Skills To Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success

U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy

The Skills To Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success curriculum teaches workforce-readiness skills for diverse learners through hands-on learning activities, supplemental materials, and videos.

What This Includes

Skills addressed: Communication, Enthusiasm & Attitude, Teamwork, Networking, Problem Solving & Critical Thinking, Professionalism

  • 30 lessons (five per skill)
  • Lessons include activities, facilitation notes, journaling prompts, and extension suggestions
  • Curriculum can be downloaded in English or Spanish
  • Video series
  • Video series uses skits and role-play to teach skills

Key Takeaways

  • Lesson plans build workplace-readiness skills using the principles of Universal Design for Learning.
  • Materials developed for older youth but appropriate for adult learners in many different contexts.
  • Activities can be contextualized to a specific course or workplace through modifying the dialogue or using context-specific reflection questions. For example, a communication activity uses dialogue and role-play to teach learners about switching communication styles to suit context and purpose (meeting, interview, professional email, personal email, etc.). Learners can use their own workplace to generate examples and answer reflection questions.

Voices from the Field

Learn more about how this is used in practice.

The Transition Integration Framework (TIF) was a great jumping off point for seeing how to integrate technology, employability and writing skills simultaneously.

Building Integrated Employability and Digital Skills

Polytech Adult Education used the Transition Integration Framework (TIF) in an ESOL and Pre-GED class, integrating the leveled skills into their existing curriculum in combination with Northstar Digital Literacy, Skills to Pay the Bills, and My MN Careers.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) coordinated the creation of this curriculum, using input from many different programs and pilot sites, as well as feedback from more than 100 youth. Previously, an initiative of the National Collaborative for Workforce and Disability for Youth and ODEP called The Guideposts for Success made the case for the importance of building workplace-readiness skills with youth. In 2007, ODEP brought together a group of U.S. business representatives, who identified the six skills in this curriculum and determined the need for instructional materials. These materials have been piloted and feedback has been incorporated.



Teamwork & Collaboration

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