Innovation at JVS: Vocational Training Partnership (VTP)
JVS’s Vocational Training Partnership (VTP) program combines intensive, industry specific skills training with vocational English language instruction. VTP assists immigrants and refugees to secure a family-sustaining job and economic independence—helping to advance not only a family, but the community as a whole. The program model allows immigrants and refugees to develop critical English fluency and communication skills in the context of preparing to enter employment quickly in a particular industry, as well as the job savvy and techniques needed to know how to get, keep, and advance in a job.
JVS offers 3 VTP training programs in the hospitality, food service, and banking fields, and runs 6 training cycles per year, with 2 cycles in each industry. The VTP programs are short-term, intensive skill training programs, fully contextualized to specific jobs, and developed in consultation with the VTP employer partners. Training schedules are coordinated with employers’ recruiting and hiring timelines within each specific industry track to optimize participants’ job search success.
Each Training Cycle Includes:
- Partnership with a stable employer seeking job-ready candidates trained in their specific workplace requirements and committed to staying and moving up within the company
- Vocational English language instruction at JVS, developed in consultation with the employer
- Specialized skills instruction at JVS, covering industry jobs and expectations, industry vocabulary, and customer service
- Employer-based industry experience and training
- One-on-one job readiness training and job search support
Benefits for Program Participants and Employers:
The VTP program offers several advantages to both participants and employers. Because the training is short-term and focused, the end goal—a job—is constantly in sight; and because it is designed and driven by the employer, the training is closely connected to their hiring needs and removes much of the risk associated with traditional hiring sources. By the end of training, the employer has a prescreened, pre-trained group of candidates who have a solid grasp of specific tasks required to perform the job, and a well-founded interest in a particular career. Both employer and employee avoid the disappointment of false expectations, as participants get to experience the work in its reality, while the employer gets to see what a participant brings to the table. The VTP programs are also a great way for employers to be involved in the community. As a result of its unique training model, VTP programs achieve strong outcomes.
In 2016-2017, the VTP program had a completion rate of 100%, a placement rate of 90%, and 96% of graduates retained their jobs for at least 90 days. Starting wages for VTP graduates are $12-16 per hour, and 96% of those hired receive employment benefits. High rates of placement, retention, and steady wage upgrades are the norm for VTP graduates because of the solid foundation they bring to their jobs. This program model successfully empowers immigrants and refugees to quickly find employment and support their families.