Background: The JICC initiated an employment coalition in Jerusalem in 2005. To begin with the coalition’s main focus was the Welfare-To-Work program that was implemented at the time in Jerusalem, and in three other locations around the country. This program, the first of its kind in Israel, generated much controversy between experts from the government, business sector and NGOs active in the area of employment. The JICC invited the many agencies and businesses that were involved in the implementation of the program or in opposing it, to cooperate in the employment coalition. The coalition enabled the organizations to conduct an effective dialogue that made it possible to improve many aspects of the program. Unfortunately, such a coalition was not mirrored in other regions in Israel where the W2W program was implemented.
Toward 2008 coalition members suggested to upgrade the mission of the coalition and to become the Jerusalem Employment Coalition. A main focus of the JEC is to find ways to advance the adaptation of the employment field to the diverse identities in the city. In the bimonthly meetings, hosted by various coalition members, participants increase their exposure to, and understanding of, diverse aspects of the professional work in this field, and look for synergy and partnerships that would address the needs of the Jerusalemite identities.
Today we held a meeting at the Governmental Employment Service in Jerusalem. Thirty coalition members listened to Mr. Nimrod Alon, the director of the Jerusalem District, and discussed the services provided by this agency. The main issues that were raised related to courses offered to ultra-orthodox women and to unemployed Ethiopians. Two sub-committees will continue to meet in order to address the adaptation of governmental employment services, as well as help employers adjust their businesses to these identities.
The next meeting will be held at Teva, an Israeli biotech company that works closely with employment assignment services.