Jewish Vocational Service (JVS)

Abby Snay
United States
A non-sectarian organization that gives people the tools to find entry, mid, and executive level jobs and careers. They offer a range of free services such as networking events with local employers, employment counselling and job search workshops.
What solution does the innovation propose?

Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) was founded in 1973 to aid recent Jewish college graduates who were having trouble finding work. In the 1980s and 1990s, they expanded to meet the needs of both the huge influx of refugees from the former Soviet Union, and the workers who had been displaced during turbulent economic times. For more than 40 years, JVS has strengthened the San Francisco Bay Area community by helping people build skills, find work and transform their lives. Services range from drop-in job searches and computer workshops to more intensive training programs and paid internships.


Recognized as a California Nonprofit of the Year, an honor awarded to only one nonprofit within California’s 11th State Senate District (2016).

Impact evidence

  • In 2015, JVS supported 3,000 Bay Area residents with their job search, including 800 young people.
  • 7 out of 10 Career Pathways graduates find work.
  • They have a 99% client satisfaction rate for their workshops.
  • They have helped more than 75,000 clients develop in-demand skills, make connections and get good jobs.
  • Since 1992: Over 4,000 JVS clients trained for jobs in healthcare, including more than 150 through East Bay programs
  • Since 1993: More than 6,000 JVS youth have received paid work experience.
How does it work?

They prepare people for the world of work through training and paid work experience. Their strategy focuses on middle skill jobs, those that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a 4-year degree.
It is the Bay Area’s leading job training agency. Aligned with employer needs, their programs train people for career pathways in healthcare, financial services, technology, with more in development. Grounded in Jewish values, they improve lives by helping people to build in-demand skills, secure good, living wage jobs and find their place on a career pathway. Most of their services are free and help people plan and conduct an effective job search
- Employer-driven, technical training in healthcare, financial services and technology
- Job search skills (e.g. elevator pitch, networking, interviewing)
Work-Based Learning
- Internships to reinforce training, build connections and confidence
Job Connections
- Career pathway
- In-demand skills
- Self-sufficient wages of $40k+
Working with more than 50 employers and education partners provides work experience that reinforces classroom learning and keeps students engaged in education. Their programs move youth on a path – from career awareness and work preparation to industry specific training and living wage jobs.
Nearly half of all JVS job seekers are long-term unemployed. Without their help, only one in ten are likely to ever return to full employment.

Geographical scope

Where was initially developed
San francisco, United States.