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The Art of Creating Opportunity

May 7 & 8, 2015
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Hacienda Hotel, San Diego, CA

This event is SOLD OUT!


These two action-packed days, will combine two of Denise’s most popular seminars on employment/job development -  Denise’s Top Twelve Employment Tools and Fifteen Essentials for the Ultimate Employment Toolkit. Drawing largely on materials from her comprehensive Cultivating True Livelihood curriculum,  attendees are guaranteed to walk away with an arsenal of new, tools, and inspiration to enhance their effectiveness in working with their clients.

Day 1:
Top Twelve Employment Tools

“We have each been given a song and it is the desire of our hearts to sing it. Embedded in our very nature is our gift, already enfolded, the oak with the acorn. Finding our place in the forest is the noble challenge, but it is there. Everyone belongs!”
~ Denise Bissonnette

image of musical instruments

In this fast-paced, highly interactive one-day seminar, Denise will share what she considers to be the “top twelve tools” selected from her extensive job search curriculum entitled Cultivating True Livelihood.  Believing that “you can’t teach what is not in your own bones first”, Denise delivers this session in the style of a “train the trainer”, modeling for participants how to present and use this powerful set of tools with their own job seekers.

Denise has purposely chosen a cross-section of activities which can be used individually or in groups, with people who are new to or experienced in the job market, and for individuals with a wide variety of employment barriers.  These tools have been lauded by employment professionals throughout North America for having proven their success in addressing the presiding issues of motivation, self-esteem, vocational assessment, job placement and job retention. At the end of this compelling training experience, people leave not only equipped with a new way of thinking, working, and effectively engaging the individuals they serve, but also  personally recharged, renewed, and re-inspired in their work!  

For more details on content, please go to Denise's Top 12 Seminar page.

Day 2:
Fifteen Essentials for the Ultimate Employment Toolkit

“We are heirs to the results of our own actions and the intentions we bring to each moment. What we habitually think and feel and the way that we act directs the course of our lives. In these three domains, we hold the power to shape and reshape our destinies and, ultimately, design ourselves.”
~ Denise Bissonnette

image of a stepping stone bridge across a creekThis is the exciting sequel to Denise’s popular Top Twelve Employment Tools!  Drawn from her celebrated curriculum, Cultivating True Livelihood, Denise has chosen another set of tools which has proven to be fun, easy to use, and extremely effective for use in a variety of vocational contexts, with myriad target populations. The tools selected for this training are particularly potent for those working with individuals with employment barriers who need guidance in identifying their values, motives and preferences regarding the world of work, as well as coaching in overcoming roadblocks and taking the initiative to work towards their vocational dreams. Delivered in the same “train the trainer” style as The Top Twelve, this powerful seminar further equips the employment professional with an arsenal of fresh tools with which to achieve employment results.

For more details on content, please go to the 15 Essentials Seminar page.

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Thank you to all who've registered. If you haven't already done so, please send your your check payable to SDSU Research Foundation.
Attention: Meredith Ross
Interwork Institute

6367 Alvarado Court #350
San Diego, CA 92120

Please reference the name of the event on the memo line of your check.


Denise Bissonnette is an internationally renowned writer, trainer and keynote speaker. For two decades, she has inspired people and organizations throughout North America to look beyond traditional concepts of career development and to craft livelihoods rooted in the individual "genius" of each person. Denise has authored several publications on creative job development, state of the art job search techniques, the cultivation of the human spirit, and how to "shine" on the job. Her work is a rich tapestry of her talents as a poet, writer, storyteller, teacher and career developer.

For more information on Denise's work, please visit her website.


Each participant will receive two handouts which, combined, contain approximately 115 pages of tools and activities. Primarily excerpts from Denise’s celebrated curriculum “Cultivating True Livelihood”, participants have permission to copy and use these materials with the individuals they serve.


hand drawn image of wizard on a chestThe Art of Creating Opportunity seminar is designed for all those who work directly with job seekers or students, assisting them to prepare for and enter the world of work - including job developers, job search instructors, job club leaders, employment specialists, vocational instructors, career coaches, employment counselors, and vocational rehabilitations counselors.

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"Your presentation combined hands-on practice, inspiration, enthusiastically-presented real-life examples, and easily-applied activities. As evidenced in the very positive evaluation comments, your upbeat and well-paced workshop encouraged many participants to walk away not only with new tools, but also, and perhaps more importantly, with renewed vigor for career development."

"Denise, you wove together one heck of a training with your stories, poetry, ministry, and expertise. Thank you. I am grateful for having met you, learned from you, and having been inspired by your passion in this field. Summarizing the training with coworkers this morning, I have been stating that it gave me a new perspective on this service that we do and I am encouraged to think outside the box. You gave us a whole bunch of tools and options on how to do it with “Integrity, pride and purpose.” And may I add – with professional and personal passion."

"This is the best training I have attended in my 12 years of community employment."

"Thank you for your incredible symposium. Even with a few days to process it, I can barely articulate the wealth of knowledge I now have because of the symposium. This workshop is one of the few presentations that provides the audience with concrete tools for every aspect of job development. I recommend it to anyone working in or considering any aspect of the employment or hiring field."

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photo of the Hacienda Hotel

Hacienda Hotel - Old Town San Diego
4041 Harney Street
San Diego, CA 92110

NOTE: Special rates have been arranged with the hotel for participants who require lodging.


Free parking is available across the street from the hotel. Should the free space fill up, paid parking is available at the hotel.


The beautiful Hacienda Hotel is the site of the training seminar.

A block of rooms has been reserved for attendees at the special rate of $130.00/night. This rate includes single/double occupancy and includes vouchers for breakfast, dinner, and two drinks daily. Rate does not include applicable taxes. Parking is $15.00 per car per night. Check-in is at 3:00pm. Check out is at 12:00pm.
Reservations can be made by calling the Hotel directly at (619) 298-4707 or at (800) 888-1991. Attendees should ask for the “SDSU rate”.

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Both Days: Coffee and Tea will be available during mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. During lunch breaks, attendees can choose from a wide variety of nearby restaurants in Old Town.


Attendees with any special needs are urged to contact us as soon as possible to give us time to respond to requests


CRC (Certified Rehabilitation Counselor) Continuing Education Credits will be available to eligible participants.


For additional information, please contact Dr. Charles Degeneffe at:  cdegenef@mail.sdsu.edu.

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