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  • Writer's pictureEmployment Connection

What's Happening at Employment Connection: January 2024

We’re starting 2024 strong 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.


Black History Month Employment Fair

Join us on Thursday, February 8th for a celebration of Black History and opportunity! All are welcome at Employment Connection HQ to connect with local employers providing on-the-spot job interviews. Dress professionally and bring copies of your résumé! Please contact us if you need any info at (314) 333-JOBS (5627).


Managed Work Services Client on the Path to Self-Sufficiency

T.H. is a single mother of four with two school-aged children. She was employed by Managed Work Services (MWS) when she enrolled in the United for Families (UFF) program sponsored by the United Way of Greater St. Louis. T.H. was placed as a housekeeper at Barnes Jewish Hospital and earned $14 per hour. She was considered a full-time temporary employee with the opportunity to become a permanent employee at the hospital.

During her temporary employment, T.H. was experiencing housing challenges that impacted her ability to perform the duties of her job. During her enrollment in UFF, T.H. indicated that she had been approved for a new apartment and was preparing to move. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned, and she had problems obtaining an occupancy permit because her new unit did not pass the occupancy inspection. T.H. and her family were rendered homeless until the inspection issue could be resolved. T.H. worked with the property manager, and eventually, her new unit passed inspection. However, due to move-in fees and the unexpected expenses of not being able to move into a new apartment on time, T.H. was facing financial challenges and was worried that she would not be able to stay on track with her financial obligations and could lose her housing.

T.H. requested rental assistance through UFF for future rent assistance. She felt the assistance would provide her with an opportunity to recover some of the funds she exhausted during her move. Her UFF case manager worked with her to obtain the required documents needed to receive rental assistance. With the assistance from UFF, T.H. was able to focus on her job and family.

Through hard work and commitment to her job, in October 2023, T.H. was offered a permanent position at Barnes Jewish Hospital, earning $16 per hour—a 14% pay increase. In addition to earning a higher wage, she is now eligible for full medical benefits for her and her family! T.H. is thankful for her new permanent position at BJC. She is also grateful for the assistance provided through UFF and the employment opportunity with MWS, a social enterprise of Employment Connection.


Looking Back at 2023

Speaking of MWS, our social enterprise staffing agency placed 135 clients with employers in 2023. As T.H.'s story shows, many of these jobs turn into permanent employment with great pay and benefits.


Our new Green Jobs Program graduated its first class in the fall of 2023, with 11 new graduates who have received several certifications and other training to prepare them for a new career in the Green Jobs sector. We are planning to host our next cohort this Spring! Thanks to the Missouri Department of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, and many other partners that have made this initiative a reality! 

Our Dutchtown Opportunity Coalition for Youth initiative continues to grow. DOCY is actively serving 123 young people from Dutchtown, Gravois Park, and Mount Pleasant, in addition to engaging with over 600 area youths at more than 50 outreach events hosted or attended by the DOCY Team.

Our Section 3 Program certified 264 new clients in 2023. Section 3 certification provides training and access to work opportunities in the construction trades to people in low-income areas and also certifies contractors to employ these individuals on HUD-funded projects in underserved areas.


Our Client Services and Career Services Teams guided 592 graduates through our World of Work job readiness program in 2023 for a remarkable 89% completion rate. World of Work is the first step for many in pursuit of employment, stability, and self-sufficiency. *This figure does not include WIOA-served clients who also completed the WoW training.

In 2023, Employment Connection provided over $670,000 in housing assistance across 678 instances. This includes $600,000 in direct payments to landlords for rent and deposit assistance, $12,500 in utility assistance, and $58,000 towards emergency housing services for domestic violence victims.


Supporting the Isis A. Mahr Fund Against Gun Violence

Employment Connection is proud to support anti-violence initiatives and efforts. In 2023, we were able to contribute $4,000 to the Isis A. Mahr Fund Against Gun Violence. Isis was a recent graduate of Cardinal Ritter High School and an activist against youth gun violence whose life was tragically cut short. We proudly memorialize her legacy and will forever love her family, which is led by Brenda Mahr, our former CEO. 


In Loving Memory of Bernard Hatley

Bernard, who served as a Career Specialist with our Career Services team, recently passed away. Bernard was a beloved member of our team who used his own lived experiences as a bridge to build trusting and credible relationships with our clients. The EC family mourns his loss and expresses our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones. This photo shows Bernard (pictured far right) as he worked with his teammates to pick up and deliver new cookware sets for our clients. Bernard was always happy to do whatever he could to serve our clients.


EC Out and About

Tamara and Phillip from our WIOA Team recently visited Sumner High School to inform students about the exciting educational and employment services that are available to them as part of this great program. We appreciate the partnership we have with SLPS and their wonderful schools!

Shantel from our Career Services Team recently attended an OVP Kickback event to recruit individuals in need of our services. This young man we met at the event recently graduated from our WOW class! Congrats and great job, Shantel!


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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