4 You: St. Charles County non-profit helps adults with disabilities achieve independence, gainful employment

Boone Center Inc., or BCI, is a non-profit that seeks to enrich the lives of adults with disabilities and their families.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 6:46 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A St. Charles County non-profit that aims to bring fulfillment and enrichment through employment to adults with disabilities is the focus of News 4′s new initiative, 4 You.

Boone Center Inc., or BCI, is a non-profit that seeks to enrich the lives of adults with disabilities and their families by providing a choice of productive and fulfilling employment.

One of the many ways BCI does so is through its programming with local companies, offering a steady pipeline of qualified employees who undergo specific job training through BCI’s Skills Center.

“I feel pretty happy because this is a career potentially,” said Joe Andrews, a client of BCI. “I could make a living.”

Andrews graduated from the skills center last summer and, with the help of BCI, began working at Cambridge Air Solutions in Chesterfield.

“I liked it because for the first time, I didn’t feel overqualified,” he said. “I’ve tried other programs that just weren’t for me, but we learned both hard skills and soft skills like communication and how to interact with coworkers,” he said.

Shane Morrissey, another BCI client working at Cambridge Air Solutions, said he’s thankful to have a workplace with understanding coworkers.

“Everyone is pretty laid back and relaxed overall,” he said. “I like that everyone is not willing to go off on you if you make a few mistakes.”

BCI partners with several other local companies, including Distribution Management in St. Charles. The third-party fulfillment provider and wholesaler saw demand for e-commerce rise dramatically during the pandemic, which put stress on its workforce. However, its partnership with BCI ensured a steady flow of employees to offset those challenges.

“We think this is an under utilized labor pool and an excellent resource to supplement our existing workforce,” said Alex McCoy, Director of Supply Chain at Distribution Management. “We’re able to offer competitive pay, benefits packages and what we get in return is an awesome workforce, very reliable, dedicated individuals that show up everyday with a smile on their face that overall elevates our morale and culture in the building.”

McCoy helps oversee four different programs Distribution Management offers in conjunction with BCI, offering both full-time and part-time positions to prospective employees.

Mason King, a client of BCI, has been working at the company for almost a year after graduating high school in December of 2021.

“I’m proud of myself to know I have achieved my goals being here less than a year,” he said. “I’ve been promoted three times, and now I’m a forklift driver, which I enjoy because the day goes by so fast.”

King found his home at Distribution Management with the help of a job coach, something he said was beneficial to getting him in the door and through the interview process.

“I’m kind of a shy person, but because I’ve worked here and I know so much about everything, I ‘m not shy to talk about anything that goes along with work because I understand it,” he said.

Distribution Management employs more than 150 people, with BCI clients accounting for nearly 10% of its workforce.

“I would encourage any business leader to go out and find the BCIs of the world that can come and talk with you and understand what your needs are and develop solutions,” said McCoy. “I can guarantee they’re going to be very happy with the results.”

To learn more about BCI and its programming, click here.