Who We Are
Our mission: JVS transforms lives by helping people build skills and find work to achieve self-sufficiency.
With 40+ years of experience, JVS (Jewish Vocational Service) knows how to help people find good, living wage jobs. Our programs focus on industries that are hiring and can offer career path jobs, such as healthcare, financial services, technology and trades. We’ve developed Career Pathway programs in partnership with Bay Area employers to connect people to in-demand skills, paid work experience and robust job search skills.
Since 1973, JVS has helped more than 85,000 people in the Bay Area to build skills, find jobs and transform their lives.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to serve more job seekers than ever before.
- 70% of JVS clients are Black, indigenous, or people of color
- $50K yearly wage for adults
- Over 2,600 Bay Area residents turned to JVS for help with their job search, including 932 youth
The impact of returning to work is tremendous for the individuals who come to JVS, their families and our entire community. View our first fully-digital impact report to see the stories of transformation.
Our Donors and Partners
JVS strategically combines resources from foundations, government, corporations, individuals and other community-based organizations to create successful programs for JVS job seekers.
– Learn about the Strictly Business Awards Luncheon, JVS’s premier fundraiser and community event, which offers sponsor recognition
JVS is led by a team of dedicated, collaborative and innovative professionals. Get to know our senior staff members and Board of Directors. Learn more.
News and Press
Read about recent press coverage and official releases from JVS. Learn more.
Careers at JVS
Our work is innovative, intellectually stimulating and mission-driven. We invest in the professional development of our staff and value an inclusive and diverse workplace. JVS also offers generous benefits, including 4 weeks of paid time off, retirement plan matching, full medical insurance and more. See open positions.
A Brief History of JVS
- Jewish Vocational Service was founded in 1973 by the Jewish Community to help Bay Area residents find jobs. Since then, JVS has been responsive to changes in the local economy and the needs of the Bay Area community.
- JVS’s first major shift in programming came in 1977. In response to an influx of immigrants from the Soviet Union, JVS worked with these individuals to help them build skills and learn how to navigate the Bay Area employment landscape.
- In the 1980s JVS responded to the recession by developing new programs that focused on groups of people most negatively impacted by the recession. This included services especially for people over the age of 50.
- In 1992 JVS began its early sector-based work with skills training and job search assistance focused on the healthcare sector. This early sector-focused work laid the groundwork for future Career Pathways programs such as the EXCEL, a training partnership with UCSF for medical administrative assistants (launched in 2010) and the Salesforce Administrator training program (launched in 2015).
- Recognizing the significant need for job readiness programs for local youth, in 1996 JVS expanded its youth high school program throughout the San Francisco Unified School District. In the years since its inception this program has reached over 6,000 San Francisco youth with job readiness and post-graduation transition services.
- In 2009 the Great Recession hit America and the Bay Area, leading to skyrocketing unemployment rates. JVS increased programming to help people build the job-specific skills and job search skills necessary to get back to work. We are proud of the pivotal role that we played in helping Bay Area residents get back to work and strengthening the local community.
- In 2015, Post-Great Recession and with a strong local economy, JVS nimbly adapted to focus on helping the people who have been left behind by the Bay Area’s prosperous growth. With higher minimum qualifications for jobs, many people who are looking for work lack the necessary in-demand skills. To address this challenge, JVS launched an ambitious expansion of its sector-focused Career Pathway programs in health care, financial services, technology and construction trades.