Get To Work


Founded in East Harlem, New York, STRIVE® is a national leader in helping individuals with significant barriers to employment receive the training and support they need to obtain meaningful work and achieve economic self-sufficiency and societal re-integration. The STRIVE employment model has helped nearly 50,000 individuals across America enter the workforce since its establishment in 1984. The groundbreaking curriculum is offered by over 20 community-based organizations in the United States as well as sites overseas. The STRIVE network placed 2,200 well-trained graduates into jobs in 2011 alone.

Key to STRIVE’s success is the Attitudinal and Job Readiness training, a workshop that takes a tough love, no excuses approach to work readiness. The class delves into the root causes of a person’s inability to obtain and keep a job, helping participants develop the attitudes and workplace behaviors they need to overcome employment obstacles and transform their lives. Participants learn both about themselves and the demands of the workplace, and are supported by case management, job placement assistance, and active follow-up. The STRIVE employment model is rooted in the belief that every individual has the power to change and often simply needs the tools and support to do so.

Each STRIVE site provides job readiness training and employment services and is committed to serving at-risk individuals, including the chronically unemployed, low-income women, the formerly incarcerated, at-risk youth, recovering addicts, the homeless, public assistance recipients, and the working poor. Among these partners is Second Chance in San Diego, one of the largest and most successful STRIVE partners in the world.

Established in 1993, Second Chance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people to change their lives and strengthen their community. Through its STRIVE workforce readiness training and job placement programs, supported by comprehensive wrap-around services that include affordable housing placement, professional clothing, mental health services and financial and computer literacy, the organization gives individuals a second chance at becoming productive and contributing members of society.

Second Chance has offered trainings based on the STRIVE model for the past 14 years. With pre-employment attitudinal and job readiness training, as well as post-job placement support services, Second Chance uses the STRIVE model to lead participants to permanent employment and self-sufficiency. Since its founding, Second Chance has graduated more than 5,000 individuals who are now working and paying taxes. Five university-performed, independent studies demonstrate that each year, 70 percent of Second Chance graduates remain employed for at least two years after completing workforce training. Second Chance estimates the agency’s clients have saved the government more than $400 million in avoided costs of social services. In addition, Second Chance graduates have paid more than $100 million in state and federal income taxes from its graduates and that amount does not include other financial gains through the graduates’ participation in the economy.

Second Chance broadens its reach by providing comprehensive services to at-risk youth, adults, homeless veterans, former substance abusers and formerly incarcerated persons. Second Chance programs result in a more stable community, a reduction in government costs and a powerful response to prison realignment programs.

Through the GET TO WORK docu-series, viewers will now see the STRIVE model in action, led by Second Chance staff and conducted at their office in San Diego. With an emphasis on individual accountability, participants engage in 160 hours of intensive instruction during which they break personal barriers to self-sufficiency, obtain new job skills, develop résumés and career plans, and practice interviewing techniques. Second Chance offers the two-year program on a large scale, placing participants in good jobs at a record-setting pace.

For more information on STRIVE and Second Chance, visit:
STRIVE Second Chance