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January 12, 2018

News reporters are invited to attend a reception to kick off the U.S. Geological Survey’s STEP-UP Program in Menlo Park. STEP-UP (Secondary Transition to Employment Program – USGS Partnership) provides young adults (ages 18-22) with disabilities a variety of life and job skills to enable them to transition from school to work and to live independently.

Modeled after a successful program in USGS headquarters near Washington, DC, the program is expanding to three school districts in the San Francisco Bay Area. Starting the week of January 16, eleven students from three school districts in Santa Clara County, California, will begin projects at USGS’s Menlo Park campus. The partner school districts are the Palo Alto Unified School District, Fremont Union High School District and the Santa Clara Unified School District.

USGS is recognized as a leader among federal science agencies in training, leveraging the unique strengths of students with cognitive disabilities while allowing them to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers, expand their employment opportunities, and become part of a diverse USGS workforce for the future.


Kick-off reception for USGS STEP-UP hiring program for disabled young adults.


Participating students, teachers, job coaches, district superintendents and school board members from:

Palo Alto Unified School District, Fremont Union High School District, and Santa Clara Unified School District

Representatives from Bay Area congressional offices, elected state officials

USGS host supervisor scientists, and USGS leadership and staff


Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. (Reception) and 11:00 a.m. (Observation of students working)


U.S. Geological Survey

California Conference Room, Bldg. 3, 2nd floor

345 Middlefield Road

Menlo Park, California


Leslie Gordon,, 650-329-4006


The USGS is forming partnerships at its various offices across the nation with local school districts and universities with established job training and transition programs. USGS identifies specific projects relevant to the work of its scientists, and then matches students to the projects based on their individual interests and aptitude. The school districts provide job coaches and onsite oversight.

The USGS STEP-UP Program will:

- Advance USGS science by making USGS data more quickly available to more scientists.

- Support the USGS Fundamental Science Practices by properly archiving data and collections.

- Supplement the USGS budget by using volunteers to achieve measurable work.

- Support the Federal Government’s goal of building a more inclusive and diverse workforce by becoming a model for job-training of people with cognitive disabilities.

- Increase the diversity of the USGS workforce by hiring some of the STEP-UP program graduates.


man and woman sitting at a desk in front of computer
Student and job coach participting in the STEP-UP progam at U.S. Geological Survey.(Public domain)
Young woman working at office desk in front of computer
Young woman employeed at the U.S. Geological Survey as part of the STEP-UP program.(Public domain.)

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