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  • Writer's pictureEmployment Connection

What's Happening at Employment Connection: April 2023

We’ve been busy at Employment Connection! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for all of the latest info on our programs and events. And if you're not already receiving our monthly newsletter in your inbox, click here to sign up.

Here's just some of what Employment Connection has been up to since our last newsletter.

Housing Services Success: Ackashia’s Story

Ackashia Steed started in our Permanent Supportive Housing program in 2013 at the young age of 21. She became the legal guardian to her two younger sisters after a tragedy with her family led to her mother’s passing and her father’s incarceration. After 7 years of household composition changes and program transitioning, she was able to graduate from the program. Each of her younger sisters graduated from high school, became employed, and moved into homes of their own.

She has since started her own cleaning business, started a family, and has been able to not only maintain her self-sufficiency but to continue to grow and dominate her independence. Throughout the years, this family has been impacted by every program at Employment Connection and continues to give back through referrals, word-of-mouth praises, and being a shining example of all that the agency can do for someone if they are willing to put in the work.

We are so proud of our Co-Manager of Housing and Client Services, Andrea Lewis, and her wonderful team for their outstanding work!

World of Work

In the past six weeks, over 60 of our clients have completed our World of Work job readiness program! World of Work helps clients build job searching skills, prepare for interviews, find job leads, and more. Once participants secure employment, we provide ongoing job coaching to help maintain employment and stay on track to self-sufficiency.

This month, we’re taking World of Work on the road to our three Violence Prevention sites in Dutchtown, Wells-Goodfellow/Hamilton Heights, and Peabody Darst Webbe/LaSalle Park.

DOCY and Cure Violence Dutchtown at the Gravois Park Easter Eggstravaganza

Employment Connection and our Dutchtown Opportunity Coalition for Youth and Dutchtown Cure Violence Teams were proud to support the Gravois Park Easter Eggstravaganza! This annual event brings kids from all over the South Side for an Easter egg hunt, photos with the Easter Bunny, basket giveaways, community resources, and more!

Employment Connection in Jefferson City

Employment Connection CEO Sal Martinez recently visited the State Capital in Jefferson City and was introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives by several local legislators.

On The Beat with Rep. Del Taylor and CEO Sal Martinez

State Representative Del Taylor invited Sal Martinez to join him on radio station “100.3 The Beat” with popular host BJ the Radio DJ. Sal and Rep. Taylor discussed Employment Connection’s many programs and services available to the St. Louis community.

Movie Night at Peabody Darst Webbe/LaSalle Park

Our Violence Prevention Team presented The Interrupters to a crowded house at the Al Chappelle Community Center. In addition to learning the story of violence interrupters in Chicago, we gave away gift cards and shared pizza with folks of all ages from the neighborhood.

We are also excited to report that there were zero homicides in Peabody Darst Webbe and LaSalle Park in the first quarter of 2023! Our team is continuing to work hard to promote peace and unity in these two historic neighborhoods.

Welcome New Board Fellow Abdul Oganla

Sponsored by the United Way of Greater St. Louis and Washington University Olin Business School, Abdul Oganla is joining the Employment Connection Board of Directors as a Board Fellow to offer his impressive talents to help us grow our new DOCY program. Abdul is currently pursuing his MBA at WashU’s Olin School of Business. Welcome aboard, Abdul!

Abdul is the Founder and Program Director of Africa-USA College Soccer Recruitment Tour (AUS Access), a recruitment program where talented African student-athletes are provided with scholarships to attend colleges and universities in the United States. So far, his program has facilitated over $2,000,000 worth of scholarships for selected participants.

An inaugural president and team captain of the prestigious Segun Odegbami International College & Sports Academy, Abdul became one of four inaugural recipients of MTN Football (Soccer) Scholarship; a program similar to his, to attend college in the United States on a full-ride. He now works to provide the same life-changing opportunity to kids across Africa. Africa-USA College Soccer Recruitment Tour provides the student-athletes opportunity to play competitively in American colleges while receiving a great education.

Abdul Oganla is a relentless ideator who has turned many of his entrepreneurial concepts into reality. Having started several businesses, Abdul continues to push his entrepreneurial portfolio with ventures in Edtech and Franchise Development. He currently runs a franchise development firm with the Subway restaurant brand in its portfolio.

He has also served as a Nigerian youth delegate to the Friendship Ambassadors Youth Assembly at The United Nations in New York. He is a strong advocate for the United Nations' sustainable development goals to end poverty, to pursue industry, innovation, and infrastructure development, and to foster partnerships for the goals. Abdul graduated from Knox College with a BA in Economics and a minor in Business Management. He is currently a '24 MBA Candidate at Washington University in St. Louis Olin Business School and he is from Lagos, Nigeria.

MWS Is Hiring

Managed Work Services, our social enterprise employment service, seeks hospital housekeepers and environmental services workers. These are full-time positions with the potential to earn bonus pay as well. Apply at

March Madness Career Fair

Employment Connection teamed up with Urban Strategies Inc. for our most well-attended job fair since the beginning of the pandemic! Employers came ready to hire on the spot, and over 30 clients were set up to start new jobs the following week!

Thank you to our partners, employers, clients, and especially Karla Humphries, Manager of Career Services, and the rest of the EC Career Services Team, for making this such a successful event!!

There's much more going on at Employment Connection! Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to stay up to date with all of our programs and events in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and St. Clair County.

If you're not already receiving our monthly newsletter in your inbox, click here to sign up.

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