SDI’s Jason Hartsfield Named Co-chair of St. Louis Regional Employment Nexus

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Jason Hartsfield, Adult Career Services Coordinator at SDI, was recently elected co-chair of the St. Louis Regional Employment Nexus, along with Bonnie Forker, Employment Service Manager at Paraquad. The Nexus strives to bridge the gap between area employers and job candidates who are chronically under-represented in the workplace.  It works as a collaborative effort among employment service providers across St. Louis City and County.

The mission of the St. Louis Regional Employment Nexus is “to leverage career opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment through collaboration and business partnership,” a cause that aligns closely with what we do at SDI each and every day. The Nexus provides a single point of contact for employers looking to bolster their inclusive hiring efforts.

As an active member who has faithfully served on the Nexus strategic planning committee, Jason is eager to take on this new leadership position.I’m personally a huge fan of collaboration,” Jason says. “The Nexus allows us to prioritize our two biggest customers: job seekers and employers. It’s a great way to share resources and best practices.”

The corporate world is gradually becoming more aware of the increased productivity and morale associated with a diverse and inclusive workforce. Nexus meetings and special events offer an ideal forum for hiring managers and HR professionals to begin developing their own inclusive hiring strategies.

For employers and service providers in St. Louis City and County as well as Jefferson County, the Nexus meets the third Thursday of every month from noon—1:30 p.m. at the Missouri Job Center in St. Ann. The Nexus serving St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren Counties meets the second Friday of every month, from 9:30— 11:00 a.m. at the Missouri Job Center in St. Peters.

Each meeting represents an opportunity to share resources, ask questions, brainstorm ideas and discuss some of the challenges and solutions to hiring people with disabilities, justice-involved individuals and candidates from other underemployed groups.

A truly inclusive workforce can only be achieved through unwavering commitment from employers, service/advocacy organizations and job seekers. Between such partner organizations as SDI and Paraquad, the Nexus has grown to include more than 100 different companies throughout the region. Jason is pleased that the movement is finally gaining momentum across our state.

“There are now 14 different Nexus groups in Missouri, and I’m proud to play a part in it,” Jason asserts. “I’ve been able to develop an online database of employer contacts that every Nexus member organization can access.”

For more information about the St. Louis Regional Employment Nexus, email stlemploymentnexus@gmail.com.

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