Living in poverty?
By Brenda Mahr
Did you know over 23,000 African-American men over 18 are living in poverty in St. Louis City (13,351) and County (9,949). Poverty, however, impacts all races and genders and among those over 18, it is estimated that 23.51 percent in St. Louis County and 46.1 percent in St. Louis City are living in poverty. Is it any wonder crime is proliferating in our region?
Employment Connection (EC), a proud member of the United Way, has been fighting crime with employment for over 40 years by developing relationships with employers, training programs, and funders advocating for those living in poverty. Employers now paying $10 per hour for full-time positions, say “We will train, GED/high school diploma not required, but no drugs, no records, and no cigarettes! It is a difficult task to find people, especially men, meeting these benchmarks.
Rather than resort to crime, let’s get to work and improve our community for our families. It can be done! Just consider this note from a former client of EC:
“At the time I came for assistance I was a homeless veteran with four years of service. I received support through Employment Connection with my housing and secured employment with Managed Work Service as a floor tech. I am now an environmental services specialist working full-time and receiving benefits. If it wasn’t for the outstanding assistance that the Employment Connection Staff rendered to me, I would still be homeless, jobless and maybe incarcerated. Working together with … we were able to make sure I met every qualification and had everything I needed to meet eligibility. I was determined not to be in the same state that I was when I first came through the doors and they were very eager and willing to help me. My sincerest thank you!”
For those wanting to work, without a record, over 18, and who maintain sobriety, we have positions open now. With the poverty rate so high for men, we are particularly interested in employing them with starting wages of $10 an hour with a raise and full medical benefits after 89 days of “on the job training.” After one year of employment, educational reimbursement is also available. Females are also welcome.
If you want to work, please call Jesse, Lisa or Jackie at 314-333-5600 or 314-333-JOBS (5627).
Brenda Mahr, MWDP is Chief Executive Officer of Employment Connection, a proud member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Member: St. Louis Alliance for Reentry (STAR); Community Advisory Board-St. Louis Regional Health Commission; National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice; Vashon Alumni Hall of Fame; 2015 Archdiocese St. Charles Lwanga Torchbearer Awardee.