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Workshops meant to encourage growth

July 20, 2012
Jenn Brookens - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - Six workshops ranging from stress management, to assertive communication, to personality styles and interests will be held beginning Wednesday at the public library in Fairmont.

The Personal Growth workshop, part of the Life-Work Planning Center partnership with the Minnesota Work Force Center, targets "women in transition," from job loss to leaving a relationship.

"It targets a multitude of things," said Jill Hahn, a peer counselor with the Life Work planning center in Mankato. "It can be a job loss for displaced workers or someone re-entering the work force, or if it's someone leaving a relationship, or someone that just wants some change and some personal growth. But it all intermingles."

The Life Work planning center has been in existence for about 30 years, originally beginning as a "displaced homemaker program." Since then, the program has covered the south-central Minnesota area.

"We travel to the areas instead of making them come to a centralized location like Mankato, because we know how difficult it can be to get to for some women," Hahn said. "We make a point to reach all of our communities in our nine-county region."

The first workshop in the series focuses on self-esteem.

"We know when you're looking for work, it's easy to run out of steam," Hahn said. "If you're not feeling strong, it's tough to show up for one more interview, fill out one more application."

Hahn said those who conduct the workshops try to meet every attendee on the level they are at in their lives.

"We have to focus it to fit with what's going on for them overall," Hahn said. "Because it all comes down to personal growth ... We meet people where they are at, because these sort of things are not commonly talked about and there is a need for it."

Some of the group work involves psychological and educational issues, skills and self-management, and more specific issues as needed.

"Really, what we focus on is meeting the individual as it is needed," Hahn said. "But our goal is to help get people to work ultimately."

Each workshop lasts about two hours. Other subjects are: stress management, assertive communication, boundaries, personality styles and interests, and decision-making skills.

Those interested in signing up for the series are encouraged to call (800) 369-5116, or register online at

"There is a nominal sliding cost, but it can be free to those who qualify," Hahn said. "We realize a lot of people don't have a lot of cash flow for our services. But this is a lot of opportunity at a very little cost."



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