Student Training & Employment Program (STEP)

Workforce Development | Student-Focused | Mission Aligned

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FoundationCCC) coordinate STEP to provide work experience and job preparation training for SWD.

Established in 2018, STEP funds work readiness and paid work experiences, encourages local partnerships, and serves students statewide.

To date, over 1,600 students have engaged in paid work experiences, with over 13 workforce development boards participating.

Respondent Eligibility

Local Workforce Development Boards and America’s Job Centers of California (AJCC) seeking to increase services provided to students with disabilities can apply. The project will provide job preparation training, including job exploration, workplace readiness skills training, and work-based learning experiences, as well as summer work experience to students with disabilities.

Proposal Requirements

  • Only one proposal will be accepted from each local workforce board or AJCC.
  • Each respondent must identify businesses committed to engaging with students with disabilities and provide a clear strategy to partner with these employers to provide work experience.
  • Respondents must demonstrate a workplace readiness training program ready to be implemented at their location.

Participant Requirements

  • Must be a student with a disability in a secondary, postsecondary, or other recognized education program
  • Age 16 to 21
  • Eligible for and receiving special education or related services
  • Must be a potentially eligible or eligible consumer with the Department of Rehabilitation before enrolling into the STEP program

Interested parties can sign up for the interest list to receive email notifications of application announcements and information about our application workshops here.

A Story of Impact

The key pieces of Clarence’s success in education, work, and life as a student with disabilities (SWD) is a combination of support from family, K-12 and Pathways programs, DOR STEPS work experience, vocational rehab, and community college courses...With his first paid work experience, Clarence not only had the opportunity to practice fiscal management of his STEPS earnings, but invested some of the earnings into a college textbook--a true investment in himself, his education, and his future.

Arlitha H. (Mother of Clarence H.)

FoundationCCC | Career Catalyst

FoundationCCC oversees the application, and contracting process, and distributes contract funds for the Solicitation for Proposal. It also serves as the official employer of record for all paid work experience through Career Catalyst. Grantees also have access to a network of peer grantees, support from DOR, and comprehensive training on Career Catalyst services and tools.


Download the STEPS one-pager to learn more about the program. 

Foundation for California
Community Colleges

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Who we serve

The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 116 colleges and 73 districts, serving nearly 2 million students.

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