Poverty Reduction Workshops

Poverty is a common denominator for many sectors in society.  Its impact is felt by a wide range of entities, including schools, healthcare providers, social services, food services, faith communities, police and other first responders, courts, correctional facilities, workforce development, employers and government.

The Bridges model operates on the law of attraction: If you like this approach, then take ownership of the ideas and apply them where you live and work.  Your innovations can impact the lives of people in poverty, improve the outcomes of your organization, and help build a broad community initiative. 

The Workshops can be tailored to specific timeframes ranging from 1 hour to 6 hours.  The sessions contain case studies, simple exercises, testimonials and real solutions.  The series of Workshops will change the way you view poverty forever and provide you with tools and strategies to implement within your organization and community.


Poverty Reduction as an Economic Development Strategy
It’s no secret that companies want to do business in thriving communities, and that individuals are seeking quality of life in the communities in which they reside.  Resourced communities tend to have a larger pool of educated workers with higher disposable incomes and a large variety of quality-of-life assets.  While under resourced communities struggle to provide the workforce for their current industry base, let alone the industry base they are trying to grow and attract.  And attracting professionals to a less than vibrant community creates challenges. 

When poverty reaches a point of critical mass in a community and efforts to reverse the problem don’t succeed, the people with the most resources tend to move out of the community, leaving behind enclaves of poverty. 

So, for communities concerned about their poverty rates, how do you reach your development goals? As you think about each of the goals of development:  create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve quality of life, if your community does not have the resources to reduce poverty it makes development that much more challenging.

 Poverty Reduction as an Economic Development Strategy looks deeper into this and more, including:

  • The role of Community & Economic Development in Poverty Reduction
  • Understanding the Causes of Poverty
  • Where Community Development and Poverty Intersect
  • How a Community Can Create Upward Mobility for all

Audience: Key Community & Economic Development Professionals including, but not limited to: Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Organizations; Business Associations, Labor Leaders, Workforce Development Organizations, Public-Private Partnerships, Community Nonprofits, Local/State/Federal Government, Educational Institutions, Businesses, Entrepreneurs, Developers, Philanthropic Organizations, Utilities/Special Authorities, Neighborhood Groups

Bridges Out of Poverty Workshop: Individual Lens
This Workshop provides an overview of the complexities of poverty to improve outcomes at the individual level. This Workshop assists community organizations, social service agencies, employers, and individuals in gaining insight and strategies to ultimately create stability for all.

Participants of this workshop will:

  • Examine the resources by which you create stability
  • Discover the causes of poverty
  • Create and analyze mental models of economic environments
  • Discover the hidden rules of economic classes
  • Analyze language and story structures
  • Discuss stability within family and support systems and the importance of building social capital
  • Learn new tools and strategies for improving relationships and outcomes

Audiences: This session is suitable for all community sectors and levels of engagement from board, staff and volunteers and contains case studies, simple exercises, testimonials and real solutions.  It will help you and your organization discover why “middle class” solutions to poverty do not produce the results we are looking for and what works! 

Bridges Out of Poverty Workshop: Institutional Lens
This workshop builds strategies to break down poverty’s barriers and embed new constructs at the organizational level to improve organizational outcomes. 

Participants in this workshop will:

  • Examine their organizational customer life cycle
  • Discover their organizational theory of change
  • Analyze the overall benefits of using a motivational approach
  • Review programs, services, policies, and procedures using the Bridges institutional lens
  • Learn how to retrofit their organizations with the Bridges Institutional lens moving forward

This training assists community organizations, boards, funders, leaders, and front-line staff in gaining insight and strategies to create stability and improve outcomes for all.

Audiences: This session is specific to community organizations, agencies, nonprofits, and churches who offer direct counseling and services to individuals in poverty.

Workplace Stability: Understanding the Complexities of Your Economically Diverse Workforce 

There is no question that increased worker stability boosts productivity, retention, and morale, which leads to greater profitability—but it may yet be a challenge you need to address. Why would an employer want to increase the personal and professional stability of workers? And how exactly can businesses go about it? Many of your low-wage, entry level employees live in daily instability which can lead to absenteeism, health problems, and violations of workplace expectations, all of which decreases morale, attention to work, and job performance. 

In this one-hour workshop you’ll learn to:
 - Recognize the range of factors that create instability for employees
 - See how instability, employee performance and profitability are related
 - Understand how economic class makes employees who they are
 - Identify techniques and tactics for increasing workplace stability
 - How the Getting Ahead in the Workplace curriculum helps employees in daily instability 

Audiences: This Workshop is specific to employers, business owners, HR professionals, managers and supervisors.

About the Trainer
Mary Cacioppi has earned the Bridges Out of Poverty Trainer Certification.  Mary’s certification included in-depth work on the Bridges Out of Poverty and Applying Bridges Concepts strategies and constructs. Additional certifications that Mary has achieved include Certified Facilitator of the Getting Ahead, Getting Ahead in the Workplace and R Rules curriculums. 

Additionally, Mary is a National Consultant with the aha! Process. In this role she provides organizations and communities with customized consulting to help design strategies to meet community improvement goals around reducing poverty. You can view her Consultant Profile here

"The Board and Staff of Family Counseling Services learned so much by participating in the training sessions.  Understanding the Complexities of Poverty provided us with a new perspective and understanding how to implement the Bridges Out of Poverty strategies in our own work has caused us to think differently about the way we interact with our clients in poverty."   

“Definitely will implement what I learned today in my case management work!”

“I really enjoyed the backward planning method; I plan on sharing this with my clients. Very good workshop!”

“Being more aware of the hidden rules of poverty and how to bridge the gap into middle class will help me to better understand my clients.  I will use the information I learned in the workshop to better support my clients so they will be more receptive to help.”

Book Your Training
Book your Workshop today, by contacting Mary Cacioppi by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by phone at 815-985-1311.