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 ESL classes and 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
Autism Employment Program
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 offers the client the benefit of working with professionals who have expertise and understanding of working with those who have sustained various brain injuries. These 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 client’s needs and provides ongoing support throughout the employment process.
This program is offered through the Lippman Center 314-647-7453.
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 consumer 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 comprehensive vocational evaluation 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 and job developers 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, Columbia, Lippman, South County, North County, Franklin 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.
A program designed to meet the employment needs of individuals with 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.
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 Forest Park location (314) 371-1296: 7 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. Mon-Fri.
Education & Literacy
GED and ESL classes are offered at the Lippman Center throughout the school year Monday-Thursday. These programs are for individuals wishing to obtain a high school equivalency or for those who would like to improve their English communication skills if English is not their primary language.
GED classes are offered 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
ESL classes are offered 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Contact the Lippman Center at 314-647-7453
Missouri Options classes for High School Diploma are offered at the Innovative Concept Academy for individuals aged 17-21.
Contact ICA at 314-436-3540 for more information on eligibility and referral information.
*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).
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:
This program assists unemployed and underemployed members of the Jewish Community in all phases of the job search process. This program is by referral only and is located at the Lippman Center, provided with funding from the Jewish Federation. Contact 314-647-7453 for more information.
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 54 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: Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Iron, Madison, Perry, St. Francios, Ste. Genevieve, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Camden, Crawford, Gascondade, Laclede, Maries, Miller, Phelps, Pulaski, Scott, Stoddard, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, St. Charles, Shelby, Warren, Adair, Clark, Knox, Schuyler, Scotland, Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Texas, Wright, Butler, Carter, Dent, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, and Wayne.
WIOA Adult and Dislocated Worker Program:
A job readiness training and placement program for residents of the Missouri counties of Jefferson, Franklin, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Perry, Iron, Madison, Bollinger, Cape Giradeau, Stoddard, Scott, Mississippi, New Madrid, Dunklin, Pemiscot, Schuyler, Scotland, Clark, Adair, Knox, Lewis, Macon, Shelby, Marion, Pike, Montgomery, and Lincoln.
Please contact 314-241-3464 for contact and referral information. Services are offered Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
WIOA Youth Program:
Provides youth with appropriate vocational goals, work experience, group education, job development and placement services. Sites are located in St. Louis City, Jefferson and Franklin Counties in Missouri; and in the Illinois counties of Bond, Madison, Randolph, Monroe, St. Clair, Washington, and Clinton.
Please contact 314-241-3464 for contact and referral information. Services are offered Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 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.
Halfway House Transitional Residential Services: This program is for women leaving state and federal correction centers and provides transitional housing and supportive services 24 hours/day. This program is through referral only, and located at the Aftergut Center. Contact 314-241-3464 for more information on eligibility, referral, and program 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.
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 $20,971,372 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor provided 90 percent of the funding for Goodwill’s SCSEP programs in the program year 2018. Goodwills provided the remaining 10 percent through in-kind contributions worth $2,330,152.44. See http://www.goodwill.org/scsep/ for funding details.
St. Louis, MO – MERS Missouri Goodwill Industries, Inc. received a subaward of $2,064,156 and is contributing in-kind contributions valued at $239,266.35 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.
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.
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.
Veterans are referred to MERS/Goodwill through the Veterans Administration-Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E). Services may include:
- Evaluation and Career Counseling offered at all Career Centers
- Placement Services offered at all Career Centers
- Skills Training Programs
Contact the Lippman Center 314-647-7453 for more information.
WIOA Youth Services:
WIOA Youth Services provide youth with assistance to develop job goals, work experience, tutoring, support in obtaining a diploma or GED, and job placement services. WIOA Youth Services are currently offered in: City of St. Louis, Jefferson County, and Franklin County.
For St. Louis City, please contact Rosalind Mack at 314-982-8827. For Illinois Counties, please contact Robin Pruitt at 618-979-0351. For other locations please contact 314-241-3464 for contact and referral information.
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 through Missouri Options. This service is offered at our downtown St. Louis Innovative Concept Academy and in St. Louis County. Please contact ICA at 314-231-3720 for scheduling and referral information.
Referral/payer sources for MERS/Goodwill services include:
- Bureau of Blind Services
- Community Access and Job Training
- Department of Justice
- Division of Youth Services
- Divsion of Workforce Development
- St. Louis County Domestic Violence Court
- EPS Rehabilitation
- St. Louis Family Court
- Family Support Division
- Federal Bureau of Prisons
- Federal Office of Workers Compensation
- Federal Probation and Parole
- Fort Zumwalt School District
- Francis Howell School District
- Franklin County Board
- Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services
- International Institute
- Lippman Division of Workforce Development
- Missouri Job Centers (find the nearest Missouri Career Center at servicelocator.org)
- Missouri Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
- Missouri Rehabilitation Services for the Blind
- New Beginnings
- Productive Living Board of St. Louis County
- Regional Center
- S.L.A.T.E. St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment
- Simon Foundation
- Southwest School
- 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 Office for Developmental Disability Resources
- St. Louis Public Schools
- St. Louis Regional Center
- St. Patrick Center
- The Jewish Federation
- Veterans Administration IL
- Veterans Administration Springfield, MO
- Veterans Administration St. Louis, MO
- Wentzville School District
- WDB: Jefferson-Franklin Counties
- WDB: Madison-Bond Counties
- WDB: Mid-America Missouri
- WDB: Southeast Missouri
Please contact your local office for information regarding referrals and fees.
Rights of Persons Served:
MERS/Goodwill is committed to protecting and promoting the fundamental rights of persons served in its programs. As a client of MERS/Goodwill, you have the right to:
- Be treated with dignity and respect and to be free from mental, physical, and sexual harassment, humiliation, neglect, abuse, retaliation, and financial or other exploitation.
- Be listened to and treated as an individual, regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran’s status or disability.
- A clean, safe, efficient and supportive training and work environment.
- Choose to accept or refuse any services once those services or the consequences of refusal have been thoroughly explained and understood. This includes participating in two or more services concurrently.
- Actively participate in planning your services. At intake, the consumer and Case Manager will develop a plan. Each consumer has the right to help and set goals for the plan. All consumers are encouraged to talk about their goals and how they want to accomplish them.
- See and review the information compiled by MERS/Goodwill contained in your case file as well as obtain information on progress toward your goals.
- Expect that information about services received will be kept confidential, in accordance with the Statement of Confidentiality. This statement is presented at the time of orientation and reviewed at least annually.
- Have the right to accept or decline participation in research that may be conducted within the scope of the organization. Should that occur, you can be assured that strict human subject guidelines will be followed and ethical practices upheld.
- Receive information about the performance results of MERS/Goodwill services and to offer suggestions for improvement throughout services.
- Be notified of agency policy regarding reporting and relating to the criminal justice system prior to the initiation of services. Every effort will be made to assist you in meeting conditions of your release, parole, or probation.
- Register complaints or grievances with no concern for retaliation or barrier to services.