“If we take care of the mother, we take care of the family.”
What is Life Planning?
In our area, 1 in 3 families are headed by a single parent and 20% of Chattanoogans live in poverty.
The Life Planning Program is a part of the Center for Community Career Education, which is a non profit, career and educational counseling and training center at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
The first clients the Center served were displaced homemakers and single parents (mostly women) who became the head of the household due to death, disablement, separation or divorce. This program eventually evolved into Life Planning and has continued for 33 years. Life Planning provides assessments, goal setting, postsecondary and employment skills in a workshop setting to eligible individuals. For those who do not meet the criteria a reasonable fee will be assessed.
Using curriculum developed by the Center, participants are led through process of obtaining employment. This includes life exploration, self-confidence, decisions and goals, assertiveness, time management, self-assessments, job search tools, social media and interviewing and additional training/education/financial aid assistance (as needed). Participants leave with a completed resume and prepared to enter the workforce or additional training.
Life Planning has served more than 1,500 women in the Chattanooga area in pursuing higher education and employment goals. In the first twenty years (1980-2000), 50% of the women earned no income. After the workshop, 100% of the women earned between $5,000 and $24,999 with 50% earning $10,000-$14,999, 32% earning $15,000-$19,999 and 18% earning $20,000-$24,999. Since the year 2,000, limited funding has prevented services to continue at the level needed due to funding shifts at the federal level.
What services are provided?
Life Planning workshops are offered at various times of the year and is dependent on donor support. Workshops feature self-awareness to clarify their strengths and match them with appropriate careers. Workshops feature self-awareness and personal growth exercises along with job search techniques such as resume writing and interviewing skills. Topics also include building self-confidence, assertiveness training, and time and stress management. Individual counseling is provided to assist you in accomplishing the goals you set on your career development plan. This program takes about a month to complete and is FREE for single parents and displaced homemakers who meet certain eligibility requirements.