Thank you for your interest in partnering with StepUp Durham in your Employment Search!

About StepUp

StepUp Durham offers FREE employment readiness training, personalized job coaching, employer referrals, and supportive services to job seekers, including those with barriers like a criminal background or gaps in work history. Job seekers enter StepUp through a 32-hour workshop that teaches the skills needed to find and sustain employment. The relationship is 50/50. StepUp uses its resources to connect job seekers to employers who trust StepUp, while participants execute the skills they have learned to further their own independent job search.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Ages 18 and over
  • No pending charges 
  • Possession of or the ability or obtain a Social Security Card
  • 90 days clean and sober (drug testing performed randomly) 
  • 90 days removed from domestic violence 
  • Not listed on the sex offender registry (our classes meet  near daycare facilities)

Why these criteria? 

StepUp Durham offers training and support to job seekers and screening and referral services to local employers. Many of the criteria listed above (e.g., the ability to pass a pre-employment drug screen, possession of a valid Social Security Card) are in place because businesses require them as a condition of employment . Other criteria, such as the 90-day removal from domestic violence, are in place because we want to ensure that individuals are safe and supported before they begin the StepUp process. The criteria regarding pending charges excludes minor traffic violations or cases that may be resolved quickly. If ongoing court dates would require an individual to miss work regularly, we ask that they resolve any pending legal matters before beginning StepUp. 

An easy way to see if StepUp would be a good fit is to think of the employment process like a race. Job seekers, like runners, should prepare and position themselves before putting their toe on the starting line for employment. By enrolling in the Employment Readiness Workshop, a job seeker says, "I'm ready, willing, and able to work. I'm ready to run and ready have StepUp run right alongside me!" 

workshop requirements 

  • Perfect attendance for five-day workshop. Total time commitment: Monday - Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM.
  • Thorough and timely completion of daily homework (staff assistance available)
  • Demonstrate consistent honesty, reliability, and teachability through 32-hour workshop

Frequently asked questions

Where is StepUp's office? 

We are located at ReCity Network (112 Broadway Street, Suite B, Durham, NC 27701). Our office hours are Monday - Thursday, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM and Friday, 8:30 AM - 2:30 PM.

Where are StepUp's workshops taught?

StepUp's classes are not taught at the StepUp Durham office. To accommodate the greatest number of job seekers in the widest geographic area, StepUp hosts workshops in spaces offered by community partners across Durham. Workshops are always within 0.25 mile of a bus stop. Please call our office at 919-973-0890 for upcoming workshop locations, 

Does StepUp work with any kind of criminal background?

The only charge that make a person ineligible for partnership with StepUp is a sex offense. StepUp partners with job seekers that have any other kind of background, including felonies and violent charges. 

Does StepUp provide meals? 

Yes. StepUp provides a light breakfast and lunch to participants each day during the 32-hour workshop.

Does StepUp provide childcare? 

No. We ask that job seekers have a childcare plan in place during the week, as they will need to have a plan when they obtain employment.

Does StepUp provide bus passes? 

No. StepUp does not provide bus passes to and from workshop. We do, however, provide bus passes to and from an employer until a participant's first paycheck if transportation is a significant barrier. 

Can a participant leave early on a workshop day or miss a portion of the week? 

No. StepUp's curriculum is designed in such a way that each modules build upon one another. We therefore ask that participants sign up for a week when they can commit to the entirety of the week. 

Does StepUp pay participants to attend the workshop? 

No. We choose to use our resources to get people employed and earning a sustainable living as quickly as possible.


If you are interested in registering for our next Job Skills Workshop, please fill out this form or contact the StepUp Durham office directly at 919-973-0890.