1st S.T.E.P.

The BWL's 1st S.T.E.P. -- or the School to Training and Employment Program -- gives Lansing-area high school seniors a work-based learning experience and an opportunity to obtain the skills to enter the workforce. 1st S.T.E.P. has graduated nearly 150 students, hired more than 20 full time employees and awarded almost $225,000 in scholarships since 2008. The program also received the Capitol Area Michigan Works Prosperity Award in 2014.

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Students interested in participating in 1st S.T.E.P. must complete the following activities:

  1. Attend the 1st S.T.E.P. Student and Parent/Guardian Orientation Session
  2. Complete the 1st S.T.E.P. application and essay
  3. Develop a working portfolio
  4. Complete the BWL interview/tour
  5. Drug test and background check for employment required


  • Career exploration opportunities
  • Learn while working a real job
  • Structured process that requires students participation in activities necessary for learning/training and potential employment success
  • Experience that helps students succeed in future jobs and in college
  • Potential to be paid while working
  • Potential for a $2,000 scholarship to the college of their choice

Eligibility Criteria

  • High school senior in the BWL service territory
  • Age 17 by January 1
  • Overall GPA of at least 2.0
  • Future plans to live and work in the Greater Lansing Area
  • Plans to pursue post-secondary education and training in skilled trades beyond high school
  • Able to work up to 3 hours during the school day (ending by 3:30 p.m.) on school co-op/Internship program
  • Be drug free
  • Dependable and hard-working, and dependable transportation (ability to get to work on time)

What's next?

Contact your high school counselor or your area's Job Placement Coordinator to get started. If you have any questions about the program, contact BWL at (517) 702-6400.