June 15, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $500,000 Coming To STRIVE, NYC Non-Profit Located In Harlem, To Promote Job Training And Combat Unemployment

Goal of Program is to Instill Basic Skill Set Needed to Be Prepared For Career Advancement

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that STRIVE, a non-profit organization located in East Harlem, New York, has been awarded $478,492 to combat unemployment among at risk groups. The funding will provide comprehensive job training and career development services to the hardest to employ individuals in New York City. This includes the chronically unemployed, formerly incarcerated, at-risk young adults, recovering addicts, homeless, public assistance recipients, and the working poor. STRIVE was first introduced in New York City in 1984 and serves the most neglected, yet able, unemployed and under-served people.
 
“This funding is a real shot in the arm for the many groups of people in New York City who are struggling to find employment,” Schumer said. “It is essential, especially during these tough economic times, that all New Yorkers who are qualified can find a job that suits them. I am proud to have worked so hard to secure this important funding for New York City and I know it will go a long way in helping many New Yorkers find the job that they desire.”
 
“During these tough economic times, it’s essential that we provide resources to help the chronically under-served and unemployed achieve self-reliance,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Providing job training and career development opportunities for at-risk youth is critical to instilling the skills they will need to succeed in the real world. I will continue to work hard with Senator Schumer to ensure that New York City receives its fair share of federal dollars, and to increase economic opportunities for all New York families.”
 
“With the new Federal investment of nearly $500,000 from STRIVE’s long-time friend Senator Schumer, we will provide enhanced career development services to at-risk and disconnected folks who walk into our doors from East Harlem and many other low-income neighborhoods from throughout New York City – particularly communities of color.  STRIVE’s newly re-designed job readiness curriculum (CORE+) is now intensive preparation for further skills training courses in high-demand industry sectors, including “Green” construction / weatherization and computer technology – two areas critical to the nation’s economic recovery and highly relevant to the needs of New York City’s business community.  After 24 years of leadership in connecting the hard-to-employ to the workforce, this funding will ensure that STRIVE remains on the cutting edge as a national innovator in workforce development with the ability to adapt its programs to changing economic times,” said Rob Carmona, STRIVE President.
 
The goal of the program is to instill a basic set of skills needed to be well prepared for a hard skills training regime, GED classes, the world of work, and ongoing career advancements in living wage industries. Key partners include city-wide non-profit and community-based organizations, government agencies, and training providers to assist in accomplishing project goals.
 
New York City’s unemployment rate as of April 2009 was 7.8% while New York State’s unemployment was 7.5%. But the Bronx and Brooklyn had higher unemployment rates with 9.8% and 8.4%. African American unemployment nationwide as of May 2009 was 14.7% and 16.6% for adult African-American men.
 
Nationwide, STRIVE graduates 2,981 individuals per year with a job placement rate of 69% within one year of graduation. STRIVE clients have an average of a 9th grade reading level.  About 42% of clients are ex-offenders, 34% are on public assistance, and 57% have a high school diploma or GED. About 66% of clients are African-American, 12% are Hispanic and 13% are Caucasian.
 
STRIVE is a recognized leader in securing jobs for the chronically unemployed, supporting them in taking the critical first step towards achieving self-reliance. Their job-readiness training program combines attitudinal training with fundamental job skills, and long-term participant follow-up. Graduate job-retention rates surpass those achieved by governmental workforce programs and other agencies.
 
The STRIVE philosophy is grounded in a commitment to find meaningful jobs for the chronically under-served and unemployed. Their mission is to place the unemployed in jobs and to keep them there, to assist others in adopting our model, and to encourage effective employment policies and practices globally.