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Webster Thailand Alumni Giving Back to Those in Need

Webster University alumni Eric Schwarz spends his days in a former brewery surrounded by salvaged household items and building materials collected from around St. Louis. These materials are then sold to interested parties that are looking for that ‘one-off piece’ for either their house or business. What may appear to be an unorthodox career path for some, this venture has seen Eric not only flourish, but also provided him with a unique opportunity to give something back and support the local community.

Founded in 2012, Eric’s company ‘Refab’ was originally located in a condemned building at the approval of its owner. During the first year of operations, Refab’s total revenue was $88,600USD, barely enough to cover overheads and not enough to provide Eric with a liveable salary. Since then, the business has grown significantly with Refab’s 2015 revenue sitting at around $270,000USD. In fact, the total budget for 2017 currently sits at $1.2 million USD. 

Refab - Eric Schwarz

In addition to Eric’s studies at Webster University in St. Louis, he also spent part of his degree in Thailand studying at Webster University Thailand. This experience provided the impetus for Eric to explore many different corners of the globe including Columbia, Korea and Germany. It was during these trips that he met several military personnel – each with the same fear – unemployment post retirement.

Whilst successfully running his business, Eric has become an active supporter of homeless military veterans that are in need of employment. He currently employs fourteen people in various capacities – an essential lifeline for many returned personnel that struggle to find employment upon returning home. In the near future he hopes to also build a fabrication shop and provide training to his employees to become carpenters.

The staff and faculty at Webster University Thailand are thrilled to see Eric excelling and contributing to the community around him – a true global citizen! 

For Eric’s full story please see the original article here.

 

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