“Get To Work” Focuses on Social Worker’s Job Training Program
The new Sundance Channel reality show “Get To Work” each week follows a group of participants in the San Diego branch of STRIVE, a no-nonsense boot camp program that tries to get the unemployable back to work.
Some of the people shown in the program are recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. Some are recently released from prison. Yet others have lost jobs over and over again because they have problems with authority.
They either abide by STRIVE’s tough rules and learn the skills they need or get escorted out the door.
“For us we love that grit and that honesty,” said Marco Bresaz, vice president of programming and development at the Sundance Channel and an executive producer of “Get To Work. “We love that the program works and has such a track record of working.”
However, what many viewers may not know is that “Get To Work” has solid ties to social work. Social worker Robert Carmona, MSSW, co-founded STRIVE. The program started in the basement community center of the James Weldon Johnson Housing Project in East Harlem.
STRIVE has now grown into an international franchise with sites in 20 U.S. cities, three sites in Israel, and single sites in England, Ireland and Scotland.
“The program has grown and done well,” Bresaz said. “Each market is a little different in how they approach things.”
Sundance Channel is trying to offer non-fiction programs that are distinct and meaningful, Bresaz said. A member of the company had heard about the STRIVE program and Sundance decided it would make a great new series.
The program premiered on Aug. 13 and eight episodes have been filmed. “Get To Work” will be shown at 10:30 p.m. until September 3 when it moves to a 10 p.m. time slot.
One thing Bresaz says he likes about “Get To Work” that it is up to participants to work with the programs to develop skills to make themselves more employable in today’s harsh economic times. He said the show also puts a spotlight on a part of the American population that gets lost in monthly unemployment data.
“We think it really humanizes what the problem is and what the challenges are,” he said. “But it also offers hope.”
Social workers such as Robert Carmona at STRIVE help people face life’s challenges, including job losses, illness, and building better relationships. To learn more about the services social workers provide visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” website by clicking here.
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