THE FOUNDING YEARS
Federated Jewish Employment Bureau is born as a desk in the offices of Jewish Family Service to help people out of work due to the Depression, refugees fleeing Nazi Europe and to fight workplace discrimination.
Establishes Handcraft Industries to help refugees learn specific job skills and understand the American workplace.
Agency adopts the name Jewish Vocational Service, which is still in use.
THE DEVELOPING YEARS
Development of Handcraft Industries sheltered workshop program for the aging—years before the nation began to pay attention to the rights and needs of older Americans.
Women join the board of JVS, following nationwide trends. Creation of the Aides to the Elderly Program with Jewish Family Service, which is still part of their services to the aging.
Institution of JVS Jewish Community Scholarship Fund, which has awarded more than $2.5 million to thousands of needy and deserving Jewish students. Start of Project GELT, a job placement program for Jewish youth seeking summer or part- time employment. Project GELT later becomes SAGE for Students, which still exists today. Added resettlement services as the first wave of Soviet Jewish immigrants begin arriving. Provides ESL classes, acculturation and job training and placement.
THE EXPANSION YEARS
Expansion of job placement services into the San Fernando Valley.
Morris Grumer retires after 31 years and Ethel Taft becomes Executive Director.
New JVS Assessment Center opens (formerly the Handcraft Assessment and Testing Center).
Development of Career Transitions program for L.A. area employers.
Governor’s Older Worker Task Force recognizes JVS for “Second Wind” program, which helps mature workers upgrade their skills, build confidence and find new career opportunities. JVS still has programs for workers 40+ today.
Joins with Marriott International to offer hospitality industry job training programs. JVS is now in demand as one of the leading authorities on the welfare-to-work phenomenon.
Vivian Seigel becomes head of the agency, which at this point in time helps more than 5,000 clients annually, with a budget of just over one million dollars.
Election of Adrienne Horwitch, the first female Board president.
JVS’ Strictly Business Luncheon is born, a networking and outreach event for the business community that also honors employers and JVS clients. The event has grown to over 700 attendees, and honored such business luminaries as Stanley Black, Alfred E. Mann, Richard Ziman, Bruce Karatz, and Richard Kovacevich.
Computer training school, [email protected] opens and receives accreditation from the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education.
Launch of innovative WoMentoring program, which provides job guidance and professional mentors to women in transition.
THE NEW MILLENIUM
JVS opens Career Center at Beit T’Shuvah, helping recovering addicts and the homeless.
Agency receives $350,000 allocation from Governor Davis’ Discretionary Fund to launch Career Ladders for Youth to assist at-risk students in LA area high schools, continuation schools and foster and group homes.
Opening of JVS’ West Hollywood WorkSource Center, described by Speaker of the House Herb Wesson as “an antidote to economic dependency and youth gang activity.” Part of the county and nationwide network of WorkSource or One Stop centers.
Start of Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA) Training Program in partnership with Jewish Home for the Aging. Provides on-the-job training with salary and guaranteed employment upon certification to long-term welfare recipients.
Acquisition of Career Planning Center (CPC), a sister non-profit organization that offers career-counseling services from multiple locations on the westside and Antelope Valley. In addition to bringing the Marina del Rey WorkSource Center into the JVS family, the CPC acquisition increases JVS offices to 15 throughout Southern California and expands its ability to help more than 24,000 people each year..
New business enterprise Community Care @ Home, an offshoot of JVS’ CNA Training program, is launched. Places licensed caregivers in homes of elderly, long-term and short-term care patients, and new mothers.
JVS expands scholarship program to offer internships, mentoring and family assistance for Jewish students in need with New Linkages, SAGE and the Scholarship Family Career Assistance Program.
Receives largest grant in agency history to help welfare to work clients of the city’s GAIN/GROW program. Also is a historic first partnership with for-profit giant MAXIMUS. Expands JVS locations to 18.
Launches several innovative training programs, including BankWorks™, a collaboration with local banks to train people as tellers, as well as C-STEP, Customer Service Training and Employment with the Department of Labor.
JVS' Disability and Assessment Services Department became home to the Dashew Assessment Center, thanks to inventor and philanthropist Stanley Dashew. The Center is the only one in Southern California that can provide fully accessible Vocational Evaluations to people who are blind or visually impaired.
Forges ahead into the digital world with the inception of ParnossahWorksLA.org™, a free online job site that connects job-seekers with employers to place the right person in the right job. Each posting is reviewed by JVS' Certified Career Counselors.
JVS goes green with GreenWorks, a free program providing training in green building techniques such as solar panel installation, materials recycling, LEED certification inspections and more.
Founding of the WoMentoring Leadership Network by Debbie Powell, Eileen Coskey Fracchia and Judy Rosenberg to help support and raise funds for participants in JVS' WoMentoring program. Group consists of female business leaders, entrepreneurs, past mentors and influential women in the community.
Through the Jewish Family Relief Network, funded by the Jewish Community Foundation, JVS was able to place over 400 first-time Jewish clients on the path to employment.
JVS was awarded funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which allowed the agency to help people on welfare find jobs by placing them first in subsidized internships and then in regular employment. Many of those who came in were African-American or Latino women who were the sole supporters of their families. Over 600 jobs resulted from this program.
Awarded $750,000 grant to help returning veterans transition back to the workforce. Offers intensive case and career management, training opportunities and partnerships with other non-profits to acclimate veterans to civilian life and improve their work skills.
The West LA FamilySource Center opens, operated by Community Care at Home. The Center helps low-income families access the resources they need by bringing together a network of community and non-profit agencies, including Boys and Girls Club of Venice, Mar Vista Family Center, JVS, Latino Resource Organization, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, St. Joseph Center, Venice Family Clinic and the Westside Center for Independent Living.
JVS expands into San Gabriel Valley with opening of Glendale office.