As a single parent supporting two teenage children, Wendy worked two jobs to make ends meet. But when both workplaces closed, Wendy found herself looking for a job for the first time in many years — and realized she was in alien territory. How should her résumé reflect her experience? What new skills would she need? Where were jobs even posted nowadays? “I was scared. Two children, no money coming in,” remembers Wendy. Through a community connection, however, Wendy made an appointment with a Jewish Federation-supported program called JEVS Career Strategies. “They helped me build a résumé and my computer skills; it was incredible,” says Wendy, who now works in higher education. “With their help, I found myself a job.”

Run by JEVS Human Services, JEVS Career Strategies has helped thousands of people find their way out of unemployment or underemployment and into satisfying work. Their guided approach starts with identifying a job-seeker’s skills, abilities and interests, then moves onto individual career counseling; résumé, LinkedIn and job search assistance; interview preparation; career assessment; computer classes; networking workshops and more. There’s even a job developer on staff to help clients find job opportunities. Last year alone, JEVS Career Strategies provided career services and workshops for more than 500 people in our region, many of whom had been searching for a job for three months or more. So far this calendar year, a Career Strategies client has started a new job, on average, every three days — and at competitive wages, in fields as varied as marketing to culinary arts to legal services.

One such client is Batel. When her husband became disabled, she wanted to find employment quickly, to support him and their twin daughters. But as a stay-at-home mother, she was uncertain about her job prospects. Career Strategies helped Batel find her confidence and make a plan. She enrolled in school to become a certified nursing assistant, and worked as a teacher’s assistant, so she could provide for her husband’s care and pay the bills. Says Batel of the assistance she received from JEVS, “I found the light in my darkest day. I’ve been able to gain my life back.”

To learn more about JEVS Career Strategies, click here.

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