STLCC, Covenant House Missouri Receive DOL Grant
St. Louis Community College has received a three-year grant totaling $1.16 million from the U.S. Department of Labor for a collaboration with Covenant House Missouri to diminish the barriers underserved individuals face in accessing education, training and employment.
The grant is one of 20 totaling nearly $24 million awarded as part of the Job Corps Scholars program, a national demonstration project aimed at providing at-risk youth with job skills instruction, educational opportunities and individualized employment counseling.
“We need to be sure that young people, especially those who are working hard to achieve their financial independence, are able to get the skills they need for in-demand jobs,” said U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). “St. Louis Community College has been a leader in developing workforce training programs that meet the needs of the local community. That’s why I’m glad STLCC is teaming up with a great organization like Covenant House Missouri to give more young adults the opportunity to gain the skills, training and education they need to be successful. As chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds labor programs, I will continue to prioritize programs that help young people find a career path early on that allows them to build a better future.”
The project will serve low-income students between the ages of 16 and 24 who encounter obstacles to education and employment that may include being at-risk youth, a dropout, homeless, in foster care, or a parent and in need of training that leads to self-sufficiency.
"This is a terrific partnership that will help break down some of the barriers for homeless and at-risk youth in our city and region,” said Lyda Krewson, St. Louis City mayor. “It's so important that we prepare them for the future by providing equitable access to quality education, workforce and life skills development, and employment opportunities."
Upon completion of an up to 12-month certificate training program, students will secure a job, enter an apprenticeship program, join the Armed Services or transfer to a four-year program.
The Job Corps Scholars program is seeking to increase the number of at-risk youth Job Corps serves, as well as to deliver educational and career skills instruction in a more cost effective manner by serving Job Corps-eligible youth at select community colleges and Historically Black and Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities.
“At STLCC, we aim to expand minds and change lives through education every day,” said Jeff Pittman, Ph.D., STLCC chancellor. “We are grateful to the Department of Labor and to our partner, Covenant House of Missouri, for this opportunity to reach at-risk youth who might otherwise be left behind. STLCC, through its credit and non-credit programs, will offer a number of no-cost training options that can be completed in 12 months or less. We will provide counseling and support at every step along a path to a sustainable future, whether they seek to transfer to university programs or secure a job with good wages.”
With the knowledge, experience and organizational structure to meet the requirements of the Job Corps Scholars Partnership pilot project, including many years of experience with federal training grants, STLCC, in collaboration with CHMO, is well-positioned to assist Job Corps Scholars recruited in St. Louis City and County. These scholars aim to achieve certificated occupational training, acquire the soft skills requested by employers and gain placement in a position with a good wage.
“We are honored to deepen our partnership with STLCC with the support of the grant from the Department of Labor,” said Jessica Erfling, CEO at CHMO. “Covenant House Missouri supports young people on their path from homelessness to hope, and access to quality education and workforce development is a critical part of that path. On behalf of the young people who will now have greater access to opportunity, we are grateful.”
STLCC and CHMO have assisted residents of the St. Louis region for a combined 100-plus years, providing education, training and support services. This grant will allow the region and the individuals served to gain a greater shared knowledge and give life to the concept that personal change is always possible.