Mayor Landrieu Celebrates Last STRIVE NOLA Graduation of His Administration
NEW ORLEANS – On April 5, Mayor Mitch Landrieu celebrated the final STRIVE New Orleans (STRIVE NOLA) graduation under his administration, since he incorporated the four-week job readiness training program into his Economic Opportunity Strategy in 2015.
The STRIVE CORE curriculum prepares and connects local job seekers, particularly African-American males, to career pathways through local anchor institutions. STRIVE NOLA Cohort 19 featured 11 graduates at the New Orleans Jazz Market. Cohort 15 alumnus Eric Gresham also returned to share the impact of STRIVE NOLA on his life.
“My STRIVE experience has been overwhelming,” said Gresham, who participated in the program after being released from prison and has since earned a Master’s in Business Administration. “Everything they say they’re going to do, they do. You only get out of it what you put into it.”
Landrieu said STRIVE NOLA has had an incredible effect on the city’s workforce. As his administration ends, New Orleans has become the first city in the country to expand the STRIVE curriculum to multiple community organizations to develop best standards for citywide workforce development.
“When we came into office in 2010, we made a commitment to the people of New Orleans that we would work our hardest to ensure that no one would be left behind,” Landrieu said. “The success of STRIVE NOLA over the years has been proof positive of our work to create pathways to prosperity and ensure that we connect our disadvantaged jobseekers to real job opportunities.”
The STRIVE employment model ensures that every client is not only ready to find a job, but also ready to keep it through five components: CORE Attitudinal and Job Readiness, Skills Training, Workforce Case Management, Job Placement, and Job Retention.
“The outcomes of the STRIVE NOLA program have been extraordinary, with over 300 graduates, a 75 percent placement rate and 71 percent job retention rate,” said Ashleigh Gardere, NOLABA Executive Vice President and COO. “Now New Orleans’ largest workforce providers are scaling the STRIVE model to increase the number of graduates annually, and we look forward to continuing this strategy for economic opportunity in our city.”
Mayor Landrieu’s Economic Opportunity Strategy is a comprehensive effort to connect disadvantaged jobseekers and businesses to new opportunities by working to ensure that every resident can take part in the city’s economic growth through partnerships with local training providers, social service agencies and community advocates.
“We believe in this partnership with the City of New Orleans, and now NOLABA, and are committed to ensuring it continues to support more individuals with gaining the training and support they need to achieve success,” said STRIVE International Vice President Greg Wise, who spoke at the Cohort 19 ceremony. “We applaud Mayor Landrieu’s vision and leadership for bringing us together in a partnership to support the New Orleans community.”
In March 2015, the program expanded to provide specific supports for adults ages 18-24 who have been involved in the justice system through STRIVE Future Leaders. Through this program, young adults get access to case management services, post-secondary education opportunities, occupational skills training, service learning projects, paid internships, education placement assistance and job readiness training.
Additionally, in December 2017, the program expanded to support residents released from incarceration within the last six months or under supervision. Through STRIVE Fresh Start, participants get access to legal services, addiction assistance, mental health treatment and any other services to support successful reintegration into society.