STEP-UP interns begin work at 230 local companies and nonprofits

The City of Minneapolis summer jobs program, STEP-UP, kicked off another year this week with 1,650 Minneapolis youth and young adults ages 14-21 starting their paid internships at one of 230 participating government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations throughout the Twin Cities metro area.  

Created in 2004, STEP-UP serves Minneapolis youth and young adults who face some of the greatest barriers to employment, including youth from lower economic backgrounds, youth of color, and youth with disabilities. Since the program was launched, it has provided over 18,000 internships. STEP-UP interns explore diverse career interests, gain valuable on-the-job skills, make strong professional connections, and prepare for meaningful careers. They also receive work-readiness training that prepares them for their internship roles.

Through three program options based on age and job training needs, STEP-UP can customize a placement opportunity for each youth. Youth with limited English speaking skills, special needs or limited work experience can build their skills through STEP-UP Explore or STEP-UP Discover internships. Older and more prepared interns can begin to build their professional resumes by working in the private sector as STEP-UP Achieve interns. STEP-UP Achieve is directed by AchieveMpls in partnership with the City of Minneapolis.

This year’s class of youth and young adult interns will start work at their job sites today and complete their internships on August 15.  Participants’ work days and experiences vary site to site; on average youth work from 20-32 hours per week. A job site supervisor and often times a mentor will guide the youth through the internship over the summer.  Often times these relationships go beyond the internship.

At the close of the program, a graduation celebration will be held for all the interns on August 14.

Published Jun 17, 2014