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Empower Doubles Enrollment in Career Pathway Program

(Niagara Falls, NY) - Empower announced that it has doubled its enrollment in its Steps to Work Program that connects graduating high school students with career pathways. 

“We started offering Steps to Work as way to connect students transitioning out of high school with accessible pathways to employment. So far the program has been a massive success, and has expanded rapidly over the past six years we have operated it with ACCES-VR and our local school districts,” Empower CEO Diane Baehre said. “Through paid summer internships and pre-employment classes, Steps to Work has offered hundreds of students with disabilities the opportunity to learn valuable skills and grow professionally.” 

Empower started offering Steps to Work six years ago in partnership with ACCES-VR and local school districts to connect students with disabilities transitioning out of high school to career services. Steps to Work includes classes that provide pre-employment skills to the students followed by a paid summer internship in the participant's field of interest to introduce them to the world of work. Over the past six years, due to the overwhelming success of Steps to Work, Empower has gone from serving one school and six students to six schools and seventy-seven students. In the past year we doubled the enrollment from around 40 students to the current 77. 

“Our mission at Empower is to provide support services that allow each individual to live the life they choose and reach their full potential. Steps to Work embodies that mission and is helping set young adults up for success after finishing school,” Baehre said. “I could not be more excited to see the continued success of this program, and I am grateful for the incredible work of our team to ensure each student gets the most out of their experience.” 

If you are interested in learning more about the Steps to Work program, you can visit, or call our job placement department at 716-299-0851.


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