Employment Connection, a nonprofit St. Louis community asset, has alleviated barriers to self-sufficiency for individuals with limited opportunities for over 40 years. The organization, founded in 1977, provides valuable resources, training, and support to inspire and empower individuals to change their circumstances, become employed, and attain independence. Today Employment Connection assists over 1,800 individuals annually.
The agency recently partnered with the St. Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program and the City of St. Louis Department of Health to recruit residents form North City neighborhoods (Carr Square and Columbus Square) into a paid carpentry/soft-skills training program.
The St. Louis Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Program delivered 80 hours of basic construction skills training, which focused on skills fundamental to success in the field of carpentry. The training program also introduced participants to: tools/ tool safety, measurements, construction mathematics, and general industry safety requirements. Participants who completed the training also received OSHA-10, First Aid/ CPR, and EPA Lead Residential and Building Science certifications and were assigned to work with staff from the City of St. Louis Building Division in the stabilization of vacant properties. Employment Connection provided soft-skills training and access to other on-site services for their clients including; counseling, housing/utility assistance, transportation and carpentry tools and equipment. Funding for the initiative was provided from The Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Program.
Nine individuals completed the special program and quickly moved into the world of employment. Employment Connection is planning on two additional cohorts this year and will again focus its recruitment in North St. Louis. For more information on this and other EC programs, please call 314-333-JOBS  today or visit www.employmentstl.org.