Employment and Training
Step Up brings together Minneapolis young people (ages 14-21) with Twin Cities employers through internships and training that build careers and lead to a diverse, skilled and equitable workforce. Since 2003, Step Up has created over 28,000 high-quality internship opportunities.
In summer 2020, Step Up served over 1,200 young people via traditional remote and hybrid internships, as well as paid online training.
The 2021 Step Up application is now open through February 15, 2021. Apply here.
Become a Step Up Participant
Youth Program Application
The 2021 Step Up application is now open. Apply here.
This application will close February 15, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.
Program Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for Step Up you must:
- Live in Minneapolis
- Be 14-21 years old by June 1, 2021
- Not be currently enrolled in college (PSEO is okay). Current college students may consider the Urban Scholars Program.
- Be eligible to work in the U.S. by June 1, 2021
AND one of the following must also apply:
- Meet family income guidelines (See Below)
- Be a student with a disability
- Have an IEP or 504 plan
- Be an English Language Learner
- Be pregnant or parenting
- Be experiencing homelessness or high mobility
- Be involved in the foster care system
- Have been involved in the justice system
Your Family’s income should be at or below these levels. This is a guideline only. If you aren’t sure if you qualify, please apply!
- 1 person in family: $51,400
- 2 persons $58,750
- 3 persons $66,100
- 4 persons $73,450
- 5 persons $79,300
- 6 persons $85,200
- 7 persons $91,050
- 8 persons $96,950
After you apply:
- Students will be advised of their Step Up application status through mail and email the week of February 22, 2021.
- If you are accepted, you will be scheduled to attend work readiness training in March or April. Please note: you must complete all trainings to be eligible for a Step Up job.
- Be sure to check your email at least once a week for important information about acceptance and training.
Become a Step Up Employer
Interested in Becoming a Step Up Employer?
Step Up is divided into two components based on age:
Level 1 is for interns who are 14-15 years old. Interns are placed in internships that give them a foundational work experience with deep and intentional mentoring to prepare them for more challenging positions, including Step Up level 2. Youth work in parks, community organizations, public agencies and nonprofits. Wages are paid for by the City of Minneapolis. To host a Level 1 intern at your agency, please contact Brooke Roper at 612-673-5234.
Level 2 is for interns who are 16-21 years old. Interns are placed into resume-building internships that offer them a professional experience and exposure to a variety of potential careers. Youth work in private sector businesses, public agencies and nonprofits across 15 industries. Wages are paid for by the employers. To hire a Level 2 intern at your business, please contact Erin Martin at 612-455-1565.
About Step Up
Step Up prepares today’s youth for tomorrow’s careers by recruiting, training and placing more than 1,400 young people (ages 14-21) in paid internships each year with over 200 regional employers [from Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, to public agencies and nonprofits]. As one of the nation’s leading youth employment programs, Step Up leverages a collective of more than 200 partners spanning 15 industries and multiple sectors.
Step Up supports historically underrepresented youth in Minneapolis who are ready to navigate the professional world. The program helps organizations diversify their workforce and build a base of young, skilled workers for the entire region. Step Up has provided over 28,000 internships since 2003, yielding a competitive talent pipeline, a stronger economy and millions of dollars in wages for Step Up interns.
Step Up is a partnership of the City of Minneapolis, AchieveMpls, CareerForce Minneapolis and Project for Pride in Living.
Program Leadership and Partners
Jacob Frey, Mayor of Minneapolis
Step Up Co-Chairs
R.T. Rybak, CEO and President of The Minneapolis Foundation
Kate Quinn - Chief Administrative Officer at U.S. Bancorp
Partnership is critical to the success of Step Up. City of Minneapolis Employment and Training partners with the following organizations to operate Step Up:
AchieveMpls leads Step Up Achieve, the private sector component of Step Up. The Step Up Achieve team recruits employers, prepares applicants for a successful internship, and supports employers and interns throughout the summer. In addition, AchieveMpls is responsible for youth recruitment in the schools, work readiness training for approximately 3,000 youth, and the establishment and maintenance of the Step Up alumni network.
CareerForce Minneapolis manages many aspects of the Step Up program including interviewing and matching youth with internships at participating non-profit businesses. The CareerForce Minneapolis team also supports and monitors Level 1 employers and interns throughout the summer experience.
Project for Pride in Living (PPL) provides work readiness training for Level 1 interns, preparing youth for their summer work experience with 12 hours of classroom training. In addition, PPL offers a specialized healthcare training for Level 2 interns who are matched with positions in healthcare.
Step Up is divided into two components based on age:
Level 1 is for interns who are 14-15 years old. Interns are placed in internships that give them a foundational work experience with deep and intentional mentoring to prepare them for more challenging positions, including Step Up level 2. Youth work in parks, community organizations, public agencies and nonprofits. Wages are paid for by the City of Minneapolis.
Level 2 is for interns who are 16-21 years old. Interns are placed into resume-building internships that offer them a professional experience and exposure to a variety of potential careers. Youth work in private sector businesses, public agencies and nonprofits across 15 industries. Wages are paid for by the employers.
For program information and updates, like the Step Up Facebook page
Last updated Jan 12, 2021