At the Callaway Resource Network meeting Thursday morning at the Callaway Electric Cooperative in Fulton, Felecia Jackson-Qualls gave a presentation on Job Point.
Jackson-Qualls is recruiting for the company throughout Mid-Missouri.
Job Point is Missouri’s premier employment center and community development company. The company was founded in 1965 by a group of 12 people who had disabled family members and wanted to find a way for them to get out of the world and find something they love to do.
The company helps a multitude of people: unemployed or underemployed people, offenders, people facing economic or educational obstacles, young people aged 16 and over, people with physical or mental health problems, adults and others. students with intellectual disabilities.
“I’m the first person they come in contact with,” she said. “We sit and talk – I sort of pick their brains, listen to their stories, and listen to what their goals are.”
Job Point offers several different resources to help those entering the workforce: YouthBuild, Find a Job, Job Works, Ticket to Job, Disability Services, Skills and Certificate Programs, and Affordable Housing.
YouthBuild helps 16-24 year olds change the trajectory of their lives by helping them study and pass the HiSET, which is equivalent to a high school diploma, as well as vocational training and leadership development.
Ticket to Work is aimed at people with disabilities which offers them the opportunity to work or increase the number of hours they can work without compromising their cash benefits. Vocational training and certificate programs include HVAC, Road / Heavy Construction, Carpentry, Office Technology, and Certified Practical Nurse.
Each course comes with its own training, workshops, duration and criteria, but they all offer individuals the opportunity for hands-on learning with great potential for income and growth.
“We cover it all,” Jackson-Qualls said. “I think it’s a blessing for our classes because most of these people come to us and they are not able to afford the tuition, so we find resources for those tuition to pay.”
United Way, Boone County Children’s Services Fund, City of Columbia, AmeriCorps, and YouthBuild are helping meet tuition needs. Individuals also have the option of receiving scholarships to help with educational purposes.
As they have seen people drop out and come back, Job Point keeps the scholarships for seven years in case the individual returns.
“We’re not putting you out,” Jackson-Qualls said. “You get mad. It’s up to them to decide, the ball is in their court.
As of September 2020, Job Point has served 336 people, and 75% of adults have held their jobs for at least 90 days after being hired.
For more information about the company, visit jobpoint.org.