The Prosperity Planner is a career and financial planning tool that helps people understand how much money they need to earn to be self sufficient. By using this tool, job seekers can create a budget that covers their basic living necessities and identify resources to help lower their expenses. The Planner can also be used to explore career options to determine which ones will provide enough income to achieve financial independence and to create a career plan to get the necessary skills.
The Prosperity Planner is based on the "2011 Self-Sufficiency Standard for Oregon" developed by Dr. Diana Pearce of the University of Washington's School of Social Work. The Standard defines the income necessary to cover basic needs such as housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, taxes, and miscellaneous expenses - without private or public assistance - and is specific to 70 different family compositions and geographic location of residence.
In 2008, 6.7% of Washington County residents were living below the poverty level. However, 25.7% were living below the self-sufficiency standard.
Worksystems has committed to updating the Self-Sufficiency Standard every 3 years to ensure that our region has the information necessary to understand how much money different families need to cover their expenses and how many families aren't earning enough so that we can develop strategies to move people into living-wage jobs through skill development.
The Prosperity Planner was adapted for use by Worksystems with the permission of the Workforce Development Council of Seattle King County. The Planner is one of many products and services funded by our adult investments and available at any WorkSource Portland Metro Center.