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Step Up | Workforce Development
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Productivity is an important aspect of quality of life.

Step Up’s rapid workforce job development program offers comprehensive barrier-free, job placement
and employment development services.

Workforce Development

Some of the services include:

  • Pre-vocational training
  • Resume building
  • Employment preparation
  • Community Job seeking
  • Job placement
  • Overcoming barriers to successful job placements
  • In-the-field job coaching
  • Work experience and training
  • Peer Support training


All Step Up members desiring meaningful, community-competitive employment will be assisted in achieving that goal. The program is founded on the nationally recognized IPS rapid work program where the foundation of all services is based on consumer choice. Employment support is continuous, even after participants have obtained
competitive employment.

Step Up’s Vocational programs also include the operations of Step Up’s social enterprise business, Fresh Start Market & Grill, Meals Program, a janitorial business, Urban Garden and peer support programs in various locations.

In 2018, 206 individuals participated in Step Up’s workforce development programs, with 50 participants moving to unsubsidized employment, including 16 TAY.


The Vocational Mission is:
Everyone who wants to work should work.

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The Rooftop Urban Garden at Step Up on Vine.

The rooftop urban garden at Step Up on Vine (SUOV) is a series of hydroponic towers which simplify traditional gardening, allowing communities in densely populated urban areas an opportunity to grow their own food. The towers produce vegetables that are used in daily meal preparation in the kitchens of SUOV in Hollywood and Step Up on Second in Santa Monica. Step Up serves over 45,000 meals annually in various Step Up service locations.

Through the generous support in the past of Supervisor Kuehl’s Third District’s Food for The Soul program Step Up has been able to maintain its Urban Garden and has employed 9 formerly homeless mentally ill individuals, 5 of whom have left our program and gone on to jobs within the community.

The Urban Garden program not only supplies fresh vegetables to Step Up’s Meals Program it also provides exposure to all residents on healthy eating through nutritional groups. In addition, clients who have attended a basic nutritional group have the ability to request and receive overflow produce for their personal use. Step Up also offer life skills groups on using and preparing these goods in a manner everyone wants to eat.

An Important Message from Step Up

Dear Supporters, Volunteers and Trusted Community Partners,

We wanted to take a moment to let you know Step Up is actively monitoring the COVID-19 status in the communities we work. We are relieved to report that as of this writing, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Step Up Community. Step Up is taking measures to both protect employees' health and welfare, and to advance its critical mission to serve its most at-risk members. During this time, members will continue to need our support and we expect to continue to provide the exemplary level of support and services we have become known for in our community.

In an abundance of caution, Step Up is taking the following immediate steps to curtail the spread of the virus and to keep its staff, members and volunteers as safe and as healthy as possible during this period of unknown impact:

  • All volunteer activities at all sites are halted for a minimum of two weeks.
  • Managers are empowered to work with staff to curtail activities that may put them or members at risk. This includes the possibility of remote work when feasible, phone or telehealth meetings with members as necessary, avoiding transporting members in personal or company vehicles - the advancement of our mission is paramount;
  • Program staff will be trained on how to utilize company phone apps to effectively communicate with members and each other as necessary;
  • We have asked staff if they or an immediate family member is experiencing flu-like symptoms, to not report to any office location, contact their manager on how to proceed, and seek medical attention immediately.

While many public and private spaces have curtailed operations for the time being, Step Up will remain operational and will continue serving its clients. Again, it is important to note that NO ONE IN THE STEP UP COMMUNITY HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19. Our goal is to keep it that way for as long as possible.

Please contact us by email or phone before coming to one of our locations. Support from our community is especially vital now as operations are re-aligned to adhere to our mission while keeping staff, members and volunteers safe. Please consider making a donation as we work through this difficult time. Your contributions in any amount ensure that Step Up will continue serving our most vulnerable neighbors, who are especially vulnerable during this community health crisis. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.

Stay safe and healthy,
Tod Lipka
President & CEO