STEP Program

The Mission

The STEP Program seeks to equip program participants with certification in retail work for the purpose of obtaining employment and building a broad range of skills that will help them succeed both professionally and personally.

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About the Program

Through the effective use of program activities, trainees are afforded employment opportunities and experiences that provide occupational skills training. This 13 week training program emphasizes helping program participants gain the competencies, skills, and confidence they need to function effectively in the workplace.

The four main objectives of the STEP Program are:

  • To prepare individuals for work.
  • To provide jobseekers with necessary pre-employment skills.
  • To empower individuals for success.
  • To promote job retention and advancement.


The STEP Program embraces a series of components to fulfill these four objectives, including:

  • Job Readiness Assessment
  • Individualized Employability Plan
  • Retail Skill Training Course
  • Human Resource Development Course
  • Roundtable Discussions
  • Life Coaching
  • Computer Training and Microsoft Certification
  • On the Job Training
  • Retail-Placement Experience
  • Certificate of Completion

Skills Development

  • Customer service
  • Building and closing the sale
  • Return policies and customer complaints
  • Merchandising
  • Controlling Inventory
  • Dealing with co-workers/conflict resolution
  • Communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Job seeking skills
  • Self-confidence, motivation and goal setting

The Result

It is our hope that our trainees will be empowered and self-sufficient. STEP fosters economic growth by preparing participants with competitive, employable skills. The program benefits existing employers by preparing a local workforce skilled in computers, retail, and customer service. Upon completion of the program it is our goal that each participant will be a changed individual, be at a greater advantage to obtain employment, and be more successful in the workplace and in society.


In addition to classroom training, participants will receive practical on-the-job training and have the opportunity to be placed at local retailers for job shadowing and professional internships.

1. Stein Mart

Stein Mart, a discount store located at 581 Romence Rd, Portage 49024, is partnering with KDC, by providing a paid internship. Stein Mart has as assortment of merchandise and features current season fashion apparel for women and men, as well as accessories, home decor, gifts, linens and shoes and it is proudly supporting the STEP program since October 2011. Thank you Stein Mart!!!

For more information about Stein Mart, visit

2. Bermo Enterprises – Max 10 Stores

By partnering with KDC since November 2011, Bermo Enterprises is providing an unpaid internship to one of the STEP participants at the Max 10 store located in 1904 Gull Road, Kalamazoo 49048. Max 10 offers first-quality clothing and accessories for men, women and kids at the lowest and best prices. Max 10 specializes in $10 clothing all year long and is committed to bringing customers Big Brands at Little Prices. Thank you Bermo Enterprises – Max 10 Stores !!!

For more information about Max 10 Stores, visit

To download the STEP brochure, please click the following link:
STEP Brochure

STEP Program Support

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