September 23, 2019
Jewish Vocational Service Gets $170K for Worker Training

March 8, 2019 — Jewish Vocational Service, a Boston-based social services nonprofit and one of the largest workforce development organizations in New England, recently was awarded $170,000 to help connect unemployed and underemployed people in Boston to quality jobs in growth industries.

The funding, along with and technical support, from the Citi Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the latter of which announced the grant, will enable Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) to provide services that help job seekers increase their incomes, improve their credit, and raise their living standards.

JVS is one of 40 community-based nonprofits across the country to receive funding from a $10 million, three-year national effort by the Citi Foundation and LISC to spur economic opportunity for thousands of families.

JVS will provide services that include skills training and career development, personal finance coaching, continuing education courses to strengthen math and reading skills, and resources to help job seekers secure transportation, child care, and housing arrangements, which can be impediments to career mobility.

“This funding is critical to providing opportunities for all Bostonians to gain access to high- demand jobs and career pathways that lead to financial stability,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

JVS currently offers a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) pathway that equips job seekers with the skills and knowledge they need to enroll in certificate programs at nearby community colleges. JVS will also incorporate a career advancement component to help STEM alumni grow into higher level, better paying positions.

“STEM is a field that is growing rapidly in the greater Boston area and has proved to be a very wise choice for our students,” said Jerry Rubin, JVS CEO and president. “Not only do they find internships and entry-level positions, but they also have a variety of career paths available to them. With Citi Foundation’s funding, we can help them navigate systems that may be new to them and make wise choices as they advance.”

“The life and science industry is one of the strongest growing sectors in the state,” said Karen Kelleher, executive director of LISC Boston, which is part of a national organization that addresses and funds issues relating to affordable rent, living-wage jobs, and good physical and mental health. “Equipping residents with the skills, tools and access points to enter this field is one way LISC Boston is trying to eliminate the wealth gap.”

“The demands of today’s U.S. job market are playing out in different ways for American workers and we need to support those who are being negatively impacted by the forces that are shaping the modern economy,” said Ed Skyler, chair of the Citi Foundation. “By connecting programs that provide not only education and skills building, but support services for family and housing needs, we’re helping American workers who have been or are in danger of being displaced achieve success and contribute to their communities.”

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