Expanding access to careers in healthcare for people facing barriers to employment.

Locations Served
Boston and Newark


Partner Since

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The economic mobility of unskilled workers in low-income communities depends on gaining access to new skills and finding high-quality, career-track jobs.

High-quality jobs offer:
• wages sufficient to cover basic living expenses, a steady income
• stable, predictable work hours
• conditions that are free from discrimination and harassment
• benefits that facilitate a healthy life – typically health insurance, paid sick leave, family leave, a retirement savings plan, disability, vacation time, and life insurance

The healthcare sector is the largest and fastest-growing employer in the U.S. economy. Even before the pandemic, which has increased the demand for workers and drawn attention to healthcare generally, 20.5 million people, or 11.6% of all workers, were in the healthcare sector at the end of 2018. The Labor Department projects that employment in healthcare will grow 15% by 2029, adding about 2.4 million new jobs, and more than 8 million more workers will be needed to replace those who will leave or retire over the next decade.

Programs Offered

JVS helps people find good, living wage jobs in industries that are hiring and offer career path jobs. In the healthcare sector, JVS prioritizes certifications for “middle-skill, middle-wage” positions with starting wages of approximately $40,000 per year or more.

In Boston, where the healthcare industry employs 20% of all workers, Focusing Philanthropy supports the following in-demand training tracks:
• Certified Nursing Assistant
• Patient Care Technician
• Certified Pharmacy Technician
• Certified Sterile Processing Technician

In Newark, a burgeoning partnership with CVS creates opportunities for job seekers looking for good jobs and serves local demand for:
• Certified Pharmacy Technicians

Historical Results

JVS was founded in multiple American cities in the 1930s to assist immigrants entering the U.S. workforce. Today, JVS’ non-sectarian Career Pathway Programs help low-income job seekers achieve self-sufficiency build skills, and find work.

JVS Boston is the oldest and largest provider of adult education in the greater Boston area and one of the largest workforce development organizations in New England. Having built a reputation for delivering strong outcomes, they serve over 15,000 people from diverse backgrounds each year in over 35 programs targeting 8 job sectors with training ranging from 4 weeks to 15 months.

JVS in Newark, founded in 1939, provides education and training targeted to low-income communities suffering from high unemployment. Their program meets participants where they are, helps them identify their strengths and abilities, offers literacy and English classes, works with participants to create and pursue an individualized career path based on their goals, and offers them the opportunity to build skills, receive coaching and feedback, and gain important, hands-on experience in both the classroom and “real world” employment settings.

Path to Credibility

• JVS is a part of the National Jewish Human Service Agencies (NJHSA) whose mission is to guide members in the areas of program delivery, innovation, research, and fundraising. Each agency has long-established roots in its community and shares that experience, along with curriculum and best practices, in working groups and at annual convenings. The network of more than 150 nonprofits in the U.S., Canada, and Israel, many with extensive experience in workforce development, helps all members build relationships, identify challenges, and implement effective solutions to improve their outcomes. This approach builds and bolsters a cohort of leaders, fosters systems thinking across sites, and helps agencies understand the value of strong data collection.

• JVS is a leader in the field of workforce development and has been instrumental in developing innovative ways to educate and prepare students for the demands of competitive, technical marketplaces all over the country. In 2018 JVS Boston and SkillWorks launched Project Catapult with support from the Boston Foundation to develop methods for moving untapped talent into the market at a faster, more direct, and sustainable rate. The result was the Catapult Papers in 2019, a series of papers on the practices that “next-gen workforce development organizations” are using to connect employers and job seekers. Catapult followed up the initial publication with Catapult Forward, which captured the 14 best practices the most-innovative workforce organizations and employers are using to find, train and help ensure that workers are being retained in rewarding careers. The model is focused on six pillars: Investing in what works; Emphasizing the role of business; Strategic coalition-building; Rewarding risk; Continuous Improvement; Financing Capacity.

• Several JVS agencies have participated in randomized control trials to confirm program impact and earnings gains. As a network and individually, JVS has been recognized as an outstanding training provider in scholarly articles, newspaper articles, news segments, and many other resources in the field of workforce development.

→ Visit the current JVS campaign page

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