Missouri Works Initiative

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November 13, 2023, the Missouri Works Initiative (MWI) joined the ranks of Recovery Friendly Workplaces (RFW) here in the state of Missouri. While the MWI is the newest employer in Missouri to become an RFW, it may also be the newest of those employers who are Recovery Friendly.

“As the Missouri Works Initiative paves the way, becoming a recovery friendly workplace is not just a commitment to employees; it’s an investment in a culture of understanding, support, and empowerment, unlocking the full potential of a workforce poised for renewal and success.”

-Megan Price, Executive Director of the Missouri Works Initiative. 

The Missouri Works Initiative is the non-profit arm of the Missouri AFL-CIO. Its mission is to address the strategic changes facing the Missouri workforce. In 2020, seeing the challenges facing the workforce of the future and building on the success of the Missouri AFL-CIO Dislocated Worker program, the leadership of Missouri AFL-CIO formed the Missouri Works Initiative, that would bring the then independent Building Union Diversity (BUD) program into it while replicating its success in other parts of the state. In 2022, the BUD program, started in St. Louis in 2013, had been expanded to Kansas City, MO, then Springfield, MO. In those locations the program is known as, “Missouri Apprentice Ready”. Based on the successes in Kansas City and Springfield, the Missouri Apprentice Ready program will start operating in Jefferson City in 2024. MWI goes beyond recruiting and training new workers for Missouri’s workforce; it also has a Workers Wellness component.

“It is not enough to recruit workers and prepare them to work in these kinds of fields, if we are not going to support them when they stumble,” said Dr. John Gaal, Workers Wellness Director for MWI. With programs in Mental Health, Addiction Awareness, and Suicide Prevention, the Workers Wellness program is designed to help workers with challenges they may face so that they can remain in the workplace.

“If we don’t look at ways to help workers with the challenges they face, on and off the job, we are not helping them be successful with their careers. Being a recovery friendly employer is just a natural extension of those beliefs.”

-Dr. John Gaal, Workers Wellness Director for MWI

We welcome the Missouri Works Initiative to the growing group of Recovery Friendly Workplaces in Missouri.