JVS In the News

New English Learning Program also Aims at Career Advancement
Eagle-Tribune (July 2017)
When Gianni Ovalle de Rosario came to Lawrence from the Dominican Republic, she couldn't speak English well. It made her hard to get a job, even though she was trained as an accountant and had experience in that field.

Learning English in Lynn
The Daily Item (August 2017)
When Andie Salvador Bonilla arrived here from the Dominican Republic five years ago, she couldn’t speak a word of English. The language barrier made it tough for the 25-year-old Lynn resident to find a job. After seven months of searching, she finally found work in a restaurant where the staff spoke Spanish. While the low-wage job provided an income, there was no opportunity to advance or learn English.

Pay for Success’ Proves a Boon to Social Services
The Boston Globe (June 2017)
A group of investors has made a big bet — not on a company, but on a local nonprofit, Jewish Vocational Service. With an infusion of $12.4 million from the investors, the organization will offer vocational English-language lessons to about 2,000 immigrants and refugees in Greater Boston. If they’re successful — that is, if the students learn, and are then able to move on to higher salaries over the next three years — the investors will get the money they invested back from the state, plus a profit of up to $2.6 million.

These HR Leaders Are Going 'All In' to Bridge the Skills Gap
HR Magazine (June 2017)
Four hours a week, 18 warehouse workers step away from their jobs inspecting and packing seafood to study English. The classes are free and onsite—the result of a partnership that the Boston wholesaler has with the nonprofit Jewish Vocational Service.

Threads of a New Life
The Boston Globe (May 2017)
Abdulkader Hayani was 29 years old, a refugee from Syria. He had escaped the war that had ground his country to dust, lost the career he’d spent a decade building, and somehow, despite the odds against it, steered himself, his wife and their four children to safety in the United States.

MIT study: Immigrants Vital to Boston’s Economy
The Boston Globe (May 2017)
Greater Boston’s economy relies on immigrants much more heavily than the country as a whole. And with the city’s unemployment rate at less than 4 percent and foreign-born workers providing nearly all the growth in the labor market in recent years, a continued stream of immigrant workers is essential for the local economy to thrive, according to a report out Thursday by MIT researchers.

Immigration Climate Seen As Threat to Region's Economy
State House News Service (April 2017)
Immigrants are the underpinning of entire sectors of the region's economy and have been the driving force behind Boston's population and workforce growth since 1980. But now policy proposals from the White House threaten to upend entire sectors of the region's economy, city officials and immigrant advocates said Wednesday.

A Tight Labor Market is a Terrible Thing to Waste
The Boston Globe (March 2017)
The question of who gets to share in our city’s prosperity is the pressing question of our time. While Boston is enjoying a remarkable resurgence from the Great Recession, it is clear that this prosperity has not been widely shared. By one estimate, we have the highest rate of income inequality in America.

Still seeking work, in spite of low jobless levels in Mass.
The Boston Globe (February 2017)
The Massachusetts economy is red hot, with the unemployment rate at its lowest in 16 years. Employers fret that they can’t find enough workers, and help-wanted signs are posted on store windows across the state. But in the training kitchen at Utec Inc. in Lowell, that booming economy, marked by a 2.8 percent jobless rate in December, is a world away.

Programs to Support Job Training Success: Innovations to Address Unmet Needs
Institute for Women’s Policy Research (January 2017)
JVS was featured in a new study published by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, which focused on programs employing innovative techniques to meet key unmet supportive service needs among job training participants.

For More Firms, Teaching English is in Business Plan
The Boston Globe (January 2017)
Faced with a labor shortage in the robust Massachusetts economy — the state’s unemployment rate of 2.9 percent is the country’s second-lowest, along with North Dakota — employers are increasingly relying on immigrant workers, and a growing number of businesses are devoting resources to on-the-job English language instruction.

Once an Immigrant, Now She Helps Others
The Boston Globe (December 2016)
When refugees and immigrants meet Saska Icitovic, they have no idea her background is a lot like their own. Her flawless English betrays no trace of an accent. But as one who was born in the midst of the Croatian-Serbian war, fled to a refugee camp with her family, and experienced how her parents struggled when they came to America, Icitovic connects with clients in a visceral way.

As New England Ages, Immigrants Make Up Growing Share of Health Workers
WBUR (December 2016)
New England is an old region, and not just by historical standards. The population here is aging faster than almost any other place in the country. Fewer people are having children, and many of the states struggle to keep younger generations living and working here. 

At The Boston Home, An Unlikely Friendship Develops
The Boston Globe (November 2016)
Sometimes, when the paths of two lives unexpectedly intersect, magic happens. This is one of those times. Beth Crowley grew up in Jamaica Plain, the oldest of six kids, and was educated in Catholic schools right up until she collected her history degree from Merrimack College in 1969.

View Point: With talent tight, career centers shift model

Boston Business Journal (October 2016)

Ronald Walker II, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and JVS CEO Jerry Rubin describe how the new low-unemployment environment has affected the Commonwealth’s network of One-Stop Career Centers.

Jewish Vocational Service celebrates Bridges to College Graduation
Sampan News (June 2016)
JVS hosted a graduation ceremony for its Bridges to College program graduates on June 16 in the Great Hall of Flags at the State House. This year, 61 students from the general studies, biotechnology and academic success programs finished their studies and most of them will attend college and continue their education this coming fall. State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to keep chasing their dreams.

Boston career changers can find plenty of helping hands
The Boston Globe (April 2016)
Career change happens more than ever these days: Malden's Paul Benford-Bruce, nearing retirement age, decided to try a new profession instead. Russian emigre Olga Mulugeta found opportunities in health services. Josue Jerez wanted to re-imagine his computer repair business as a service to his Lawrence community. They all got a fresh start thanks to private and public efforts that fund job training in Massachusetts. JVS helped Mulugeta's husband bring her and their then-4-year-old son to Boston, and helped Olga learn English.

JVS program offers pathways to jobs, college, solid careers
Boston Herald (April 2016)
It wasn't until she discovered the nonprofit Jewish Vocational Service, or JVS, in Boston that she found hope and help. Neamah enrolled in the group's high school diploma course and its Bridges to College program, a tuition-free initiative to help adults - mostly immigrants and the poor - learn the skills needed to enter community college, and then further their education or find a job. Now in its seventh year, JVS's Bridges program is set to expand thanks to a three-year grant that will total more than a half-million dollars.

Career Service Focuses on Healthcare Field
Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (March 2016)
The event was just one of a host of programs organized by the Healthcare Initiative at JVS, a long-time recipient of Office of Workforce Development (OWD) funding. The initiative, which recently concluded its first year, is a coordinated effort to connect job-seekers with positions in the healthcare industry - Boston's largest and second-fastest growing labor sector.

Building a bridge to better jobs for Bostonians
LISC Boston (February 2016)
Through a partnership with LISC, the Social Innovation Fund (SIF)—part of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service—has awarded $1.2 million to the new Bridges to Career Opportunities programs at Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) and the Roxbury Center for Financial Empowerment (CFE). JVS will receive $225,000 per year for 3 years to strengthen its highly-successful Biotechnology and Compliance Pathway in partnership with Quincy College, while expanding a current focus area in Information Technology into a separate STEM pathway program in Computer Networking.

Job Training Works, Pays, and Save
Root Cause, Economic Impact Study (January 2016)
This study documents and synthesizes a comprehensive set of outcomes related to job training and assistance over a one-year period. At a high level, the results indicate that Job Training Alliance (JTA) programs (including JVS’s CNA and Pharmacy Technician Training) raise the average hourly wage of participants employed at intake by 65% and contribute to generating an estimated $10.8M in wage dollars annually (pre-tax) paid to employed JTA graduates.

Governor unveils $5M for job training programs
The Boston Globe (January 2016)
Governor Baker announced $5M in job training initiatives for people who face chronically high levels of unemployment. Jerry Rubin noted that job training is "about opportunity, and it’s opportunity both for individuals and for employers.”

College prep program grads optimistic about careers
State House News Service (December 2015)
Berkane, an alumna of the Jewish Vocational Services Bridges to College program, shared her story during a graduation ceremony at the State House that honored 60 students who completed the 23-week college preparation program aimed at working adults. […] Addressing graduates during the ceremony, House Speaker Robert DeLeo said community colleges play a crucial role in higher education and should be better integrated into the system. "We back up that belief with funding, and we continue to see results," he said.

Kresge Foundation Awards $500,000 to JVS
Press Release (November 2015)
The Kresge Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) to support growth, quality, and service integration over the next two years.  This grant recognizes the effectiveness and innovation of JVS, a nationally recognized leader in workforce development and adult education.

Job training system in Mass. falls short, study says
The Boston Globe (November 2015)
For workers who obtain the right skills, opportunities should be plentiful, according to the report.
Morgan Curtis, of Canton, who is in her 20s, took a few college courses before she quit her fulltime waitress job three years ago to have a baby. Earlier this year, she enrolled in a program at Jewish Vocational Service, a nonprofit employment services agency in Boston, taking refresher courses in high school science and math to gain a spot in a Quincy College certificate program for biotechnology lab technicians.

Businesses Honored for Supporting ESOL in the Workplace
English Works Press Release (November 2015)
English for New Bostonians (ENB) and its English Works Campaign held the "Raising Our Voices: Recognizing ESOL Leadership in Business and the Community" breakfast to honor seven businesses and labor/management partnerships that have joined with government and nonprofit agencies to offer their immigrant workers the chance to learn English at work. Boloco, and training partner JVS, were awardees.

ViewPoint: Taking steps to address Boston’s opportunity gap
Boston Business Journal (August 2015)
The JVS Center for Economic opportunity reflects an innovative partnership between business, nonprofits, and philanthropy to provide a continuum of education, training and career ladders that allow workers to engage in life-long learning and attain good jobs that can support their families.

New resource center helps city youths make career connections
The Boston Globe (July 2015)
Unemployed youths now have a new resource to help them succeed: the Connection Center, located inside the Ruggles MBTA station and designed to guide young people toward career independence. Participating college, vocational, and career readiness programs include College Bound Dorchester, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, the Asian American Civic Association, and pharmacy technician training in the Jewish Vocational Service.

Push to diversify startups paying off
The Boston Globe (June 2015)
One of the entrepreneurs in the boot camp was Magbè Savané [JVS MassREAP graduate], whose company MAKOMAS makes juices based on traditional recipes from her native Côte d’Ivoire. “There are great business people who are willing to spend their time teaching entrepreneurs, but I don’t have access to those people,” said Savané, whose products are sold in a number of area Whole Foods Markets. “Now, I know those people, and they’re helping me grow. That’s the beauty of MassChallenge.”

Governor Baker Signs Executive Order to Target Chronic Unemployment
Mass.gov (March 2015)
Governor Charlie Baker signed an Executive Order to establish a task force on Economic Opportunity for Populations Facing Chronically High Rates of Unemployment. The task force, chaired by Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Ron Walker will lay out a strategic plan to address chronic unemployment among specific target populations. Members include: Jerry Rubin, President and CEO, Jewish Vocational Services.

Pilot course teaches leadership for a patient-centered model
The Boston Herald (March 2015)
A pilot program to put certified nursing assistants in leadership positions is helping to move Hebrew SeniorLife’s nursing home culture away from an institutional feel to a model where residents get more choice and freedom in their day-to-day activities. With the support of a $300,000 grant from the Boston Foundation, Hebrew SeniorLife and its educational partner JVS have been training CNAs to become what they call senior resident assistants, leading teams to help transform the medical model — with its strict schedules — into patient-centered care.
Speak Up
Jewish Philanthropy (February 2015)
In a supportive and inclusive workplace, we can all be successful together, and everyone deserves a chance to be a part of such an environment. It is even more important for those who have a disability to be given the chance to advocate for themselves at work. In my own career working with adults who have disabilities, I have often found that finding one’s own voice and engaging in self-advocacy is empowering and can change the way a person experiences all aspects of his or her life.

Creative new funding mechanisms have been the focus of nonprofits
The Boston Globe (January 2015)
Jewish Vocational Service and other nonprofits have undertaken studies of social return on investment that measure and monetize specific client outcomes and create a ratio of those dollar outcomes over expenses. More recently, nonprofit organizations, including ours, have begun using creative new funding mechanisms, such as social impact bonds, which not only measure outcomes, but link public and private funding to those outcomes and the savings they create for state government.

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