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Serving in the Missouri General Assembly since 2007

Providing Employment Opportunities for Single Mothers

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for single mothers is around 12 percent and 19 percent for mothers with infants. That’s around double the average rate of unemployment in Missouri right now. As legislators, we have to do more to provide employment opportunities to single mothers looking to improve their lives and lift themselves and their children out of poverty.

Luckily, there are dedicated individuals who are taking immediate action instead of waiting for bureaucratic intervention. I’ve always felt that the true change we wish to see within in communities will have to come from those who live in those neighborhoods. We can lend support as a government, but there has to be a grass-roots desire to implement positive improvements.

Sister Berta Sailor is one of those individuals who saw a need within her area, and took the initiative to find a solution. Sister Sailor recently created the program 100 Jobs for 100 Moms. The goal is to give single mothers a much-needed stepping stone to employment that provides an income that can support a family.

Under the program, qualifying mothers are matched with a business partner who provides them with a job and trains them in a trade, equipping them with skills they can use to continue moving forward toward better lives. The root of the program began at Operation Breakthrough, a low-income daycare utilized by many parents who participate in the Childcare Assistance Program, which pays for child care services for working parents meeting income guidelines.

I’d like to express my deep admiration of Sister Sailor and the 100 Jobs for 100 Moms program. It’s inspiring to see individuals give so much of themselves to help others. We should all look to this program as an example of how we can tackle problems at the local level.

To learn more about Sister Berta’s 100 Jobs for 100 Moms program, go to or call Julie Carmichael at 913-461-7087. Send email to

Back to Legislative Column for the Week of Feb. 9, 2015