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What is STEPS?

What is STEPS? This is the new name for the Workforce Development & Transitional Employment Program and Team. STEPS is an acronym for St. Anthony’s Employment Pathways to Stability. The STEPS Program offers community guests job readiness services including: pre-employment training, transitional employment opportunities, on-the-job training, job retention and career coaching, and after-care follow-up. We also provide hiring managers with pre-approved qualified candidates, and in collaboration with Learning and Development, supervisory support.

How does STEPS fit into St. Anthony’s mission and values?

We envision a more prosperous city where barriers to employment are eliminated, and every member of the community is empowered with dignity and gains financial stability through meaningful work.

Through expanding STEPS, we will create employment opportunities and provide job readiness for members of our community seeking to rebuild from addictions, homelessness, and incarceration.

St. Anthony’s employs values in every exchange with our clients.  Our values are integrated into every aspect of what we do; transitional employment is aligned with our desire to provide resources that support St. Anthony’s Stability Framework. STEPS is an important element of stability and we target three specific stability framework components: livable wage, relationship to community, and life management skills.

How does transitional employment at St. Anthony’s work?

STEPS serves guests from Fr. Alfred Center, referrals from St. Anthony’s Welcome Center, or referrals by other community organizations and agencies, with the opportunity to apply, interview, and be trained for transitional jobs within the Foundation or placed externally with corporate partners.

Applying for a transitional job is a two-step process: 1) guests seeking employment will complete a Transitional Employment Interest Form available on our website; and 2) guests will apply for specific “TE” jobs on the St. Anthony’s Job Board available on our website. A resume is a required part of this process. We offer a free Resume Clinic for guests who need assistance updating or creating a resume. St. Anthony’s Transitional Employment program follows the regular HR hiring process for any position available. Depending on the specific job description, the process may also include skills assessment and once hired, the signing of a mutual agreement between the hiring manager and prospective employee to support skill development and career progression. Skill assessment and development will continue throughout the transitional employment period. Supervisors of transitional employees will practice compassionate leadership in supporting individuals as they participate in this program. Additional supervisory training will be provided through St. Anthony’s Learning and Development department to support the success of both supervisors and STEPS employees.

Which jobs within St. Anthony’s are classified as transitional?

Transitional jobs include “TE” in the title and are listed along with other open positions on our Job Board. Currently, St. Anthony’s has identified the following jobs as “transitional” jobs by department*:

  • Kitchen Assistant – TE
  • Hygiene Hub Associate – TE
  • Community Safety Services (CSS) – TE

*Additional positions may be classified as transitional jobs as openings occur.

How long does a transitional job last? What happens after this time period?

Enrollment in STEPS can span from six to eight months. Skills assessment and performance reviews will be conducted frequently to support transitional employees. Beyond the transitional period, successful employees will be encouraged to apply for a “core” position (if available) in their department or another St. Anthony’s department, where job openings are posted. Additionally, some STEPS employees may decide to leave St. Anthony’s and join another organization in the community, or apply for a position with one of our corporate partners. We will assist any TE employee in this process.

Beyond transitional employment, it is our goal to guide individuals to long-term employment stability. There are several pathways identified:

  1. Continuing as a STEPS TE employee
  2. Moving into a core position in the same department
  3. Transitioning to an external job partner placement
  4. Transitioning into a core position in a different department
  5. Leaving St. Anthony’s for a job of their choice
St. Anthony’s currently employs over 75 former guests. How is this program different from our current hiring practices?

For over 70 years, St. Anthony’s has employed people from our community and restored their stability. This is an integral part of fulfilling our mission, “to create a society in which all persons flourish.” The expanded STEPS Program provides an intentional framework for training and employment of even more people in the Tenderloin and the city-at-large. Currently, workforce development and transitional employment services have been delivered exclusively to Fr. Alfred Center guests who are ready to re-enter the workplace. STEPS has expanded services to more people, providing more support in every aspect of the resume/cover letter creation, job search, application and interviewing process. STEPS also creates individualized training plans for each transitional employee at St. Anthony’s so they can excel in their current job and prepare for their next great job

What other services do you provide to to support the success of transitional employees at St. Anthony’s?

We offer up to 60 hours of individualized training support on-the-job, as well as additional workshops on financial literacy, skills for keeping a job, and ongoing resume and cover letter support when preparing for core positions. Transitional employees also receive on-the-job coaching, job-related skills training (as needed), and additional wellness services to support continued stability.

Who does STEPS serve?

While STEPS assesses program eligibility on a case-by-case basis, candidates with demonstrated barriers to employment who are interested in re-entering the workforce and gaining more financial stability are the best fit for this program. Individuals must be clean and sober for at least six months, 18 years of age or older, must have legal status to work in the U.S., must have reliable transportation, a working phone and email, and pass a background check. We consider ourselves a compassionate employer and are interested in helping individuals who need an opportunity to change their lives for the better.

How will we measure program success?

Our program is designed to help participants develop a sense of wellness in their professional and personal life. We look at wellness in three different ways; mental/emotional, financial, and vocational.

We believe that a person’s mental and emotional health is directly tied to their ability to achieve goals and move forward in life. In addition to providing a caring and supportive environment, we also provide therapy and recovery services to those who may benefit from them. We recommend that all participants attend at least two therapy sessions, if they are not already in therapy, and (where applicable) engage in recovery support groups, if they are not already doing so.

Our goal is to provide participants with the tools and resources to be successful far beyond their time at St. Anthony’s. Financial literacy and responsible management of financial resources are essential to developing self-sufficiency.

Employees will receive financial literacy training that will provide them with a toolkit of skills to successfully manage money, credit, build a monthly budget, setting goals, savings, and logistics of setting up bank accounts and tracking spending.

During each phase of the program, Transitional Employees regularly check in with their Supervisor, Trainers/Job Coaches and their Companion (if assigned), to discuss their job readiness, job progression and additional training, and next steps beyond transitional employment.  

Job readiness speaks to our participants’ ability to be successful at work, as well as their ability to obtain and maintain a new job in the future.

How will we measure individual (employee) success?

While many factors can indicate an employee’s employment stability, we measure it by looking at attendance, the achievement of goals, and soft and hard (job-related) skills development.

Attendance and meeting job goals will be closely monitored and recorded. As with any employee at St. Anthony’s, and other employment placements, disciplinary action will be taken if expectations are not met, including possible termination.

Consistent performance management is critical to the ongoing personal and professional development of STEPS participants. There are several factors that are used to determine participants’ job success, areas for improvement, and overall needs.

Performance reviews take place monthly and address three focus areas: attendance, goal attainment, and soft skills.

Employees’ development of soft and hard skills is tracked weekly. We particularly seek to support growth in the following soft skills areas:

  • Professionalism – Demonstrating dependability and reliability. Fulfilling obligations, completing assignments, and meeting deadlines. Acting with integrity and honesty. Dressing appropriately for position and duties. Abiding by and respecting all company policies.
  • Attitude – Conveying a positive, pleasant, and “can-do” attitude. Trying to continuously improve performance. Respecting authority, coworkers, and subordinates. Accepting instruction and constructive criticism. Exhibit a “growth mindset” and kindness.
  • Communication – Communicating effectively – verbally and non-verbally. Using language appropriate for the work environment. Proper communication through phone, email, and video conferencing. Effective listening skills.
  • Teamwork – Relating positively with co-workers. Encouraging others. Working productively with individuals and teams. Maintaining respectful and trustworthy relationships. Exhibiting leadership when necessary. Understanding diversity and inclusion.
  • Problem solving – Identifying and defining a problem, using knowledge and information to generate possible solutions. Effectively managing time. Addressing conflicts directly with the appropriate parties/individuals. Adapting to new environments or situations.

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