Step Up

Each year, Step Up trains and places hundreds of Minneapolis high school youth in paid internships with over 100 Twin Cities employers.

employer info youth info

A young woman wearing a hijab is smiling at the camera, using a laptop.

Step Up is preparing tomorrow's workforce today.

What is Step Up?

The Step Up Youth Employment Program connects Minneapolis youth (ages 14-21) with Twin Cities employers through training and internships that build careers and lead to a more diverse, skilled and equitable workforce. Since 2003, Step Up has created over 34,000 high-quality internship opportunities.

We connect young people with adult mentors who can help them achieve their career and college goals and become our next generation of skilled leaders. 

We help employers in 15 industries build a strong base of young, skilled workers who can keep our future regional economy and our communities strong and vibrant. Step Up bridges the gap between the tremendous skills and assets of our young people and the needs of our regional workforce.

Step Up builds hope for the future by investing in the young people who will power our communities for decades to come. It expands horizons, bolsters resumes and connects youth to the places and people who will help them get where they want to be.

Step Up is a partnership of the City of Minneapolis, Achieve Twin Cities, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Project for Pride in Living.

Meet our Step Up Employers

See Step Up In Action

Free Geek supervisor and intern standing in tech workspace

Youth Video

Xcel Energy supervisor with Step Up intern sitting at desk

Employer Video

Step Up Program Levels

Step Up Level 1

Level 1 is for Step Up interns who are 14-15 years old.

Youth are placed in internships that provide 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 by the City of Minneapolis.  

For more information, contact Maryan Sharif-Abdinassir.

Step Up Level 2

Level 2 is for Step Up interns who are 16-21 years old.

Youth are placed in resume-building internships that offer a professional experience and exposure to a variety of potential careers. They work in private sector businesses, public agencies and nonprofits across 15 industries. Wages are paid by employers.

For employer information, contact Scott Kosloski.

For youth participant information, contact Talia Levin.

“Thanks to Step Up, by age 18 I had worked in a law firm, an investment bank and an accounting firm. My résumé was beautiful!"

Pa Nhia, Step Up alum
A young woman is using a desktop computer.

Become a Step Up
employer for
summer 2024.