Posted May 12, 2023
DOORWAYS, 1101 N. Jefferson Avenue 63106
Employment Numbers Increasing
New Strategies Lead To More Jobs
St. Louis – May 12, 2023 The DOORWAYS Career Services & Employment Program has exceeded its fiscal year 2023 performance targets, with two months to go! The goal was to help 50 clients secure employment during July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. The two-person team has already placed 60 clients—120% of goal. Adding in four additional clients who have received job offers but are waiting for start dates, the program is 128% of goal.
All positions pay above the $12 minimum wage, from $14.50 per hour to $19 per hour, and are with well-known companies. In April alone, our clients were hired by BJC, Saint Louis University Hospital, Spectrum Healthcare, Bi-State Development, Sam’s Club, Dierbergs Central Kitchen, Green Clean, Ryder, and a temp agency.
“DOORWAYS serves people who are unhoused or unstably housed and battling health conditions related to HIV and poverty,” noted Chief Program Officer Pat Plumley. “Along with a foundation of housing, we offer 360 degrees of services to help clients build a life of independence and opportunity. Our Career Services/Employment Program is one of the vital resources within our support system.”
The Career Services & Employment Program offers clients more than just jobs. The Director, Tricia O’Brien, explained, “We want to offer clients a career in a job at an employer that offers benefits and opportunities for advancement. That is the only way our clients can move towards a life of self-sufficiency.”
Jocelynn Hill, the DOORWAYS Employment & Self-Sufficiency Specialist, guides clients through the various stages of the process: exploring past experiences and skills to create a resume, identifying careers of interest, referring clients to skill-building programs, etc. According to O’Brien, Hill is a major catalyst contributing to client success. “Jocelynn’s dedication to helping clients improve their lives is obvious to everyone, especially clients.”
Both O’Brien and Hill get to know their clients and work with them respectfully and without judgment, showing genuine interest in an improved quality of life. While initially having little trust in the program, clients quickly begin engaging with increased enthusiasm as they recognize the sincerity of both staff. O’Brien noted, “We believe that our clients won’t care what we know until they know that we care—and our results show that they do!”
Clients aren’t the only ones energized by O’Brien and Hill’s commitment. Peer agencies, community resource providers, and employers are also joining the team. For example, to build a network with other employment professionals serving clients in the City of St. Louis, O’Brien gathered 40 of her peers to begin discussing how they could share information to expand opportunities for their clients. The photo above is from that meeting, held Wednesday, May 3.
Resource partners include the Thomas Dunn Learning Center, NPower, Building Union Diversity, Vocational Rehab, and the Center for Workforce Innovation and the Workforce Solutions Group, both at St. Louis Community College—and the list is growing as we introduce these organizations and employers to our clients.
However, it’s important that these partners support the philosophy to offer careers, not just jobs. “It’s easy for us to get people hired into low-wage jobs without benefits, but that leaves them struggling to survive. The DOORWAYS mission is to improve quality of life, and that requires a career with an employer offering living wages and benefits. So that is what we are trying to give each of our clients who hope to break the cycle of poverty.”
Any employers interested in hearing more about DOORWAYS job candidates, and any community programs supporting employment training, please contact Tricia O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-328-2715. For more information on DOORWAYS, please reach out to the Director of Development & Communications, Jim Timmerberg: email@example.com or 314-328-2705.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Karen Carpentier314-328-2704 | firstname.lastname@example.org