Earlier this year, I told you that the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, the city’s federally funded agency that attempts to match employers with properly skilled employees (and to help employees develop their job skills), would be working with St. Louis residents and others who had lost their jobs during the most recent rounds of job cuts at Macy’s.
More than a hundred former Macy’s workers have passed through the SLATE Missouri Career Center since April 2008. Of that group, 32 of them eventually enrolled in training programs (including taking classes at places like Saint Louis University and Webster University) to learn additional skills or to enhance the ones they already had. Another 30 or so of them received other services at SLATE. Fifteen of them found new jobs that they liked. The rest took advantage of a federal retraining program called Career Advancement Accounts, went on to other service providers, or have not yet decided what to do.
These numbers are heartening, and discouraging. Stories about big “bail-outs” rarely mention the individual successes or failures of federal policies. Services like those provided by SLATE are going to be very important in the hard months to come — and greater federal assistance to SLATE should be a high priority to our Congressional delegation.