IAJVS Past Annual Conferences


2016 Annual Conference

Today's Youth - A Workforce for Tomorrow

The 2016 IAJVS Annual Conference took place April 17-19 at the Sofitel Philadelphia Hotel.

Attendees took advantage of this special time to gather and exchange ideas with colleagues from around the world. Special opportunities included a wonderful off-site networking lunch as well as a special private reception at the world-renowned Barnes Foundation Art Museum hosted by JEVS Human Services.

We were honored to offer conference attendees two special plenary speakers: Allison Gerber, Senior Associate of The Annie E. Casey Foundation spoke on Building Multiple Pathways to Work for America's Young People and Eric Seleznow, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training with the U.S. Department of Labor presented on Today's Youth: the Workforce of Tomorrow , which included their youth-focused programs and grants as part of their broader effort to invest in the future of our nation's youth and help them climb the ladder of opportunity.

The favored conference breakout session was Supporting and Serving the Long-Term Unemployed which outlined current theory, research and best practices regarding the challenges of long-term unemployment. Presenters were David Blustein, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Counseling, Development, and Educational Psychology at Boston College along with Ofer Sharone, PhD, Assistant Professor Sociology at University of Massachusetts Amherst. This was followed up by Three New Approaches to Helping Long-Term Unemployed Clients presented by JVS Detroit, JFS Columbus and JFCS Louisville. These well-received sessions kicked off The Bank of America Foundation 2016 Train the Trainer Initiative - a hands-on interactive workshop focusing on how to implement support for long-term unemployed individuals. David Blustein along with Amy Mazur, Career Counselor at JVS CareerSolution, JVS Boston facilitated the training.

Other well reviewed conference sessions included Sharing the Wealth - Annual Program Showcase where we shine a spotlight on a variety of impactful programs delivered each and every day at agencies throughout the IAJVS network, Does DC Matter Anymore? 2016 Updates and 2017 Prognostications presented by Andy Van Kleunen, Chief Executive Officer at the National Skills Coalition, and Funding Job-Driven Programs with SNAP Employment and Training presented by Marcie Foster, Senior Program Analyst, Office of Employment and Training, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture along with presenters from JEVS Human Services and JVS San Francisco.

Also enjoyed by all was the Annual Awards Ceremony. Congratulations to the 2016 IAJVS award winners.




2014 Annual Conference

Inspiring Creativity in a Changing World


The 2014 joint IAJVS & AJFCA Annual Conference took place May 4th - 6th at the Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada.  With over 300 conference attendees, the networking and shared learning was a big success.  Thank you to our conference hosts at Agence Ometz for an enjoyable reception at the Musée des Beaux Arts Montréal (Museum of Fine Arts of Montreal).

Keynote speakers included:

Dan Palotta


Dan Pallotta, American entrepreneur, author, and humanitarian activist was the inspiring opening plenary speaker at the 2014 AJFCA & IAJVS Annual Conference,

Dan is the author of Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential, the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press. The Stanford Social Innovation Review said that it "deserves to become the nonprofit sector's new manifesto," and which contributed to a new conversation about economic freedom for the humanitarian sector. His newest book is Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World from Jossey-Bass. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. described it as "An Apollo program for American philanthropy and the nonprofit sector".

His iconic TED Talk, " The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong ," has been viewed more than 2.2 million times. He is a William J. Clinton Distinguished Lecturer, and has spoken at Stanford, Wharton, Harvard Business School, Harvard's Hauser Center for Nonprofits, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Tufts University, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Council on Foundations, the Gates Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and the Milken Institute, among others.


Ofer Sharone


Ofer Sharone, Assistant Professor from MIT Sloan School of Management's Institute for Work and Employment Research, was a guest speaker at the conference. His presentation was a cross-national comparison of job searching and unemployment in the U.S. and Israel. His newest book is Flawed System/Flawed Self: Job Searching and Unemployment Experiences .  Through in-depth interviews and observations at job-search support organizations, this book reveals the variety of job-search "games" and how these help explain different unemployment experiences.

Sharone’s research examines the interplay between varied labor market and workplace institutions, on the one hand, and workers’ practices and experiences, on the other hand. His studies are primarily cross-national comparisons and utilize in-depth interviews and participant observations. Sharone’s current research compares the effects of different labor market institutions on the experiences of unemployed white-collar job seekers in Israel and the United States.

His teaching interests include the sociology of work, economic sociology, negotiations, and social theory. He has practiced international law in San Francisco and Japan.

Sharone holds a BA in economics from the University of Illinois; a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley; and a JD from Harvard Law School.


Mitch Joel


Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image, spoke to attendees about changing technology:  There are five new movements that have changed business forever and yet, the vast majority of brands are doing nothing about it. The next five years of business will be about the convergence of these five major movements that will require companies to adapt like never before. Adapt or die? Some will struggle with this shift while others will simply roll along as the adoption incurs. The trick is in capitalizing on this moment in time, understanding these movements and being ready for your future (a future that will move at a much quicker pace). We have the technology. We have the data. We have the new media channels and platforms. We have the opportunity to publish whatever we want - in text, images, audio and video - instantly (and for free) to the world. What we do with this moment will be telling. It will also set the pace for everything that flows out of our brands for the next decade. The opportunity is now. Take charge of your future. This is your reboot.


Suzi Sosa

Our closing plenary speaker was Suzi Sosa, Co-Founder and CEO of Verb.  Suzi spoke to attendees on Innovation for Impact-New Approaches to Solving Social Problems in Financially Sustainable Ways, where we were inspired with fresh ideas for making a lasting difference in our communities. 


Suzi is responsible for Verb’s overall strategy, well-being and results.

Before co-founding Verb, she led the Dell Social Innovation Challenge at the University of Texas at Austin. Suzi joined the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin in 2010 as the Associate Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service and as an Associate Adjunct Professor. In this role, she directed the university’s social entrepreneurship program, including the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, international social entrepreneurship exchange programs, and undergraduate and graduate social entrepreneurship courses. While at UT, Suzi secured a five-year $5 million gift from Dell to grow the Dell Challenge from a relatively small business plan competition to become a global virtual accelerator for student social entrepreneurs. When she joined in 2010, the competition had 750 entries. By 2013, they had over 2,600 teams from 60 countries who entered, and engaged more than 1,200 Dell employees as judges and mentors, over 800 university partners, and awarded more than $350,000 in seed funding to over 40 teams.

Suzi has been involved in the social entrepreneurship space for more than 10 years. Prior to joining UT she was the Founder and President of the MPOWER Foundation and was Chief of Staff at MPOWER Labs (now Rev Worldwide). She co-founded several Austin non-profits focused on social innovation and entrepreneurship, including Innovation+, RISE Austin, and Austin Women Entrepreneurs. Suzi was also a Contributing Editor in social entrepreneurship for Inc magazine.

Suzi holds a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, several years of study in the Masters in Architecture program at UT Austin and a B.A. in the Plan II Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to growing Verb, she loves to hang out with her two kids and two dogs, travel, and wonder at the marvels of the universe.




2013 Annual Conference

The Race to Recovery -

Reinventing & Retooling the Engines of Workforce Development

The 2013 IAJVS Annual Conference took place April 21-23, 2013 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit Michigan.

As always, an invaluable part for conference attendees is the networking opportunities allowing for casual discussion and sharing of information across the IAJVS network. Conference attendees thoroughly enjoyed JVS Detroit’s outstanding welcome reception at the Henry Ford Museum with wonderful food, music, memorabilia and mingling.

The favored conference session was Sharing the Wealth - Annual Program Showcase where a spotlight was shone on a variety of impactful programs delivered throughout the IAJVS network.

Other well reviewed conference sessions included Employers as Customers where FEGS Health and Human Services and JEVS Human Services demonstrated techniques for building a staffing model and sustaining relationships with employers; Dr. Claudia Osborn’s Over My Head: A Doctor’s Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out ; and the Washington Update where the National Skills Coalition’s Andy Van Kleunen spoke about how funding, reauthorization and larger skill debates are playing out during the second Obama Administration.

Presentations can be found on the IAJVS website in a password protected area under IAJVS Publications. You can contact IAJVS for access.

IAJVS would like to thank our presenters, our corporate sponsors including CVS Caremark (who was specially recognized at our awards ceremony), CARF International, NISH/Ability One, EisnerAmper LLP, AlliedBarton Security Services, Paragraph, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and the Andrew Kukes Foundation for Social Anxiety, and our host committee at JVS Detroit for helping to make the 2013 Annual Conference a success.


2012 Annual Conference

The 2012 IAJVS Annual Conference took place April 22-24 at the Houston Intercontinental Hotel. The joint conference with the Association of Jewish Family & Children’s Agencies allowed us to gather over 300 attendees from Jewish agencies around the world, who work to help improve the lives of others.

Keynote speakers included award-winning author Rachel Simon – a nationally recognized public speaker on issues related to diversity and disability, and David DeLong – a leading expert on the strategic impacts of changing workforce demographics.

Conference sessions were well-received and included topics such as “The Changing Roles of Workforce Development Professionals and Programs”, which presented expanded models of development workforce relationships as well as ways in which to effectively respond to the needs of an increasingly diverse population of job seekers; and “Technology at Work”, which explored how to leverage social media sites for networking and job search.

Attendees shared innovative ideas and best practices, and left with fresh ideas to enhance services and programs in their communities.

We are grateful to our distinguished group of presenters and our corporate sponsors including CVS/Caremark, CARF, Paragraph, ed2go and Eisner Amper, as well as our host committee at JFS Houston for helping to make this conference a success.



2011 IAJVS Annual Conference





Over 115 people attended the 2011 IAJVS Annual Conference, which took place May 1st – 3rd 2011 at the Intercontinental Toronto Yorkville Hotel in Toronto, Canada.


IAJVS assembled an exceptional group of presenters that guided attendees as they took an inspiring look at new challenges, new solutions, and lessons learned as the IAJVS network continues to address the pressing and multiple needs of long-term as well as recently unemployed.


Just some of the well-received sessions included:


•  Carl Van Horn, Professor of Public Policy and founding Director from the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, presented data and lead a wonderful discussion on The Effects of the Great Recession on American Workers:  What it Means for Workforce Policy and Practice .

•  Kathryn Jo Mannes, Director of the Center for Workforce and Economic Development at the American Association of Community Colleges, lead a panel discussion on Building Strong Alliances with Your Community College , which showcased successful community college partnership models.


•  Representatives from JEVS Human Services Philadelphia, JVS Boston and JVS Los Angeles presented on The Successful Revitalization of Long Standing Programs . And, representatives from JVS Chicago, JFCS Minneapolis and JVS San Francisco presented on Strategies for Engaging Diverse Constituents Through Technology .


•  The 2011 Train-the-Trainer Initiative, generously sponsored by the Bank of America Foundation, focused on Transitioning Teens and methods for improving career and college readiness for young people.


•  Amir R. Gissin, Consul General of Israel in Toronto, along with Brenda Gevertz, Executive Director of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America, lead our closing plenary on Jewish values and how they can influence our workforce and the communities we serve.


IAJVS would like to thank JVS Toronto for hosting the conference as well as a wonderful reception at the Bata Shoe Museum. IAJVS would also like to thank our distinguished group of presenters and our corporate sponsors for helping to make this year’s conference a success.


2010 IAJVS Annual Conference

The 2010 IAJVS Annual Conference took place April 25-27, 2010 at The Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis.

The IAJVS network was energized to be together sharing ideas and learning about new ways to continue to help people improve their lives through a vast array of services such as career management, skills training, rehabilitation programs, and health services.

We were honored to kick off our conference with a very special keynote speaker: Ms. Jane Oates, Assistance Secretary of the Employment and Training Administration for the U.S. Department of Labor. Ms. Oates enlightened conference attendees on how the current administration is working to help our countries workers during the current economic and unemployment challenges of the new economy, as well as thanking our attendees for the important work that she know is going on throughout the IAJVS network and sharing ways that the IAJVS network can work with the Department of Labor going forward. 

Another special session was "Afraid to Work: Work-Related Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Unemployed Persons with Social Anxiety". This workshop presented an innovative research collaboration between JVS Detroit and the University of Michigan involving and intervention designed to improve social enxiety as it relates to employment.

IAJVS would like to thank our special host committe at MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries for planning an exciting visit to the City Musuem. Colleagues reconnected with their inner child as they explored the eclectic mix of funhouse and architectural marvel.

IAJVS would also like to thank our distinguished group of presenters and our corporate sponsors, as well as our host committee at MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries for helping to make this years conference a success.


2009 IAJVS Annual Conference

The Conference entitled IAJVS Celebrates 70 Years of Putting People to Work took place May 17-19, 2009 at The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza.

Our conference program energized our network with new ideas to continue their important efforts towards helping clients find work during the current economic and unemployment crisis.

As always, it was wonderful to gather with colleagues from around the world, to exchange ideas and discuss opportunities for the future.

IAJVS would like thank our wonderful host committe at JVS Cincinnati for arranging an enlightening visit to The National Underground Freedom Center. And, special thanks go out to Dr. Gary Zola for creating a very special tour and presentation of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center at The American Jewish Archives.  IAJVS would also like to thank our distinguished group of presenters and our corporate sponsors, as well as our host committee at JVS Cincinnati for helping to make this years conference a success.


2008 IAJVS Annual Conference

The Conference entitled Beyond Job Development: The Employer as Customer and Partner in Workforce Development took place June 1-3, 2008 at The Royal Sonesta Hotel in Boston.

Our conference examined the internal and external challenges and opportunities faced by our network in addressing workforce development in a global economy. We were thrilled to get together with our colleagues from Israel, Canada and across the United States to exchange ideas, celebrate successes and catch up with friends.

IAJVS would like to thank our distinguished group of presenters and our corporate sponsors, as well as our host committee at JVS Boston for helping to make this years conference a success.


2007 IAJVS Annual Conference

The AJFCA-IAJVS Joint Annual Conference 2007 entitled Strengthening Communities Through Collaboration took place April 15-17, 2007 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. 

Conference sessions addressed the multitude of common issues and

concerns that impact both AJFCA and IAJVS member agencies.  An

exceptional group of presenters was assembled from both agencies.


IAJVS thanks AJFCA for working together with IAJVS, and making the 2007 Annual Conference such a success.  IAJVS would also like to thank the New York City host community agenices: F·E·G·S Health and Human Services System, the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services (JBFCS), and the Jewish Childcare Association (JCCA).

Conference participants enjoyed expert speakers, interactive sessions ,

many networking opportunities and a unique NYC host community

welcome reception at Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose


back to top of page Back to top