Fewer students step into STEP-UP

  • Article by: MAYA RAO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 27, 2012 - 4:15 PM

Minneapolis' highly touted summer jobs program places fewer interns this month for 2nd year in a row.

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furguson11Jun. 27, 12 5:51 AM

Said Tammy Dickinson, the city's STEP-UP director: "I think we have to find a way to do more with less." There is a lot of that going around.

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minneg56Jun. 27, 12 6:15 AM

This looks line a great idea but I sense it's like so many other programs government is involved in. The parameters for kids to qualify are likely so rigidly defined that all the youth who really need a job - which is just about everyone I've met this summer between the age of 15 and 19- can't benefit or qualify. If youth were qualified for such a program on their OWN income and assets 99% would qualify as most in this age bracket have nothing of their own. The program should be expanded from the tag 'disadvantaged youth' to just youth in general. With the way the economy has been since 2009 - all youth are starting out with a "disadvantage" which our political leaders of today have left for the kids to clean up!

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rundogJun. 27, 1210:22 AM

Step-Up is a great program and Achive does great things for higher skilled youth, but don't confuse the two. Achive is (as the article says)for corporate paid interns; while Step-up is for lower skilled, "disadvantaged" youth. There is NEVER enough funding to offer jobs to all youth who want to work. There is not enough political will from adults to provide the resources to get kids supported summer employment so they have the opportunity to learn how to work. Plus adults are taking traditional summer jobs - so positions aren't available for youth. Youth unemployment has set records for the last ten years. Wasted sumemers everywhere.

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aschroepferJun. 27, 1210:37 AM

"Officials attribute the drop to loss of stimulus funding and cutbacks in federal block grants that subsidize wages for some employers in the program, particularly nonprofits" Are these officials that naive that they don;t get the issue is the lack of jobs? Why in the world should the federal government subsidize "jobs" for our youth? If the economy would improve, jobs would follow. Focus on solving the issue jobs, not on throwing money at the result of no jobs.

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ginny6Jun. 27, 1211:21 AM

Anything that gives young people, particularly disadvantaged young people, a view of the workplace and work experience is great. I know there is a dearth of jobs for youth of all backgrounds, but those from advantaged backgrounds generally have far more connections. The majority of the summer interns in the workplaces I've been at have relatives who work at the company. It's "affirmative action for the well-connected." Nice kids, but they are in their jobs because of who they know.

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cheylaJun. 27, 1211:26 AM

minneg56 - I agreed. I'm a single mom who worked hard to be where we're at. But my 2 kids (ages 14 & 16) do not qualify for this program just because my income is slightly higer then the treshold. Such programs should be open to all youths.

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reader22Jun. 27, 1212:00 PM

"There were a lot of issues with the STEP-UP students just not doing what they were supposed to do, and it was a lot of work to supervise them and help them understand their role," said Michelle Higgins, a program director. Interesting comment. Maybe this is part of the problem. Seems like usinesses and agencies commit for maybe a year or two and then back out. If it is taking more work to supervise the interns rather than the paid employees can you blame them? Too bad for those students that are committed to the program and do a great job but it sounds like they are in the minority.

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sunnysky70Jun. 27, 12 2:02 PM

Reader22- You are spot on, where I work, we have had STEP UP Students and they don't want to do anything! I was the primary person to train and support them to learn, they just don't care! I have kids of my own that would love a job like this but you guessed it, we don't qualify! Sad deal all around.

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mcprogersJun. 27, 12 8:21 PM

AchieveMinneapolis (Step-Up) let the best recruiter and trainer they ever had go in 2006, the soul and life blood of the Step-UP program. On-going issues with recruiting and preparing youth in their program has seriously suffered to the point they are today.

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