On the jobYoure hired! &mdash 30 years of the right stuff at JVS

It began in 1974 as a response to widespread unemployment in the Jewish community. Today, Jewish Vocational Service is one of the Bay Area’s leading employment agencies, providing Jews and non-Jews alike with the skills necessary for success in the workplace.

JVS really took off in the late ’70s, when more than 40,000 Soviet Jews began resettling in the Bay Area. The agency lent a helping hand, developing programs in English as a second language, job-search skills, computer training and more.

Soviet emigration drove the growth of JVS in the ’80s, but with the decline of emigration in the ’90s, JVS began to focus on other population groups.

Programs developed over the years include the Technology Access Center, Welfare to Work, collaborative efforts in health care and information technology, as well as services to youth with disabilities. On average, JVS places four individuals in Bay Area jobs every day, listing more than 30,000 job opportunities from 8,000 Bay Area employers.

Now happily ensconced in its new 21,000-square-foot downtown headquarters, it’s hard to believe JVS began life as a modest five-person shop. But for 30 years, JVS has lived out its core values by routinely turning Donald Trump’s catch phrase on its head: “You’re hired!”


Armed with new skills, hope, they found work that matters

Dan Pine

Dan Pine is a contributing editor at J. He was a longtime staff writer at J. and retired as news editor in 2020.