2010 Annual Report

ASSISTING INDIVIDUALS WITH LIMITED OPPORTUNITIES TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY THROUGH EMPLOYMENT.

Message from Brenda Mahr and JD Luhning

JD Luhning
J.D. Luhning Board President Brenda Mahr CEO

This year has been challenging for the staff, clients and supporters of Employment Connection. The economic environment has affected the majority of citizens in the St. Louis region and many of those hardest hit were the individuals who walked through the doors of Employment Connection in need of assistance. They came to the agency every day determined to make a difference in their lives. It was their determination that reminded the agency’s staff, board and volunteers of the importance of the services we’ve been providing the St. Louis metropolitan region for 33 years. Employment Connection viewed the challenges of 2010 as opportunities to evaluate our services and make moves to strengthen our future. The agency sought out new partnerships and made strategic programming decisions. New programs and funding streams aligning with the agency’s mission and vision were identified, sought after and secured. The Board of Directors provided guidance while establishing the agency’s development and long term goals. This new focus and strategic vision will result in the self-sufficiency of our clients and solidify the agency’s future. The needs of our clients and their successes are at the core of Employment Connection mission, but without the generous support of individuals like you, the agency would not be able to have the impact it does. Individuals enter our building with barriers and needs that are interfering with second chances and self-sufficiency. Your support is what gives us the opportunity to empower, employ and inspire St. Louis. Visitors are always welcome at Employment Connection to see first-hand the effect we have on our clients’ lives.

Table of Contents
Introduction– Who we are The Employment Connection Effect Competitive Employment Program The Big Picture Cooks Who Care Technical Developments Board of Directors Finances Donors Advisory Board Volunteers Staff Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 11 Page 12

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Employment Connection– Who We Are

Employment Connection has over thirty years experience inspiring St. Louis residents and reducing crime through job placements and supportive services. The agency was founded in 1977 after a study by the Young Lawyers Division of the Bar Association of Metropolitan Saint Louis (BAMSL) discovered that employed ex-offenders were 66% less likely to return to incarceration. Our agency immediately began the work of reducing recidivism through employment. In 1980, Employment Connection became a full United Way member agency and expanded its service beyond ex-offenders by assisting recovering substance abusers, the homeless, high school dropouts, women on welfare, U.S. Veterans, and non-custodial fathers. The agency continues to add additional services that address the holistic needs of our clients working toward self-sufficiency. Employment Connection assists nearly 2,000 individuals who have barriers to employment every year.

Mission To assist individuals with limited opportunities to self-sufficiency through employment.

Vision To be the premier placement, retention, career development and advancement program for persons with barriers to employment, empowering them to take charge of their lives and fulfill the needs of the Saint Louis Regional business community.

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The Employment Connection Effect
Employment Connection Clients of the Year Bertha Russell and Kimberly Neal
Bertha Russell came to Employment Connection and enrolled in the Managed Work Services (MWSstl) program. MWSstl provided entry level training for employment in the healthcare field. After completing her training, Bertha was placed into employment at a local hospital and began working diligently. Due to her outstanding performance she was hired on as a regular housekeeper within 90 days. She enjoyed her duties and became very comfortable with her new surroundings. After 10 months of successful employment Bertha decided to apply for the vacant housekeeper lead position. She completed several interviews and was promoted to the lead position. Bertha Russell would like to thank Employment Connection and the staff for giving her the support and the opportunity to achieve her employment successes.

Kimberly Neal moved into a two bedroom apartment in January 2009 as a client of the Veteran’s Supportive Housing Program Project Homecoming-Veterans. Before enrolling in the program Kimberly struggled with several barriers and health problems. In her time as a client she has done everything that the Supportive Housing Program was designed for and more. She has enrolled at Lindenwood University and is pursuing a degree in Health Care Management. Kimberly was hired by the VA hospital were she has been promoted and put into positions of leadership. Kimberly has remained an exemplary and inspirational client of Project Homecoming-Veterans.

Employment Connection’s Investment to the Community It cost tax payers $16,500 to incarcerate an individual for one year in the state of Missouri. For a fraction of that cost, Employment Connection can train, support and place ex-offenders into employment opportunities that lead to self-sufficiency and reduce recidivism. Employment Connection clients add to the community and have invested up to $7,335,360 in earnings over the last two years.

849 Job Placements
2009-2010

Average wage: $9.00/hour

Cycle of SelfSufficiency

Earnings: $7,335,360

Work for 6 months

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2010 Outcomes and Agency Programs
2010 Program Goals and Outcomes
Outcome Orientations Admissions to Work Readiness Training Compete Work Readiness Training Secure Employment Achieved 1900 1186 1030 441 Goal 1452 987 889 484 Percent of Goal 131% 120% 116% 91%

43% of all persons completing work readiness training secured employment!

Managed Work Services A social entrepreneurship that provides oversight to job candidates for 90 days so that employers can assess aptitude and make an informed hiring decision.

New Americans and Employment Project A mentoring program that assists legal immigrants overcome barriers including life skills training, job skills training and cultural adjustment.

Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program Transitional reintegration program to help homeless U.S. Veterans leave the streets for vocational training that will lead to employment and selfsufficiency.

East St. Louis TANF and SNAP Program Serving families on public assistance by ensuring they receive benefits and job placement services.

Bridging Barriers A multi-collaborative program designed to reduce recidivism of ex-offenders by focusing primary efforts on employment, mental health, housing and supportive services.

Building Blocks A life skills, training and job placement program for at risk youth ages 15-17 who are under the supervision of the Juvenile Justice Courts.

Supportive Housing Programs Providing permanent supportive housing case management and job training for Disabled Heads of Households in the County and U.S. Veterans in St. Louis City.

Sustainable Reentry Project Employment program created to reduce recidivism, address increase in release rates and the difficulty of locating jobs for exoffenders returning to high crime and poverty areas.

Back to Health Back to Work Cognitive behavioral therapy program that addresses depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health disorders to assist clients in obtaining and retaining employment.

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Employment Connection Services-The Big Picture
Referral Network– Corrections and Probation Offices, Advisory Council Agencies, One Stop Career Center, Shelters, United Way 211, Continuum of Care and Word of Mouth

Assessment and Enrollment

Competitive Employment Program Work Readiness Training

Supportive Services
   

GED Classes

Substance Abuse Housing Financial Literacy Back to Health/ Back to Work

Business Clothing  Transportation Job Development
 

Individual Employment Plan

In 2010, nearly 2000 individuals came to Employment Connection for assistance. Employment Connection clients begin the process with a referral from our community partners or by word of mouth. Clients are assessed to identify employment needs and enrolled in Competitive Employment Program. This program introduces clients to the working world and begins to alter the way they think about gaining and maintaining employment. After completion clients collaborate with their Career Specialist and create an Individual Employment Plan. This process identifies the client’s employment goals and needs and fosters the partnership between client and Career Specialist. When needed, clients are referred to supportive services housed at Employment Connection or partnering agencies. Clients begin their job search with the guidance of the Career Specialist who provided job referrals, resume and application assistance and general support. After clients Job Placements have been successfully placed, Career Specialists maintain the relationship to ensure employment retention and self-sufficiency.
The Job Search

Client Maintains Employment and Achieve Self-Sufficiency

Follow-Up, Retention and Continued Case Management

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Cooks Who Care
Cooks Who Care is a volunteer program established in 2010 to engage members of the St. Louis Community through providing a nutritious meal for ex-offenders, homeless Veterans and other residents looking to become self-sufficient. Employment Connection staff began to address the fact that very few clients would eat lunch despite being at the agency all day for training. The agency began Cooks Who Care to provide meals to individuals who are committed to changing themselves and their communities. Volunteers prepare a simple sack-lunch for 25-30 students and address an important client need. For more information on volunteering for this program, please visit the Volunteer section of our website at www.employmentstl.org/volunteers or call 314-333-5645.

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Employment Connection’s Technology Developments

Project e3 Employment Connection was in need of an update to the agency’s technology resources. Staff and clients were using dated programs and equipment. In some instances the staff was unable to electronically communicate because of the disparity between individual computers. The agency was given the opportunity to partner with the St. Louis Empowerment Zone and address this need. The support provided by the St. Louis Empowerment Zone assisted with the addition of 43 new computers, updated hardware, four new laptops and servers to be used by Employment Connection staff and clients at the main service location and our satellite office in East St. Louis. This update to the agency’s technology allowed for an expansion to workforce development services, training and placement services and the increase in client employability.

St. Louis GiveCamp Following the upgrade to its internal technology, Employment Connection identified a need to update the agency’s website and digital appeal. Employment Connection collaborated with St. Louis GiveCamp to address the agency’s IT needs. St. Louis GiveCamp is an annual weekend event where software developers, designers, and database administrators donate their time to create custom software for non-profit organizations. Within three days the volunteers designed and created a modern and user friendly website. Please visit our new website at www.Employmentstl.org.

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Employment Connection Board of Directors

PRESIDENT J.D Luhning, Esq. Attorney-at-Law Pitzer Snodgrass P.C. VICE PRESIDENT Prevost V. Foushee Retired, Anheuser-Busch Inc. TREASURER Arthur E. Weiss Financial Advisor Lisart LLC SECRETARY Roy Anderson, Jr. Local Sales Manager Clear Channel Communications

J. Scott Clark Senior Labor Counsel Ralcorp Holdings Inc. Karen A. Davis Senior Vice President Midwest Community Affairs Manager Regions Financial Corporations Bill B. Dorothy II, Esq. Professor of Practice Washington University School of Law

Marti Bloodsaw-Froggie HR Consultant Rodney Gee Principal, Human Resources Edward Jones Leo Ming, Jr. Retired, Vice President, Human Resources & Administration St. Louis convention and Visitors Commission

Walter Robinson Human Resource Manager President casino Al Sears Director, Fixed Income Services Buckingham Asset Management Frank A. Simmons Retred, Mainline Information Systems Sandra Sneed Crew Manager McDonalds Restaurants Kay Tomlinson, Ph. D. Community Volunteer William Watkins President Watkins Building Group LLC

Michael Novack Vanessa Howard Ellis, Esq. Chairman, President and Assistant Attorney General Chief Executive Officer Old Post Office Kiosite Steve Fiamingo, CPA MBA, Candidate Oin Business School Jennifer Price, Esq. Attorney-at-Law Thompson Coburn LLP

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Community supporters can be assured that their charitable dollars are utilized in the most effective and efficient way. As a result of this due diligence, Employment Connection meets all 20 BBB Standards of Charitable Accountability. Employment Connection works diligently to ensure that every dollar donated goes to those who need it most. Below is the summary of our financial year ending 2010 as audited by Conner Ash, P.C. The agency remains in a solid financial position by diligently appropriating its fiduciary responsibility. Please feel free to contact Employment Connection directly if you would like a complete copy of our financial statements.

Arthur E. Weiss
Arthur Weiss Board Treasurer Certified Public Accountant

2010 Operating Revenues
Rounded 00 Building Rental Income Contributions Grants and Contracts United Way of Greater St. Louis Interest and Unrealized Loss on Investments $8,000 $153,000 $2,360,100 $436,800 $70,600 1.00% 8.00% 69.00% 17.00% 5.00%

2010 Operating Expenses
Rounded 00 Competitive Employment Program Managed Work Services Building Rental Expense Management and General Fundraising $2,360,500 81.00%

$314,400 $7,700 $175,500 $65,00

11.00% 1.00% 4.00% 3.00%

2010 Total Revenue

$3,029,300

100.00%

2010 Total Expenses-

$2,923,100

100.00%

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Donors
Employment Connection Club <$100 Atif Mahr, Jr. David and Sarah Anderson Dave Dietrich Dwayne and Debra Richardson Emily Ehrhart Eugene Fowler Frank and Suzanne Poggio Glenn and Susan Bray Harry Little James Robnett Jean Rimmel Jonathan Walz Justyna Bates Kay Tomlinson Larry and Janice Richardson Luke and Mary Meatte Lynne Davis Mark Kaltenrieder Maukiesh and Amber Howard Melvin and Alonda Tate Michael Karasick Miriam Wilhelm Nathaniel Dempsey Patricia Brown Ronald and Dolly Glasper Sandra Sneed Stephen Zegel Glenn and Susan Bray Sylvia Selvey Vanessa Howard Ellis Veronica Travis Directors Club $250+ Brenda Mahr David Kessel Frank A. Simmons James and Martha Davis Leo Ming, Jr. Steven and Ann Graham Watkins Building Group Community Builders $25,000+ United Way of Greater St. Louis Lutheran Foundation Wiley Smith Club $100+ Bill Dorothy Brenda Cass Burnell and Karen Simmons Carla Carter Carol Burkholder Halbert and Jean Sullivan JD Luhning Jessie and Joseph Day John and Maria Shields Karen Simmions Larry and Janice Richardson Leonard Jones Minnie McRoberts Preston and Brenda Vanderford Rodney Gee Roy Anderson Three J Realty LLC Yusef Scoggin Visionaries Club $5000+ Dollar General Literacy Foundation Edward Jones Emerson Charitable Trust Missouri Foundation for Health Simon Foundation Opportunity Fund $1,000 Arthur and Lisa Weiss Boeing Employee’s Comm. Fund Williams and Sandra Hermann Founders Club $500+ Al and Joy Sears Chip and Shelda Shields Joseph M. Arndt Jr. Larry and Debbie Brown Mary Glasener Michael Novack Walter Robinson

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Advisory Board
ARCHS Gail Dickson BASIC Oval Miller CATHOLIC CHARITIES HOUSING RESOURCE CENTER Jane Schoeck CENTER FOR LIFE SOLUTIONS Cheryl Gardine CENTER FOR WOMEN IN TRANSITION Sandy Sperino CHRISTIAN FRIENDS FOR NEW AMERICANS Rev. Dr. Allan Buckman CRIMINAL JUSTICE MINISTRY Sis. Carllen Reck DIVISION OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Donny Carroll FAMILY SUPPORT NETWORK Sue Didier FATHER SUPPORT CENTER Chester Deanes GATEWAY FREE & CLEAN Shelly Wims Karl Pickens GATEWAY HOMELESS SERVICES Toni Muhammad GATEWAY PARENTS SUPPORT GROUP HEALTHLINE Martha Sylvester HOPE HOUSE Vanessa McLaughlin HUMANITRI Edwin Muhammad JUSTINE PETERSON Kristen Schell LOAVES AND FISHES Debbie Push THE MOORISH SCIENCE TEMPLE OF AMERICA, INC. Bro. Todd Irons-El NEIGHBORHOOD OUTREACH CENTER Linda Thompson NEW BEGINNINGS Carrie Williams OASIS INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES Mark Akers OFFENDER WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Felix Mata Charo Davis OUR LADY’S INN Jennifer Reinbold PREFERRED FAMILY HEALTHCARE Kim Feaman PROJECT COPE Adrienne Denson PROVIDENCE INN Angela Hamilton QUEENS OF PEACE Margo Adams RAVEN Janeen McGee SALVATION ARMY REHABILITATION CENTER Alan James SOARING SPIRIT MINISTRIES Janis Frick ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY RELEASE CENTER John Young TIMOTHY EVEANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH Rev. Bill Wilson UNITED STATES PROBARTION & PAROLE Quincy Fountain Jo Cooper URBAN LEAGUE James Smith WESLEY HOUSE Linda Jackons WOMEN’S SAFE HOUSE LaDonna Howard YOUTH EMPOWERMENT SERVICES (YES) Joseph Prophet Eddie Stallings YWCA Crystal Small

Volunteers
Ali Bennet Alicia Crittenden Anthony O’Daniel Bennett Willis Betty Griffin Briana Lewis Cathleen Lewis Chris Hughes Crystal Lancaster Curry Mitchell III David Distelath Derrick Sykes Dyana Jones Ed Bennet Edward Vaughn Erica Burnett Esmond Sanford Eugenia Kilbert Garry Williams Gayla Rich Guerret McKinney Harold Fields Ikeshia Wre Jamar Robinson Jammie Moss Janice Densberry Jeffery Browley Jenny Murphy Jerrell Hawkins Jeruisha Jackson Joel Christensen Jordan Covington Joseph King Kamina Loveless Katee Thornton Margery Union Maurice Murray Myesha Penn Rebekah Titsworth Roosevelt Bynum Samantha Young Sandra Savage Shelton Green Stephanie Taylor Steve Wilkins Tamara Anderson Terry Brown Tyler Vachio

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These volunteers logged more than 3,000 hours of service to Employment Connection. You are all very much appreciated!

Administration Brenda Mahr Chief Executive Officer 33 years David Kessel Chief Operating Officer 15 years Nathaniel Dempsey Executive Assistant 6 years Jonathan Walz Development Associate 2 years Accounting Services Sarah Robinson Sr. Manger, Accounting Services 8 years Nora Davis Accountant 9 years Managed Work Services Jessie Lane Site Supervisor 8 years

Client & Training Services Peggy McKinney Manager, Client Services 9 years Dollaree Glasper Client Services Specialist 8 years

Competitive Employment Program Eugene Fowler Senior Manager, Career Services 7 years Steven Hoven Manager, Career Services 7 years Ex-Offenders, Veterans, Youth and Adults Minnie McRoberts Career Specialist 34 years Tamara Williams Career Specialist 11 years Preston Vanderford Career Specialist 4 years Michael McCoy Manager, Career Specialist 4 years Veronica Travis Career Specialist 4 years New Americans Pat Brown Career Specialist 27 years Back to Health/Back to Work Steve Zegel Licensed Clinical Social Worker 4 years Illinois TANF & SNAP Brian Crues Career Specialist 7 years

Housing Services Yusef Scoggin Manager, Housing Services 2 years Harry Little Housing Specialist 9 years Custodial Staff Oscar Selfe Custodian 4 years Steve Willkins Custodian 1st year

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Main service location

Missouri
2838 Market Street Saint Louis, Missouri 63103 Hours of Service Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm Satellite Office

Illinois
Department of Human Services 225 N. 9th Street East Saint Louis, Illinois 62201 Hours of Service Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm Telephone 618.875.8665

EMPLOYMENT CONNECTION 2838 Market Street Saint Louis, Missouri 63103 314-333-JOBS (5627) www.employmentstl.org