The Washington Post / Contributor
The center, sponsored by the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, will train young men in finding—and retaining—jobs
A facelift is coming to the Ferguson gas station that was burned and looted at the height of the Michael Brown protests.
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis (ULMSL) plans to turn a local Quik-Trip into a job-training center for the area’s young Black men.
“This truly is a ‘rising from the ashes’ to demonstrate how our community can work together to bring about positive change in the wake of events that have disrupted lives, prompted community unrest and impacted the business environment,” said ULMSL President Michael McMillan in a statement.
Over the next several years, the center, which is part of the organization’s “Save Our Sons” program, will serve up to 500 unemployed men and will offer tips for job hunting and job retention. After one month of training, the graduates are guaranteed jobs at local businesses. Two companies, which have chosen to remain anonymous, have already pledged $10/hr jobs to the first 40 men who complete the program.
Urban League officials feel that the Quik-Trip, which was burned down by demonstrators on August 10, one day after Brown was fatally shot, represents the change that they hope to enact within the community.
“It serves as a symbol of what had transpired,” McMillan said to St. Louis’ CBS’ affiliate. “It is our goal to take it into a phoenix rising from the ashes so that we will then transform what was a tragedy and turn it into a triumph.”
Construction is expected to start later this spring.
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