New York, NY—November 2, 2019: STRIVE, the New York City-based nonprofit and leading workforce development solution for helping individuals overcome the biggest obstacles to employment, hosted graduation ceremonies for students in STRIVE’s signature Career Path Program. More than 50 graduates proudly accepted their Certificates of Completion of one of two tracks offered for career opportunities in Health & Office Operations and Construction & Building Maintenance.
Along with valedictorians Ikea Brooks and Tiara Joseph, each representing one of the two tracks, STRIVE partner EmblemHealth hosted the graduation event at its lower Manhattan location where families, friends, supporters, and colleagues joined the graduates and EmblemHealth President & CEO Karen Ignagni who delivered a special message to the graduates of perseverance and ‘always being present’.
“We are incredibly proud of our graduates, and each cohort gives us much more to celebrate,” said STRIVE President & CEO Phil Weinberg. “This group of students is much like the ones before them, lending support and encouragement to each other as they complete the program, celebrating victories, and moving onto jobs for which they have trained. We are grateful to supporters like EmblemHealth, who continue to make it possible for students to move confidently and successfully into the workforce.”
STRIVE’s unique model provides individuals with the job-readiness skills, positive and engaging attitudes, and connections needed to begin life-changing careers that allow them to have productive, successful, and responsible lives. With over a 70 percent graduation and 70 percent job placement rate respectively, STRIVE leverages partnerships with local employers to provide a ready workforce and a steady pipeline of graduates.
"EmblemHealth is proud to partner with STRIVE in helping to mentor and create career opportunities for their talented and dedicated students,” said EmblemHealth President and CEO Karen Ignagni. "We enjoyed celebrating the achievements of the Health & Office Operations and Construction & Building Maintenance students and look forward to continuing our partnership in the years ahead.”
Graduates from these two cohorts are part of STRIVE’s signature four-week job readiness Career Path Program, which is supplemented with 6-8 weeks of hard skills training in one of the two career pathways—Health & Office Operations or Construction & Maintenance. Through its various programs, STRIVE reaches nearly 1,500 New Yorkers each year, and an additional 1,000 people through its nationwide network of affiliate partners.
Students earn industry-recognized credentials and are offered internship opportunities with employer-partners so that they can begin their careers with tangible, on-the-resume job experience. During training, students receive transportation support to get to and from work and class and participate in externship assignments with a STRIVE employer-partner. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and must have a GED or high school diploma.
“I was honored to speak for my class,” said Health & Office Operations valedictorian Ikea Brooks. “What we came to STRIVE for, we got a whole lot more. I came here to get simple certifications. I got those too, but I didn’t expect to learn more about myself. Now I’m thinking about stepping stones, I’m thinking a whole lot bigger about a career in the healthcare field, which I love.”
Ikea is currently finishing her work-based learning assignment with Mount Sinai Health Systems, where she is gaining real-world experience in a workplace setting, applying the skills she learned at STRIVE.
On the Health & Office track, students receive certifications in Patient Care, Microsoft Office, NCCT Medical Office Assistant, Blood-Borne Pathogens, and CPR, and work in positions as patient coordinators, receptionists, unit clerks, or patient transporters. Similarly, STRIVE’s Construction & Maintenance track prepares participants for careers in construction and maintenance, providing them with an OSHA30 certification and credentials in Construction, Scaffolding, and Flagging.
Since its founding in 1984, STRIVE has served more than 75,000 individuals. On November 5, STRIVE will host its 35th Anniversary Gala in New York City at the Edison Ballroom, 223 West 46th Street honoring former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Goldman Sachs Managing Director Dina Powell McCormick; they will receive the STRIVE Leadership and Champion Awards, respectively. Cocktail hour begins at 6 PM. For more information about the Gala, click here.
STRIVE (www.strive.org) is a national leading workforce development solution for people who face the biggest obstacles for employment. Their proven model propels students into careers that lead to upward mobility and define the promise of the American Dream. Headquartered in East Harlem, New York, and since its founding in 1984, STRIVE has helped more than 75,000 graduates prepare for career success through employment programs geared toward those left behind in the economy, including adults, young adults, and those with a history in the justice system.