When Deric Mills, 52 and father of two grown children, moved back to St. Louis, he called up his best friend from childhood, Charles Barnes, director of community outreach for FFSC: “He wanted to get his life in order and called me about services at FFSC to find employment,” Barnes said. “But he already had all the skills necessary for a job in construction and his children were grown.”
On occasion, a father who is work-ready and in need of a job will be referred to one of FFSC’s partner programs.
In Deric’s case, he was interested in finding stable employment, so Barnes connected him with the BUD (Building Union Diversity) Training program, a partner program of FFSC that offers an apprenticeship with construction unions for minorities, women and St. Louis residents with or without construction experience.
“During the BUD program and after graduation, Deric was always networking with construction owners,” Barnes explained. “That’s how he finally got his job at Ballpark Village, where he’s now earning $19 per hour for his construction experience, and he will be completing an additional certification with the potential to earn up to $24 per hour.”
Recently, thanks to his new job and the ability to save for one month, Deric was able to purchase his first car at Schicker Ford Automotive Group. Russ Signarino, program director of BUD, said “I’m not surprised by Deric’s success. He’s a hard worker and was always excited about making big changes in his life and now he’s done it! He told me that when his mom visits from out of town, he can now afford to put her in a nice hotel instead of a Motel 6.”