July 13, 2011

STRIVE: Support and Training Result in Valuable Employment

JDC'S STRIVE program helps chronically unemployed young adults find gainful employment – their only path to self-reliance and financial security.

At 23, Yael found herself divorced, unemployed and caring for her two small children alone. She was unable to hold down a job. Having moved back into her parents' home with her children, she was ready to give up.

Yael learned about STRIVE when she became a client of the local welfare office. She'd sat with the social worker for two hours going through every possible job opening to which the welfare office could refer her, but she did not seem to fit any opportunity. Most of all, she was afraid of failing.

That is when the social worker gave her a STRIVE Jerusalem brochure and told her that if she "survived" the program’s intensive, month-long "boot camp" the program’s staff would find her gainful work and help her develop new skills towards a career path. They would guide her the whole way.

Yael agreed to the terms and decided that she would stick out the course no matter what. She recalls it now as one of the most challenging periods of her life. But Yael completed the course and the program quickly helped her find work in customer service at Pelephone, one of Israel's largest cell phone companies.

She has been working at Pelephone for the last two years and now heads up a team in customer service. "STRIVE taught me that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to—fulltime work, children and childcare, even studying part time to finish a degree in Business Management! "

With centers in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel-Aviv, STRIVE begins by focusing on attitudinal training and "soft skills" for workplace success, as well as technical skills, such as resume writing and computer use. This is followed by a closely guided job search process. Once they have begun working, STRIVE graduates continue to receive guidance and support, as well as advanced training options that help ensure long-term employment success.

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