Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots 

In keeping with Progress 64 West (P64W) mission to support the St. Louis area corporate community, our business committee identified the urgent need for an employable skilled workforce. Our members set out to connect the dots matching the resource of skilled tradespeople to potential employers. Shelle Jacobs of the Missouri Department of Corrections Re-entry Program was discovered as a viable employment resource. We were honored to host her at the P64W monthly business meeting on July 26, 2018. Shelle shared about the programs available through the Department of Corrections that were successful in the re-entry of offenders into our society and community.

Dots began to connect!

The program offers safeguards and benefits to further encourage employers to reach out. Tax incentives are given to companies that hire these individuals that have been trained by the department of corrections. Additionally, each employee hired is bonded for a term by the state program for the security of the employer.

When Shelle explained that one area of training is producing textiles, another dot began to connect! One of our board members at the meeting remembered that a P64W Excellence in Community Development Award winner was looking to continue to grow their textile-based business to a new level. Part of that growth process was the need to hire more skilled workers who know how to sew.

Connecting the dots! 

We took the next step on Friday August 10, 2018. RB Clark, President of P64W along with board member Ed Fasnacht and the business owners looking to expand, toured the facility. It was amazing to see over 50 women working with great pride in what they were accomplishing. It was real rehabilitation happening for those who wanted change in their lives. We could sense hope for the future in these women. At the end of our tour, the business owner did a speed interview process with 15 of the ladies.

More dots to connect going forward 

Connecting the dots with an emphasis on business and infrastructure will help to secure the viability of the St. Louis region -the focus of Progress 64 West. As this story continues, we will keep you updated.

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