June 22, 2018
JVS Announces $6M Campaign to Help Close Opportunity Gap

March 6, 2015 — Jewish Vocational Service, a Boston-based social services organization, yesterday announced that it is embarking on a $6 million capital campaign to fund a downtown facility that aims to help low-skill, low-wage earners, as well as the unemployed and the underemployed, connect with leading employers.

Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) said the so-called quiet phase of the campaign began last spring and has raised $3.2 million to date for the Center for Economic Opportunity, with major gifts coming from the Smith Family Foundation and the Jacobs Foundation. In addition, all JVS board members are supporting the campaign, a spokesperson said.

JVS President and CEO Jerry Rubin, said, “We are inspired by the generous support of our many donors and friends who join us in creating an inspirational space that will help close the opportunity gap in Massachusetts.”

The opportunity gap refers to the need for workers to fill jobs requiring specific skills.

According to JVS, “While we have some of the most robust job growth in the nation, unemployment in some Boston area neighborhoods is stuck in the double digits, and tens of thousands lack the skills to access good jobs. The need is profound and growing.”

JVS noted that 70% of all jobs will require post-secondary education by 2020. With one in three adults in Greater Boston having a high school education or less, two-thirds of business leaders today report difficulty finding employees with the right skills.

The fundraising campaign, slated to conclude in Fall 2016, will fund the rehabilitation of the third floor at 75-101 Federal St., which will replace outdated, crowded space at 29 Winter St.

The new 45,000-square-foot facility will feature:
  • A welcome center
  • Integrated adult learning and career advancement services
  • Job seeker services in partnership with key Boston area employers
  • Classrooms to serve a range of needs, including basic English classes and classrooms where our students can earn college credit
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Industry-sponsored technical training facilities
  • Wrap-around support services, including financial literacy, transportation, housing and childcare access
When the center is fully operational, a staff expected to exceed 100 will enable JVS to serve an additional 5,000 clients annually. JVS currently provides education, skills training, and/or employment to nearly 20,000 people during the year.

JVS said it will be measuring outcomes in terms of placements in quality jobs, completed degrees and certificates, pathways to citizenship, reduced debt, and a narrowing of the wealth gap in Greater Boston.

Carl Whittaker, director of the Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation, noted, “JVS combines excellent program outcomes, with a scale and geographical reach that is unmatched, and their team has demonstrated an ability to adapt to the rapid changes we’re all facing.”

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