ST. LOUIS — You might not recognize the name Keshawn Thomas. But to The U.S. Department of Labor, the city of Collinsville, and Madison County, Illinois, Thomas is a rock star.

Thomas, 22, is the first person in Madison County to graduate from an apprenticeship program for students with disabilities. 

The program is a partnership between governments at the city, county, state and federal level.

The one-year apprenticeship provides job training in a variety of fields, including grounds keeping, landscaping, and work at the convention center.

Organizers are hopeful the program will expand to other school districts and communities. On this week’s Pulse of St. Louis, Jasmine Huda spoke with Keshawn’s mother, Tarica, as well as Collinsville Unit 10 Director of Special Education Ali Underwood, and Madison County Director of Employment and Training, Tony Furhmann.