Step Up Level 2 Director

Position Overview

The Step Up Level 2 director provides strategic leadership for the Step Up Youth Employment Program’s Achieve Twin Cities Step Up team. Their primary focus is Step Up Level 2, which serves Minneapolis youth age 16-21. The director collaborates with the City of Minneapolis and other key partners to align Step Up’s overall program vision, strategy and activities, and is responsible for Step Up Level 2 program growth and evaluation, staff supervision, employer partnerships, data and systems, budget and fundraising, external messaging, and the development of Achieve-led program components. This team member reports to the senior director of internships and partnerships. This position is open until filled. 

About Step Up

The Step Up Youth Employment Program prepares today’s youth for tomorrow’s careers by recruiting, training and placing more than 1,300 Minneapolis 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 has provided over 30,000 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, Achieve Twin Cities, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s CareerForce Minneapolis and Project for Pride in Living.

The Young People We Serve

Step Up supports historically underrepresented Minneapolis youth who are ready to navigate the professional world. Step Up interns are the leaders of tomorrow, the talent that will power our region and reflects the global fluency of our communities. Nearly 86 percent of Step Up interns are youth of color and more than 50 percent come from immigrant families. Our recent interns were born in over 15 countries and speak more than eight unique languages. 

Duties and Responsibilities 

Strategic Direction and Partner Alignment

  • Collaborate with the Achieve Twin Cities senior director of internships and partnerships and Step Up program partners (the City of Minneapolis, CareerForce Minneapolis and Project for Pride in Living) to develop vision and strategic plan for program growth for next 1-3 years.
  • Work with senior director and City of Minneapolis leadership to determine Achieve Twin Cities’ annual Step Up goals, contracts and work statements.
  • Ensure clarity of Achieve roles and responsibilities for implementation of Step Up as a holistic, multi-faceted program of well-coordinated activities delivered across partner organizations. 
  • Meet regularly with City of Minneapolis Step Up director and all program partners, reporting and collaborating to successfully execute program per annual goals and contract.
  • Engage and collaborate with Minneapolis Public Schools student support services, counseling teams, and career and  technical education to maximize opportunities and student success.
  • Collaborate with Achieve leadership to develop greater alignment with Achieve College Internships and school-based Career & College Centers in Minneapolis Public Schools.

Program Leadership and Growth

  • Develop Achieve’s annual Step Up goals, strategies and plans, and lead team in full implementation of annual internship program.
  • Work with Step Up employer engagement manager to ensure engagement and support from Twin Cities business community to increase the number of jobs for Level 2 Step Up participants, including developing annual job goals, recruitment strategies, timelines, plans and processes.
  • Work with partners and Step Up youth services manager to develop high-level youth recruitment and intern support goals, strategies and plans
  • Work with Achieve marketing director and City of Minneapolis staff to ensure consistency and quality of materials and messaging across a variety of program communications.
  • Work with City of Minneapolis and Achieve manager of monitoring and evaluation to develop annual evaluation to inform program improvement and assess program impact.
  • Develop annual intern matching and placement strategies and process to maximize internship success for youth and employers.

Supervision of Senior Staff and Team Leadership

  • Deliver overall leadership, support and guidance for Achieve Step Up team, including two managers, four associates and two temporary assistants.
  • Supervise, support and evaluate youth services manager and employer engagement manager.
  • Work closely with managers throughout the year to ensure holistic program and maximize success with employer partners and youth participants.
  • Lead annual Step Up program review and weekly team meetings, collaborating closely with Step Up managers.

Data and Systems

  • Work with Step Up partners to identify data needs and support the development and administration of data collection and sharing systems, including shared data management guidelines for all partners.
  • Work with Step Up managers to identify and track critical data points for each program year, and develop related analysis
  • Collaborate with manager of monitoring and evaluation, City of Minneapolis and Step Up teams at the City of Minneapolis and Achieve to develop a new logic model and evaluation system for Step Up.
  • As needed, work with City of Minneapolis on planning and development of new database.

Budget and Fundraising

  • Work with Achieve director of finance and operations, Step Up managers and senior director of internships and partnerships to develop and manage program budget.
  • Collaborate with Achieve director of advancement and senior director of internships and partnerships to develop funding relationships and in drafting funding proposals and reports.
  • As needed, seek sponsorships and in-kind services to enable program success.

Qualifications and Experience


  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively and build trusting relationships with colleagues, employer partners and young people. 
  • Commitment to anti-racism and equity in postsecondary career and education opportunities. 
  • Experience working with populations similar to the young people we serve, and an open, positive attitude and commitment to youth.  
  • Knowledge of principles and practices of administrative management, including strategic planning, budgeting and contract management. 
  • Five years demonstrated success collaborating, leading and coordinating with multiple partners and team members.
  • Experience and proven ability managing, inspiring and coaching a team while ensuring accountability for results.
  • Proven ability to establish priorities and effectively manage complex, large-scale projects with tight timelines.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills; experience using complex data sets to establish strategy.
  • Flexibility and persistence; ability to prioritize, adapt, innovate and solve problems in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong MS Word and Excel skills, excellent written and verbal communication, and problem-solving skills 
  • Experience working with relational databases (CRMs) and proven ability to use data to develop strategy and guide processes. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field.
  • Commitment to AchieveMpls mission, vision and values 
  • Ability to work well with people with diverse backgrounds and experiences


  • Knowledge and experience in career-readiness, secondary education, and/or engaging local Twin Cities business community.
  • Experience with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and/or in marketing, communications or event planning.

Compensation and Benefits

  • $78,000 to $86,000 starting salary depending on experience, with opportunity for compensation increases based on annual performance reviews and pay parity across the organization.
  • Full-time, exempt position.
  • Generous time off including 18 paid holidays, including eight half-day summer Fridays, and other paid time off for vacation/personal, sick, bereavement and more.
  • Other benefits include medical, HSA option, dental, vision, life insurance and annual professional development funds.  
  • We offer a flexible schedule with a hybrid work environment (some in-office days required regularly).  

To Apply 

Applications are welcomed from a broad range of applicants. Send letter of interest and resume to This position is open until filled.  

Achieve Twin Cities is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer 

About Achieve Twin Cities  
Achieve Twin Cities (formerly AchieveMpls) rallies community support and delivers best-in-class programs to inspire and equip Minneapolis and Saint Paul young people for careers, college and life. Our vision is that all young people have full and equitable access to postsecondary education and career opportunities, creating a more just and vibrant community. We direct career and college readiness centers in over 25 Minneapolis and Saint Paul public high schools; connect students with career exploration opportunities through Step Up and Achieve College Internships; host EDTalks and other public engagement events; and support MPS in securing grants and managing school funds, staff mini-grants and college scholarships. Learn more at

Our Commitment to Equity  
Achieve Twin Cities is committed to hiring talented individuals who are passionate about our mission and represent the diverse identities of the communities we serve. We acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all persons. Our hiring decisions are guided by our equity values: embracing differences—race, culture, religion, ability, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and class—eliminating racism and other forms of bias and creating an inclusive workplace where all employees feel valued, heard and respected.