On Thursday, January 28th the Urban Scholars Program staff met with representatives from the Step-Up Administration Team as well as the newly created Career Pathways Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis. This group discussed best practices in intern recruitment and placement as well as how all at the table could leverage their existing relationships to create more opportunities for young people.
Launched in 2004, STEP-UP helps bridge the critical gap between talented young people and the needs of the region’s work force. Since its inception, the program has connected over 20,000 young people with internships at top Twin Cities companies, nonprofits and public agencies, providing critical work-readiness training, on-the-job experience, professional connections and ongoing support for career and college success. In 2016, STEP-UP placed 1,563 Minneapolis youth in internships. Over 91 percent of the youth were students of color, 90 percent received free or reduced-price lunch, and 41 percent were from immigrant families.
Created in 2012, Urban Scholars is a leadership and professional development internship program providing college students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with distinctive professional experience. Focused on essential leadership skills and creating resume-building career pathways, Urban Scholars trains the next generation of leaders. More than 83% of Urban Scholars have been students of color.
Both Step Up and Urban Scholars are among the premiere career readiness programs in the country. It is the City of Minneapolis’ hope that with pipeline programs like Step Up and Urban Scholars, as well as being more intentional about advertising all internship opportunities available, the City can build a workforce that is reflective of the people they serve.
2015 Urban Scholars Cohort and many 2015 Step Up students at the annual Urban Scholars/Step Up Luncheon.