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Organization DBA Year Up Boston
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Year Up empowers low-income, urban young adults to move from poverty to professional careers in one year through an innovative program that combines hands-on technical and professional training, work-based learning, an educational stipend, and college credits.

 
Year Up Boston’s mission is to close the "Opportunity Divide" that exists for over 62,000 disconnected youth in the Boston area. This divide separates those who have access to education, resources, and livable-wage employment from those who do not. We achieve this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits.
 
Our holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to place young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency.

Mission Statement

Year Up empowers low-income, urban young adults to move from poverty to professional careers in one year through an innovative program that combines hands-on technical and professional training, work-based learning, an educational stipend, and college credits.

 
Year Up Boston’s mission is to close the "Opportunity Divide" that exists for over 62,000 disconnected youth in the Boston area. This divide separates those who have access to education, resources, and livable-wage employment from those who do not. We achieve this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits.
 
Our holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to place young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015
Projected Income $11,027,498.00
Projected Expense $10,074,627.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Year Up's One-year Training Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Year Up empowers low-income, urban young adults to move from poverty to professional careers in one year through an innovative program that combines hands-on technical and professional training, work-based learning, an educational stipend, and college credits.

 
Year Up Boston’s mission is to close the "Opportunity Divide" that exists for over 62,000 disconnected youth in the Boston area. This divide separates those who have access to education, resources, and livable-wage employment from those who do not. We achieve this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits.
 
Our holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to place young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency.

Background Statement

Year Up was founded in 2000 by our current CEO, Gerald Chertavian. The origins of the program, however, go back to the mid-1980s, when Gerald was a Big Brother to a young boy, David, in the Lower East Side of New York. The neighborhood then had a reputation for being one of the most dangerous parts of the city.  Gerald felt the inequity David experienced, due to his zip code, school system, race, and his mother’s bank balance.  David was talented, and full of potential; yet unable to overcome the poverty and violence that surrounded him without support. Gerald founded and led a successful company and, after selling it in 1999, turned his full attention to launching Year Up to help students like David.  He said, “We are wasting so much talent in a country where we have no one to waste."

 
Year Up serves 18-24 year old, low-income urban young adults because this age range presents a pivotal time for supporting young people through successful transitions from school into the economic mainstream, and toward long-term success. Year Up Boston positively impacts area youth that are the least advantaged, both economically and socially: 85% of our graduates are employed or enrolled in school full-time within four months of graduation. Of those graduates who are employed, the average starting salary is greater than or equal to $15/hour, or approximately $30,000 per year. Participation in Year Up’s programming has been demonstrated to boost lifetime earnings by 30% (EMC, 2011), and we continue to evaluate our program model to assess overall impact.
 

Our ability to respond to Boston’s underserved youth in terms of increasing capacity speaks for itself: Year Up served its first 22 students in 2001, and has since expanded twenty-fold to serve 400 students in 2015. All told, over the last 15 years, Year Up Boston has served more than 3,000 young adults in the Boston area and now have over 2,000 alumni. We recognize the factors contributing to long-term unemployment in our students (e.g., struggles with families, poverty, parenting, homelessness, mental or physical health issues, and prior criminal justice system involvement), and address these issues throughout each student’s experience at Year Up by providing comprehensive wraparound services. Our holistic approach focuses on students’ educational, professional and personal development in order to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency and security.

 

Year Up graduates contribute to the overall health and vitality of the Boston region and are proof that our young adults are economic assets. The region is experiencing a boom in the information technology sector, and has always had a thriving knowledge, education and finance-based economy.[1] Year Up has, as part of its program design, a built-in, employer partner feedback loop so that our student training can adjust to meet the changing demands of the Boston area marketplace. Despite substantial growth over 14 years, we have not compromised any aspect of our high service/high support model for students as we increase capacity. Our outcomes have stayed consistent and employer partners continue to be our largest regular revenue source through internship fees, allowing us to well sustain Year Up Boston, while providing employer partners with talented, trained interns.


[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics: Boston Area Employment, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/regions/new-england/news-release/areaemployment_boston.htm


Impact Statement

In addition to boosting young adults’ annual earnings by approximately 30% compared to a control group (confirmed by a 2011 independently conducted research report by the Economic Mobility Corporation) we regularly surpass the following ambitious outcomes:

 

  • 90% of employers express satisfaction with our students during internship
  • 75% of students graduate from the program
  • 85% of graduates obtain employment and/or are enrolled in college four months after graduating from Year Up
  • Students earn $15/hour average starting salary at time of employment

 

Student success and corporate satisfaction with our students are two of the key measures by which we assess our program. Given their talent, our student graduates from January 2014 were making $15.57 per hour, and graduates from the July 2014 cohort attained an average starting wage of $16.48.

 

WE SOLICIT FEEDBACK

We administer surveys to corporate partners to evaluate their satisfaction with our interns, this past year, that rate was over 96% for the Boston site. We also consistently solicit feedback on corporate partner business needs to ensure that we’re adequately preparing students, and mediate when any issues arise between a student and his/her supervisor.

 

WE MONITOR PROGRESS

Year Up Boston tracks program outcomes using a “Management Dashboard” to monitor progress. This tool tracks 19 metrics in seven key program areas: student pipeline cultivation, consistent student support, teaching marketable skills, providing quality service to partners, student success, staff recruitment and retention, and sustainable program infrastructure.

 

WE TRACK OUTCOMES

Outcomes, evaluation and transparency are part of the daily fabric of the Year Up organization. Year Up staff use the Salesforce data systems every day to track, monitor and make real-time decisions on everything from program retention and job placement, to management and operations decisions. The system allows the data to be disaggregated in every imaginable way – demographics, cohort, location, etc. The data is heavily password protected and adheres to all federal, state and local privacy and security requirements. In the application process, admissions teams record data on demographics, school history, and attitudes for all program applicants, whether admitted or not. Year Up also collects information that is useful in tracking participants longitudinally (e.g., contact information for them and their friends and family members). This information is updated prior to graduation. The thorough admission data allows Year Up to mine the data, conduct brief, periodic web-based surveys to obtain snapshot data on current activities (e.g., school enrollment, employment, and job search) and update tracking information over time to facilitate longer-term outcome studies.

 

WE AVAIL OURSELVES OF INDEPENDENT EVALUATIONS 

In addition to the Economic Mobility Corporation, The Bridgespan Group considers Year Up’s Management Dashboard tracking program to be an industry best practice. Beginning in 2013, we expanded our evaluation efforts through our work with Abt Associates, as part of the PACE study. Commissioned by the Administration for Children and Families at DHHS, PACE is a federally funded evaluation of promising strategies for helping low-income, low-skilled individuals and families become economically self-sufficient. The PACE study investigates how Year Up increases graduates’ wages, prepares them for further educational opportunities, and impacts healthy behaviors.

We are also part of the Social Impact Research Youth Career Development 2013 Peer Performance Exchange. As a member of the Peer Performance Exchange we underwent an in-depth analysis, which benchmarked our program model, quality, and performance against leading standards in our specific social issue, as well as against our peers. We are excited to report that Year Up Boston was classified as a high performing program, receiving a total score of 28 out of 30!

 

WE ARE PILOTING ACTIVITIES TO LEARN  

What works? – This involves exploring which interventions will accelerate the pace at which Year Up Boston grads are advancing in careers and post-secondary education. Through our 2012 alumni survey, we were able to reach 61% of our alumni or 1,283 former students. Of these, 87% were in successful positions with increased earnings of $17.77 per hour. Alumni also are pursuing college, with 67% enrolled in further education since graduating from Year Up.

How do we scale it? – Once we’ve identified the interventions that “work” for our graduates, it will be critical to test a mechanism for making these available to all alumni that would benefit.

How do we sustain it? – With each successful intervention, Year Up Boston must also explore a business model for providing that service in the future since the core program’s financial model is not designed to provide post-graduation services after a graduate secures his/her first job.

 

IN THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS 

In the City of Boston, Year Up will serve 400 students in 2015. We plan to grow to serve at least 480 students in 2017. Our 2017 enrollment figure represents a 50% increase over the number of students served in 2013 (320 total). We plan to continue growing services, and aspire to serve 1,000 students annually within 5 years. Nationally, Year Up will serve 2,700 young adults across 14 cities in 2015, and we are embarking upon a strategy to scale to serve 10,000 students annually across all of the Year Up sites by 2021.

To best serve these students, Year Up Boston will move from our founding location on 93 Summer Street to our new flagship site at 45 Milk Street, in the heart of Boston’s financial district. This new space will be outfitted to ensure no interruptions in program delivery to our growing student population.

We will explore alternative delivery avenues so that we can reach many more disconnected young adults in Boston. Our alternative channels look to leverage partners for some technical skills training and real estate, while Year Up continues to provide its differentiated services in admissions, professional and technical skills training, and the close partnering with employers that ensures that our program prepares young adults for in-demand positions.

At a national level, Year Up has implemented a model in five cities that embeds a Year Up site on the campus of an employer or community college partner. This lower cost option allows us to scale while ensuring that our operation becomes economically self-sufficient. Year Up is actively pursuing these partnerships in new and existing markets, including Boston.


Needs Statement

YEAR UP BOSTON SEEKS YOUR SUPPORT


Make a financial investment

A gift of any size helps to offset the costs to serve our city’s disconnected young adults. As we move forward with the planned expansion of our core program, increased support from the community will be critical in helping us reach our goal of serving 500 young adults each year.

Give a gift of knowledge

Volunteer tutors to provide students with academic guidance and help them hone their technical skills. Tutors must have a mastery of the subject that they are tutoring. Tutors are needed during the Learning & Development phase of the student’s cycle.

Serve as a positive role-model

Mentors volunteer to serve as professional coaches for our students. Year Up staff members work to create a mutually beneficial match between a mentor and mentee. Mentors can expect to make a reasonable time commitment and follow some generally accepted engagement requirements. Mentors commit for an 8-month period during which they email or call their mentee at least once a week, and meet face-to-face at least once a month. Mentors assist in building and accessing professional networks, review resumes and college forms, encourage continuous learning and problem solving, and attend the Year Up graduation to recognize their student. All professional persons are encouraged to mentor a Year Up student.


CEO Statement

 
If you'd like to hear from our Executive Director, Duncan McCallum, e-mail him directly at [email protected] 

Board Chair Statement

--

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Greater Boston Region-All Neighborhoods

 
Year Up works in fourteen cities across the country. In 2014 in Boston, our founding city, 54% of our students lived within the city limits, many in low-income, high-crime neighborhoods like Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. The remaining students reside within the Greater Boston area in communities that include Cambridge, Everett, Lynn, Malden, and Brockton.

Organization Categories

  1. Employment - Job Training
  2. Education - Higher Education
  3. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

Yes

Programs

Year Up's One-year Training Program

 

Each March and September we enroll a cohort of students – this past academic year, we’ve enrolled our largest cohorts ever at 200 students each.
 

The year begins with a 21-week educational and training phase known as Learning and Development where students can select a learning track – in either Information Technology or Financial Operations. Students are grouped in Learning Communities and receive 30 hours of classroom-based training, five days a week.

 

Upon successful completion of this phase, 100% of students earn a six-month internship with one of our over 50 leading employer partners in Greater Boston such as State Street, Fidelity, Harvard, Partners HealthCare, and Wellington Management.

 

Upon graduating from the program, participants receive ongoing alumni career support from Year Up, including job placement assistance, career development counseling, and support from professional mentors.

Budget  $11,027,498.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Adults At-Risk Populations Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 
In addition to boosting young adults’ annual earnings by approximately 30% compared to a control group (confirmed by a 2011 independently conducted research report by the Economic Mobility Corporation) we regularly surpass the following ambitious outcomes:
 
  • 90% of employers express satisfaction with our students during internship
  • 75% of students graduate from the program
  • 85% of graduates obtain employment and/or are enrolled in college four months after graduating from Year Up
  • Students earn $15/hour average starting salary at time of employment

Student success and corporate satisfaction with our students are two of the key measures by which we assess our program. Given their talent, our student graduates from January 2014 were making $15.57 per hour, and graduates from the July 2014 cohort attained an average starting wage of $16.48.

Program Long-Term Success 

In the City of Boston, Year Up will serve 400 students in 2015. We plan to grow to serve at least 480 students in 2017. Our 2017 enrollment figure represents a 50% increase over the number of students served in 2013 (320 total). We plan to continue growing services, and aspire to serve 1,000 students annually within 5 years. Nationally, Year Up will serve 2,700 young adults across 14 cities in 2015, and we are embarking upon a strategy to scale to serve 10,000 students annually across all of the Year Up sites by 2021.

 
To best serve these students, Year Up Boston will move from our founding location on 93 Summer Street to our new flagship site at 45 Milk Street, in the heart of Boston’s financial district. This new space will be outfitted to ensure no interruptions in program delivery to our growing student population.
 
We will explore alternative delivery avenues so that we can reach many more disconnected young adults in Boston. Our alternative channels look to leverage partners for some technical skills training and real estate, while Year Up continues to provide its differentiated services in admissions, professional and technical skills training, and the close partnering with employers that ensures that our program prepares young adults for in-demand positions.
 
 
At a national level, Year Up has implemented a model in five cities that embeds a Year Up site on the campus of an employer or community college partner. This lower cost option allows us to scale while ensuring that our operation becomes economically self-sufficient. Year Up is actively pursuing these partnerships in new and existing markets, including Boston.
Program Success Monitored By 

WE SOLICIT FEEDBACK

We administer surveys to corporate partners to evaluate their satisfaction with our interns, this past year, that rate was over 96% for the Boston site. We also consistently solicit feedback on corporate partner business needs to ensure that we’re adequately preparing students.

 

WE MONITOR PROGRESS

Year Up Boston tracks program outcomes using a “Management Dashboard” to monitor progress. This tool tracks 19 metrics in seven key program areas: student pipeline cultivation, consistent student support, teaching marketable skills, providing quality service to partners, student success, staff recruitment and retention, and sustainable program infrastructure.

 

WE TRACK OUTCOMES

Year Up staff use the Salesforce data systems every day to track, monitor and make real-time decisions on everything from program retention and job placement, to management and operations decisions.

Examples of Program Success 

In addition to boosting young adults’ annual earnings by approximately 30% compared to a control group (Economic Mobility Corporation Report, 2011) we regularly surpass the following ambitious outcomes: 

 
  • 90% of employers express satisfaction with our students during internship
  • 75% of students graduate from the program
  • 85% of graduates obtain employment and/or are enrolled in college four months after graduating from Year Up
  • Students earn $15/hour average starting salary at time of employment

The Bridgespan Group considers Year Up’s Management Dashboard tracking program to be an industry best practice.

 
As a member of the Peer Performance Exchange we underwent an in-depth analysis, which benchmarked our program model, quality, and performance against leading standards in our specific social issue, as well as against our peers. We are excited to report that Year Up Boston was classified as a high performing program, receiving a total score of 28 out of 30!
 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

If you'd like to hear from our Executive Director, Duncan McCallum, e-mail him directly at [email protected]

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Bob Dame
CEO Term Start Oct 2015
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience


Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Caroline Adler Senior Director of Operations and Strategic Planning --
Tyra Anderson-Montina Senior Director of Program --
Karen Crane Senior Director of Academics --
Michael Goldstein Senior Director of Development --
Linda Swardlick-Smith Senior Director of Student Services --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

--

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Year 

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 57
Number of Part Time Staff 1
Number of Volunteers 600
Number of Contract Staff 4
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 13
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 3
Caucasian: 41
Hispanic/Latino: 4
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 36
Male: 26
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Brian Spector
Board Chair Company Affiliation Managing Direcotr, Baupost Group LLC
Board Chair Term June 2009 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Elyse Beauboeuf Ropes & Gray LLC, Year Up Class of '12 Voting
Stephanie Dodson Strategic Grant Partners Voting
Christopher Gordon Bain Capital LLC Voting
Robert Lewis Jr. HomeBASE Voting
Colin Mahony Hewlett Packard Voting
Stephen F. Nazzaro State Street Corporation Voting
Keith Peden Raytheon Company Voting
Brian Spector Baupost Group LLC Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 2
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

 
 

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $11,046,386 $9,580,928 $8,298,500
Total Expenses $10,411,882 $9,088,320 $7,429,436

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$2,522,539 $2,290,288 $1,849,115
Government Contributions $149,049 $267,237 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $149,049 $267,237 --
Individual Contributions $2,519,554 $1,392,933 $1,123,385
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $5,728,643 $5,509,144 $5,048,500
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- $277,500
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $126,601 $121,326 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $8,573,722 $7,537,697 $6,620,834
Administration Expense $1,115,559 $973,749 $661,153
Fundraising Expense $722,601 $576,874 $147,449
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.06 1.05 1.12
Program Expense/Total Expenses 82% 83% 89%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 14% 15% 5%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $0 $0 --
Current Assets $0 $0 --
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 --
Current Liabilities $0 $0 --
Total Net Assets $0 $0 --

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal $20,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

Previous fiscal period information was provided by the Year Up Staff and covers Year Up Boston operations.  Asset data is not available for Year Up Boston.  Please note the 990s and audits posted cover Year Up's 501c3 status which covers the nationwide operations.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

 

In Boston, approximately 10,000 young adults are disconnected from the economic mainstream. These young adults, or Opportunity Youth, are unemployed or chronically underemployed, have not progressed academically beyond a high school diploma or GED, and do not have a viable, stable connection to living wage employment. They reside in traditionally underserved neighborhoods, and lack access to the basic resources that would empower them to reach their full potential.
 
They also represent an enormous talent pool that is currently being overlooked. In Boston, youth employment and education mirror those of the adults: neighborhoods in which adults have weak educational credentials and high unemployment rates also tend to be home to young people with lower rates of school and work attachment[1]. In the case of Year Up, our students come from neighborhoods like Mission Hill and Roxbury, where the youth disconnection rate rises to 16%, compared to the average rate of 9% for Boston at large[1].
 
While a large number of Boston area young adults are disconnected from the economic mainstream, employers in the region face large human capital needs, and a shrinking pool of skilled workers from which they can hire. Nationally, in the next decade companies are projected to have 12 million vacant jobs that require some type of post-secondary education. These jobs often remain unfilled, as talented, motivated, and diverse hires become increasingly more difficult to find. 

[1] Burd-Sharps, S., Lewis, K. 2012. One in seven: Ranking youth disconnection in the 25 largest metro areas. Measure of America of the Social Science Research Council.


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

 
It is Year Up’s mission to connect motivated young adults with companies seeking talent. We do so by providing a robust training program that combines professional and technical skills development with work-based learning through internships with area employers. Year Up empowers Boston’s Opportunity Youth to reach their potential while broadening the pool of talent available to employers for professional positions.
 
Our sustainable economic model serves low-income young adults of Boston, as it provides them with an opportunity to earn college credits, experience an authentic professional internship, build connections to the workforce, and polish their professional skills to become marketable candidates for employment. It is also beneficial to our City’s employers, as they are supplied with a well-trained, skilled, and motivated pipeline of talent through which to fill their vacant positions, thus securing the economic vitality and competitiveness of our region. We intentionally serve our mission through the market.
 
Our model is also beneficial to urban communities, as their young residents become professional and connected members of society, they will be discouraged from participating in deviant behavior and will serve as role models for the younger generations.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

 

Year Up was founded in 2000, and we enrolled our inaugural class of 22 students in July 2001. We have grown to a network of 14 sites around the country and have served over 10,000 young adults. In Boston alone, we have served over 3,000 young adults.
 
We hold ourselves accountable to strict benchmarks with each cohort of students that we serve, and have consistently met and exceeded our goals of 75% retention, 85% positive outcomes (full-time employment or full-time college enrollment within four month of Year Up graduation), and $15/hour average starting wage for those who are employed full-time. Our students that graduated in January 2015 have secured an average starting wage of $17.24/hour.
 

Our model provides high support to students to help them exceed the high expectations set by our program. Students are held accountable for their performance in the program through a contract system, and earn infractions for tardiness, missed assignments, and violations of our core values. These infractions are directly tied to their weekly stipends, demonstrating the immediate correlation between performance and payment. Students are provided with advisors and mentors, and have access to trained social workers and wraparound support services through community partners during their Year Up experience.

 

We have built connections with over 50 leading employers in the City. Our employer partners support Year Up by providing donations, internships, and employee volunteers. Employers who host Year Up interns usually return in the following cycle to continue or expand their relationship with Year Up. Over 90% of our partners on average have expressed satisfaction with their internship experiences and would recommend Year Up to a friend or business colleague (our last cycle reported this figure at 96%). Approximately 50% of Year Up students convert their internships into full-time positions with their internship host, and approximately 50% of Year Up Boston’s revenue is generated through internship sales. These results demonstrate Year Up’s value proposition to employers and highlight the value of serving our mission through the market.

 

As our program continues to grow, we are responding to the specific, employer-identified skills-gap challenges to ensure that our training remains relevant and market-driven. This employer focus yields in-demand graduates who have skills that lead to quality employment in burgeoning career fields and the opportunity for upward career mobility.

 

We are part of a national network, which allows us to share best practices and benchmark with our sister sites in other cities. This community membership encourages us to make tried and tested program adjustments as needed, based on successes at other Year Up sites.


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

 
In addition to boosting young adults’ annual earnings by approximately 30% compared to a control group (confirmed by a 2011 independently conducted research report by the Economic Mobility Corporation) we regularly surpass the following ambitious outcomes:
 
  • 90% of employers express satisfaction with our students during internship
  • 75% of students graduate from the program
  • 85% of graduates obtain employment and/or are enrolled in college four months after graduating from Year Up
  • Students earn $15/hour average starting salary at time of employment

Student success and corporate satisfaction with our students are two of the key measures by which we assess our program. Given their talent, our student graduates from January 2014 were making $15.57 per hour, and graduates from the July 2014 cohort attained an average starting wage of $16.48.

 
WE SOLICIT FEEDBACK

We administer surveys to corporate partners to evaluate their satisfaction with our interns, this past year, that rate was over 96% for the Boston site. We also consistently solicit feedback on corporate partner business needs to ensure that we’re adequately preparing students, and mediate when any issues arise between a student and his/her supervisor.

 
WE MONITOR PROGRESS

Year Up Boston tracks program outcomes using a “Management Dashboard” to monitor progress. This tool tracks 19 metrics in seven key program areas: student pipeline cultivation, consistent student support, teaching marketable skills, providing quality service to partners, student success, staff recruitment and retention, and sustainable program infrastructure.

 
WE TRACK OUTCOMES

Outcomes, evaluation and transparency are part of the daily fabric of the Year Up organization. Year Up staff use the Salesforce data systems every day to track, monitor and make real-time decisions on everything from program retention and job placement, to management and operations decisions. The system allows the data to be disaggregated in every imaginable way – demographics, cohort, location, etc. The data is heavily password protected and adheres to all federal, state and local privacy and security requirements. In the application process, admissions teams record data on demographics, school history, and attitudes for all program applicants, whether admitted or not. Year Up also collects information that is useful in tracking participants longitudinally (e.g., contact information for them and their friends and family members). This information is updated prior to graduation. The thorough admission data allows Year Up to mine the data, conduct brief, periodic web-based surveys to obtain snapshot data on current activities (e.g., school enrollment, employment, and job search) and update tracking information over time to facilitate longer-term outcome studies.

 
WE AVAIL OURSELVES OF INDEPENDENT EVALUATIONS

In addition to the Economic Mobility Corporation, The Bridgespan Group considers Year Up’s Management Dashboard tracking program to be an industry best practice. Beginning in 2013, we expanded our evaluation efforts through our work with Abt Associates, as part of the PACE study. Commissioned by the Administration for Children and Families at DHHS, PACE is a federally funded evaluation of promising strategies for helping low-income, low-skilled individuals and families become economically self-sufficient. The PACE study investigates how Year Up increases graduates’ wages, prepares them for further educational opportunities, and impacts healthy behaviors.

 
We are also part of the Social Impact Research Youth Career Development 2013 Peer Performance Exchange. As a member of the Peer Performance Exchange we underwent an in-depth analysis, which benchmarked our program model, quality, and performance against leading standards in our specific social issue, as well as against our peers. We are excited to report that Year Up Boston was classified as a high performing program, receiving a total score of 28 out of 30!
 
 
IN THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS

In the City of Boston, Year Up will serve 400 students in 2015. We plan to grow to serve at least 480 students in 2017. Our 2017 enrollment figure represents a 50% increase over the number of students served in 2013 (320 total). We plan to continue growing services, and aspire to serve 1,000 students annually within 5 years. Nationally, Year Up will serve 2,700 young adults across 14 cities in 2015, and we are embarking upon a strategy to scale to serve 10,000 students annually across all of the Year Up sites by 2021.

To best serve these students, Year Up Boston will move from our founding location on 93 Summer Street to our new flagship site at 45 Milk Street, in the heart of Boston’s financial district. This new space will be outfitted to ensure no interruptions in program delivery to our growing student population.

We will explore alternative delivery avenues so that we can reach many more disconnected young adults in Boston. Our alternative channels look to leverage partners for some technical skills training and real estate, while Year Up continues to provide its differentiated services in admissions, professional and technical skills training, and the close partnering with employers that ensures that our program prepares young adults for in-demand positions.

At a national level, Year Up has implemented a model in five cities that embeds a Year Up site on the campus of an employer or community college partner. This lower cost option allows us to scale while ensuring that our operation becomes economically self-sufficient. Year Up is actively pursuing these partnerships in new and existing markets, including Boston.


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

 
Year Up was founded in 2000, and we enrolled our inaugural class of 22 students in July 2001. We have grown to a network of 14 sites around the country and have served over 10,000 young adults. In Boston alone, we have served over 3,000 young adults!