What? A recent Huffington Post article by Joe Van Brussell describes how at-risk youth, the physically disabled, veterans and anyone else struggling to establish independence and self-sufficiency is being served by a Los Angeles non-profit. The non-profit is Jewish Vocational Services and the assistance they offer includes employment services, education and training, counseling and psychological assistance.
So what? This non-profit exemplifies the benefits of collapsing the silos in which most employment services operate. They were able to take on the risk of providing employment opportunities to these individuals because they took a holistic approach that integrates intensive case management with focused training programs to not only assist with job acquisition, but also with job performance and retention. In other words, they didn’t provide a service and send the individuals on their way with a “good luck” in the workforce attitude – they actually provided support throughout the training, application, and interview process as well as during the employee’s tenure.
Now what? As we have read, savvy change leaders see opportunity where others see risk in a new approach. The new holistic approach by this non-profit has worked and delivered results. For example, in 2012, JVS enrolled 139 people in the BankWork$ program, which prepares participants for positions as bank tellers. Of those 139, 105 graduated and 80 were placed in jobs at banks. This story is a good example of the how the non-profit understood the paradigm it wished to change. This change required a shift in the way services were provided. The new holistic approach to employment services improved the likelihood that risks associated with the program were reduced because the provided support after the individual was gainfully employed.