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Annual Report 2023

Professional Development

Step Forward’s Professional Development program is a gateway to a world of opportunities, where individuals of all ages can unlock their potential and embark on a fulfilling career path. Whether you’re starting fresh or seeking a new direction, Step Forward is committed to helping individuals find their passion and chart a course towards success.

At the heart of Step Forward’s Professional Development program are Family Development Specialists and licensed social workers, who serve as mentors and guides. They work closely with clients to identify their interests, assess their skills, and develop a personalized plan to achieve their career goals. Through a series of tailored programs and services, the agency helps each individual overcome the barriers to success and equips them with the tools needed to thrive.

Programs cover a wide range of areas, including Customer Service Training, Job Readiness and Placement, Adult Basic Literacy Skills, Microsoft Office Suite Training, and more. These programs are designed to provide each person with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in today’s job market. From updating their resume to honing interview skills, Step Forward ensures that each client is well prepared to make a positive impression on potential employers.

Step Forward goes the extra mile by connecting clients with hiring agencies and providing opportunities to attend free training, workshops and job fairs. We believe in empowering the community with not just the knowledge but real-world opportunities to put that knowledge into action.

In 2023,

100%

100%

of the clients who demonstrated improved job readiness skills were referred to employment services and went on to secure employment

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In 2023,

97%

97%

of the clients who improved their job preparedness skills also achieved all program goals for their designated professional development services training program

In 2023,

75%

of the Professional Development clients who completed programs with Step Forward reported that he or she secured employment and obtained employment at or above minimum wage

75%

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In 2023, Step Forward's job fairs connected

427

job seekers with actively hiring agencies 

Impact Highlight

Impact Highlight

Camille's story...

Camille enrolled in Step Forward's Adult Basic Literacy Workshop with the goal of receiving a refurbished laptop upon program completion. To her surprise, she discovered that Step Forward - and the workshop - provided far more than she expected!

“I enhanced my basic math skills, touched on basic computer skills, and I got back in touch with my typing skills," she said.

One of the skills she improved on, financial literacy, proved to be particularly advantageous.

"The course showed me the basic pros and cons of the errors I was making and that my saving strategies were not only out of date, but out of order,” she explained.

Camille put her newly developed financial literacy skills to the test as she worked to save for a specific goal: taking her son to Cedar Point for his 5th birthday. For her, working towards a short-term financial goal was a helpful way to show herself and her workshop facilitators that the resources she gained were effective when applied accordingly.

Camille is currently enrolled in college classes with the aim of becoming a patient services representative. Reflecting on her experience with Step Forward, she identifies the most valuable lesson:

“I discovered within myself that determination is key, and I’m the only one holding myself back,” Camille said. “I’m smart, educated, and I have a lot going for myself, and all I had to do was get rid of the dead weight, negativity, and toxicity in my life.”

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