The funding from Emerson’s Ferguson Forward program, MERS Goodwill will provide job training skills and support to at-risk youth beyond the summer STL Youth Jobs program. On December 1, 100 at-risk youth from Ferguson and Dellwood began a 6-month employment program similar to the STL Youth Jobs program, a collaboration between the city of St. Louis, Incarnate Word Foundation and MERS Goodwill that provides job training, support and financial literacy to youth ages 16-23 living in high-risk communities.
As a supporter of STL Youth Jobs, Ferguson-based Emerson has funded $750,000 for the initiative which employed Ferguson-area youth at more than 30 local small businesses and corporations at no cost to the employers. The funding will help MERS Goodwill train, employ and provide ongoing support through job coaches for 100 youth over the next 6 months. Emerson is one of the participating employers and will provide some supplemental training to youth.
When large numbers of young people are unemployed, it is not only a blow to the individuals, it is also a missed economic opportunity for the region. That was the overarching message of a panel discussion held Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and STL Youth Jobs.