Specialized Training Employment Program

With Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada’s Specialized Training Employment Program (STEP), employers can now hire with the assurance that pre-screened candidates have undergone specialized training to help ensure higher employee retention and reduced turnover. STEP has proven to be a successful model in providing quality candidates to fill job vacancies in local communities for Volunteers of America Northern California and Northern Nevada.

“It is difficult to find good employees,” said Chris Mann, STEP program director. “We can take the burden of all of the prescreening and background checks out of the way for employers and prepare the type of candidates that these industries are looking to hire.”

Jeremy Doze, the trade recruiter for TrueBlue, Inc., agreed with Mann. “Finding quality workers is a very daunting task because you are sifting and sorting through hundreds if not thousands of different candidates,” Doze said.

“However, over the last two years, in working with Volunteers of America, I’ve seen a dramatic change and the ratio has flipped upside down.”

STEP’s unique approach includes reaching out to area businesses to see what kind of employee skill sets are key for employment with their company. Then, STEP takes an individual looking for work and crafts their abilities to fit that need, ultimately developing a resume that truly and honestly meets the expectations of the hiring agency.

“STEP also does a battery of tests,” added Mann. “We even qualify candidates on character and the culture of the community, tailoring that candidate specifically for that job. By the time they get to an interview, they are hitting the mark for that employer.” Rebecca Mangano, Bonney Plumbing’s human resource manager, has been working with the STEP program for almost a year. “To us, a good employee is someone who is committed, dedicated and eager to work. A good employee is also someone who has a great work attitude and is a good team player. The STEP program produces these types of candidates. I look forward to working with Volunteers of America for many years to come.”


Northern California-Northern Nevada Vice President and Chief Development Officer Christie Holderegger shared this success story. “Drew, a young father of three with another on the way, has proven the success of this program. After six years without a home and dealing with the challenges of addiction, he entered our Mather Community Campus, a safe place to overcome homelessness and to rebuild his life. Drew was determined and worked very hard in our employment services program, and through STEP, we were able to secure him an interview with Bonney Plumbing. He is now their star employee!”