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In 2013, STRIVE DC realized that in today’s tough DC labor market, teaching job seekers how to write resumes, interview, and dress for success were not enough to help them secure high paying jobs with career potential. According to one national study, 47% of job seekers find jobs through networking followed by the use of Internet job boards (25%) and agency/recruiters (12%) respectively. Moreover, up to 70% of jobs available in DC are not listed in newspapers, job boards or on-line. These employment opportunities exist in what economists call “the hidden labor market.” Regrettably, many DC residents are unfamiliar with the skills, or possess the resources or social capital to access this hidden labor market. Many are forced to apply for the limited number of low paying jobs that are being sought by so many.

STRIVE DC realized that we must do more to help our clients gain the skills, supports and connections to access these hidden opportunities. Without this support a major part of the work readiness equation puzzle was missing. In 2013 STRIVE DC’s Executive Team initiated a bold, new three- step approach to workforce development. While still offering its signature attitudinal job readiness curriculum, STRIVE DC now offers graduates a series of intensive services and supports aimed at helping them build social capital and strategically connect to living wage employment opportunities.

STRIVE DC’s workforce development approach has developed into three distinct phases: Workforce Preparation, Workforce Engagement and Workforce Advancement.

STRIVE DC’s workforce development approach has developed into three distinct phases: Workforce Preparation, Workforce Engagement and Workforce Advancement.