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STRIVE, Leading National Workforce Development Organization, Announces Significant Growth and Leadership Expansion

Marcie Klein, Inaugural Chief Marketing Officer, STRIVE

Tanya Rakpraja, STRIVE Board Member

In its 40th year, New York-based STRIVE Celebrates Nearly 90,000 Graduates and an Employment Rate of 75%

We aim to create a pathway to economic opportunity and empowerment for 2,000 people per year, with a goal to provide services to 10,000 individuals annually by 2033.”

— Phil Weinberg, STRIVE President & CEO

NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, March 15, 2024 / — STRIVE, a leading national workforce development organization, is accelerating its growth plan to open new sites and add to its leadership ranks based on significant investment from iconic global philanthropies, including MacKenzie Scott, Ballmer Group, The Justice and Mobility Fund of Blue Meridian Partners and Truist Foundation, as well as Gotham Gives in New York City and the Regions Foundation in Birmingham.

With recent, transformational funding of more than $15 million, STRIVE plans to replicate and scale nationally its proven employment training and job placement model, including expanding its New York City footprint from its flagship East Harlem location to Brooklyn, as well as Atlanta, New Orleans, Birmingham and an additional site this year.

The Brooklyn expansion of STRIVE is fueled by a generous donation by the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation’s Social Justice Fund, the foundation of philanthropists and owners of the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai. The grant will focus on building the Career Path program, STRIVE’s signature five pillar model of workforce training and preparedness, offering career readiness and occupational training, job search skills and placement assistance, with emphasis on the robust healthcare sector in the Metro New York area and priority for justice-involved Brooklyn residents.

“The Social Justice Fund is excited to partner with STRIVE to bring their workforce development programs to justice-involved Brooklyn residents. Equitable employment opportunities are essential to closing economic gaps in the borough, and we hope this partnership will provide justice-impacted individuals with guidance and access to local employers.” Gregg Bishop, Executive Director at Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation’s Social Justice Fund.

As it scales its impact nationally, STRIVE is enhancing its executive team with the addition of inaugural Chief Marketing Officer Marcie Klein, an experienced nonprofit leader with a career focus on marketing and communications for companies, brands and organizations with purpose. Klein served as EVP, Chief Communications Officer for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and, most recently as SVP, Prevention, for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, she led efforts to reject stigma and create access to screening for people with societal barriers and disproportionate health outcomes, with a focus on the Black community.

“I’m extremely gratified that STRIVE leadership and supporters recognize the critical need to invest in awareness about our organization’s truly innovative, evidence-based approach to high-quality workforce training, job placement assistance and lifelong alumni support. STRIVE is also filling an urgent need among employers for driven workers to enter rapidly growing industries such as non-clinical healthcare, logistics and construction – foundational jobs that can lead to gratifying careers,” explained Klein.

STRIVE continues to elevate its influence and leadership in the workforce and equity arena with its passionate, visionary Board of Directors, including the newest elected member, Tanya Rakpraja, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Government Relations at Annaly Capital Management. Rakpraja has more than 20 years of experience working in finance, economic development, and public policy, including as Senior Director at Capital Impact Partners, a national Community Development Financial Institution that lends in underinvested communities. Rakpraja’s nonprofit board service includes Insight Meditation Society where she was Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair and a Diversity Committee Member. Rakpraja received a BA from Brown University and an MPA from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

According to STRIVE Board Co-Chair, Roy Castro, “Audacious champions who share our vision for a more equitable economy are exactly what STRIVE needs to bring our growth plan to fruition. Tanya’s experience in the economic and policy spaces will be a tremendous asset to our board, and her energy and enthusiasm for this work will help us drive our mission forward. Annaly has been a long-time valued partner in STRIVE’s growth, which makes Tanya’s appointment more exciting. The goals we have set for the next decade are ambitious, and I am 100% confident that we will hit all our marks and more with leaders like Tanya on our team.”

Since 1984 STRIVE has helped nearly 90,000 graduates gain access to the training and support needed to build a career. Through its signature five pillar model of professional and occupational skills training with wraparound services, STRIVE helps people facing systemic barriers to quality employment get to good jobs with pathways to mobility and advancement. 92% of STRIVE students are Black, Latine and other people of color, 78% receive public services and 44% are justice-impacted.

“With the addition of Tanya, Marcie and others, we are building a world-class leadership team to realize our ambitious 10-year growth plan for STRIVE,” said Phil Weinberg, STRIVE President & CEO. “We aim to create a pathway to economic opportunity and empowerment for 2,000 people per year, with a goal to provide services to 10,000 individuals annually by 2033, including wraparound support to help create a more financially secure life for themselves and their families.”

STRIVE ( is a national workforce development leader that for nearly 40 years has successfully provided services to populations facing significant societal barriers to employment. STRIVE moves students into careers that lead to upward mobility and economic empowerment. Headquartered in East Harlem, New York and with operations in 14 locations, STRIVE has helped nearly 90,000 individuals through employment programs geared toward adults of all ages including those with involvement in the justice system.

Liz McGown
Director of Communications, STRIVE
+1 646-542-1709
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