January 8, 2013

Contact: Lulu Todorov 215.825.8202 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

USDOL-Funded Initiative to Provide Training, Education and Employment to Formerly Incarcerated Youth in High-Poverty, High-Crime Communities

PHILADELPHIA – Metropolitan Career Center (MCC), a nonprofit workforce development organization that educates and trains individuals who have limited access to resources, has been awarded a two-year, $717,000 grant by STRIVE to provide training and employment services to formerly incarcerated juveniles and young adults. The grant will enable MCC to serve 120 youth in Philadelphia through a new U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL)–funded initiative called STRIVE for the Future. “We are very excited be a part of this much-needed initiative to help lead our youth to more meaningful, successful and fulfilling lives,” says MCC Executive Director Amy Miller.

Through STRIVE for the Future, MCC and six other STRIVE affiliates will serve 400 formerly incarcerated youth nationwide. These youth are ages 14 and older from high-poverty, high-crime communities who have been involved with the juvenile justice system in the past 12 months and never have been involved in the adult criminal justice system. MCC will provide career development, training, education and support services, as well as community service projects, mentoring and engagement in violence reduction efforts. The services are supported by a USDOL grant administered by New-York-based STRIVE International, a workforce development organization which subgranted the funds to MCC and the other affiliates through a highly selective application process.

“These young people deserve a chance to turn their lives around,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in the department’s news release. “The federal grants announced today will help vulnerable youth receive the training and support they need to gain valuable job skills and improve their long-term employment prospects.”

MCC has a long history of working with young adults like 32-year-old Rafael Travaras, who was referred to MCC’s STRIVE Plus program as part of his probation. Immediately after successful completion of the program, he was hired at a local grocery store. Says Travaras, “I credit MCC’s STRIVE program for helping me fulfill my career goal and helping me to provide for my six-year-old daughter.” Currently Travaras volunteers as a peer mentor to other MCC STRIVE students. It is his goal to become the produce manager after the position opens up in 2013.

MCC is a member of the STRIVE affiliate network, a national network of nonprofit workforce development organizations that run the innovative STRIVE employment model. STRIVE began in East Harlem in 1984 and to date has helped nearly 50,000 at-risk Americans develop the skills and behaviors they need to find and keep work.



Metropolitan Career Center (MCC) was launched in 1974 as a nonprofit workforce development organization established by the clergy and members of the First United Methodist Church of Germantown to help neighborhood youth and adults gain greater access to resources that could lead to better careers and higher education. Today, MCC and its nonprofit career school, Computer Technology Institute (CTI), educate and train individuals who have limited access to resources, connect them to employers and help meet the changing needs of the workforce. MCC and CTI encourage sustainable careers and economic independence by building a supportive learning environment in which students receive personalized attention. To further that mission, CTI, an approved and accredited training through the Department of Education and one of the few nonprofit secondary career schools in Pennsylvania, offers an associate degree in computer technology and a diploma in health information technology. With a job placement rate of over 90%, CTI’s graduates join the workforce in numbers that are well above the existing standard among higher and vocational post-secondary education institutes. For more information on MCC, visit

About PHMC

Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit