Strive (East Harlem Employment Services)

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Strive-east-harlem-employment-services
Headquarters Location: New York, NY
Founded: 1985


Mission: STRIVE’s mission is to transform the lives of at-risk populations by providing support and training that lead to livable wage employment and societal re-integration.


Tags: national, workforce development, advocacy, consulting, research, policy, business partnership, employment training, job placement, professional development, social services, 2010


Strive-east-harlem-employment-services
Story: Read about the story of Rowena D, who turned her life around with Strive: When Rowena D. first came to STRIVE, she was 18. She had just arrived in the U.S. from her native Philippines. There were several strikes against… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
STRIVE is praised for provided integrated support for at risk youth culminating in solid job placement even in a challenging economic environment.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Strive-east-harlem-employment-services Robert Carmona. Robert Carmona is a Co-Founder of the East Harlem Employment Service/STRIVE, the original name of what is now known as STRIVE International. The company was founded in a basement community center of the James Weldon Johnson Housing Project, an East Harlem based NYCHA development, as a small community based organization. Under his stewardship, the organization grew into an international franchise… See full bio.


Transparency Information
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This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 1stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$2,801,784


From the Nonprofit
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Contact Info
E-Mail:
giving AT striveinternational.org
Phone:
212-360-1100
Address:
240 E 123rd St
 
New York, NY 10035, USA


Strive-east-harlem-employment-services Story: Read about the story of Rowena D, who turned her life around with Strive: When Rowena D. first came to STRIVE, she was 18. She had just arrived in the U.S. from her native Philippines. There were several strikes against her. She spoke poor English, she couldn’t afford to go to school, and she didn’t know how to get a job. “STRIVE’s headquarters were located in the basement of a housing project, just like the one I lived in,” Rowena recalls. “I didn’t know what to expect. I was scared. I didn’t have the money to buy the attire STRIVE required, so I borrowed clothes from my mother which were way too big.” She was sure she wouldn’t be accepted into the program. So when Frank Horton, STRIVE’s then Director of Training, informed her that she had been accepted, Rowena could not believe her ears. Mr. Horton then gave her two subway tokens — one to go home and the other to come back for the start of the training. “That was the beginning of my journey,” Rowena reminisces. “Those three weeks of ‘tough love’ at STRIVE have played a significant role in my life.” She has stayed in touch with STRIVE ever since. Her job developer at STRIVE, Larry Jackson, helped her get her first job at Stanley Computer Systems. There she was exposed to many different job functions. Using the skills and attitudes she learned at STRIVE, Rowena soon saw herself honored as the Employee of the Year. It was while working at the computer firm that Rowena discovered her interest in bookkeeping and accountancy. Larry Jackson encouraged Rowena to keep setting her goals high. As soon as she could, she decided to get her college degree. She worked during the day and went to school at night. Eventually, she graduated with a degree in Public Accounting from Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Since then, her career has continued to progress steadily. She rose to become Chief Accountant at Shanghai Tang and eventually Fund Controller at Financo Mercantile Capital Partners Fund. Over the years, Rowena has tried to repay STRIVE for its role in setting her on the right path at a crucial juncture in her life. Among other things, she keeps Larry Jackson, her mentor at STRIVE, regularly informed about job openings at her company, and she has proudly hired other STRIVE graduates. By all accounts, Rowena’s life has turned around beyond recognition. Not only has her professional life continued to blossom, she is now married and the mother of a little boy named Gilbert. In addition, Rowena and her husband have invested in some real estate properties. “But it all started with STRIVE,” says Rowena. “STRIVE gave me the biggest gift of all — courage and determination. The lessons STRIVE taught me have become a permanent part of my life.” (Read more success stories at: http://strivenational.org/strivesite/?page_id=925)

Expert Reviews of Strive (East Harlem Employment Services)

Evidence of Impact Summary:

STRIVE is praised for provided integrated support for at risk youth culminating in solid job placement even in a challenging economic environment.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Nearly every respondent listed STRIVE's leadership as a strength. Other list program design and operations as other assets.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

STRIVE's areas for improvement largely dealt with program design elements: integrating programs, expanding reach, maintaining consistency, and improvement through evaluation.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Impact

F
They have an ability to place participants in good jobs, even during this most recent recession, as well as a strong track record of retention working with a difficult population in terms of low-skills, former offenders, etc.
F
STRIVE's mission is to transform the lives of at-risk populations by providing support and training that lead to livable wage employment and societal re-integration. STRIVE affiliates graduate almost 3,000 people annually. They are working with a challenging population, including ex-offenders, and still maintain a job placement rate of approximately 70%. STRIVE has more than 20 affiliates in the US, UK, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Israel.
F
This is the premier job readiness training program with high levels of employer engagement.
N
STRIVE is a multi-state organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in modifying behavior and in training hard to serve youth.
N
With national headquarters in New York City, and affiliate organizations in many other cities, STRIVE's mission is to transform the lives of at-risk populations by providing support and training that lead to livable wage employment and societal re-integration. This year it celebrates its 25th year of success in serving thousands of disadvantaged individuals each year.
N
STRIVE has developed a unique approach to dealing with individuals who would be deemed the hardest to serve in our society and have shown the world that if an organization commits to helping to rebuild a person's character then it commits to helping them succeed in the workplace and in life.
N
They have helped at-risk populations by developing an integrated support and training program that has been replicated and has led to livable wage employment and societal re-integration across the country.
O
They have strong program outcomes for disconnected youths. They target training programs based on labor market trends.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Leadership

F
They have a strong charismatic leader with a clearly distinctive model that characterizes their work.
F
They have a good leadership and board; they have adapted this model to different places and populations.
N
Rob Carmona, STRIVE's CEO, is a respected leader who has been able to advance STRIVE to national levels of making an impact with rehabilitating youth into productive workers and citizens.
N
Rob Carmona is the founder and current driving force of STRIVE He managed to transform his own life from that of a heron addict to international workforce development leader and advisor to government officials. The network of STRIVE Affiliate organizations consists of strong not-for-profits throughout the US, England, Ireland and Israel. The level of programmatic sharing and brainstorming between affiliate organizations results in ongoing program and process improvements throughout the entire network.

Leadership & Funding

F
Rob Carmona is an effective leader of the organization because he has the same history as many of the participants. He gives the organization credibility and works tirelessly for it. STRIVE recently secured a large federal grant to focus on Green Job Training.

Staff & Program Design

N
STRIVE is an organization that has crafted its own unique approach to providing employment services, which I believe is centered around helping the person change internally--thinking and behavior. It has developed its own organizational staff development training (or program recipe) to make sure all of its staff in all of its offices across the country are fully aware of and commits to fulfilling the organization's mission and attain its goals utilizing the STRIVE model for all of its programs. It also believes in its leadership representing the population it serves, meaning people with criminal histories can and do run program offices.

Leadership & Operations

N
Their leadership, communications, and partnerships with employers are strengths.
O
They have strong leadership and operations.

Program Design

N
They have an effective education and training model.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Expand Programming

F
STRIVE's traditional focus has been on employment placement -- almost to a fault because it has been a bit myopic. They need to incorporate the use of work supports and other soft skills like credit counseling and financial education (budgeting) into their model to better equip those people going to work with skills to be successful in terms of staying employed and managing their money.

Evaluation

F
STRIVE would benefit from a national evaluation.

Consistency

F
They need to ensure quality across sites, add innovations for career advancement, and figure out model for current economy.

Collaboration

N
In recent years, STRIVE has reduced the frequency of affiliate gatherings and formal conferences, due to funding constraints. This comes at some cost to the organization, due to the fact that one of the key strengths of STRIVE flows from the interchange between affiliate organizations. Opportunities for such interchange should be increased.
N
I do believe that STRIVE somewhat works in isolation of other organizations in the field and hasn't been good about taking part in larger dialogues about the population it serves. It also seems a little cynical about the intent of other organizations that serve the criminal justice population.

Impact

N
They are strong advocates for their own programs, though I'm unsure about their impact on overall public policy that would be inclusive of all youth in the country.

Integration

O
They could improve the integration of services/support services for those in the program among various state agencies/private not-for-profits.


Leadership

Strive-east-harlem-employment-services
Robert Carmona
Co-Founder
Robert Carmona is a Co-Founder of the East Harlem Employment Service/STRIVE, the original name of what is now known as STRIVE International. The company was founded in a basement community center of the James Weldon Johnson Housing Project, an East Harlem based NYCHA development, as a small community based organization. Under his stewardship, the organization grew into an international franchise with sites in 18 U.S. cities, single sites in England, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as 3 sites in the State of Israel. Prior to his tenure at STRIVE, Rob held a number of senior positions in the NYC not-for-profit community. Rob was the Assistant Director of Agency Relations at the Greater New York Fund/United Way, Senior Planner for the NYC Volunteer Corps, Director of Marketing for the Wildcat Service Corporation, and a Youth Counselor at Kings County Hospital. He is a founding Board member of The Workforce Alliance, and also sits on the Board of the following agencies: Self-Help Community Services, Inc., Episcopal Social Services, Inc,. Black Agency Executives, Inc., The National Puerto Rican Coalition, National Student Partnerships, Inc,. and Per Scholas, Inc. Rob received his MSSW in 1982 from the Columbia University School of Social Work, and his Bachelor of Arts from the College of New Rochelle in 1979. Rob resides in Teaneck, New Jersey with his wife of thirty one years, Christina, has two daughters, Elissa Malaica, and Danielle Christina, and a granddaughter, Rone Greaves.

From the Nonprofit

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