Sundance Channel will GET TO WORK

“Everything revolves around attitude. That’s one of the number one reasons why people can’t get jobs.”

-Chase Campbell, Employment Training Specialist

New series GET TO WORK premieres Monday, August 13 at 10:30P E/P

An uncompromising, unfiltered look at the world of joblessness in America through a transformational boot camp

Sundance Channel will premiere the new original non-fiction series GET TO WORK on Monday, August 13, at 10:30PM ET/PT. An unfiltered, uncompromising look at the work of Second Chance in San Diego and the STRIVE program, a workforce training model dedicated to getting America back to work. The hour-long program takes viewers inside the hardcore back-to-work boot camp that serves the chronically unemployed — jobless, directionless and frequently hopeless – people who are just clinging on for survival. In the wake of the economic downturn when unemployment remains high, GET TO WORK offers a fresh approach to real, lasting change. By giving people the tools to take control of their lives, this program transforms them in dramatic and surprising ways. The eight-episode series was filmed at Second Chance in San Diego, a nonprofit and one of the largest and most successful STRIVE partners in the world.

In each episode of GET TO WORK, a new class of students goes through the four week program. Some are there by court mandate to avoid going back to prison and others are there by choice to get their lives back on track. From drug and alcohol addictions to issues with authority and long criminal records, each student thinks they’ve come to the end of the road, but then they are offered a new beginning with the support of instructors who not only train them, but empower them to reinvent themselves. Many of the instructors are graduates of the STRIVE program who understand the challenges the students are facing because they have been in their shoes. The instructors take a tough love approach and break each student down to build them back up with new skills and new dreams. However, with bad habits and bad attitudes to contend with, not every student makes it to graduation.

Since its founding in 1984, STRIVE has graduated nearly 50,000 individuals from its core training programs run by organizations across the country, with over 3,000 graduates and over 2,200 graduates placed into jobs in 2011.

“We are pleased to announce the premiere of GET TO WORK” said Sarah Barnett, Sundance Channel General Manager. “During this time of high unemployment and economic distress, it is refreshing to find programs like Second Chance and STRIVE that give hope to people looking for a better future. We are thrilled to share these stories of transformation and inspirations with our viewers.”

“STRIVE is excited to be working with Sundance Channel on this project,” said Philip Weinberg, Chief Executive Officer of STRIVE International. “We are fortunate to have the opportunity to share what we do with the world and hopefully inspire viewers who have been impacted by the current economy or an unfortunate circumstance to turn their lives around.”

Robert Coleman, Executive Director of Second Chance, added, “We are happy that Sundance Channel is shining a light on the work of our organization and the inspiring stories of transformation that our students undergo each session.”

Meet the GET TO WORK Team:

Rob Smith, lead job trainer, “The Enforcer”

Rob is the lead trainer who instructs each class at Second Chance and enforces the rules. When students show up late or are dressed inappropriately, they have to answer to Rob. With over a decade of experience, Rob has served in many capacities throughout the STRIVE Network as a trainer, outreach/intake coordinator and job developer and is committed to the students’ success.

Chase Campbell, employment training specialist, “The Drug Tester”

Chase assists Rob with leading each class and is responsible for drug testing each student. Growing up in San Diego, California, Chase started smoking crystal meth at 13 and was incarcerated more than 25 times as a teen before he graduated from STRIVE at Second Chance. No one better understands the struggles with addiction that many of the students face, but he also knows first-hand that it is possible for them to change if they make it a priority.

Veronica Lopez, employment training specialist, “The Counselor”

Veronica evaluates the students following their mock interviews and talks with them about how they are feeling afterwards. Also a STRIVE graduate, she connects with the students and shares her personal story of triumph over drugs, homelessness, and crime. She understands that confidence plays a huge role in finding employment and she works to build up the students.

Sophia Barber, job developer, “The Recruiter”

Sophia conducts the mock interviews each session. She works with the students and explains the importance of eye contact, a strong handshake and a positive attitude. She has worked in employment services for more than four years, starting her career as a recruiter for a prominent temporary employment agency before coming to work for Second Chance. Her knowledge of the inner workings of industries and the ability to match clients with prospective employers help to strengthen Second Chance’s role as a leader in workforce development in San Diego.

Marco Bresaz will serve as “Get to Work” Executive Producer for Sundance Channel. Matt Sharp and Jeff Grogan will serve as Executive Producers for Sharp Entertainment.