MERS Goodwill is proud to partner with United Way of Greater St. Louis to support many initiatives and programs like STL Youth Jobs. STL Youth Jobs is a civic collaboration providing meaningful employment opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-23 from St. Louis City to North County. It is programs like these that take young adults and allow them to have brighter futures.
Ferguson, Mo. native, Darius, was a STL Youth Jobs program participant in the fall of 2014 who received job readiness and financial literacy training.
Before STL Youth Jobs reached out to him, Darius had no knowledge of how to put together a job application or resume, he didn’t know how to dress or how to answer interview questions. These are vital employment prerequisites that his school, and many other schools, don’t teach their students.
STL Youth Jobs teaches young adults the skills that they need in order to get a steady job. The program also partners with local companies that hire and mentor these young adults.
Through STL Youth Jobs, Darius was able to get a job as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. While it wasn’t much, the job gave him a sense of pride and he worked hard, eventually being moved up to help prep and cook food in the kitchen.
“A year ago, I probably didn’t have a goal,” said Darius. “[This job] makes me feel good. Makes me feel special…like I’m somebody,” said Darius. Now, he wants to go to culinary school and eventually own his own restaurant.
STL Youth Jobs is funded by MERS Goodwill, the United Way of Greater St. Louis and many other local businesses and organizations, as well as members of the community.
“Our partnership with STL Youth Jobs is not only an investment in the youth around us, but in our community,” said David Kutchback, President and CEO of MERS Goodwill. “These young adults want to work, but don’t know the first steps towards getting a job.”
While the program continues to grow, more funding is needed. STL Youth Jobs is looking for donors and local companies to be STL Youth Jobs employers.
Click here if you are interested in supporting STL Youth Jobs.