Employment boot camp for a brighter future
Whether it’s a diet or a job, changing your life isn’t easy. Often the easiest way to make a change is to dive in head first — to fully devote yourself to the task at hand and refuse to look back. That’s the attitude clients take when they enroll in JDC-TEVET’s STRIVE, a holistic, comprehensive boot camp to help chronically unemployed Israelis join the workforce. STRIVE doesn’t provide occasional guidance or support groups; rather, it’s a long term, intensive program that helps clients truly make the change.
STRIVE clients across Israel aren’t working for any number of reasons — they grew up in communities in which employment is stigmatised; they came from poor families without employed role models; or they simply hit hard times and ended up on the streets. But whatever the reason, the jolt offered by STRIVE’s boot camp is overwhelmingly successful in helping these people jump into a new life.
Once clients are screened and enrolled in STRIVE, they enter a one month boot camp training, including soft skills training, personal empowerment counseling, computer, English and finance courses, guidance in writing cover letters and resumes, job interview role-playing, occupational screening and more. Clients arrive at STRIVE like they would for a day on the job — on time and dressed appropriately. Both STRIVE staff and clients treat the program like a work place, and everyone shows up ready for hard work.
The STRIVE model was created in the United States, and JDC-TEVET’s adaptation of the program in Israel in 2006 was seamless. With clients coming from all different backgrounds, with a wide variety of paths that led to unemployment, STRIVE provides a unifying push to change their lives. But preparing to find a job is only half of the STRIVE process — STRIVE staff members also offer extensive help in networking and finding job opportunities for clients, then follow up throughout clients’ transition to employment.
With over 80% of STRIVE clients employed upon graduating the program, Israel’s government took interest. The Ministry of Welfare integrated the program into the Municipal Employment Services, and the Israeli National Employment Services (IES) developed a unique STRIVE track for single mothers in the government services. Now in the capable hands of the Israeli government and JDC-TEVET partners, STRIVE will continue to change lives and empower Israelis for years to come.