COLUMBIA-The nonprofit organization Job Point has been approved for $122,655 in state tax credits. Headquartered in Columbia, Job Point is one of four Missouri nonprofits that applied for and won Neighborhood Assistance. Program tax credits through the Missouri Department of Economic Development. The awards total nearly $800,000.
Economic Development Department spokesman Keener Tippin said Job Point was chosen because the agency has “a particular interest in revitalization programs. Job placement is one of our priority areas.”
Since 1965, Job Point has provided employment services such as career counseling and job placement. In the three-year project that ended June 30, it served an estimated 300 people a year, 67 percent of whom stayed employed for a minimum of 90 days. The recently approved tax credits will help fund Job Point’s programs for another three years.
Nancy Silver, Job Point vice president, said the nonprofit agency based its application to the department on prior experience with its tax credit program. Job Point was first awarded tax credits three years ago for its recently ended project.
“We were looking at options for bringing additional resources to the Job Works program to expand it,” Silver said. “We found (NAP) so successful, we chose to reapply.”
The Neighborhood Assistance Program is administered by the Department of Economic Development in an effort to help raise capital for nonprofit agencies that are working on community improvement projects. Businesses and individuals with business income can donate and deduct half the amount of their gifts as credits off their state tax bills. There is also some potential federal tax savings.
Although the project won’t begin until the Department of Economic Development officially contracts with Job Point, Silver said that it’s “just a matter of getting the proper signatures.”
Silver said she anticipated a start date of July 1, but she didn’t receive word of Job Point’s success until the office of Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, called her on June 25. As for the actual start date, Silver said, “It will be dependent on what the state writes into the contract.”
The money generated through the tax credit program will be used for job-readiness training and job-placement assistance and support in the new project. Job Works will take place at the Wilkes Center at 400 Wilkes Blvd. Program participants will receive a vocational training certificate after 40 hours of job readiness training. Assistance will be provided in gaining employment and will continue after job placement for at least a year.
“A critical piece of long-term job retention is to make sure a person has the proper supports in place,” Silver said. “We want to enhance our follow-up activities.”
Follow-up counseling involves Job Point staff maintaining contact with the participant and/or the employer for a minimum of one year, touching base every 30 days for an initial period of 120 days. Silver said the contact is to ensure a smooth transition to competitive employment.
Following a news release in the near future, further information will be made available online at jobpointmo.org and in fact sheets designed for potential donors. Job Point’s e-newsletter will announce the availability of credits.
Silver emphasized that the new project will be based in the First Ward, where the Wilkes Center is located.
“Services are not as plentiful to that segment of the population,” she said. “We pride ourselves on offering services to that area.”
JOB POINT IN COLUMBIA
Job Point has three locations in Columbia.
Job Point Headquarters is at 2116 Nelwood Drive. It provides adult and family literacy education and employment skills training in office technologies, custodial/building maintenance and retail sales to people with economic disadvantages, people with disabilities and participants of the Career Assistance Program. Call Greg Wingert at 474-8560.
The Resource Center is at 1500 Vandiver Drive, Suite 109. It provides career planning, job training and job placement services to people with disabilities, including people with vision or hearing impairments. Call Susan McGee at 777-1500.
The Wilkes Center is at 400 Wilkes Blvd., Suite A. It provides construction trades and job readiness training, as well as job placement services, to youths 16 and older, people with economic disadvantages, people with disabilities and those on probation and parole. Call Gary Taylor at 449-3431.