UCP Heartland’s Record Growth in Employment Program

UCP Heartland experienced record-breaking growth in our Employment Education and Training Program with 141 individuals currently in training, preparing for competitive employment—the highest number actively in the program to date.

The Employment Education and Training Program is 240 hours, or 12 weeks, of coaching in areas such as housekeeping, laundry, banquet services and guest services. Trainees focus on building specific job skills with a goal of being ready for employment at the end of the program.

Providing this training is one of UCP Heartland’s key areas of care because of the crucial need for such aid in St. Louis City and County, where over 114,000 individuals are living with a disability. With only 44% of working-age adults with intellectual disabilities in the labor force, UCP Heartland recognizes the importance of a helping hand in employment education and training.

In a partnership with local hotel management companies, UCP Heartland has been able to create an employer-driven paid education and training program to answer the need in the community. The comprehensive collaboration was founded in St. Louis with The Hyatt and has since secured anchor hospitality partners including but not limited to Marriott, Holiday Inn, Drury, Pedestal Foods and Hyatt Regency.

Donor funding alleviated a UCP Heartland gap in funding, so that the highest quality of education and training could continue to improve and expand in the furthering of job skills and placement of adults (21 or older) with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

UCP Heartland is expecting a 1.5% cut in public funding following a recent Missouri legislature decision. However, UCP Heartland is committed to continue improving and expanding the Employment Education and Training Program to help more individuals with disabilities gain the education and training they need to make a positive impact on the community.