ABOUT DENISE BISSONNETTE
After completing her Masters
Degree in Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco,
Denise began to work in ESL programs. Her early literacy work with
political refugees drew her to the difficulties that they faced in trying
to establish themselves in American workplace. In response, she made a
career change and became a Job Developer – working with employers to
secure jobs for people from groups that were not traditionally part of the
Her extraordinary success as a job
developer led to requests for her to share her expertise with other
practitioners and organizations. Soon, as a partner in the firm of Milt
Wright & Associates, Denise was in demand throughout North America
- delivering seminars to Job Developers and Employment Specialists
throughout the Employment and Training field.
Denise's job search curriculum,
became a cornerstone for the placement services of many social service
agencies and educational systems. Her book Beyond
Traditional Job Development stands as the definitive text for
job development professionals throughout the continent. Denise's early
program Crossroads and the later Cultivating
the Spirit to Work respond to the “motivational” issues
encountered in clients of placement services. Her revolutionary concept of
“activity-based placement” led to the development of the comprehensive Cultivating True Livelihood curriculum.
Denise's new 30 Ways to Shine as a New Employee
is a proactive response to emerging job retention issues.
Concurrent to her work in the
arena of Human Services, Denise has worked closely with the Corporate
sector. Companies like Oracle, EDS, Hyatt Hotels and the Society for Human
Resources Management (SHRM) have drawn on her expertise to enhance their
Workforce Diversity efforts.
In recent years, Denise has also
been called upon to design training programs and manuals to enable
companies to effectively engage the talents of employees emerging from
welfare-to-work initiatives. These are primarily tools for Managers and
Supervisors to skillfully deal with the diverse backgrounds and
experiences that these individuals are bringing to the workplace. Developing
the New Employee (training curriculum) and Helping
the New Employee Succeed (supervisor handbook) are exciting
products that have emerged from this work.
Denise unapologetically frames her
work with respect for the human spirit. She unabashedly asserts the worth
of each human being - and the right that each of us has to a livelihood
that draws on our best qualities, stirs our truest passions, and brings us
In a world where the worth and
value of individual workers seems lost in the quest for corporate profits
and organizational efficiencies, Denise causes all of us to pause and to
re-examine the “human” side of the equation – and how our individual
actions can enhance or diminish the life experience of others and
Educators, parents, job
developers, career counselors, human resources professionals, managers and
supervisors… wherever “work” is a concern, Denise has a compelling and
inspiring message to offer. At whatever stage in the journey of
livelihood, her concepts, perspectives and strategies revitalize her
audiences and equip them for new adventures.
Denise is especially passionate
about her work as it applies to individuals with “employment barriers”
and for those who work on their behalf.
From people with disabilities to
migrant workers, from women re-entering the workforce to dislocated
workers, from individuals leaving public assistance to new immigrants…
Denise’s work is about the potential that lies within each of us, our
own originality and unique gifts – and how to develop livelihoods that
embrace and affirm them.
She ardently affirms an economy
and workplaces that are inclusive of all – and that proactively give
every individual their opportunity to “shine”.
Denise’s work, written and
spoken, is illustrated with practical, real-life anecdotes. It is adorned
with poetry, prose and quotations from both time-honored sages and
contemporary prophets. It is all delivered with Denise’s unbridled
enthusiasm and contagious passion.
for her innovative hands-on techniques and creative approaches, Denise
creates an open, dynamic and enjoyable learning environment. She
inspires her audiences with visions of new possibilities, motivates them
to commit to new strategies, and empowers them with practical tools for
General Comments on
"I hope you
realize the number of lives your work has changed (including
mine)!!! The "Cultivating True Livelihood"
curriculum has added the warmth and inspiration that many of
our clients so badly needed. The "Beyond
Traditional Job Development"
book is one that I make sure all new Job developers read, and
your "30 Ways To
Shine as a New Employee" has opened many of our staff's
minds to what clients may be experiencing during those first
weeks so that they are better able to support them."
"My organization, which has
10 offices in a 9 county-wide area, uses only Denise's curriculum. In August of
last year (2000) we went exclusively to using Denise's various programs, and
since then we have seen our numbers rise, dramatically. I would say about 78%
more of our customers are finding and retaining jobs than they did using other
curriculum in our trainings. Since August of last year... we have trained over 300 customers (youth, welfare to work, older workers and
WIA) using her materials. Each year I, as well as my staff, need another
"shot" of Denise's spirituality and effervescence ..she is my "Alka
North Central Texas Workforce Centers
"I loved Denise’s
comprehensive approach – including poetry, analogies, personal examples,
parables and quotes. Combined, these brought her learning points alive I could
have sat and listened to Denise for a week – More than two days would have
been great, but take what you can get!"
"Denise's training is
extremely practical, but more important... I feel my passion and purpose
"Jump up and down, do
whatever you have to do - but don't miss a Denise Bissonnette training
"I was impressed that Denise
was so passionate about her work and didn't use any props or gimmicks to make
her powerful message come through. I felt energized because I could use a
lot of what she said."