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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber. Local support for "Let's Talk Business" is provided by Carved + Crafted Catering. (573) 651-2569

Let's Talk Business: United We Work Hopes to Eliminate Barriers to Employment

In January of 2018 the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released a report entitled Getting to Work on Time – Public Transit and Job Access in Northeast Pennsylvania. While the study was focused on that region, the findings are consistent across the country, even here in Southeast Missouri. A new initiative announced by the United Way of Southeast Missouri is hoping to tackle the transportation barrier to work right here in Cape Girardeau and Jackson.

Following the work and research by a taskforce formed in 2022 to examine transportation issues locally, the organization has launched the United We Work program in partnership with Healthy Blue and the Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority.

United We Work has three main goals:

· Provide transportation for new employees who do not have a reliable means of getting to and from work.

· Empower new employees with basic budgeting knowledge and the incentive to save a small portion of their earnings to provide for future transportation.

· Create relationships between entry-level workers and banking partners to assist with financial matters, including credit repair, micro loans, and long-term financial needs.

The program is now underway, and applications are currently available online at www.unitedwayofsemo.org for this new program and strategy to help eliminate transportation barriers and give area citizens the opportunity to find gainful employment within our community.

Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.