The Job Training Alliance was organized in May 1987 by Elsa Bengel of YMCA Training, Inc., Jay Ostrower of ABCD, and 12 other community-based, non-profit job training organizations to improve the visibility of their programs, encourage greater recognition of their value, and – in particular – to unite and focus the collective voice of the member organizations in pursuit of fair and equitable public funding.
The JTA was founded, consciously and deliberately, as an “advocate” on behalf of the program and funding needs of its members.
The organization quickly grew to include over 30 non-profit community based organizations providing high quality skills training in fields ranging from construction to culinary to computers.
As the organization grew, the benefits of being part of the organization also grew. The Job Training Alliance enabled its members to:
- Get information directly from public funding sources
- Exchange information and learn about key issues
- Meet other providers with whom they could partner
- Learn each member’s programs and make more appropriate referrals
- Become part of a broader personal and professional network
An early JTA initiative was the development of a printed catalog providing a guide to the programs and services offered by its member agencies. The JTA “Catalog” became an essential resource for job training seekers, job and career counselors, and the One-Stop Career Centers. The “Catalog” continues to provide value today – now presented “online” via our website.
The JTA also actively worked to build meaningful relationships with employers. The JTA “Employer Breakfast” was a signature event designed to honor outstanding graduates and highlight for local employers the key role that job training programs played in staffing their organizations.
Sponsoring research and providing empirical insight on the social, economic, and individual-level impact of job training programs has also been an integral part of the JTA’s charter. In 2016, for example, the JTA completed and published a major study – “Job Training: Works, Pays, and Saves” which provided concrete evidence of the dramatic multiplier economic effects of job training programs in greater Boston.