For almost 75 years, JVS Toronto has had a single mission – to help job seekers find meaningful employment. This non-profit organization offers free career building and job search support across Toronto and York Region. They understand that employment is not just about a paycheque. It is also about the way work contributes to society and overall well-being by providing meaningful focus for our lives. Work contributes to physical, emotional, and mental health.
As a multi-service agency with general and population-specific programming, JVS Toronto’s Employment Specialists support job seekers from all backgrounds and situations, employers from all sectors, and students in primary, secondary and post-secondary education. They provide employment services to individuals with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, at-risk youth, mature workers, the unemployed and underemployed.
When you register with JVS Toronto for Employment Services, you are assigned an Employment Specialist who will help you along your job search journey. Some of the resources that job seekers receive are:
• Resume and cover letter assistance
• Job interview coaching and mock interviews
• Individual career counselling and exploration
• Exclusive job search skills workshops
• Job fairs, info sessions and networking events
• Direct connections to employers
Every Individual Has Opportunities for Employment
With the onset of COVID-19, JVS Toronto worked rapidly to adapt to the needs of a changing labour market and provided support to almost 16,000 individuals in 2020. They created new workshops and training programs to equip those affected by job loss with the skills needed to rejoin the workforce, and hosted virtual job fairs that connected close to 2,500 job seekers directly to employers in a time of mass layoffs and increased isolation.
Despite the profound transformation of the economy and labour market, 87% of JVS Toronto clients served last year, either found work or returned to school/training. One such client was Levy, who was working at a job he enjoyed when COVID-19 hit. His was one of the 300,000+ jobs lost in Ontario as a result of the pandemic. Levy says, “They kept me motivated and provided me with the lead for the job I got. I am comforted knowing [JVS Toronto is] there if I need services in the future. I would recommend them to anyone!”
Supporting Newcomers to Canada
JVS Toronto has been providing customized employment support for newcomers to Canada since its inception. They understand the challenges newcomers face when finding their first job in Canada, from a lack of Canadian experience, to language and cultural barriers. JVS Toronto’s Newcomer Employment Services include industry-specific workplace communication and Enhanced Language Training (ELT) programs, focused job search support, advice on writing a Canadian-style resume, and Bridge Training programs designed to help internationally trained immigrants find employment in the field they were trained in.
Last year, 5,571 new clients originating from 137 countries pursued their vision of a career in Canada with JVS Toronto’s support. One such client was Yvonne, a Senior Architect from Hong Kong. Yvonne participated in IPLAN (Immigrant Professional Leveraging Architectural Knowledge for New Opportunities), a Bridge Training program for internationally trained architects. Yvonne told JVS Toronto that “As an internationally trained professional, landing a job is not easy without an understanding of the local workplace culture.” Through the IPLAN bridge training program, Yvonne updated her knowledge of local architectural standards and secured several job offers. Today she is employed as an Architectural Designer at one of Toronto’s premier design firms.
Maximizing Potential for People with Disabilities
Included in their highly-specialized employment services, JVS Toronto offers programming specifically for individuals with learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), developmental disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), mental health and other challenges. These intensive programs combine a mix of pre-employment preparation and on-the-job coaching that help job seekers understand their strengths and challenges with the intent to achieve and retain meaningful employment.
Last year,165 clients were served through disability and inclusion-based programming such as the ASD Job-Readiness Program. Oxana, a recent graduate of the ASD program, went from precarious contract-based temporary jobs to full-time employment in Office Administration and reports that, “Thanks to JVS Toronto, I have a knockout resume and cover letter. I found a job I enjoy and I am happy at. It really feels great.”
Finding the Path to a Career You’ll Love
Career counselling at JVS Toronto helps people identify their interests, skills, personality and values to build a clear picture of what a fulfilling career would be. Through a Career Assessment Profile, information about specific job and career paths, and the resources and tools needed to make informed career choices, participants are able to identify three career options that would best match that individual and develop an action plan with the assistance of a trained Employment Specialist like Zohar Gilula. Zohar has been a Career Counsellor for over 20 years ago. She conducts vocational assessments and career counselling with a diverse variety of clients. She knows that, “Identifying your passions and strengths are the first step in a journey to meaningful employment.”
JVS Toronto has 9 locations across Toronto and York Region. Interested job seekers can get started by registering at www.jvstoronto.org/new-clients, calling 416-787-1151, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a non-profit, charitable organization, JVS Toronto relies on funding from federal, and provincial and municipal governments, as well as generous donors. Donations can be made at www.jvstoronto.org/donate, by phone at 416-649-1666, or at email@example.com.