MEM marks milestone with $25,000 investment in future workforce
Missouri Employers Mutual, Missouri’s No. 1 workers compensation insurance provider, will celebrate its 25th anniversary on March 1, 2020. MEM will celebrate the milestone with a charitable gift of $25,000 to organizations working to improve Missouri’s skilled workforce: Job Point in Columbia, Missouri and the Safety Council of Greater St. Louis.
“A lot has changed in 25 years, but one thing has remained the same: our commitment to helping as many workers as we can go home safe to their families,” said Jim Owen, MEM President and CEO. “It’s why we continue to invest in the safety of the businesses we serve and why we continue to support community organizations working to increase the number of skilled workers in our state.”
New hires, or employees in their first year on the job, pose an increased risk of injury. According to the data from the Department of Labor, only 23 percent of employees are in their first year on the job, yet 40 percent of injuries happen in the first year for MEM policyholders. On average, one in three injuries with missed work time involved a new employee, and approximately 20 percent of all of MEM incurred losses come from construction new hires.
Improving Missouri’s skilled workforce
The Safety Council of Greater St. Louis will use the $15,000 in funding provided by MEM to provide OSHA 10 training quarterly to lower-income workers. Contractors face a critical shortage of skilled workers. In a recent workforce survey by the Associated General Contractors of Missouri, 80 percent of Missouri’s contractors said they are having difficulty finding qualified workers. The OSHA 10 curriculum includes occupational safety and health training for construction workers.
“We are working with the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment to identify individuals who have a need that can be served with this construction safety training,” said Mary Beth Proost, executive director of the Safety Council of St. Louis. “By providing this training free of charge, we are giving someone not only the chance at a construction job, but the chance to do that job with a reduced risk for injuring themselves or others.”
Job Point will use the $10,000 donation from MEM to further their mission of preparing individuals for the workforce by providing education, training and employment assistance. Job Point helps adults with disabilities, the unemployed or underemployed, people with economic or mental health obstacles, youth ages 17.5 and up and those returning from incarceration.
“At Job Point, our hope is that by providing this training, we are changing the story for not only the individual we are serving, but for their family, and for several generations to come,” said Steve Smith, president of Job Point. “We’re grateful for the support MEM has provided us, because together we can truly reset the trajectory of someone’s life.”
Founded on safety
MEM was created in 1993 by the Missouri legislature to address a need in the state’s workers compensation market. Insurance prices were high, and businesses with a history of losses needed a work comp partner who would help them improve safety, reduce losses and lower their premium over time – not just charge unsustainably high prices. In 1995, we opened our doors and quickly became the market leader and have held majority market share since.
For more MEM history, view our timeline. >