As a paragon of corporate social responsibility and a champion of altruistic endeavors, Belmont Village Senior Living and non-profit partner JVS SoCal (Jobs Vision Success) have enjoyed a fruitful, storied partnership that has benefitted Southern California by providing individuals from disadvantaged communities with the comprehensive free job training and experience necessary to thrive in the healthcare industry.
JVS SoCal’s HealthWorks program provides life changing, industry-specific job training and education to underserved groups, including individuals on public assistance, dislocated workers, people with disabilities, veterans, immigrants and refugees, mature workers, and individuals with economic, social, and psychological barriers to employment. In addition to providing support to aspiring healthcare workers through career training and other philanthropic aid, Belmont Village has employed many graduates of the Healthworks program in many of their Los Angeles communities, such as their Westwood, Hollywood Hills, and Rancho Palos Verdes locations. These communities continue to hire and benefit from JVS SoCal’s pool of talented graduates.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary, JVS SoCal is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming lives in Southern California with proven workforce development programs and career services. HealthWorks is a tuition-free program that trains individuals for entry-level careers in the healthcare industry as Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs). It also provides participants with intensive case management, job retention guidance and follow-up services to better prepare them for employment. HealthWorks gives hands-on training not only for a career in the medical field, but also offers practical tips for entering and acclimating to the workforce, resume and email writing, what to wear for an interview, and how to conduct oneself in the workplace.
“We are proud to work alongside JVS SoCal to ensure the curriculum cultivates the unique skill set and provides the tools needed to care for our aging population,” says Patricia Will, CEO and founder of Belmont Village Senior Living. “It is immensely rewarding to see how the lives of graduates are changed forever through gainful, rewarding employment, as they maintain a true passion for caretaking and make the perfect addition to the Belmont Village family.”
Aligned with the HealthWorks mission and vision, Belmont Village has become a significant benefactor of HealthWorks through financial contributions and hiring from the HealthWorks talent pool. Two exceptional CNA graduates, Felicie Abner and Riza Wdowczak have become integral to the Belmont Village Westwood community over the last six years.
After graduating high school, Los Angeles native, Abner, felt lost and without direction. A friend who works in the nonprofit industry told her about the JVS HealthWorks program, and shortly after she applied in 2014. “The program was one of the best things that ever happened to me, just at the right time,” says Abner. “I had no support from anyone, but with JVS everything just fell into place, and I found my passion for helping people. I love the strong bonds I’ve built with the residents I care for and my coworkers at Belmont Village.”
Wdowczak left her home in the Philippines and moved to LA, where she soon met a JVS SoCal participant while attending day school. With the goal of becoming a nurse, she jumped at the chance to apply. “JVS gave me the chance I needed, and now I am working in a career that I’ve always loved. I am a whole different person,” said Wdowczak. “After I completed the JVS program, recruiters from Belmont Village attended my graduation and were interested in interviewing me..shortly after, I was hired. Working at Belmont Village—assisting and interacting with residents—I’ve become very attached to them. They have become my family, and I am grateful that I can take care of them.”
“Equipping high-barrier individuals with the opportunity and tools needed to tap into their skills is paramount, with an incalculable potential to redirect the course of their lives,” says Will. “The success of this incredible partnership between Belmont Village Senior Living and JVS SoCal is built by the hands, the hard work, and within the hearts of talented and passionate staff like Felicie and Riza. By contributing to JVS SoCal in doing wonderful work, giving people a change of fate, we are proud to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and make a significant difference first on individuals lives and then on the community at large.”
“JVS SoCal cannot do the work we do alone. It truly takes a village – or in this case, Belmont Village – which has made such an invaluable contribution to those in Southern California,” states Alan Levey, CEO of JVS SoCal. “Belmont Village has been of generous sponsor and partner of our HealthWorks career training programs through not only significant contributions, but the hiring of our wonderful graduates putting them on a new, exciting career path and helping change people’s lives.”
Belmont Village continues to employ Felicie and Riza at their Westwood community, and continues to support all JVS SoCal graduates employed at their communities. Belmont Village and JVS SoCal look forward to the ongoing partnership, as well as the opportunity to change the lives of Southern California residents for the better. To join Belmont Village in aiding JVS SoCal’s inspiring work visit: https://www.jvs-socal.org/ways-to-support-us/.