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What's Happening at Employment Connection: January 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.


Patient Access Representative Training

Employment Connection’s social enterprise, Managed Work Services, in collaboration with BJC HealthCare, is providing community members an opportunity to learn new skills that could lead to a rewarding career. The Patient Access Representative (PAR) training program is a 12-week, hands-on, paid training program that prepares participants for careers as Patient Access Representatives at Barnes-Jewish Hospital or other BJC facilities.


The PAR is responsible for guiding patients through the admissions process by screening patients for eligibility, preparing patient information for clinical staff, and answering patient questions. These representatives also get patients ready for intake, process them during admission, and guide them through discharge.


The PAR training program started in September 2021. There have been three successful training classes, with more classes planned in 2023. In order to participate, applicants must have a clean criminal record, be able to pass a drug screening, have a high school diploma or GED, be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and have basic computer skills. The training is provided by BJC and is designed to prepare participants for a permanent position with the hospital. While permanent employment at the hospital is not guaranteed, successful participants were able to demonstrate the ability to utilize required software, had good attendance and punctuality, willingness to learn, and had a positive attitude.


After completing our most recent Patient Access Representative Training course, four graduates received offers and will start as BJC HealthCare employees at the end of January! All participants were very thankful for the opportunity and the support from Employment Connection and Managed Work Services staff.


Solar Training Program

Our next Solar Panel Installation Training classes began this month! Participants get hands-on training after completing our World of Work job readiness program and receiving OSHA 10 certification. The training prepares participants for promising careers in the growing green jobs industry. Call us at (314) 333-5627 if you are interested in registering for our next class!


Cure Violence and Violence Prevention Program

The Peabody Darst Webbe/LaSalle Park Violence Prevention Program Team, as well as the Dutchtown Cure Violence and DOCY Teams, gave away free gun locks to community members earlier this month! Later in January, the Wells-Goodfellow/Hamilton Heights Cure Violence Team will be distributing even more.

The Peabody Darst Webbe/LaSalle Park Violence Prevention Program hosted a post-holiday Toy Giveaway at the Al Chappelle Community Center in January! We had a great turnout, met lots of community residents, and shared a little extra joy for neighborhood kids.

We were joined by new Cure Violence Team Member David at our Wells-Goodfellow/Hamilton Heights PPE giveaway this week. Welcome to the team, David!


DOCY Update


The Dutchtown Opportunity Coalition for Youth (DOCY) is hosting a Family Game Night on January 27th at Thomas Dunn Learning Center in Marquette Park! We’ll have family-friendly games, snacks, and attendance prizes for our players. Join us for a night of fun and to learn more about our programs for at-risk youth ages 10–17 in Dutchtown, Gravois Park, and Mount Pleasant.


DOCY also teamed up with Cure Violence Dutchtown to distribute free gun locks, helping our neighbors protect their children, their community, and themselves.


Employment Connection on the Radio

Team EC’s Christina and Umi did an interview with media personality Dsmoovve Shabazz on the Voice of the Streets radio show this week and talked about our various services and our commitment to our clients. Listen to the segment here.


Farewell and Thank You to Bethany Copeland


We want to thank Bethany Copeland for her role as a Washington University Olin Business School/United Way Board Fellow over the past year. Bethany was integral in the development of the Young Friends of EC, has been a personal donor to the agency, and was an active planner and volunteer at several of our community events, including the Black 14/Latter Day Saints event, where we served over 500 clients with over 40,000 pounds of food and critical household items. We wish her all the best as she continues to pursue her Masters of Social Work degree at Washington University.


WIOA Update

Kudos to Team EC member Al and his teammates at our WIOA office in St. Louis County. Al recently secured an anonymous donation of wonderful ties that we will pass along to our clients once they complete our World of Work course. Great job, Al!


Housing Update


Applications for SAHFR housing and utility assistance will close on January 31st. Time is running out, but Employment Connection’s Housing Team can still help St. Louis City and County residents apply for assistance before the deadline. Contact Andrea Lewis, Co-Manager of Housing and Client Services, at lewisa@employmentstl.org for more information.



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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