Year Up provides low-income young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.
There are six million “Opportunity Youth,” ages 18-24, who are out of school and out of work or chronically underemployed. Year Up aims to change the life trajectories of these young adults by improving their career prospects and economic mobility. Year Up achieves this through its intensive one-year program that combines hands-on skills development, coursework eligible for college credits, and a six-month internship to set graduates on the path to well-paying professional careers. Year Up aims to close the nation’s “Opportunity Divide” by connecting these young adults with hard-to-fill corporate “middle-skill” jobs.
Since its founding in 2000, Year Up has served over 16,000 young adults, expanded from one site in Boston to 24 campuses in 16 markets across the country, and provided interns to over 250 corporate partners. After demonstrating success with its original Core model, Year Up is now partnering with community colleges to reach greater numbers of young adults at a substantially lower cost. After an initial philanthropic growth capital investment, this new model, known as Professional Training Corps (PTC), can operate sustainably with revenue from corporate partners covering operating costs for mature sites.
What is the Opportunity Divide?
Year Up's mission is to connect the nation's six million overlooked young adults who have not progressed beyond a high school diploma with higher education and good jobs.
In 2016, Blue Meridian Partners approved an investment of $40 million over four years to help scale Year Up’s PTC model, increase corporate demand, more than double the number of students served annually, and pilot new initiatives to achieve even greater scale.