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Temporary Employment Program Benefits Students and BLM

Story by Ann Boucher, Montana State Office
Photos by Sara Romero-Minkoff, Montana State Office

Several Billings students are taking advantage of the BLM’s Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) to gain practical work experience in a professional setting.


The students are working in 12-week positions in six different sections of the Montana State Office.  Working closely with their supervisors, the students complete meaningful assignments while learning new skills.  Although the BLM set out to fill only one position, the applicants were so well-qualified that the state office wanted to give them all the opportunity to work.


“We got some really great candidates,” said Sara Romero-Minkoff, Equal Employment Manager.  “These students have a lot of potential and just needed the chance for some on-the-job experience.”


The students represent all four Billings high schools and Montana State University-Billings.  Many of them have exceptional grade point averages and one was named a 2007 award winner for “significant achievement in youth leadership” (the Billings Gazette’s “20 Under 20”).  Their experience with the BLM will further enhance their resumes.


The MSO STEP students are working in the Public Room, Information Resources Management, Human Resources, Equal Employment Opportunity, Fire and Recreation. 


Alex DiazAnna MackCristina Donez

 Alex Diaz
Information Resource Management

Anna Mack
Public Room 

Cristina Donez
Fire Dispatch 

Kelsey TomSamantha Sandau

Kelsey Tom
Equal Employment Opportunity

Samantha Sandau
Human Resources


The primary goal of the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) is to augment a student’s education with practical work experience.  The program also benefits the BLM by having the motivated student’s assistance.  Sometimes when the student and the job are a particularly good fit, the student is able to convert to a Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) position.  After completing his/her education, logging 640 hours of work experience, and successfully learning the job, a student may then be converted to a permanent position with the BLM.


A total of 25 STEP students are currently employed throughout the rest Montana/Dakotas BLM.


For more information about the STEP or SCEP, please contact Katherine Ilari at 406-896-5230.




Last updated: 06-28-2012