The Robert Ronald Job Forum Memorial Fund has been created to honor Robert Ronald, the founder of The Job Forum, and to establish continuity of support for the good work it does for the Bay Area. Rodney Fong, President & CEO of the SF Chamber calls the local business volunteers who help job hunters “angels” and describes the “wealth of knowledge and practical advice The Job Forum volunteers pass along to help others to succeed and get a job here in the Bay Area as impressive and valuable.”
The Job Forum continues today as a non-profit 501C3 and has become a unique and well-respected Bay Area community resource. The Job Forum is still sponsored by The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, helping job hunters find their next job by assisting them in conducting a successful job search.
The idea of The Job Forum is to connect local business managers to the many job hunters who live in the Bay Area or who land in The Bay Area with no support network and are urgently seeking work. Robert Ronald’s insight was that people in Bay Area companies are going to be the best source for helping advise job hunters (young and older) on how to join a company or an organization here.
Robert Ronald, a longtime Bay Area resident, escaped Germany and the coming Holocaust at age 7. His family later fled to Cuba to escape more Nazi persecution in France, and Robert ultimately arrived in San Francisco. In 1952, at the age of 26, he started a company and in July 1952, he began a Bay Area jobs program, called The Job Forum. The first meeting of The Job Forum was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce (under the Jr. Chamber program for young managers).
Mr. Ronald had a successful career in the insurance industry on the San Francisco peninsula. He recently passed away at age 96. His long business career was motivated by the lessons of his youth, experiencing difficult challenges, and he appreciated the dynamic opportunities for work in the United States and worked to advocate for others to experience the value of a decent job and career. Mr. Ronald was committed throughout his professional career to helping others achieve professional success.
Especially during the last 15 years of his remarkable life (1926-2022), Robert Ronald reconnected with The Job Forum and often referred proudly to The Job Forum as his second proudest legacy (His family being the first). At Robert Ronald’s well-attended memorial, held recently, his friends, business colleagues, and family were united in their admiration for a man who used his personal and intellectual talents to overcome early frightening hardships, escape the Nazis, immigrate to and personally flourish in other countries and focus his intellect and organizational prowess on creating opportunity for others.
Robert Ronald often exhorted the volunteers at The Job Forum to “Keep up the good work” and said, “ Job search is more complicated and requires more steps now than ever, so job hunters need more help from knowledgeable individuals to figure out the next steps in their job search and succeed.”
For the last 70 years, The Job Forum has helped thousands upon thousands of job hunters succeed and get their next jobs. The program is unique to this area. Job Forum managers volunteer in their free time and many work at local companies that are also members of The SF Chamber of Commerce. Linkedin, SalesForce, Cisco, Meta, Google, Doordash, Octa, JPMorgan Chase, Northwestern Mutual, UCSF, Vir, and Kaiser are examples.
The Job Forum helps new younger job hunters and older experienced job hunters who have fallen on hard times (via layoffs, hiring freezes) by providing a resource for those who must learn, or relearn, how to conduct a modern job search to find new work or switch to a different career here in the Bay Area.
The Job Forum program still offers weekly virtual sessions open to all, helping those desiring work here in the Bay Area, because of the generosity and commitment of local business volunteers who advise job hunters. Yet The Job Forum organization must search for and find funding in order to cover normal operating costs for a non-profit and to reach job hunters to invite them to attend the virtual job search sessions they organize with local business people, which are open to all job hunters from 15 to mid-70s.
You can contribute to keeping this unique Bay Area community service available to job hunters – especially as enter a new phase of layoffs and hiring freezes- and you will be honoring an innovative immigrant who started The Job Forum at age 26 as an immigrant to the USA.
Please donate or text “thejobforum” to 41444.
You can also send a check for The Job Forum to:
- Janet Beach, Executive Director of The Job Forum,
- 101 Lombard Street, 704w
- San Francisco, CA 94111
The Bay Area is fortunate to have this legacy of community service which now welcomes immigrants from around the country and around the world as well as helps Bay Area job hunters.