Company brings much needed jobs to a south St. Louis neighborhood

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ST. LOUIS, MO - A manufacturing company says it wants to make a difference in a south St. Louis neighborhood and help reduce its unemployment rate.

Joetta Pingel says Fairway Holdings has led her to a path that has given her 21 years of stability.

“I enjoy it. I’m a forklift operator, a shipping and receiving clerk, quality control now and I enjoy all different aspects of the job,” explains Pingel.

Fairway Holdings is a south city based manufacturing company that took over a long time vacant warehouse on Winnebago Street. The company supplies products to store-in-box businesses bringing manufacturing, entry level, livable wage jobs to a neighborhood that needs it.

Employee Kenny Crigler says, “I really thought I had to go back to school to do things like this. But one thing I learned about the company is that they actually train you as you come along you don’t have to have experience.”

The company hired 130 new employees last year and is actively looking for more.

Mike Hojnacki is President of Fairway Holdings. He says, “Being in south city was right for us. It had the right demographics. We had a labor pool where we could draw from people from the city and form the county and from Illinois”

According to Alderwoman Cara Spencer, the 20th Ward has an unemployment rate about four times the national average.

Bobby Menge says he struggled with landing a job that he liked and could stick to, until he landed a position at Fairway Holdings ten years ago.

“Nothing was solid. Nothing that I felt that I could make into a career without a schooling background or an education behind it. I loved cabinet making and just wanted a career in that.”

Fairway Holdings is having a job fair on October 26, 2017, from 9:30am -12:30pm at their offices at 111 Winnebago Street in south St. Louis.

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