adolescents, including pregnant and parenting teens
  • Unemployed individuals
  • Prisoners
  • Ex-offenders
  • School-to-work participants
  • Individuals who could benefit from attitude shifts or improved responsible behavior, communication skills, strategies for problem solving, and job-hunting skills

Potential trainers

This curriculum offers a fresh educational approach for use by any potential trainer:

  • Workplace and organizational educators
  • Adult Basic Education/GED teachers
  • Workforce development managers and trainers
  • Youth coordinators
  • High school and middle school educators
  • Case managers
  • Social workers
  • Social service professionals
  • Prison/re-entry specialists working with adult or juvenile offenders
  • Welfare-to-work program leaders
  • Faith-based program leaders and ministers
  • Vocational and life skills counselors
  • Program leaders of pregnant and parenting teens
  • Anyone wanting to learn new life skills and soft skills training techniques

Who benefits from Tackling the Tough Skills?

Tackling the Tough Skills was developed to teach essential life skills to adults transitioning from welfare to work. After the Tackling the Tough Skills website was created in July 2000, for the first time people from outside St. Louis, Missouri, had an opportunity to benefit from the curriculum. It soon became apparent that the content of Tackling the Tough Skills™ had broader, more universal appeal to educators, program leaders and others working with teens, as well as adults, both in the United States and internationally. In fact, an educator in the Netherlands, who was looking for a curriculum to use with women on public welfare, was the first person to purchase the curriculum in July 2000, after reading about it on the Internet.

Currently Tackling the Tough Skills is being used to teach life skills or soft skills to diverse audiences, including not only hard-to-reach adults and at-risk teens, but also individuals from all walks of life. Adults benefiting from the curriculum include corporate healthcare workers and managers, Adult Basic Education/GED students, individuals in job training programs, the homeless, people in shelters, offenders, to name a few. The curriculum has been used with teenagers, including at-risk youth, high school and middle school students, 4-H youth leaders, school-to-work participants, juvenile offenders and pregnant teens.


Since Tackling the Tough Skills™ was published in 2000, the curriculum has been used by more than 1,000 organizations, agencies, schools, churches and educational programs from all 50 states, Washington, DC, and numerous countries and territories, including the following:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands (British)
  • Ecuador
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Marianas
  • Oman
  • Puerto Rico
  • Romania
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Trinidad (West Indies)
  • United Kingdom (England, Scotland)
  • U.S. Virgin Islands