Job Readiness Curriculum Guide

Massachusetts Association for Community Action

The Job Readiness Curriculum Guide is a six-unit intensive curriculum with comprehensive lesson plans that include classroom and portfolio-building activities.

What This Includes

Skills addressed: Communication, Listening, Professionalism, Empathy, Diversity, Problem Solving, Conflict Resolution, Teamwork

Learner resources

  • Extension activities for homework or independent learning

Instructor resources

  • Complete job readiness curriculum guide, with lesson plans, extension activities, and integrated technology where appropriate
  • Curriculum guide includes six units for 120 hours of lessons on Exploring My Story—Creating My Path, Career Readiness Skills, Preparing To Enter the World of Work, Soft Skills To Get and Keep a Job (Communication and Interpersonal Skills), Financial Foundations for Success (Basic Financial Literacy), Job Search and Retention

Key Takeaways

  • Lessons are aligned with the five competencies of the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, 1992 (SCANS) Competencies.
  • Personal and workplace success skills, such as time management, listening, teamwork, and collaboration, are interspersed throughout the curriculum but get more attention in the 25-hour Soft Skills unit.
  • The curriculum was designed to be used after a five-hour instructor training, but is accessible to any experienced adult educator without training.
  • The curriculum was designed for an intensive course, but can be used as a workshop series for job seekers or integrated into an existing adult education class.
  • Many of the lessons can be used with some adaptation for high-beginning to advanced English Language Learners.

In 2009, the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP), in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Housing, designed, piloted, and evaluated this job readiness curriculum to teach soft skills and workplace readiness to underserved, low-income populations in Massachusetts. The pilot served 198 adults at three MASSCAP sites. The curriculum guide and five-hour training were developed with the assistance of a job readiness curriculum consultant and workforce development specialist. Since its publication in 2010, more than 500 Community Action and other nonprofit agency staff in the fields of adult education, housing self-sufficiency, homeless shelters, job training, financial assistance, and Head Start have attended the curriculum training. The curriculum guide was updated in 2019 and is now available on the MASSCAP website without having to attend the recommended curriculum guide training.

Adaptability & Flexibility


Critical & Creative Thinking

Digital Literacy

Emotional Intelligence

Leadership & Initiative

Respecting Differences


Teamwork & Collaboration

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