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JVS Published: Thursday, September 27, 2018
225 Bush Street, Ste 400, CA
Job Type


Position Specification

Founded in 1973 in San Francisco, Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) is a nationally-recognized and locally focused leader in job training. Secular in its approach, yet grounded in the Jewish traditions of tzedakah (obligation to give back) and tikkun olam (obligation to repair the world), JVS’s mission is to transform lives by helping people of all faiths and backgrounds to build skills and find work. As the Bay Area’s leading job training agency, JVS helps adults and youth build skills and secure good, living-wage jobs on a career pathway. JVS is changing lives one job at a time.

Since its inception, JVS has influenced national policy and practice in workforce development through its innovative approach to program development and employer partnerships. With the exception of career coaching, JVS’s services are offered at no cost. The organization specializes in helping people who: are low income; have low basic skills, are opportunity youth; or have been out of work for more than 6 months; and would like to find a career with opportunities for advancement.

JVS is acclaimed for its particularly innovative approach to sector partnerships working with employers in healthcare, financial services, technology, and trades. The Career Pathways Programs combine employer-driven classroom training with job search skills and paid work experience. Current employer partners include Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, Bank of America, and Salesforce to name a few. JVS determined the Career Pathways strategy as the most effective way to move people out of poverty toward self-sufficiency, based on analysis of JVS’s most effective programs. JVS intends to add new industry sectors and increase pathway training within those targeted sectors with the goal of increasing fourfold the impact of the program by 2020.

JVS has excelled in anticipating and responding to changing workforce needs in the Bay Area. The organization recently expanded its geographic footprint to the East Bay leveraging employer and community partners. In partnership with BAYWORK, a consortium of 30 Bay Area water and wastewater utilities, JVS studied retirement projections and hiring needs for skilled trades’ jobs in these industries, which provide the critical infrastructure for all Bay Area residents. Over the next 3-5 years, approximately 50% of positions in these industries will turn over due to retirements, offering opportunities for low-income job seekers to train for these stable and well-paying career positions. In the coming year, JVS will be a key player in developing these training programs and candidate pipelines.

In the last year alone (2016 – 2017), JVS is proud to note that:

  • 7 out of 10 Career Pathway graduates found work
  • $29 average hourly wage for adults – a 25% increase over the last five years.
  • 2,600 Bay Area residents turned to JVS for help with their job search, including 800 youth
  • 99% client satisfaction rate for JVS workshops

JVS’s coaching, courses, and programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Pathways programs for the Healthcare Industry including programs for Medical Administrative Assistant, Nursing Refresher, and Medical Assistant Refresher positions
  • Pathway programs for Financial Services Industry including programs for bank employees
  • Pathway program for Technology industry including programs for Salesforce Administrator and Digital Marketing positions
  • Pathway programs for Veterinary Assistant and Dental Assistants
  • Job search workshops
  • Job Search Accelerator
  • Office Administration Bootcamp – with Quickbooks

JVS’s projected operating budget for FY2019 is approximately $15 million. Of this amount, 33% is composed of government grants, 23% foundation donations, 22% from corporations, 14% from individuals, and 5% from the Jewish Community Federation. JVS is currently engaged in a $37.4 million comprehensive campaign to raise funds to support its overall operating strategy. JVS is headquartered in downtown San Francisco, CA.

The Role

JVS seeks an inspirational leader with both the vision and skill to build upon outgoing CEO Abby Snay’s impressive record of organizational growth, commitment to excellence and innovation, capacity to build enduring partnerships, and success in ensuring ongoing philanthropic support for JVS’s mission. This individual will convey a genuine commitment to social and economic equity and will promote a culture of cooperation, diversity and inclusion, as well as a passionate commitment to JVS’s mission.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will lead all aspects of the organization with a specific focus on setting strategy, providing management oversight, and developing strong and effective relationships both within the organization as well as externally with donors, key partners, employers, the communities served, and thought leaders in the workforce development and job training arena.

The CEO serves as the organization’s key thought leader and will play a critically important role in evolving JVS’s strategy to best meet the needs of the Bay Area’s diverse populations, with a focus on the impact of rapid growth on affordability for low to middle income households. Continuing growth will include building the organization’s sources of funding, its partnerships and client base and, potentially considering further geographic expansion.

As the primary spokesperson for JVS, the CEO will advocate for the organization’s mission, services, and results, thereby increasing public awareness, and raising the organization’s profile and visibility among potential employers, corporate partners, government agencies, and key donors. S/he is also expected to be an active contributor to discussions influencing workforce development policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels.

The CEO will hire, manage, and motivate JVS’s skilled and dedicated staff in a collaborative and accessible manner. This individual will encourage cross-organizational and cross-functional cooperation and problem solving. The CEO will provide constant, thoughtful leadership and promote a forum for creative and innovative ideas. The successful candidate will be an inspiring, passionate, convicted and humble leader with a track record of growing and developing teams. This individual will approach the financial administration of the organization with resourcefulness, sound judgment, and a clear understanding of budgeting and operational management.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will be a dynamic leader able to demonstrate a decisive, yet collaborative, leadership style along with an entrepreneurial drive, a passion for JVS’s mission, and exemplary management skills. The successful candidate will be an effective and persuasive internal and external communicator. This individual will demonstrate a genuine commitment to social and economic equity as well as respect for diversity in all its forms.

The next leader of JVS will have demonstrated a high level of achievement in developing and implementing strategy, building the financial, operational, and ideological support for its implementation, and skillfully balancing and aligning the needs of multiple interests. In particular, s/he should have experience managing institutional transition, and will be energized by evolving JVS’s strategy for the future, as well as advancing its work locally, regionally, and nationally. This individual will be a natural and experienced team builder with energy, optimism, and drive to lead JVS into the future.

The CEO will have outstanding communications and relationship building skills and the ability to represent the organization effectively across a diversity of constituents including corporate partners, policy makers, government officials, donors, clients, and peers, and other key funders. The successful candidate will have the ability to enthusiastically and effectively represent JVS in local, regional, statewide, national, and international organizations to further the best interests of the institution. Additionally, the successful candidate will have experience building an institution’s funding base—in partnership with a Board and staff—to increase and diversify its financial base.

This individual will have a genuine and authentic professional and/or personal connectivity to the mission of JVS and if not already immersed in this field of workforce development, s/he will have the capacity to serve as a credible and inspiring advocate for the work of JVS and its partner organizations. Additionally, an alignment with the Jewish traditions of tzedakah (obligation to give back) and tikkun olam (obligation to repair the world), and/or connectivity to Jewish heritage and belief is preferred.

In terms of the performance and personal competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:

Strategic Leadership

The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker and implementer with experience moving an organization both internally and externally. S/he will be nimble and creative when setting strategy, with the ability to anticipate and best position JVS in the face of a changing economic landscape. The successful candidate will have a record of sound judgment and creative thinking. S/he will be results focused and excellent with follow-up.

Communicating, Influencing, and Building Relationships

The successful candidate will exhibit a consensus-seeking, but decisive approach to problem solving that enables him/her to effectively build support for JVS’s initiatives. This individual will persuasively communicate the JVS’s direction and strategy both internally and externally, ensuring effective communication among the JVS’s stakeholders.

The successful candidate will be able to actively promote the agency and its programs to build enthusiastic commitment and develop key partnerships in support of the mission locally, regionally, and nationally. S/he will bring a record of successfully using these networks for the good of the organization and to accomplish objectives both internally and externally, including potential strategic partnership opportunities. The ideal candidate will bring the needed self-awareness to navigate through a wellestablished culture, while also reaching goals and advancing JVS.

Resource Building

The successful candidate will have experience building an institution’s funding base—in partnership with a Board—to increase and diversify financial support from individual donors, foundations, and corporations for operations, capital needs, and the endowment. This individual will be an effective relationship builder and able to inspire support for JVS.

Organizational Management

The candidate will provide inspiration and leadership to the staff at JVS. S/he will bring experience in successfully recruiting, retaining, and motivating a professional and high-performing staff. This will include the professional and leadership development of staff on an ongoing basis. The ideal candidate will be a strong listener and a manager who can inspire confidence amongst staff. S/he will bring a record of managing an organization or department through change, while honoring the organizational culture, history, values, and people. S/he will be a visible leader with a collaborative management style while also ensuring a strong performance culture within the organization.

Interpersonal Acumen

The ideal candidate will be an engaging and enthusiastic leader with the interpersonal skills, intellect, and humility required to lead JVS. S/he will be self-confident in service to the organization and have the ability to develop positive and productive relationships at all levels. This individual will be creative, agile, and forward thinking. Most importantly, the candidate must have energy and endurance, showing passion, focus and commitment for the work of JVS.



Russell Reynolds Associates has been exclusively retained for this search and prospective candidates are invited to contact Russell Reynolds Associates directly. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Laurie Nash

Russell Reynolds Associates

101 California Street, Suite 4200 San Francisco, CA 94111-5867 Direct: +1-415-352-3311

Mobile: +1-917-854-4715

Fax: +1-415-781-7690

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