The Graduate! St. Louis (GSL) Workforce Consortium was established in 2010 through a $4.4 million grant from the Department of Labor. Administered by SLATE, GSL is a partnership between community colleges and career centers across the bi-state St. Louis Metropolitan area. GSL is on track to meet or exceed its stated goal of helping 2,250 area jobseekers the skills, degrees and/or credentials they need to succeed in three key industries: Healthcare, IT and Emerging Green Jobs. The stories of three individuals helped by Graduate! St. Louis, a few among many hundreds, can be found below.
Southwestern Illinois College: Yvetta
Yvetta enrolled in a GSL-funded pre-CNA program at the age of 61 ready to make meaningful changes in her life. After decades as a commercial and school bus driver, she always remembered the special joy she experienced in her first job as nurse aide in East St. Louis. Yvetta brought experience and maturity to her class and by the end of the eight week course, she had increased her reading level from 4.6 to 7.4. Qualifying for the CNA class, she went on to impress her instructors, serve as a role model to the other students, and earn an A. Yvetta is proof positive that it is never too late to change tracks or recapture a dream, and is well on her way to becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant.
St. Louis Community College: Beverly Ann
After three full decades with a major area company, Beverly Ann found herself a dislocated worker in 2010. After reading a Medical Information Intake Specialist (MIIS) flyer at a Missouri Career Center, Beverly contacted the Metropolitan Education and Training (MET) Center and in enrolled in the eight-week accelerated class. Despite initial reservations on her ability to keep pace, she was quickly made to feel welcome by the commitment and support of the MET Center staff. She completed the program with
a 3.4 GPA and soon after started volunteer work in the BJC Missouri Baptist Hospital cafeteria. Her interest, ability and rapport with patients earned her the attention of senior staff, and she successfully applied for a Unit Medical Secretary position when it opened up. Beverly credits the Graduate! St. Louis MIIS program with giving her the strength to pursue another career, and realize her personal and professional goals.
East Central College: Ron
Ron was a non-traditional student in his second semester at East Central College. Struggling with unemployment and poverty, and raising two children as a single father, Ron was severely challenged by a fire that destroyed his home and possessions. Although fortunately no one was hurt, his transitory housing situation naturally affected his ability to pursue his studies. With the support of GSL staff and the help of the Vice President of Student Development, Ron successfully applied for a student worker position in the maintenance department. Furthermore, the on-campus AHERO organization held several fundraisers on his behalf, and helped him reestablish himself and his family in a new apartment. Overwhelmed but thankful for the outpouring of support he received, Ron went on to successfully attain a degree in green technology and pursue full-time employment.
St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment