Job Point Serves More Than 600 People for Fiscal Year 2012
COLUMBIA - Job Point served 694 people for its fiscal year of 2012. President and CEO, Jim Loveless credits the success of Job Point to its vision of helping people fulfill their dreams.
"We talk about what we do as a helping hand up rather than a helping hand out," said Loveless.
Loveless said Job Point's main goal is to train people and more importantly help people compete, find, and keep employment in the competitive businesses in Columbia. He says over the years the company has had a great success with finding people good, paying jobs that pay $30-$35 a hour.
This year the average hourly starting wage was $9.56 and 73 percent of adults entering employment maintained their job for at least 90 days.
There are more than 300 businesses in Columbia that have Job Point students. Business consultant, Karen Apple, said without the community's help Job Point would not be able to serve as many people as it does.
"Without the partnerships we have in Columbia it would be very hard for our folks to get work," said Apple.
Loveless says that Job Point is all about transferring people with very little in front of them to people who are contributing and productive members of society.
Job Point has many programs such as:
• Employment Services
• Columbia Builds Youth
• Civic Youth Corps
• Community Housing Development
• Skills Training
The City of Columbia funded four classes that Job Point made available this year. They are skills training classes for income-eligible residents in the areas of Computer Operations, Internet Job Search, Certified Nursing Asssitant and Highway/Heavy Construction.
The Cosmopolitan Luncheon Club in Columbia established Job Point in 1964. Loveless said one of the gentlemen involved in helping establish the company had a daughter who had down syndrome and was worried about her placement in the business world.
"She was approaching the age where she was finishing school with nothing in store for her in the future," said Loveless.
The dad and daughter applied for a federal grant and established a sheltered workshop were young ladies would iron clothes and men would repair Pepsi cases.
Job Point used to be called Advent Enterprises in the mid 1980s. Once the company moved toward the employment of people with disabilities it changed the name to Job Point.
Loveless said over the years Job Point has run a sheltered workshop, provided residential services to people with disabilities, helped people live as independently as they could. Job Point also established a cleaning service where some students were hired as employees and had contracts with businesses around Columbia.