STEP-UP youth employment program celebrates 10 Years, 18,000 internships

On Thursday, August 15 the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP program will celebrate 10 years of providing summer internship opportunities to Minneapolis youth in partnership with AchieveMpls and the Minneapolis WorkForce Centers. Since 2004, youth ages 14-21 have received nearly 18,000 internships and over 230 Twin Cities’ employers have participated in the STEP-UP program. 

The celebration will take place at the Guthrie Theatre from 2:30-4 p.m. and includes brief comments from Mayor R.T. Rybak, Congressman Keith Ellison, U.S. Bank Chair, President, and CEO Richard Davis, and Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce President Todd Klingel. The 30 employers who have supported STEP-UP since its creation in 2004 by providing intern work experiences will also be recognized during the event. Entertainment featuring STEP-UP interns will be provided by High School for Recording Arts and Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts.

STEP-UP is one of the country’s premier youth employment programs. In 2012, the program received accolades from President Obama at a White House Summit on Youth Employment.  Private sector employer engagement is the hallmark of STEP-UP, with over 150 top Twin Cities businesses, nonprofits and public agencies stepping up this summer to hire interns.  Last year, STEP-UP interns brought home $3.1 million in wages to low-income households, including $1.4 million from the private sector.

STEP-UP provided summer jobs for 1,800 Minneapolis youth this summer through its three program options, including STEP-UP Explore, STEP-UP Discover, and STEP-UP Achieve. All interns from STEP-UP Discover and STEP-UP Achieve participated in job training and received a work-readiness certification by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce prior to receiving their work placement.

This year’s graduating STEP-UP intern class is one of the most diverse groups of program participants to date with 93 percent of program participants youth of color, 20 percent born outside of the United States, and 15 percent youth with disabilities.

An estimated 1,000 attendees are expected to attend the STEP-UP 10-Year Anniversary Celebration including interns, employers, alumni, family members, elected officials, and community members. 

 

Published Aug 14, 2013