Student Training & Employment Program (STEP)

Workforce development, student-focused, mission-aligned.

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and FoundationCCC coordinate the Student Training & Employment Program (STEP), established in 2018, to provide work experience and job preparation training for students with disabilities ages 16-21.

STEP leverages collaborative partnerships between Local Workforce Development Boards, America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs), and Local DOR District Offices to serve students statewide.

DOR provides support at the state and local levels to enroll students with disabilities into STEP and ensure connections to resources for students and employers. FoundationCCC supports STEP awardees through a tailored approach to funding administration and a capacity-building model of technical assistance, leveraging a Community of Practice and human-centered design principles.

STEP Project Goals

STEP projects provide to students with disabilities:

  • Job preparation training, including job exploration, workplace readiness skills training, and work-based learning experiences
  • Year-round paid W2 work-based learning experiences
  • Training in self-advocacy and setting personal goals
  • Counseling in postsecondary training opportunities
  • Career exploration counseling

Funding Opportunities

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), in coordination with the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FoundationCCC), administers federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title IV Vocational Rehabilitation funds to design, develop, and implement projects that provide work experience and job preparation training for students with disabilities. Funding opportunities will be announced on this page as they become available.

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. Awardees also have access to a network of peer awardees, support from DOR, and comprehensive training on Career Catalyst services and tools.

Program Impact

  • 1,600+ students

    have engaged in paid work experiences.

  • 13 workforce development boards

    participating in providing students with work experiences.