Almost 2,000 STEP-UP interns started their first day at more than 230 workplaces

More than 1,700 Minneapolis youth and young adult interns ages 14-21 started their first day working as STEP-UP interns last week at more than 230 participating companies, government agencies and nonprofits throughout the Twin Cities metro area. The work experience and training will help prepare these young people to be leaders in our economy and our community in the future.

Created in 2004 as a program of the City of Minneapolis, STEP-UP serves youths and young adults who face some of the greatest barriers to employment, including youths from families of lower economic backgrounds, young people of color and youths with disabilities. Since the program was launched, it has provided more than 23,000 internship opportunities. STEP-UP is managed in partnership with AchieveMpls with support from the Department of Employment and Economic Development and Project for Pride in Living.

STEP-UP interns explore diverse career interests, gain valuable on-the-job skills, make strong professional connections, and prepare for meaningful careers. Before being placed into their internships, STEP-UP participants participate in work-readiness training and complete mock job interviews that prepare them for their experiences.

STEP-UP intentionally places youths based on age, experience and job training needs. Younger people ages 14-15 with limited work experience can build their skills through STEP-UP Discover internships. Older interns ages 16-21 can begin to build their professional resumes by working in career oriented business, government and nonprofit jobs as STEP-UP Achieve interns. Many interns return to the program for a second or third year to explore new career opportunities or deepen their experiences in specific fields.

Participants’ workdays and experiences vary site to site. On average, youths work 20-32 hours per week. They are supported during their internships by supervisors or worksite mentors who help them build their professional skills, navigate the workplace and connect with additional resources and opportunities. Many times these relationships continue for months or years beyond the internship.

STEP-UP interns gain more than specific job skills. They also learn about problem solving, professionalism, interview skills, communication and resume writing. Industry-specific trainings help interns deepen and integrate career exposure with post-secondary education and career planning.

To learn more about STEP-UP, visit the program’s website or follow STEP-UP on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or by using #STEPUPMpls.



Published Jun 27, 2017



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