S. M. Wilson Partners with The Little Bit Foundation to Provide Summer Internship Through St. Louis Internship Program

For several years S. M. Wilson has hosted summer interns through the St. Louis Internship Program (SLIP). SLIP partners with businesses and community organizations to build the St. Louis community by developing motivated, well-trained, and talented future employees. Students complete a guided application process and rigorous work readiness training to prepare for their eight-week, full-time summer internship. Upon completion, they continue to receive college prep and career planning services along with access to a network of supportive peers and professionals. The SLIP program is helping to cultivate a diverse talent pipeline which impacts economic, workforce, professional, and personal development in the St. Louis region. 

The challenges of 2020 and the COVID pandemic have had a lasting effect on individuals and businesses throughout our community, making programs like SLIP even more critical. With various changes and increased flexibility in place at S. M. Wilson’s St. Louis headquarters, providing a meaningful full-time experience did not seem practical; yet the needs of the program and students remained important – it was time to get creative. 

S. M. Wilson has been a long-time supporter of The Little Bit Foundation so partnering with them to create a hybrid internship program was an easy solution. Through their corporate giving fund, #SMWill, S. M. Wilson covered the cost of one SLIP student to split their time between the two organizations providing an opportunity for the student intern to receive exposure in a corporate and nonprofit work setting. 

“Having the opportunity to work with S.M. Wilson and The Little Bit Foundation has been an amazing learning experience. I believe that being able to see both sides of the corporate and nonprofit world gave me a deeper understanding on how each functioned and also provided new insight on the different ways that they give back to the community. Overall, I really enjoyed this experience and can definitely say that I feel more confident in my professional and college readiness.” says SLIP student intern, Sonja N. 

Michelle Abel, the Chief Development Officer for The Little Bit Foundation, adds “We are incredibly grateful for the support from S. M. Wilson for more than 10 years now and this shared internship program is one more example of the dedication they have for making a difference in the community. It’s clear that the SLIP program prepares high school students well to be successful in a work environment, as Sonja was able to contribute to our team and help support us in our efforts to serve under-resourced students in St. Louis.”

S. M. Wilson’s Diversity & HR Manager, Maggie Farrell says, “Our SLIP intern has exceeded our expectations. The SLIP program has thoroughly prepared students to begin contributing to companies right away. We look forward to continuing to invest in the community by supporting this program along with other non-profit organizations such as The Little Bit Foundation for years to come and can’t wait to see the continued growth and success of SLIP students like Sonja.”

SLIP’s Director & Career and Workforce Readiness Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, Shanise Johnson adds,“Developing and cultivating a talent pipeline has been personified through the internship opportunity with S. M. Wilson/The Little Bit Foundation. SLIP Interns complete a lengthy process, including 60 hours of training and development, to earn an internship. Sonja has grown tremendously throughout the process and has shown that high school students are able to complete value-added projects (which is much more than job shadowing). We are excited to continue to work with regional employers to make a positive impact in the lives of the students that we serve as well as the community-at-large.”

Sonja spent her time with S. M. Wilson assisting multiple departments including Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, HR, Marketing, and Operations. She was also able to get involved with external groups preparing for Suicide Prevention Week with AGCMO and creating an activity for Aim High’s Career Day as part of the company’s construction career education program SKILLED®. In her time at The Little Bit Foundation, Sonja worked with the Development Department and assisted with volunteers in the warehouse. She helped strengthen the relationship between the two organizations by organizing an info session, school supply drive, and volunteer event as part of her summer project. 

Interested in hosting a SLIP student? Visit – www.bgcstl.org/slip/ 

For more information on The Little Bit Foundation visit www.thelittlebitfoundation.org
To learn more about S. M. Wilson – www.smwilson.com


St. Louis, Mo., June 26, 2019 – S. M. Wilson’s Annual Swinging Fore Dreams Golf Tournament raised $36,000 for the Dream Factory of Saint Louis. More than 150 players participated in the 13th annual event at Glen Echo Country Club on May 13, 2019.

S. M. Wilson has been hosting the tournament for 13 consecutive years with all proceeds benefiting children with chronic illnesses and disorders and their families. The event was also supported by S. M. Wilson’s charitable giving program, #SMWill, which launched in August 2018 with the mission of “investing in the community through partnering with organizations focused on supporting the health and education of children.”

COO, Mark Cochran, has been an active part of the tournament since it’s beginning in 2007 and served as the emcee for the event. “A huge thank you to everyone who participated. We had 36 teams on the course this year and filled all of our sponsorships for the first time in the tournament’s history. Without you, we would not be able to provide dreams to the children in our community,” stated Cochran.

Over the years, S. M. Wilson has helped raise $401,000 for The Dream Factory of Saint Louis and granted the dreams of more than 70 children and their families.

The Dream Factory of Saint Louis was founded in 1983 — one of 36 non-profit Dream Factory chapters around the country. The Dream Factory is the only children’s wish-granting organization that does not limit its mission to children who have life-threatening illness. The organization believes children with chronic illnesses and disorders also suffer from substantial emotional and physical pain. To learn more about the Saint Louis Dream Factory, visit http://dreamfactoryinc.org/chapters/saintlouis/.

S. M. Wilson is a full-service construction management, design/build and general contracting firm with headquarters in St. Louis. For nearly 100 years, S. M. Wilson has provided a complete range of services and has become one of the leading general construction and construction management firms in the St. Louis area. The employee-owned company is dedicated to going above and beyond expectations for their clients by putting people first. For more information, visit www.smwilson.com.


#SMWill Recognizes National Volunteer Month

In honor of National Volunteer Month, S. M. Wilson’s philanthropic program, #SMWill, is honoring employees for their volunteer efforts and encouraging them to support organizations in their local communities.

#SMWill was first introduced in August 2018 by providing funds for “Investing in our communities through partnering with organizations focused on supporting the health and education of children”. After a favorable first-impression, the program officially went into effect in January 2019 offering a company donation match for individuals, a paid day off for volunteer service with a 501(c)(3) and donation funds.

Since its launch, #SMWill has donated $42,102 to various organizations including Aim High St. Louis, Care to Learn, Wyman Center, Central Institute for the Deaf, Boy Scouts of America, United Services for Children and more. S. M. Wilson employees have also donated their own time and resources by participating in the Cardinal Glennon Sun Run, Ready Readers, Little Bit Foundation, CHADS Coalition and Pedal the Cause to benefit Siteman Kids, to name a few.

With a formal structure in place, #SMWill also serves as a resource for employees to help identify volunteer opportunities. The program hosts an array of 501(c)(3) organizations to educate employees and promote team-building experiences. The company also advocates for its employees to set aside time for team volunteer days and encourages employees to leverage paid volunteer time off to support the community.

Beyond the Build, we believe in building the future of our communities, which includes the health and education of future generations. #SMWill recently sponsored Team Lily for the Homers for Health Game Ball Relay, an annual event to celebrate the Cardinals home opener benefitting SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation. On opening day, Wilsonites joined Lily and her relay team to carry the official home opener ball through St. Louis Ballpark Village.

Following the Relay, S. M. Wilson Controller, Mike Mangiore, and Business Development Manager, Kristyn Newbern, attended Glennon 101 for an inside look at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Attendees were given the role of “Intern for a Day”, learning about the many programs the hospital offers through small group tours and candid conversations with faculty, staff, families and patients sharing experiences at Cardinal Glennon.

To learn more about our community involvement and #SMWill’s impact on the areas we build, visit smwilson.com/smwill.

#SMWill and Great Central Lumber Contribute to Jennings Construction Program

S. M. Wilson recently teamed up with Great Central Lumber who donated $2,500 of materials to Jennings Senior High School & College Prep Academy’s construction program with an additional $5,000 donation from #SMWill.

The Jennings Build, Design, Construction, and Advanced Manufacturing Program is part of the school’s Career Prep Academy which helps ensure students are college or career ready after high school graduation. Through a partnership with The Carpenters Regional Council of St. Louis and Kansas City, the classes provide students with hands-on learning opportunities and skills needed to be successful in the construction and manufacturing industries.

#SMWill spearheaded the donation after learning about the program and their shortage of supplies. When S. M. Wilson reached out to Great Central Lumber, they generously donated a portion of the materials in need, including cedar and ESLP boards, an assortment of screws, shelving materials and more.

Construction teacher, Casey Hayes said, “We really appreciate it a lot and understand the magnitude of this donation. These materials are a tool. We can provide the information, but a lot of learning goes to waste if the students aren’t able to be hands-on and use the skills we’re teaching them.”

In turn, #SMWill also contributed an additional $2,500 of materials as well as a $2,500 donation to the Friends of Jennings School District Foundation which awards scholarships to graduating seniors to the students’ college or university of choice.

Jennings School District Superintendent,  Dr. Art McCoy said, “Thank you for your tremendous support of Jennings School District. This donation will help our construction program continue strong throughout the year.”

S. M. Wilson’s charitable giving program, #SMWill, is dedicated to encouraging employees in their will to serve, commit and invest in our community through partnering with organizations focused on supporting the health and education of children.

S. M. Wilson Introduces #SMWill

S. M. Wilson makes every effort to enrich our Community and the communities we work in around the country. In an effort to streamline S. M. Wilson’s corporate giving funds and provide more opportunities for employees to support charitable organizations they are passionate about, S. M. Wilson has created SMWill (#SMWill).

#SMWill is a three-pronged program that encourages employees in their WILL to Serve, Commit and Invest in the communities we build, live and work in. The new corporate philanthropic structure provides employees with a paid day off for volunteer service, company donation match for individuals and a formalized foundation-like fund to “invest in our community through partnering with organizations focused on supporting the health and education of children”.

The program was spearheaded by S. M. Wilson’s Giving Committee after identifying a need to organize the Company’s charitable giving process and promote employee’s volunteer efforts. Since 1921, S. M. Wilson has continuously supported local nonprofits and community programs. The creation of #SMWill will serve as the new philanthropic arm of the Company, focusing efforts on funding the donations and sponsorships of 501(c)(3) organizations whose mission that align with our desire to support the health and education of children.

First Introduced in August 2018, #SMWill was fully launched in January 2019 and has already supported monetary donations and volunteer hours to organizations such as Ready Readers, Cardinal Glennon Sun Run and Aim High.

To learn more about the program, visit smwilson.com/SMWill.