Helping build bright futures

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, communities across the country have experienced widespread job loss, with the unemployment rates in Missouri and Illinois jumping to 10.1% and 15.2%, respectively. For families who were already struggling to meet their basic needs, a sudden loss of income can add to their challenges.   

With support from a United Way emergency response grant, Employment Connection is helping people experiencing job loss gain stability by: 

  • Partnering with employers in industries experiencing growth because of the pandemic (commercial cleaning, healthcare, distribution and manufacturing) to place clients in high-demand jobs. 
  • Providing virtual job training courses to safely teach clients workplace and life skills.  
  • Working with clients individually to determine other supports needed to maintain stability, including housing or utility assistance, counseling, transportation and more. 

What this support means 

Additional funding from United Way has enabled local nonprofits to provide assistance to more than 5,500 people experiencing wage interruption, like Daryl.* 

Daryl had recently become homeless when he came to Employment Connection. A fast learner, Daryl excelled in his training courses, and he was connected with a local construction firm, which hired Daryl after a period of transitional job training. Daryl also received housing assistance while he was waiting for his first paycheck, making it possible for him to move into a home of his own. 

We are all United 

This is just one example of the critical work being done in our community right now. In the coming weeks, United Way will continue to stand by our region, helping with both critical disaster relief and long-term recovery efforts. 

*Name has been changed for privacy.  

Take action now:

  • If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, dial 2-1-1 or visit to get connected to local resources.
James Taylor
James Taylor