Center for Urban Research and Learning

Loyola University Chicago

Here you will find all of CURL's research projects and publications. 

Collaborative Evaluation of The STRIVE Career Path Project


STRIVE (Support and Training Result in Valuable Employees) Chicago Employment Service, Inc., and the Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Urban research and Learning (CURL) collaborated on a participatory evaluation of STRIVE’s Career Path Project (CPP). STRIVE is a non-profit organization with a mission to help chronically unemployed, low-income adults enter the workforce and develop stable work histories.

The experiences of some Career Path clients (called Associates) at STRIVE have already shown that the Career Path Associates successfully place themselves on a career path through participation in the project. However, others have unfortunately not made significant progress. The focus of this research project was to gain a clear understanding of the Associates’ experiences and what factors might account for the differences.

In this research, we had two goals. First, we wanted to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the Career Path Project’s service delivery system. In particular, we wanted to understand which features of the Project were most instrumental in assisting STRIVE’s Associates. Second, we wanted to investigate how factors in the external environment, including the laws, systems and funds available for workforce development, impacted the Associates’ goal of building sustainable careers.

The evaluation team used two methods to collect data. First they randomly selected 127 Associates’ case files to review. Second, they conducted in-depth phone interviews with 30 Associates who were randomly selected among the 127 Associates whose case files we had reviewed.

A paper, given by Lisa Speicher, on this study was presented at the Institute for Women Policy Research in July 2001. “A Report on the Collaborative Evaluation of the STRIVE Career Path Project” was completed in January, 2001.  A CURL working paper, entitled, “Factors Influencing a Successful Transition from Welfare to Work” is also available.


View Report


View Working Paper


Research Team  

  • M. J. Bartl, Graduate Fellow, Sociology
  • D. Rivers, STRIVE 
  • C. George, CURL
  • M. Rohrbeck, CURL Community Fellow
  • J. Weiss-Northcutt, Graduate Fellow, Sociology
  • L. Speicher, Graduate Fellow, Sociology
  • S. Redfield, STRIVE 
  • L. Von Dreele, CURL 
  • Y. Suarez-Balcazar, Psychology
  • C. Kelly, Undergraduate Student
  • K. Carolin, Undergraduate Student


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