Stuart Fried Spearheads JVS ConejoWorks

8-02-2012 - JVS is expanding its geographic boundaries, moving west into the Conejo Valley and Ventura County, and a familiar face to JVS jobseekers will be leading the way.

Stuart C. Fried, a career specialist with more than 30 years experience in coaching, counseling and recruiting, will be spearheading JVS’ new ConejoWorks program. Through ConejoWorks, Fried will provide one-on-one career counseling, workshops and a Job Club at strategic sites from Agoura Hills to Ventura.

Fried, who has been a frequent guest speaker at JVS WorkSource Centers in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, will be working with a range of job seekers, from recent college graduates to experienced workers who are either trying to find a new job, change careers, or start their own business.

“The needs and interests of these two target markets are very different, and my sense is that they tend not to mix,” says Fried. “I hope to have an ongoing Job Club similar to what JVS does at other facilities.”

“We want people to come and seek help,” he added. “Let’s get my phone to ring off the hook.”

In his more than 30 years of professional experience, Fried has provided career coaching and job search services to more than 5,000 clients. During his work in the Career Development Center at Countrywide Financial, he developed the corporation’s Career Transition Guide and Career Development Planning model. He has worked with clients in a wide range of fields such as financial services, entertainment, high tech, internet, healthcare, and more, and he has also worked with students at California State University, Northridge, (CSUN).

ConejoWorks is made possible through a collaboration between JVS and The Jewish Federation’s Valley Alliance.

“One of our main goals is to create a collaboration between organizations to share information and programs so we can really move the community to help reach those who are under-served,” said Itamar Harari, Campaign Associate and Strategic Initiatives Director for the Jewish Federation’s Valley Alliance. “That’s our focus in the Conejo Valley. If we can be strategic and work together, I believe we’ll be much more effective.”

“I’ve seen Stuart speak on social media,” Harari added. “He’s fantastic and he receives very positive feedback.”

Recent estimates place the unemployment rate in Ventura County at 9.2%, well above the national average of 8.3%. According to current labor market statistics, the Employment Development Department and various Jewish community agencies in the Conejo Valley, more than 50% of all recent college graduates are experiencing unemployment or under-employment.

Fried hopes to establish ConejoWorks in a set of rotating offices ideally based within Conejo Valley-based synagogues. He has been a career coach specializing in all aspects of job searching including resume preparation, networking, interviewing, and negotiation. He regularly coaches and teaches webinars on the online networking service, LinkedIn.

ConejoWorks will provide a full range of job search programs including career transition, resume review and preparation, job search strategies, networking, social media, interviewing, career change, job development and new career guidance and resources.

“Stuart facilitates the intensive coaching process that’s necessary to help get people focused and motivated,” says JVS COO Claudia Finkel. “For today’s job seeker, simply sending resumes isn’t the way to find employment.”

Fried, who earned a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, also brings a background in counseling to his career coaching work.

“A person who is out of work is not just a worker. S/he’s a person who has a lot of emotional stress, family and financial stress” says Fried. I think it helps that I can work with them as a whole person and empathize with them. I can help frame their situation, give them perspective and also just listen.”  

For more information, call (323) 761-8888 ext. 8998, or visit www.jvsla.org.