STEP Chris working on Resume
Chris B, STEP participant

STEP will:

  • Evaluate and chart students’ progress
  • Increase employability and marketability
  • Provide integrated, community-based work experiences
  • Provide acquisition of tangible work skills
  • Assist families with navigating the service system
  • Provide post-graduation job placement assistance

How do we do it?

The STEP team works side by side with school staff, the students, and their families to assess strengths, preferences and interests. Using these assessments, we collaborate with IEP team members to develop a set of volunteer or internship opportunities for students at local job sites. Students work alongside a highly trained job coach, with no more than two other students, ensuring the appropriate amount of support, guidance and encouragement. Students will work at each job site for approximately six weeks, and then rotate to a new experience, providing them with a wide range of tangible work skills and valuable real-world experiences.

In addition to integrated community-based instruction, students will also receive training in the form of career exploration and job skills workshops that highlight various topics such as: Career Exploration and Planning, Writing a Resume, Writing a Cover Letter, Filling Out an Application, Interviewing Skills, Effective Communication Skills, Seeking and Obtaining Employment and Successfully Maintaining Employment. STEP staff will also develop additional workshops in conjunction with student, parent, or school needs.

Staff will assist parents and students in navigating New Jersey’s confusing vocational services network. Transition planning can be extremely stressful and confusing for families of children with disabilities, especially as they near graduation. While these families are eligible for substantial services and assistance, they are often unaware of them. We will work with parents to make certain they understand their rights and make use of available opportunities to ensure success in the employment arena following high school.

Participating Businesses

We realize that our program can only be as good as the job sites we provide.
Currently, STEP works with the following types of businesses:

Hospitals, Health & Wellness Centers, Colleges, YMCA, Law Offices, Supermarkets, Retail Stores, Pet Grooming Salons, Libraries and Assisted Living Facilities to name a few.

STEP will always work with the school and students to customize future programs and build additional job sites of interest.  Providing the opportunity for students to explore their personal needs and preferences will assist them in acquiring the self-advocacy skills that will enable them to participate in their career planning effectively.  These work experiences also affords participants the opportunity to build professional networking relationships that can enhance their career development.