Eliezer Martin, MS Accounting, CPA, is an unlikely brand ambassador for PCS. A good husband, a proud father, and an active member of his kehillah, Eliezer is also constantly busy with his job as CFO of a real estate management company. But he will always stop to talk about PCS. “I credit PCS with providing me with the education and knowledge to advance in my career, become a CPA, and earn a living parnassah,” he says.
And Eliezer is not the only one. There are 5,999 other people who credit PCS with their jobs. Daniel Soloff, National Director of PCS, a division of Agudas Yisroel, says, “I have a hard time wrapping my head around the numbers sometimes. This February we are celebrating our 6,000th job placement. The cumulative effect of this number of jobs for Klal Yisroel – all the salaries earned for all those years, the families helped, the disasters averted – it’s mind blowing!”
PCS, together with COPE, is one of the Agudah’s flagship parnassah initiatives. Though it is a multi-faceted organization, all its activities revolve around the same goal: helping people support themselves and their families.
Career counseling? Check. Courses in lucrative fields? Check. Job placement? Check. Some people will benefit from all these functions, some from one or two. “Parnassah isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing,” says Rabbi Soloff. “Every person who comes into PCS’s offices – whether in Brooklyn, Monsey, or Lakewood – has a unique set of skills, opportunities, and challenges. It’s our job to match him or her with the options that fit them best.”
Eliezer, a father of two, says that his connection to PCS began when he was saw that he was going to need more for his family. “I had held jobs that I could see weren’t going to be making enough to support my family down the line.” Finding out about PCS’s accounting program from a friend, Eliezer joined. PCS designed the program so that students can finish it in as little as 15 months. “It was hard, but it was worth it!” Eliezer was elected class president by his classmates. He speaks fondly of the friendships he made. “I keep up with the guys in my class on personal and professional levels. They’re a great bunch of people!”
PCS, which stands for Professional Career Services, started in 1994. It focuses on three main activities. First, career counseling – what is the right job for you? Second, training – how can you get the skills to get the right job for you? Lastly, placement – let us help connect you with the right job for you. PCS can take a person from thinking their employment prospects are non-existent to empowering them to become a fully-qualified member of the workforce.
But a person does not need be entering the workforce for the first time to come to PCS. “We have people coming who are transitioning from one job to another because they got downsized or their company went bankrupt,” says Rabbi Yoel Tolwinski, Director of Placement at PCS. “They are very employable, but they haven’t been in the job market for years and don’t know where to start, or how their skills can transfer to a different field. We can help them.”
PCS’s services for men and women, both in job placement and in career education, are geared to the needs of each community. “Lakewood is a unique town, where many women, in order to enable their husbands to learn full-time, are both bread-winners and mainstays of their families,” says Mrs. Rus Zucker, FDU/PCS Accounting Placement Coordinator. “Local employers both understand and appreciate this. Many of them recognize the education and work ethic of the women who graduate our FDU/PCS Master’s in Accounting program and provide a work environment that allows them to do both. It has become a win-win for both employers and employees.”
One last question for Mr. Martin: Would you hire someone through PCS? Eliezer is unequivocal: “Not only would I,” he says, “I have!”