Essential Skills is a one-day workshop to provide frontline staff of workforce development and partner organizations with new perspectives and skills in the areas of employability skills, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

Participants engage these topics in an integrated format through interactive exercises, case studies and discussions to develop skills they can use both at work and at home. A panel of local entrepreneurs and community leaders provided a capstone discussion on the importance of partnership development and an entrepreneurial mindset for program success.

The following resources are presented in the training:

Training Presentation: Full set of presentation slides

Work Ethic and Employability Skills

  • Center for Work Ethic Development: Tools related to work ethic development including actionable definitions of skill components, weekly tips by email and access to current research.


  • SCAMPER: A model for promoting creativity and ideation


Financial Literacy

  • Your Money, Your Goals: Comprehensive resource from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to help staff in social service organizations assist clients with financial problems
  • Behind on Bills: Client-focused booklet focused on managing financial obligations
  • Putting Your Paycheck to Work: Fact sheets developed by the Kansas City Fed for employees to understand and make the most of their paychecks
  • Plan. Prepare. Prevail.: Financial forms, checklists and resources from the Kansas City Fed to organize a household’s financial information

The Essential Skills training was developed through a partnership with the Center for Work Ethic Development, the Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The training has been held in five locations in Oklahoma with over 250 participants. The regional workforce development boards were a key partner in promoting the trainings and assisting with local logistics.

For more information about this training and opportunities for hosting one, please contact Steven Shepelwich at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.