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Cool in Your (zip) Code-STRIVE
STRIVE (Support and Training Result In Valuable Employees)
On the southwest corner of 123rd Street and Second Avenue in East Harlem sits the Cultural Building of Taino Towers. Hope and possibility fill this building. The Harlem Day Charter School occupies the first and fourth floors. The cheerful sounds of children at play on the playground filled the air midday, when I first visited. But I was headed to the third floor to visit STRIVE: a training center for adults who want to find and hold meaningful, productive jobs. STRIVE stands for Support and Training Result In Valuable Employees, but the name also reflects the ambition of the organization for itself and for its clients.
Since it started in 1984, STRIVE has spread up and down the east coast, west to California and points in between, as well as overseas (London, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Israel). They must be doing something right.
Here’s the secret: their clients not only learn job skills, but the attitude and outlook to make them attractive to employers. “For many participants, STRIVE presents their first chance to learn about the skills and behavior expected, and required, in the workplace environment.“ This may not be easy for ex-cons who learned attitude on the unforgiving streets, but for clients who want to turn their lives around, STRIVE makes it possible. Their clients are expected to dress in business attire every day. STRIVE makes it possible for those who cannot afford it. Need carfare to get to class? STRIVE makes it possible. Don’t have your GED? STRIVE makes that possible too. Training offered in April 2009 included:
- Green Construction Training- a 12 week program for men and women ages 18-35
- Computer Technician Program- A+ Certification for women ages 18-35
- Office Operations- for women only ages 18-40
- 3 Track Technology Training-for women only on public assistance
- GED/Office Operations-for women only ages 18-30 and TANF (or public assistance eligible)
Job Readiness Training and Related Services (enrollment ends Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 3 pm)
I think I have failed to mention that this program is FREE! And graduates can use the computer lab FREE! Job placement assistance is FREE for life.
Walk-ins are welcome Monday-Friday from 9-3.
What else is in this building you ask? (I did say hope and possibility before.)