This year, the COVID-19 crisis turned our world upside-down. In the blink of an eye, schools shut down, offices closed, and anxiety grew over our uncertain future. By mid-April, the unemployment rate reached its highest level since the Great Depression as millions of Americans lost their jobs and the pandemic raged on. At JVS, our mission to empower individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers has remained steadfast.
Our response to the crisis has focused on three primary areas: Helping our students continue to learn valuable skills amidst unprecedented times, improving our remote capacity so that we are equipped to deliver mission-critical services, and virtually matching clients with employers in need of quality candidates. Since mid-March, all of our services have transitioned to virtual platforms. From English For Advancement and Bridges to College classes, to one-one-one coaching that includes assistance navigating Unemployment Insurance and other public benefits, JVS has remained a strong partner to those we serve. In addition, we created our innovative Talent Match Portal, an online system connecting job seekers to employment opportunities from more than 60 Boston-area companies. Complete with personalized career coaching and live chat to assist clients through the job search process, it has become an invaluable tool to many. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, JVS has served over 3,600 individuals through remote services, and has placed 282 individuals in new jobs.