STRIVE helps underserved job-seekers overcome employment barriers

This nonprofit is changing the lives of young workers through comprehensive career-development courses focusing on soft skills.

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STRIVE New York construction graduates celebrate their entry into the workforce. Image via STRIVE International Twitter.
STRIVE New York construction graduates celebrate their entry into the workforce. Image via STRIVE International Twitter.

Solving the skills gap problem involves finding local solutions. New York nonprofit STRIVE has been doing just that since the 1980s and is now in more than 20 cities across the country. STRIVE focuses on underserved communities, working with local employers to find out the skills they need in their open jobs.

Image – Strive New York

The nonprofit sets up a very specific training program to arm job-seekers with those skills, creating a strong talent pipeline that helps the workers, businesses and the community thrive.

STRIVE’s Career Pathway program begins with a four-week job CORE readiness workshop including classes in interpersonal skills, problem-solving, workplace ethics, resume writing and career planning. After that, participants move on the skills training phase, which results in industry-recognized credentials in growth industries such as healthcare, construction and food service. The final phase is working with the local businesses to help get the job-seeker hired.

Some have taken the training that STRIVE is providing and turned around their lives. One graduate who had spent nearly ten years in prison used what he learned in the STRIVE Fresh Start program to open his own business.

The nonprofit’s newest program, Future Leaders, is aimed at people 24 years old and under with arrest records and living in high-poverty, high-crime neighborhoods. Having an arrest record makes it more difficult to find work. STRIVE teaches its CORE workshop and, as in the other programs, trains and places participants in local jobs.

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STRIVE’s goal is to build strong communities by helping residents obtain meaningful work. It believes that a job brings dignity, hope and a brighter future. STRIVE’s services are free to the jobseekers and more than 70,000 people have graduated from the program nationwide. Watch the following video to learn more about how STRIVE works with employers to source qualified job applicants.

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