Programs & Services

Why Should You Choose MERS Goodwill for Services?

  • Our Placement services prepare applicants for the interviewing process, finding employment, and maintaining employment, all with input from the business community through our partner employers.
  • In addition to Placement services, we offer a variety of services including evaluation and assessment to assist in planning a career path.
  • Our training programs provide individualized learning strategies and practical hands-on work experience.
  • We offer realistic information regarding short and long-term employment options.
  • All of our staff possesses either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in their field, or extensive experience working with people with disabilities and locating employment.
  • Our staff are knowledgeable about community resources, able to connect our clients with supports for childcare, HiSET classes, medical care, and more.
  • Our downtown St. Louis location offers an on-site daycare facility for the Excel Center, and a cafeteria.
  • Our Lippman Center in Mid-St. Louis County offers a HiSET class on-site.

The primary focus and success of MERS/Goodwill’s employment and rehabilitation programs is in our ability to prepare people for the world of work. To be successful on a job involves having sufficient self-esteem and self-confidence, meeting the challenges of one’s personal life and being able to deal with the complexities of interpersonal relationships with co-workers and supervisors, as well as being able to perform the actual work tasks. MERS/Goodwill provides the opportunity to work toward the goals needed to achieve the maximum level of productivity in one’s personal life and employment. Below is a list of services we offer. Click on a service to see a description.

Programs & Services

All programs and services are offered Monday-Friday from 8-4 unless otherwise noted.

The Autism Employment Program helps individuals on the Autism Spectrum prepare for the world of work through 1:1 support, group workshops and social skills groups, community volunteering, placement services, and continued job supports. ASD staff assists individuals in building a program designed around strengths and needs to allow for success at work.

Services in the Autism Employment Program are holistic in that a program member is supported through community social opportunities and some independent living skills. A new facility has been constructed for the Autism Employment Program, with the lighting, color palette, and an interior design created to be calming for the individual on the Autism Spectrum. If you or someone you care about is on the Autism Spectrum and is in need of help finding successful employment, we can help.

Contact the Lippman Center (St. Louis) at 314-647-7453, Columbia Center at 573-499-1220, or St. Charles at (636) 946-7559 today.

Brain Injury Employment Program

Employment Services for individuals with a Brain Injury offer participants the benefit of working with professionals who have expertise and understanding of working with those who have sustained various brain injuries.  Individuals may need assistance in determining assistive technology/accommodations needed to return to work, and reinforcing specific and individualized compensatory strategies.  The program offers a supportive team including a case manager and job developer that works in collaboration with an individual’s support network such as their OT/PT/ST and Neuropsychologist to assist in obtaining and retaining successful employment.  The program is individualized based on the participant’s needs and provides ongoing support throughout the employment process.

This program is offered through the Lippman Center (314-647-7453) and the office in South St. Louis County (314-845-1922).

Click here for a presentation on the MERS Goodwill Brain Injury Program.

Career Counseling & Vocational Education

This program assists individuals with barriers to employment with determining appropriate vocational goals, and identifying areas which may interfere with success.  This program may last several hours to several weeks, depending on participant needs. Career Counseling and Vocational Evaluation is offered at all MERS/Goodwill Career Center locations (see “Find a Career Center” to contact an office closest to you to for referral or private pay information).

Deaf & Hard of Hearing

This program is designed to provide career counseling and job placement services to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as provide support and guidance regarding communication once the individual is employed.   Case managers are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and knowledgeable about deaf culture.  This program is offered through the following MERS Goodwill Career Center locations: Aftergut in Downtown St. Louis, Columbia, Lippman Center in Brentwood, South St. Louis County, North St. Louis County, and St. Charles County.  Please see “Find A Career Center” for contact information, and program specifics at each location, as well as referral/private pay options.

Supported Employment:

A program designed to meet the employment needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The components involved are Discovery and Exploration, Job Development, Job Coaching, and Long-Term Retention.

Supported Employment Services are available at all Career Center locations.  Please see “Find a Career Center” for contact information and program specifics at each location, as well as referral/private pay options.

Supported Living:
Individuals in St. Louis City with various disabilities are assessed for strengths and needs in living independently. MERS/Goodwill provides assistance with identification of the apartment or house, referral to other neighborhood services, and long-term supports.

Offered through the Aftergut Center 314-241-3464.

Organizational (Sheltered) Employment:

Provides employment and case management services to persons who are choosing a sheltered workshop setting. Participants are required to be certified eligible for commensurate wages through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Some of the piece-rate work experiences available include packaging, assembly, collating, and machine operation on site at the MERS Goodwill facility or with employer partners in the community.

Offered at the Jennings location (314) 371-1296:  7 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. Mon-Fri.

In addition to services described under the Excel Centers tab:

GED classes are offered at the Lippman Center throughout the school year Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. – noon.  This program is for individuals wishing to obtain a high school equivalency.

All other programs at the Lippman Center are offered Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Contact the Lippman Center for more information at 314-647-7453

*Please call for availability, updated scheduling, and to learn about the enrollment process for any of these programs.

Community Employment Services (Job Placement Services):

This program assists individuals with barriers to employment in finding the best job match, taking into consideration interests, skills, and abilities, and using an individualized service plan. Participants are paired with an Employment Specialist for weekly meetings to create a resume, master application, references, and cover letter, in addition to networking with employers, practicing interview skills, and other necessities for finding and keeping a job.

Employment Services are offered at all Career Center locations (See “Find a Career Center” to contact an office closest to you for referral or private pay information).

ACCESS Program:

This program assists individuals who are survivors of intimate partner violence with employment.  This program is offered through the Lippman Center by referral only.  Contact 314-647-7453 for referral and program information.

Jewish Community Employment Services:

A Jewish Federation-funded program that offers people who are unemployed or transitioning into a new career with career counseling, job development, job leads, resume and cover letter writing, job searching skills, and interviewing strategies. The office is located in Brentwood at the MERS Goodwill Lippman Center.  For more information about the program or to team up as an employer offering positions to the public, please contact 314-647-7453 or [email protected]

Transition from School to Work:

This program provides high school students with disabilities the skill and work experiences to prepare them for successful employment and service linkages after graduation.  This program is offered at all Career Center locations.  (See “Find a Career Center” to contact an office closest to you for referral or private pay information).

Missouri Work Assistance:

Provides employment related services in 60 counties in Missouri to individuals who are receiving Temporary Assistance cash benefits from FSD. Participants are provided with vocational counseling, job readiness training, job placement assistance, and supportive services.

Please contact 314-241-3464 for contact and referral information.  MWA services are offered Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the following counties:

Adair, Audrain, Bollinger, Boone, Butler, Callaway, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Clark, Cole, Cooper, Crawford, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Gasconade, Howard, Howell, Iron, Knox, Laclede, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Maries, Marion, Miller, Mississippi, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, New Madrid, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Pike, Pulaski, Ralls, Randolph, Reynolds, Ripley, Schuyler, Scott, Scotland, Shannon, Shelby, St. Francois, St. Genevieve, Stoddard, Texas, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wright

WIOA Adult and Dislocated Worker Program:

Workforce programs for adults who are financially eligible (i.e. receiving public assistance) or who have been dislocated as a result of a layoff.  These programs are managed by MERS Goodwill in Jefferson and Franklin Counties in Missouri, in partnership with the Office of Job Training Programs.  Staff are located in the Arnold and Washington Job Centers.  Services include career counseling and plan development with additional possible support such as workshops, skills training, tuition support, work experience, or on the job training.

Please contact Trish Davids at 636-524-8592 for information.  Services are offered Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

WIOA Youth Program:

Provides youth with support exploring careers, work experience, group education, job development and placement services. Sites are located in Jefferson and Franklin Counties in Missouri; and in the Illinois counties of Bond and Madison.

Please contact 314-241-3464 for contact and referral information.  Services are offered Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Juvenile Justice Program offered at the Innovative Concept Academy helps youth in juvenile detention centers find employment and obtain their High School Diploma through Missouri Options. Please contact ICA at 314-231-3720 for scheduling and referral information.

Senior Services – SCSEP

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is offered by MERS Goodwill in many counties throughout eastern, central, and southeast Missouri, along with southern Illinois.  It is designed to provide subsidized, part-time, training and work-experience to low-income persons age 55 or older that need help finding a job.

Click this link to request an application or additional information: MERS Goodwill SCSEP Contact Form

Goodwill® proudly participates in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a national employment and training program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. A $22,938,400 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor provided 90 percent of the funding for Goodwill’s SCSEP programs in the program year 2021. Goodwills provided the remaining 10 percent through in-kind contributions worth $2,548,711.  See http://www.goodwill.org/scsep/ for funding details.

St. Louis, MO – MERS Missouri Goodwill Industries, Inc. received a subaward of $2,123,288 and is contributing in-kind contributions valued at $246,789 to cover the remaining 10 percent of operational costs.

SCSEP Community Service:

SCSEP has a long history of placing volunteers at non-profit and government agencies to assist in the operations the organization.  SCSEP volunteers can assist with duties like customer service, reception, data entry, file maintenance, inventory, stocking, janitorial or whatever the needs of the host organization may be.  Participants are usually required to volunteer a scheduled 20 hours per week.  All expenses and liability are covered through the grant, so there is no cost to the host organization.

Goodwill® proudly participates in the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a national employment and training program funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. A $22,938,400 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor provided 90 percent of the funding for Goodwill’s SCSEP programs in the program year 2021. Goodwills provided the remaining 10 percent through in-kind contributions worth $2,548,711. See http://www.goodwill.org/scsep/ for funding details. MERS Missouri Goodwill Industries, Inc. received a subaward of $2,123,288 and is contributing in-kind contributions valued at $246,789 to cover the remaining 10 percent of operational costs.

SCSEP Training:

The only thing asked of the host organization is that they supervise and train the SCSEP volunteer.  One of the primary goals of SCSEP is to train the participants on the job skills they need in order to eventually find permanent employment (either at the host organization or elsewhere).   A skills assessment and an Individual Employment Plan (IEP) define and focus the training goals for each participant.  Most participants are assigned a variety of tasks that give them both recent experience to record on their resumes, and the confidence of having more up-to-date skills.

SCSEP Placement Services:

The ultimate goal of SCSEP is to prepare and transition each participant into permanent employment.  The IEP for every participant includes a requirement that they actively search for a job.  A job developer is assigned to each participant to provide assistance with the job search, resumes, and interview coaching.

SCSEP Supportive Services:

SCSEP can provide a variety of supportive services, the most important being a training wage for the time a participant spends volunteering at their host organization.  Each participant is paid minimum wage for the 20 hours per week they volunteer/train at the host organization.  In addition, assistance with interview or work clothing as well as other supportive services to assist the participant with employment can be provided.

For more information, please visit the national website for the program: www.doleta.gov/seniors/
You can also call MERS Goodwill SCSEP at 1-888-651-4177 with any questions, or to obtain the forms necessary to participate in Title V – Senior Community Service Employment Program.

Contact the Lippman Center 314-647-7453 for eligibility and enrollment information.

This program is not currently offered.  Please check back

MERS/Goodwill also offers a variety of skills training programs. These training classes provide individualized instruction, equip consumers with entry level skills, and offer certificates of completion. While in training, students may utilize support groups and case management services available through the rehab programs. Training areas include:

Office Computer and Administrative Skills Training: The 26-week office skills training includes learning typing and data entry, clerical applications, personal computer operations, Windows operating systems, and word processing applications. An emphasis is placed on learning the Microsoft Office Suite. Business math, English, spelling, filing, calculator and office procedures are also taught, as needed. Students practice on assigned computers, learn to use office equipment, and understand typical office procedures.

Building Maintenance: This 30-week course is an entry-level study of the basic principles of carpentry, electricity, plumbing and air conditioning. This program prepares students for basic building maintenance, including EPA approved certification for HVAC Recovery. It includes extensive time in a shop completing actual work projects.

Culinary Arts: This 20-week course is designed for students who have an interest in pursuing a career in food service and preparation. Emphasis is placed on building a solid understanding of principles of professional cooking, safety, and sanitation, including extensive hands-on training in the major stations of a working kitchen/cafeteria.

PC Technician: The PC Technician skills training programs include a 20-week program designed for preparing students to achieve A+ certification, and a 10-week program that prepares students for Network+ certification. Successful certification will help students obtain an entry-level position in the IT field, such as computer technician or help desk specialist. These courses also serve as a foundation for students interested in pursuing advanced certifications specific to other areas of the IT field.

  • Office Computer and Administrative Skills Training (Office CAST) at the Aftergut Center and Lippman Center
  • Building Maintenance at the Aftergut Center
  • Culinary Arts at the Aftergut Center
  • PC Tech (A+/Net+) at the Lippman Center

Programs are offered Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Aftergut Center is located downtown at 1727 Locust St., St. Louis, MO  63103

Lippman Center is located in Brentwood at 2545 South Hanley Rd., St. Louis, MO  63144

For more information, see the MERS Goodwill Skills Training Catalog below.

WIOA Youth Services:

WIOA Youth Services provide youth with assistance to develop job goals, work experience, tutoring, support in obtaining a diploma or HiSET/GED, and job placement services. WIOA Youth Services are currently offered in Jefferson and Franklin Counties in Missouri, and the Illinois counties of Madison and Bond.

For Jefferson and Franklin counties, please contact Trish Davids at 636-524-8592.  For Illinois Counties, please contact Mandy Fox at 618-967-0062.

Youth Jobs

STL Youth Jobs is a summer jobs program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24, living in qualifying neighborhoods in the City of St. Louis and various North County Municipalities. Please see http://stlyouthjobs.org for more information. If you are an employer interested in hiring youth this summer through the program, you can find our employer application here: http://stlyouthjobs.org/hire/employer-agreement/. If you are a youth interested in applying for the program, you can find our youth application here: http://stlyouthjobs.org/apply/.

School to Work Transition:

Transition Services (School to Work) provides high school students with disabilities the skills and work experiences to prepare them for successful employment and service linkages after graduation.  This program is offered at all Career Centers, and includes placement services. See “Find a Career Center” to contact an office closest to you for referral or private pay information).

Juvenile Transition Services:

Juvenile Justice helps youth in juvenile detention centers in St. Louis city find employment and obtain their High School Diploma.

Referral/payer sources for MERS/Goodwill services include:

  • Area Agencies on Aging
      • Mid-East AAA
      • St. Louis AAA
      • Aging Matters
      • Senior Age AAA
      • Aging Best
      • NEMO AAA
      • Egyptian AAA
      • Age Smart Community Resource
  • Eastern Regional Alliance
  • Family Support Division
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Federal Probation and Parole
  • Fort Zumwalt School District
  • Francis Howell School District
  • Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities
  • Goodwill Industries International
  • Illinois Department of Human Services, Bureau of Blind Services
  • Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services
  • Jefferson County Developmental Disability Advocates
  • Missouri Job Centers (find the nearest Missouri Job Center at servicelocator.org)
  • Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services
  • Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development
  • Missouri Department of Mental Health, Regional Offices
  • Missouri Division of Vocational Rehab
  • Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind
  • New Beginnings
  • Productive Living Board (St. Louis County)
  • Simon Foundation
  • Special School District
  • St. Charles Developmental Disability Resource Board
  • St. Charles School District
  • St. Louis Community College
  • St. Louis County Division of Workforce Development
  • St. Louis County Domestic Violence Court
  • St. Louis City Family Court
  • St. Louis County Family Court
  • St. Louis Office for Developmental Disability Resources
  • St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS)
  • SLPS, Community Access and Job Training
  • St. Patrick Center
  • The Jewish Federation
  • United Way of Greater St. Louis
  • US Department of Justice
  • US Department of Labor
  • Veterans Administration St. Louis, MO
  • Wentzville School District
  • WDB: Jefferson-Franklin Counties
  • WDB: Madison-Bond Counties
  • WDB: Mid-America Missouri
  • WDB: Southeast Missouri

Service Fees:

Please contact your local office for information regarding referrals and fees.

Rights of Persons Served:

We promise to protect the rights of everyone in our programs.  You have the right to:

  • Be respected and not be treated in any way that could hurt you, make you feel embarrassed, taken advantage of, or left alone
  • Not be asked to buy products from our staff
  • Not to be asked to donate to any cause or give anyone money
  • Be treated fairly no matter your age, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or identity, national origin, veteran’s status, or disability
  • A clean, safe, and supportive training and workspace
  • Choose to accept, pause, or refuse services even if you are working with us in more than one service at the same time—we will explain to you what your decision will mean going forward, to help with making an informed decision
  • Fully join in planning your own services so you can set and reach your goals
  • Choose who works with you to provide these services
  • See the MERS Goodwill parts of your case file
  • Privacy about your services, and to know that only staff members who need to know about your services will know about your services—we will review the privacy statement during your first meeting, and at least once a year after that
  • Choose to be a part of research that we may be doing—we will always follow the rules for ethical and safe research
  • Learn about whether our services are successful and to offer ideas for us to do better
  • Find out how we may have to share information about your services with the legal system—we will try hard to help you meet the conditions of your release, parole or probation
  • Make a complaint about any concerns about your rights not being met that will be looked into and resolved
  • Make a complaint about your services without worrying that it will negatively affect you
  • Seek help from outside services to advocate for you, and get information from MERS Goodwill about legal resources if you want or need it