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Building a Next-Gen Workforce Model for Quality, Sustainability, and Scale

Project overview

Boston’s cost of living is the 10th highest in the country. For the 20 percent of Bostonians who live below the poverty line, skills training and placement into high-quality jobs with family-sustaining wages are crucial. Employers, in turn, need job candidates with the right mix of education, experience, and skills to fill open positions.

Boston labor market data shows that the healthcare, social assistance, and professional and technical services sectors will face the most significant workforce development challenges over the next 10 years. And demand for skilled workers will grow alongside projected growth in these sectors.

To solve for this, Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) works to empower individuals from underserved communities so they can find jobs and build paths to employment and financial resilience. By partnering with local businesses offering jobs with competitive wages, JVS helps program participants develop career pathways and professional skills that lead to high-quality employment.

How it helps

JVS offers more than 30 services for training and skills development opportunities in Boston’s sustainably growing industries. It also offers broader education opportunities like adult high school diploma programs, a Bridges to College program, financial education and coaching, and disability services. JVS clients can learn broad skills, like how to prepare for college, and more specific skills, like how to prepare for a career as a nurse’s aide.

JVS also flips traditional skills training on its head, putting the employer at the very front of the model rather than at the back. With employer partnerships throughout the Boston area, JVS is able to closely identify the skills and qualifications that are most desirable to them, and incorporate their needs and training requirements directly into the curricula. This ensures JVS gets the right candidates in the door.

JVS’s programs pay off for its clients. Within the first two years of completing a JVS program, clients increase their aggregate earnings by $2 to $3 for every dollar invested by JVS and its supporters. Within ten years of program completion, clients earn up to $15 for every dollar invested.