Jewish Family and Career Services Offers Job Seekers Assistance

By Shelly Trent and Andrea Manierre-Goins

The Jewish Family and Career Services (JFCS) center in Louisville, Kentucky, is a well-known and highly regarded non-profit organization. Founded in 1908, JFCS offers services to anyone in the metro area, regardless of affiliation, such as career management services, counseling, college advisement, ACT/SAT preparation, adult and senior services, and much more. They are especially known for their remarkable community support in career-related services. This article will review some of the career services programs JFCS provides. Visit their website, www.jfcslouisville.org, for additional details to help your non-profit organization offers such top quality career-related services.



The Career Gateway

One cutting-edge service JFCS provides is the Career Gateway. This web program allows individuals to access online tools, resources, and leads to help them be more successful in finding and securing employment. There is online information about career opportunities, training programs, links to resources, and much more. Learn more about this program at www.gatewaytocareers.com.


Programs for Special Populations

1. Dual Career Coaching

Much of today’s workforce comprises dual-earner couples. JFCS provides coaching for working couples, whereby each person receives a personal career fitness scan, and the couple is given the opportunity to determine the implications working has for their relationship, family, and future career path.


2. Mature Worker Career Services

JFCS provides free career counseling for adults 60 and older who are contemplating a career change, seeking new employment, exploring post-retirement careers, or who need help with basic job-search skills. Some of the services include:

  • Reviewing pre- and post-retirement career/employment options

  • Assisting in returning to the workforce

  • Strategizing on alternative careers


3. Career Management Services for Individuals and Employees

There are many programs and services provided in the general area of career management. Here are a few of the items for which JFCS provides training and assistance.

  • Determining career fit

  • Clarifying the education and resources that will best support career goals

  • Understanding career-related strengths and weaknesses

  • Creating a career action plan or professional development plan

  • Exploring personal values and career implications

  • Investigating potential careers

  • Evaluating performance and potential for employees

  • Assessing capacities, skills, and talents

  • Reviewing the gap analysis with regard to overall professional and career status


4. Career-Related Services for Individuals Returning or Going to School

  • Discussing and evaluating preparedness for an academic challenge

  • Assisting in the selection of educational path (major, school, etc.)

  • Preparing for the ACT/SAT

  • Coaching in life direction

  • Assessing skills and interests


Small Business Development Counseling Services Offered

Collaborative efforts have resulted in a successful program called the Navigate Enterprise Center.

Through the local Leadership Ignite Program, JFCS has been able to increase its ability to assist with business startups for those who have abandoned the job search to try their hands at owning a business. Selection for the program is extremely competitive, and members of the individual consulting teams are drawn from top corporations and law firms.  The Ignite team has been working with JFCS staff and management to increase the presence and sustainability of the program, while developing a set of materials that will facilitate the transition of the program to becoming a full Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).  Outcomes of the program include:


  • A new name, logo, and website – with the business program now known as the “Navigate Enterprise Center,” and individual startup companies to be known as “Navigate businesses.”

  • Strategic partnerships with SCORE (a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get started) and the MBA program at a local university to provide ongoing technical assistance services to existing businesses and coaching expertise to training participants developing a business plan.

  • A Navigate Business Showcase will honor the top entrepreneur with a “Navigator of the Year” Award.


In addition, JFCS has also solidified the relationship with Louisville’s Community Development Block Grant-funded microloan program, allowing Navigate business clients to obtain additional funds outside the agency.  As part of this effort, the JFCS training schedule has been revised, and is now offering four ongoing classes to help meet the needs of additional clients. For more information about this program, visit www.navigatecenter.org or www.leadershiplouisville.org/programs/ignite.


Boosting The Work of all Non-Profits

These and other programs serve individuals yet can boost the valuable work of many non-profits during these tough economic times. Your organization can review these efforts and set new goals for providing even more services. If you do not work in non-profit, you now know of an excellent resource to refer your clients to, if appropriate.




Shelly TrentShelly Trent, SPHR, is a Field Services Director in the Southeast Region for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) where she has worked since 2000. Shelly’s background includes human resources, college career services, and business and industry training. Shelly is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and obtained her master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in HR. She completed Ph.D. coursework at the University of Louisville in human resources development and career counseling. She can be reached at Shelly.Trent@shrm.org


Andrea Manierre-GoinsAndrea Manierre-Goins, MSHRL, is a Business Account Employment Specialist withJewish Family & Career Services. Her prior experience was as a Staffing Manager withRandstad. Andrea’s areas of specialty include business development, employee relations, recruiting strategies, vendor selection, negotiations, and job placement. She has a master’s degree in Human Resources Leadership from Sullivan University. agoins@jfcslouisville.org

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