Applications now open for summer youth internships

The City of Minneapolis youth employment program STEP-UP began accepting applications for 2015 summer internship placements on Dec. 15.  Eligible youth interested in participating in the 2015 STEP-UP class have until February 18 to complete an application online.

“The future that our young people dream for themselves is completely possible,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “STEP-UP provides the training, jobs, mentoring, and other support they need to step up, prepare for the future, build solid careers and become our next business and civic leaders.”

Created in 2004, STEP-UP is one of the country’s premiere youth employment programs focused on serving Minneapolis youth ages 14-21 who face some of the greatest barriers to employment, including youth from disadvantaged economic backgrounds, youth of color, youth from recent immigrant families, and youth with disabilities.

Since the program was launched, it has provided nearly 20,000 internship opportunities. In addition to summer jobs, STEP-UP also provides advanced-level internships and industry-specific trainings that help interns deepen and integrate their career exposure with post-secondary education and career planning.

“Through STEP-UP, I gained confidence in my work abilities, achieved high goals, made great connections, and developed new skills I can use in and out of a professional work environment,” said William, former intern at Medtronic and Boston Scientific.

Prior to being placed in their internships, youth receive work-readiness training certified by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce that enhances their skills and prepares them for a professional work experience. Throughout their internship, youth gain valuable on-the-job skills, make strong professional connections, and become exposed to careers they may have not otherwise accessed without STEP-UP.

Last summer, STEP-UP placed nearly 1,650 Minneapolis youth in jobs with over 230 Twin Cities businesses, public agencies, and nonprofits. Youth represented in the 2014 class of STEP-UP were 94 percent youth of color, 35 percent youth from recent immigrant families, and 23 percent youth with disabilities or other significant barriers to employment.

To learn more about STEP-UP, visit the City of Minneapolis website.

— Information provided by the City of Minneapolis.