Turning Point is the Whatcom Life Transitions Program. For the past 20 years, Turning Point has been helping clients gain self-esteem, identify strengths, and find their career path. The program offers:

  • For-credit classes on career/life planning
  • Workshops on self-esteem and effective communication
  • Support for those "taking the next step" by providing information and referral services

Classes and workshops are available from September to June, with some offerings in the evening. In friendly surroundings an individual can explore personal strengths and interests and learn how to present skills to prospective employers. All offerings are designed for those who are in transition. The classes are generally paid through Pell grants and assistance in applying for those grants is provided. Scholarships may be available for those who are ineligible to receive the grants.  Self-pay is also an option.


Career / life planning classes

Individuals needing to earn a livable wage can take this for-credit class that helps them learn, identify and build on:

  • Personal skills
  • Personal strengths
  • Self-esteem
  • Job market trends
  • Job search skills (resume writing and interview techniques)
  • Career, training, and employment opportunities
  • Community resources
  • An action plan

Classes are small and confidential, with many opportunities for personal growth. Graduates report long-lasting increases in their self-esteem. The majority of individuals who attend are either working or enrolled in a training program within 60 days of class completion. They represent a wide variety of interests, programs and careers. Instructor permission is required for these classes.

If you think you may be interested in the classes, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I struggling because of a life transition?
  • Have I depended on another person as a source of income and now it's gone?
  • Do I know where to find resources to help me make decisions about my future?
  • Am I now willing to make a change?


Community workshops on self-esteem and effective communication

Turning Point also offers workshops on building self-esteem and effective communication skills. The workshops offer simple, practical steps to feeling good about yourself. The workshops are free and open to anyone in the community.


Annual classes  2015-2016

Career / life planning classes

Dates Classes held
Sept. 22* - Oct. 15, 2015 Monday - Thursday  8:30 a.m. - noon
Jan. 11* - Feb. 4, 2016 Monday - Thursday  8:30 a.m. - noon
April 5* - 28, 2016 Monday - Thursday  8:30 a.m. - noon
April 12* - June 9, 2016 Tuesday & Thursday  5:30 - 8:30 p.m. 

*First day of course is self-esteem workshop and runs 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.


Self-esteem community workshops (free)

Dates  Time
Monday, Sept. 22, 2015  8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 11, 2016  8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Monday, April 5, 2016  8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Tuesday, April 12 & Thursday, April 14, 2016
 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. 


Referral & support services

Turning Point staff have access to a wide variety of community resources and will actively direct anyone seeking information or help. Additionally, staff is able to help eligible individuals prepare an up-to-date resume, practice interviews, identify resources, or locate needed services. Program graduates have access to a weekly support group that meets throughout the year. One-on-one employment help may also be available.


In their own words

"If it wasn't for Turning Point I would not have had the support and guidance to find what it was that I was skilled and talented at and how to take that in a new direction in a changing economy and in a changing me. The program looks deep within an individual to help one to redirect their life to set new goals and plan for a fulfilling future." -AF

"After several major life changing events in one year, I desperately needed the collaboration and direction that this program provided!!! The instructors gave me support, information, direction, and (most importantly) options to keep me from sinking into both a financial and emotional pit.  Encouragement to go back to school led to a good job that I have held for thirteen years now." -LB

"I don't know what I would have done without the program.  It allowed me to get a foot in the door to jump-start my education.  It also allowed me to have a clear understanding of where I wanted to go and what I needed to do. I earned my AA at Whatcom and then my BA in Architecture at the University of Washington as a single working mother. I am now employed beyond my expectations and loving my career.  I have been working for one of the world's largest construction companies since graduating and just celebrated 10 years at that company.  I don't believe I could have reached my goals without that first class I took at Whatcom." -SM