Here is an article about Rep. Smith’s experience in the Missouri’s Voluntary Student Transfer Program (DESEG Program).
YMCA of Greater St. Louis Recognizes Area Legislators for
Ongoing Support of Y Mission
St. Louis, MO (September 30, 2011) – The YMCA of Greater St. Louis on
Thursday recognized area state senators and state representatives for their
support of the Y’s mission and key areas of focus—Healthy Living, Youth
Development and Social Responsibility.
Eighteen area Y branches and Trout Lodge/Camp Lakewood in Potosi
nominated legislators who champion the Y’s cause of nurturing the potential
of every child and teen; improving the nation’s health and well-being; and
giving back and providing support to our neighbors.
The four 2011 award recipients are:
Senator John Lamping (Social Responsibility)
Rep. Rick Stream (Youth Development)
Rep. Clem Smith (Youth Development)
Senator Scott Rupp (Healthy Living)
“The Y is proud of the positive impact we make on the community, but we
know this is not possible without the support and leadership of all our
elected officials,” said Gary Schlansker, President and Chief Executive
Officer, YMCA of Greater St. Louis. “In particular, individuals honored this
year have been exceptional advocates for the Y and bring to life our cause to
the St. Louis region and throughout Missouri each and every day.”
St. Louis legislators to attend White House reception
|By Jo Mannies, Beacon political reporter|
|Three area legislators are slated to visit the White House on Friday for a presidential reception with members of the People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network.
The three: State Reps. Tishaura O. Jones, D-St. Louis, and Rep. Clem Smith, D-Velda Village Hills, and Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University city.
All three are among 600 participants from around the country who are involved in the network, which seeks to provide training and support for young progressives holding elected office.
According to Jones (left), a small group of network members are “invited to the White House to discuss important issues facing states and localities.” President Barack Obama is scheduled to appear at the reception.
Chappelle-Nadal said the network’s mission “is to unite and support progressive elected leaders who share a passion for building communities that reflect values of freedom, fairness and opportunity.
“I am deeply honored to be invited to participate in this event and hope to return with innovative ideas to
The trio expect to participate in a policy briefing conducted by the Obama administration. Chappelle-Nadal (right) said the topics are to include “housing, immigration reform, innovation, energy and the economy.” The president will host the reception.
“I look forward to learning more about the administration’s efforts to address some of the vital issues facing the nation and our state,” said Smith (left), D-Velda Village Hills. “I expect this will be an invaluable experience.”
Said Jones: “A quality education is the key to economic recovery, and I applaud the president on his progress in both areas. I’m very interested to discover his plans for our continued economic recovery and how we start preparing our children to compete in a global economy.”
Network executive director Andrew Gillum said the network’s attendees at the reception “are on the front lines of progressive change, fighting for the values of fairness, equality and opportunity in their home communities…We’re tremendously proud to be able to help the president get to know our communities and discuss the issues affecting states and localities across the country.”
Former Autoworker Now an Advocate for Workforce Training as State Representative
Clem Smith has lived through the harsh realities of the economic recession, and now is an advocate for the working class in the Missouri Legislature.
A third-generation autoworker, Smith lost his job at the Chrysler Assembly Plant after 13 years when the recession forced its closure in 2009. Through a partnership program between Boeing and St. Louis Community College, Smith not only had an avenue out of unemployment, but he also had a job with Boeing within three months. He currently is an aircraft assembly mechanic.
STLCC’s Aerospace Pre-Employment Training Project creates a pool of candidates for positions as sheet metal assembler-riveters with Boeing. There is no cost to participants, but they must meet all screening requirements, entry test scores and be selected for the program. Students must successfully complete the whole program in order to be considered for employment within Boeing.
“I got information about the program through a coworker and the Machinists Union president,” Smith said. “I left Chrysler in June 2009, got into this program in July, graduated by October and got the job with Boeing at the end of October. The program was very much like a job – 8-1/2 hours a day for 10 weeks. It was intense, but the instructors made sure you had the knowledge and tools you needed to succeed.”
From the project’s inception through Dec. 31, 2010, 279 participants have been served, creating a ready pool of applicants on waiting lists – and 112 successfully have completed aerospace training. For the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2010, 66 graduates have entered training-related employment.
While aerospace and automotive manufacturing practices are different, Smith noted that transferrable skills made his transition a little smoother. A little skill fine tuning, he noted, can get people into other industries. A former Chrysler coworker, for example, enrolled in STLCC’s biotechnology program and now is working at the Bio-Research and Growth Development Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center.
“These programs work,” said Smith, who has a liberal arts degree from Columbia College. “As I went through the Boeing program, I learned more about St. Louis Community College and found that the college has a wide variety of program and classes. I know people want to work, and St. Louis Community College provides opportunities for people to retrain and get into other industries, whether it’s biotechnology, science, automotive or construction. The college has a program for it.”
Smith now hopes to become a voice for working men and women in Jefferson City in his role as representative of the 71st District in the Missouri House of Representative. Smith is no stranger to politics. A former campaign volunteer, Smith was elected recording secretary of United Auto Workers Local 136 and also to the UAW’s statewide Political Action Committee. When Don Calloway opted to run for the Missouri Senate, Smith was encouraged to run for his vacated 71st District seat and was elected in 2010. He currently serves as Deputy Minority Whip, treasurer of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, and sergeant-at-arms of the Labor Caucus.
“I want to help people get back to work,” Smith said. “I know we have a highly trained, skilled work force. We build things and do research very well. I am a product of workforce training. My goal is to do meaningful work and help the people of Missouri by ensuring we make every attempt to bring high-paying, good-benefits jobs to this region.”
Established in 1962, St. Louis Community College is the largest community college district in Missouri and one of the largest in the United States. STLCC has four campuses – Florissant Valley, Forest Park, Meramec and Wildwood – and annually serves nearly 90,000 students through credit courses, continuing education and workforce development programs. For more information about STLCC, visit www.stlcc.edu.
Contact: Pat Matreci, email@example.com, 314-539-5144