"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was
more painful than the risk it took to blossom."   Anais Nin  

Turning Point

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, and
  • 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.  Scholarships are available for those who are ineligible to receive the grants.


Career / Life Planning Classes

Individuals needing to earn a livable wage can take this for-credit class that helps them identify:

  • Personal skills
  • Personal strengths
  • Job market trends
  • Job search skills (resume writing and interview techniques)
  • Career, training, and employment opportunities
  • Community resources, and
  • 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.

To learn about what people who attended the class told reporters from the Bellingham Herald::

Displaced homemaker program helps women start anew, Bellingham Herald, 9/9/07

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

  • Are you struggling because of a life transition?
  • Have you depended on another person for your source of income and now it's gone?
  • Are you wondering where to find resources to help you make decisions about your future?

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.

Referral and Support Services

Turning Point staff has 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.

 2014-15 Annual Classes

Career / Life Planning Classes  

September 15* - October 8   Monday -- Thursday  8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Completed 12/8/2014

                              January 12* - February 5, 2015  Monday --Thursday   8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

                              April 6* - April 29, 2015            Monday -- Thursday             8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

                     April 14 - June 1, 2015             Tuesdays and Thursdays 5:30 p.m.  -  8:30 p.m

Self-Esteem Community Workshops (free)

                                September 15 (completed)     January 12, 2015     April 6     April 14 and 16  

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

Contact us

Contact Turning Point at (360) 383-3135, email Robin Bailey, rbailey@whatcom.ctc.edu for more information, or simply drop by Laidlaw Center, Room 134F, and ask about Turning Point.