With few clouds in the sky and a relative break in the intense heat, it was a truly beautiful evening as supporters gathered on June 15 to celebrate Job Point’s Annual Awards Banquet, presented by KOMU Channel 8. After a surge in COVID cases over the winter (and a blizzard to boot!) forced the postponement of the event, Job Point staff welcomed community partners, family, friends, clients, employers and other well-wishers to celebrate the great things that can happen when everyone works together to support one another.
Presented by KOMU 8, Job Point’s 2022 Annual Awards Banquet honored the great accomplishments of three individuals who had worked hard to overcome great barriers in their lives in 2021. The Award of Excellence winners shared their stories in a special presentation sponsored by Joe Machens Toyota. Watch the video below. Job Point also recognized the 2021 Employer, Partner, Volunteer and Employee of the Year.
The evening ended with a live auction to help raise funds for Job Point’s Student Food Program. During the week, Job Point provides breakfast, lunch and snacks for its students in an effort to address the food insecurity that so many face when they walk out our doors. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the preparation of meals to learn how to cook or to show off some of their favorite recipes. Proper nutrition is not only vital to academic success, it is key to the health and safety of students on the job site as well. Job Point is fortunate to have support from the Food Bank of Northeast and Central Missouri as well as weekly donations from Natural Grocers. But private support is crucial to ensure a well balanced selection of food is available throughout the week.
Guests responded with great generosity and enthusiasm for the project, giving or pledging over $14,000. All funds will go toward the costs of providing meals to students while they’re in class and additional support for those who truly need it when they are not.
We also had the opportunity to share and celebrate the milestone gift we received from our founders, the Columbia Cosmopolitan Luncheon Club, toward our CNA Program. Their investment in this program will allow the upgrades and enhancements to curriculum and technology necessary to keep our program ahead of the curve and ensure our students have the training they need to excel, wherever their CNA certification takes them.
Job Point would like to express their gratitude to the following community partners for helping making the banquet possible through their sponsorship:
Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch
Bank of Missouri
Central Bank of Boone County
Columbia Cosmopolitan Luncheon Club,
the Founders of Job Point
Columbia Marketing Group
First State Community Bank
Harry S. Truman Memorial
Joe Machens Toyota
KOMU 8 & Mid-Missouri’s CW
Manor Roofing & Restoration Services
Marjie Krug & Mary Carnahan
Miller’s Professional Imaging
Missouri Employers Mutual
Moberly Area Community College
Monarch Title Company
Premiere Industrial Properties
Shelter Insurance Companies
University of Missouri Health Care
Veterans United Home Loans
Keep scrolling to meet all of our Award Winners!
Meet our Winners
Bryon White, Employee of the Year
When we select our Employee of the Year, we could easily recognize any one of our fine staff. But, we have to pick just one. This year, we are pleased to acknowledge someone who consistently goes above and beyond. Their long career in human services shows a deep internal desire to help others. Over the past six years at Job Point, this person has always put the candidate’s goals first to ensure success. This might mean taking calls and text messages any time – day or night, on weekends and holidays. It means endless hours of meeting with candidates, staunchly advocating for them and helping them find success through compassionate coaching and practice interviewing. Then, endless hours of meticulous report writing. This staff member has the highest standards for Job Point and the people we serve. Their sound judgement and excellent communication skills are invaluable. Our team relies on their unfailing ability to meet expectations. Our partner organizations, other stakeholders and clients regularly deliver rave reviews. Our 2021 Employee of the Year is Senior Advisor Bryon White. Bryon, thank you for your dedication and tenacity to see our job candidates succeed.
Sarah Moreau of ProsperU, Volunteer of the Year
The IRS may have a set rate for the value of volunteer hours, but at Job Point it doesn’t even come close to capturing the true impact of their work. They help support all aspects of our mission. Whether they are tutoring our students or assisting with resume preparation and job search activities for our job seekers, they are fundamentally changing lives. Our 2021 Volunteer of the Year is one of those incredible people. Our YouthBuild students benefit greatly from the knowledge and expertise of guest speakers. Sessions often include topics such as personal finance, law enforcement, community services, harassment, leadership and higher education. We are forever thankful and our students are privileged to have such dedicated volunteers as part of the Job Point Family. It truly takes a village! Since the pandemic started, one particularly impressive individual has doggedly stayed in the fight coaching our youth in the fuzzy world of finances. This volunteer supports Job Point’s mission in every act and deed they perform on our behalf. We are honored to recognize Sarah Moreau of ProsperU with the 2021 Volunteer of the Year award for her support of our YouthBuild program.
MU Campus Dining, Employer of the Year
Campus Dining has been a tremendous partner with Job Point for many years. They have been a long-time member of our Business Advisory Council, supporting job placement efforts for our job seekers. This year alone, they hired 12 Job Point candidates. Their managers are a pleasure to work with and genuinely care about the people we serve. They are open to suggestions for accommodations, welcome our job coaches, are quick to agree to job trials and treat our candidates with respect and compassion. When concerns arise regarding job performance, they reach out to our staff to find solutions. During the pandemic, after the restaurants reopened, the employees were called back to work, and during a recent winter storm, they offered to transport our graduates who were unable to make it to work. Campus Dining is a true blessing to Job Point. They assist us in changing lives by giving people a chance to prove themselves.
Veterans United Home Loans and Foundation, Partner of the Year
Our work is not possible without partnerships. This year, we would like to recognize a partner that has truly changed the future of not only Job Point, but so many of our students and job seekers. Employees from this business have served on our Board of Directors since 2012, and on our Business Advisory Council since 2017. They have sponsored our fundraising events, including this Awards Banquet, Comedy Night, Local Celebrity Apprentice and Company Feud. Their philanthropy is legendary in Columbia, and we are blessed to have been the beneficiaries of their immense generosity. Last year, their gift toward the purchase of our building put us within reach of paying it off. This year, their investment in our Affordable Housing Program means that our students get the opportunity of a lifetime to learn construction trades while building two real-life houses, AND families who are desperately searching for a home they can afford to purchase, now HAVE HOPE. And – as if that is not enough, they recently reached out offering to provide mentors and to partner with our students, and children of our staff members, to earn scholarship funds for secondary education. And on top of all that, they hired one our candidates and it has been a great fit! What more could you possibly ask of a community partner?
Awards of Excellence
Aaron Matthess, Award of Excellence Winner
Employed at Emery Sapp & Sons
Aaron started his journey at Job Point in July 2019. His first attempt at completing Job Point’s Highway Heavy Construction program did not go well. Life hit Aaron hard and he dropped out. I December 2020, Aaron walked back through Job Point’s doors a changed man. He was ready to move forward and work toward his goals. He completed the program in early June 2021 and was hired that same month by Emery Sapp & Sons. His hard work and dedication has paid off! In June 2022, he celebrated one year on the job and was named one of Job Point’s Award of Excellence winners. You can hear more about his journey by watching the video embedded above.
Eric Stracke, Award of Excellence Winner
Employed at University Hospital
When the pandemic struck in 2020, Eric Stracke suddenly found his job eliminated. He had worked for 29 years at the University of Missouri’s Student Health Center, but then the campus closed and all the students were sent home. After searching on his own without much luck, Eric connected with Job Point. Together, Eric and Senior Advisor, Bryon White submitted over 30 applications. Finally, Eric found the right fit with MU Health Care. Since joining the team in November 2020, Eric has proven his work ethic and dedication, earning greater responsibilities and earning the trust of his new team. He even celebrated 25 years of full time employment in January 2021. We are so proud of his perseverance during such a challenging time for everyone! You can hear more about his story by watching the video embedded above.
Mary Kistner, Award of Excellence Nominee
Employed at Goodwill
After a long career in manufacturing, Mary was ready for a change. She yearned for the opportunity to feel inspired and happy to go to work. So she connected with Job Point Advisor, Ranjana Hans, and together they looked for a job that would help her feel fulfilled. Through her perseverance and focus, she found a great fit as a seasonal employee at Hobby Lobby. She has since utilized her newly learned retail skills to search for other year round employment. Earlier in 2022, she accepted a position at Goodwill.