Looking back on the journey we’ve traveled together since Year Up’s founding, it is incredible to see the progress we’ve made in expanding economic mobility for young adults. 2018 was a banner year for Year Up, during which we made strong progress against our goals, set even more ambitious targets for impact, and reached significant milestones in the broader movement to close the Opportunity Divide in this country.
The past year brought new growth, strong outcomes, and incredible momentum. We have now served more than 21,500 young adults nationwide, and we grew to serve more than 4,000 young adults in 2018. Even as we grow, we continue to see record-breaking outcomes. 91% of 2018 graduates are employed and/or enrolled in postsecondary education. Our employed graduates are earning an average starting salary of $40,000 per year within four months of program completion. This data continues to demonstrate the impact of investing in the potential of our young adults. Our alumni now number 15,500 and continue to progress in their careers, while contributing to Year Up’s success and taking action to build a broader movement to close the Opportunity Divide.
We also marked a key milestone for our mission in 2018 with the release of the first report from the Pathways for Advancing Careers & Education (PACE) evaluation—a large-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) measuring the effectiveness of workforce programs for young adults. The PACE results prove that effective job training for young adults can be highly efficient—generating a significant earnings impact within a relatively short amount of time. Most importantly, we are pleased to share that the trial found Year Up’s earning impact to be the largest ever reported for workforce programs tested in a RCT. These incredible findings help validate something we already know to be true: it pays to invest in Opportunity Youth.
While these unprecedented results are motivating and inspiring, they only further reiterate that the Year Up solution is one that can work on a much larger scale—a scale necessary to serve the five million Opportunity Youth who need a hand up. We are positioned now to act to close this divide in a more meaningful way, and we know it can be done with your support.
“Our continued growth and evolution would not be possible without the investment of time, money, and expertise from supporters, collaborators, and partners like you. We are energized by you, inspired by you, and forever grateful for your unwavering belief in the potential of our young adults.”
In 2016, we launched our third growth capital campaign to maximize our impact on the Opportunity Divide. This capital helped to fuel Year Up’s market responsiveness, accelerate our long-term sustainability, and provide the investment capital to build out support systems for our alumni and for our innovative work to strengthen the talent marketplace for Opportunity Youth. We are reducing our overall cost per student and have made great strides in reducing our reliance on philanthropy to fund operations—a key shift meant to promote our long-term sustainability. By the end of the year 2018, we not only reached our goal of $225 million but exceeded it thanks to supporters like you.
In 2018, we also continued to invest in our ability to empower others to serve Opportunity Youth. We leveraged our proven model to develop scalable products and services to help employers design and implement inclusive talent strategies. In addition, we launched a new initiative to create a lower-cost version of our model that can be delivered with and through other organizations who would learn and implement it. To lead this effort, I’m happy to share that Todd Fisher has joined Year Up as our Managing Director of Scalable Solutions after spending 25 years with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR). While we continue to innovate, we seek to eradicate systems that perpetuate the Opportunity Divide by working with corporate partners on hiring practices and influencing policy on federal and state levels.
In order to do this important work, we need strong leaders in this movement which is why after an intensive national search, we have found Year Up’s new president. Cyril Turner is joining Year Up after a long career leading at Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola. I am excited to welcome him as a key partner in our work to close the Opportunity Divide. I’d also like to thank Garrett Moran, who served as Year Up’s president for the last six years, for his incredible contributions to our mission during his tenure.
Our continued growth and evolution would not be possible without the investment of time, money, and expertise from supporters, collaborators, and partners like you. We are energized by you, inspired by you, and forever grateful for your unwavering belief in the potential of our young adults.
Thank you for being an important partner in our journey.
Gerald Chertavian Founder & CEO
SCALING OUR IMPACT
2018 was another exciting and fulfilling year as we leveraged strong partnerships to expand our footprint across the country, increasing our overall student capacity, growing our capacity in existing markets, and launching an innovative employer-based location in partnership with Facebook in the Bay Area. Through new partnerships with Harold Washington College and Wilmington University, we were able to significantly increase our student capacity in Chicago, IL and Wilmington, DE, respectively, and in collaboration with our existing community college partners, we expanded capacity to serve more students in Baltimore, Greater Atlanta, National Capital Region, and New York. The Facebook Campus, Bay Area’s fourth campus, also welcomed its first class of 40 students, marking another milestone enabled by partnership. As we closed out the year, we celebrated the incredible journey that has allowed us to serve more than 21,500 young adults to date and more than 4,000 talented young adults in 2018, and began mapping our forward-looking strategy to scale our operations to serve more young adults.
“As we grow, it is increasingly important to hire strong local talent and create opportunities for our neighbors. Through this expanded partnership with Year Up, we aim to create a pathway to professional development and equitable employment for our community.”
- BERNITA DILLARD | PUBLIC POLICY MANAGER, FACEBOOK
“Connecting our customers to the moments that matter most goes well beyond getting them from point A to point B. We have the opportunity to make lasting, measurable change...Beyond the altruistic value of doing the right thing for our communities, it’s also really good for business.”
- OSCAR MUNOZ | CEO, UNITED AIRLINES
Year Up remained hyper-focused on advancing its research and evaluation work in 2018—developing and expanding key partnerships, investing in strengthening our business intelligence tools, and publishing the first results report from the long-term PACE (Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education) evaluation study.
In 2018, Year Up continued to uncover new opportunities to develop and expand key partnerships necessary to prove and improve our impact. A primary area of focus was partnering with funders and state agencies to gain access to long-term employment and wage data, which is virtually inaccessible outside of a long-term federally-sponsored evaluation such as PACE. Without always having the benefit of a substantial evaluation to provide this access, there is an ongoing challenge to track outcomes performance in a reliable and sustainable way over time. With support of Tipping Point Community and their partnership with the California State
Employment Development Department (EDD), Year Up conducted a unique analysis of long-term employment and wage data for California-based participants. Access to this previously-inaccessible data enabled Year Up to acquire aggregated wage and employment data, which yielded powerful insights into long-term employment outcomes for Year Up participants in California. We also began a partnership with Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative and the Jacob France Institute to collaborate on a similar effort in Maryland, and are exploring opportunities to expand this valuable work to other states in 2019.
Last year, we partnered with a graduate student research team from MIT to investigate retention patterns across different student groups. This work led to a partnership with Harvard University’s Education Innovation Laboratory (EdLabs), which conducted extensive analysis of thousands of data combinations to identify different student profiles at greatest risk of attrition. Building on the momentum of this work with MIT and Harvard in 2017, we launched a new partnership with ImmerLearn in 2018 to help us use this robust data with machine learning to predict program performance and prevent attrition. The partnership with ImmerLearn—a company focused on building ethical and transparent data solutions for the social and public sector—will enable Year Up to leverage algorithms that help predict who, when, and why a student may need additional support to succeed at Year Up. The final report, expected in late 2019, will present recommendations on how staff can utilize these insights to help prevent attrition and how such tools could be fully integrated into Year Up’s future operations.
In addition to our work with external research and evaluation partners, we also strengthened our internal data processes and resources. We are constantly striving for higher-quality organizational data and are committed to empowering all staff to harness its power to best understand and support the students we serve. In 2018, we delivered on this commitment by investing in Tableau—an interactive data visualization tool—as our new organizational business intelligence platform, and supporting infrastructure through a data warehousing effort. Together, these will provide Year Up with more robust insights, flexible reporting, and increased efficiencies—all of which are critical to maintaining strong outcomes and quality program delivery as we continue to grow.
“Through its large-scale evaluations, Year Up is committed to testing its program model in rigorous ways, but like many of our grantees, there are too few opportunities for nonprofits to continuously track long-term employment outcomes using official data sources. Long-term client outcomes are the currency nonprofits need to show their success. At Tipping Point, we were happy to partner with the California Employment Development Department to empower Year Up to track graduates’ success for years after they graduate, which affirmed our hypothesis that young adults’ lives are changing in deeply meaningful ways.”
- NICK AREVALO | MANAGER OF INSIGHTS AND ANALYTICS, TIPPING POINT COMMUNITY
We marked a key milestone for our mission in 2018 with the release of the first report from the Pathways for Advancing Careers & Education (PACE) evaluation—a large-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating next-generation strategies for increasing economic self-sufficiency.
With federal sponsorship from the Administration for Children & Families’ (ACF) and in partnership with renowned research firm Abt Associates, PACE follows nine elite organizations across the country to build a body of evidence on the effectiveness of workforce programs for young adults. Year Up is the largest participating PACE program with more than 2,500 participants from nine Year Up locations that were randomized into treatment and control groups. The PACE evaluation is a global test of Year Up’s efficacy, measuring Year Up’s level of impact on workforce and education outcomes.
We are pleased to share that the 2018 PACE results report—the first of several planned publications over the next five years—found Year Up earnings impacts to be the largest reported to date for workforce programs tested in a RCT. These unprecedented results from Year Up showed a 53% increase in earnings after graduation and a 40% increase holding strong at two years after graduation when compared to the control group, proving the positive impact of our program for young adults. The report also found that when compared to the control group, Year Up participants received more academic and career supports, and were able to drastically increase their earnings and employability while maintaining education momentum—demonstrating that the traditional “college first, job second” approach isn’t the only path to success.
Not only do these incredible findings help validate Year Up’s level of impact on workforce and education outcomes, but after nearly four decades of past research that cast a shadow of doubt on our field, the PACE results prove that effective job training for young adults can be highly efficient—generating a significant earnings impact within a relatively short amount of time. Above all, these incredible findings prove it pays to invest in Opportunity Youth.
“The PACE evaluation results show job training for young adults pays off. Compared to others evaluated, Year Up’s workforce program achieved the largest impact on earnings in the first year after graduation (53%) and at two years after graduation (40%). As a national leader in this field, these findings are critical for future policy decisions as well as philanthropic investment in the model. Year Up shows us we must broaden how we think about economic opportunity and the income divide — not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it works.”
- CHARLOTTE WAGNER | Founder, Wagner Foundation
We served more than 4,000 students in 2018, and are proud to recognize the impressive outcomes they achieved. 91% of our 2018 graduates were employed and/or enrolled in postsecondary education within four months of completing the program, and 71% were employed full-time in Year Up track-related roles—professional jobs that align with one of the five career pathways in which we train students. Employed 2018 graduates also posted the highest average starting wage of any class to date at $20.00/hour, equivalent to a starting salary of $40,000/year.
To achieve these strong program outcomes, we must ensure that we are delivering training that best equips our students to meet partners’ entry-level talent needs and thrive in professional careers. In 2016, we took a critical step to enhance our product offering and curriculum alignment, developing the first-ever Year Up Product Catalog. The Product Catalog standardized our training track families and specialties—areas students can specialize in within each track—and is regularly evaluated and updated.
This important evolution has enabled us to respond nimbly to market demand, facilitate efficient growth of our training, and deliver a consistent experience across all Year Up locations.
In 2018, we continued to expand and innovate our product offering to serve in-demand roles and meet evolving partner needs. By leveraging partner feedback and industry trends, we combined curriculum within our Information Technology track to enhance our Helpdesk/Desktop Support and Cyber Security specialties, formalized a new Accounting specialty after successful testing through a pilot, and honed our Software Development track offering by refining our Data Analytics and Quality Assurance specialties and developing a new Application Development specialty that will roll-out in 2019. Additionally, in partnership with Facebook, we expanded our employer-based program model, welcoming a first class to Facebook’s Menlo Park campus where students will train in Helpdesk/Desktop Support or Project Management Support.
“I was able to utilize the skills I learned and strong foundation I built at Year Up to succeed in the workplace and thrive in Harvard’s fast-paced environment. I now have the confidence and determination to grow professionally with Harvard, as well as the curiosity to leverage the space they provide me to continuously expand my knowledge through work experiences or classes.”
- HILLARY TAN | ACCOUNTS PAYABLE ANALYST, HARVARD UNIVERSITY | YEAR UP GREATER BOSTON GRADUATE
Our forward-thinking corporate partners continued to move the needle and deepen their engagement with the Opportunity Movement in 2018—collaborating to achieve record-breaking outcomes, grow and scale partnership solutions, and uncover more ways to open doors to meaningful career pathways for our young adults.
In 2018, we celebrated a series of exciting partnership outcomes, including a record 46% of 2018 graduates who were hired directly by their internship host companies, the highest we’ve seen to date. The year also marked extraordinary milestones for both our longtime and newly engaged corporate partners. JPMorgan Chase hosted their 1,000th intern, Salesforce hired their 200th graduate, and Accenture converted 65% of interns hosted in 2018 to hire. Fueled by partnership success, we also saw tremendous growth of our relationships. BNY Mellon grew from hosting an average of 10 interns/year to more than 60 interns in 2018; Cox Enterprises hosted 65 interns in 2018, a threefold increase in just four years and 60% year-over-year growth; and in only our second year of partnership, Wayfair increased the number of interns hosted from 2 to 22 in 2018, with plans to grow to host 40 interns next year.
Over and above their commitment to host interns and hire graduates, we proudly watched our partners deepen their engagement in other ways that support our young adults. Microsoft reached an impressive volunteer milestone—more than 150 employees have volunteered with Year Up to date, Symantec employees participated on career panels and hosted several field trips to their offices for Year Up students, and United Airlines employees hosted their 2nd annual interview success event, assembling interview prep kits for more than 80 students.
Looking back on the last year, we are grateful for the many opportunities provided to Year Up young adults by our partner companies. And as we look ahead, we continue to be energized by the power in partnership. AT&T has committed to hosting 200 interns annually by 2022, a seven-fold increase over 2018; Prudential Financial is investing $180 million in Opportunity Youth through 2025 to empower the future workforce; and in 2019, we will open Year Up Charlotte in partnership with Bank of America as well as Year Up Tampa Bay with their support and partners JPMorgan Chase and New York Life, enabling us to serve more talented and motivated young adults and expand our national footprint.
“I call it magic. That Year Up can take young adults with little technical background, no business exposure, and six months later they look sharp, know how to build trust, and can lead a project—it’s magic. But the biggest gift of all is how they transform a team. Everyone benefits from closing the Opportunity Divide.”
- SUE WARNKE | SENIOR DIRECTOR OF CONTENT EXPERIENCE & PRESIDENT OF FAITHFORCE SAN FRANCISCO, SALESFORCE
In 2018, our more than 15,500 alumni continued to advance the Opportunity Movement—committing to “lift while they climb” and change the narrative about young adults in America.
Our alumni are dedicated to making the world a better place, and have proven to be powerful agents for change. In 2018, we saw these changemakers exemplify this dedication by giving back to strengthen their communities. Year Up is proud to support alumni-led service projects through the Alumni ACTion Grants program — a micro-funding initiative exclusively for Year Up alumni that provides up to $1,000 funding for alumni-led community service projects. In 2018, more than 50 service projects were funded and executed, impacting more than 3,000 individuals across the country and in different parts of the world. Greater Philadelphia alumni collaborated on a project that created winter care kits to support individuals impacted by homelessness, Rhode Island alumni teamed up on a project to improve a local recreation center, and a South Florida alumnus created a podcast series that shared stories of immigrants and their experiences in a new country.
Alongside their contributions to local communities, we proudly watched our alumni advance the Opportunity Movement through other opportunities to demonstrate their leadership and service. Bay Area alumni participated in a panel led by Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson, a National Capital Region alumnus testified to the DC City Council, and a New York alumnus created an anti-bullying campaign. We also celebrated strong alumni engagement at the 7th Annual Alumni Summit in Philadelphia, which brought hundreds of graduates together under the summit theme "Time to Act," which focused on civic action. During the event, graduates created 1,000 personal care kits for the homeless and prepared over 300 interview prep kits.
In order to help our Alumni lead the Opportunity Movement, Year Up’s national support team continues to invest in three key focus areas: fostering alumni engagement, alumni-led action, and scalable resources. In 2018, we developed and expanded key partnerships to provide free, scalable resources on a national level that enable alumni to advance their careers, education, and overall quality of life. Partnership highlights included Google’s first-of-its-kind IT support certificate program through Coursera—providing Year Up alumni with a new Launchpad to a career in IT. More than 450 alumni enrolled in the program in 2018. Through Google’s generously funded scholarships, alumni can also apply to complete the program at no cost. Additionally, more than 120 alumni were enrolled in a free online associate’s degree program in 2018, provided through a partnership with Eastern Gateway Community College.
We are so proud of our incredible alumni network and look forward to their continued advancement, contributions, and impact on the Opportunity Movement.
LIFT WHILE YOU CLIMB: ALUMNI IN ACTION
As part of the 2018 Alumni ACTion Grants program, Year Up New York alumni Juan River Veloz and Sandy Chen-Quijije set out to support school children in Juan’s hometown of Sabana Grande de Boya in the Dominican Republic. Together, they purchased school uniforms, classroom supplies, and sports equipment for the 40 schoolchildren, which were distributed at an event packed with fun games, lunch, and recognition of students who embodied one of Year Up’s Core Values: Strive to Learn.
“Growing up in a community with limited resources and opportunities, you can sometimes get the feeling that your life journey is predetermined, but I knew I was capable of more. When I was accepted to Year Up, I finally started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It has been four years since I graduated from Year Up and accepted a full-time position at JPMorgan Chase. While a lot has changed, my determination to create the best life I can for myself and my daughters remains. And now, I feel a strong duty to advocate, support, and lead the way for others who face challenges in the pursuit of a career and financial stability but refuse to let them get in the way of their success.”
- KELLY REYNOLDS | PROJECT ANALYST, JPMORGAN CHASE | YEAR UP NEW YORK GRADUATE
In 2018, we made significant strides in transforming hiring practices and providing Opportunity Youth with more pathways to employment—creating a variety of products and services that help employers design and implement inclusive, scalable talent strategies with skilling partners.
Through Grads of Life, powered by Year Up, we have developed a suite of offerings, including Design Labs, Careers Labs, and Opportunity Manager Training. Using consultative strategy design sessions and data analysis, Design Labs help companies and industry leaders develop alternative talent pipelines from needs assessment through market planning and partnership formation, Career Labs includes 40 hours of professional skills curriculum, with customizable modules relevant for customer-facing roles, Opportunity Manager Training, which is set to launch in 2019, is a self-paced online program that teaches frontline managers how to effectively coach and lead Opportunity Youth. We deployed our first Design Labs and Career Labs pilots in 2018 and will be piloting with companies like Home Depot, the National Apartment Association (NAA), Sodexo, and more in 2019.
Last year, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), committed $500,000 in grants to Grads of Life to help develop talent pipelines in the hospitality industry. Success with the AHLA led to a 2018 commitment of $1.75 million for this work over the next three years, enabling expansion to new markets and development of additional tools to support replicability and scalability across the industry.
Building on last year’s momentum, our Grads of Life team further expanded their reach and impact in 2018, shifting employer perceptions and catalyzing even greater demand for Opportunity Youth. A key initiative to accomplish this is through the Grads of Life media campaign—a national multimedia public service announcement (PSA) in collaboration with the Ad Council. In 2017, we re-launched the campaign with a fresh concept intended to solve a business problem. The result was 7-Second Resumes—a tool to connect untapped talent and hiring managers in a new way. In just 7 seconds—the average time spent by hiring managers when evaluating a resume—Opportunity Youth speak directly to employers, highlighting the unique value they bring.
We saw tremendous success and growth of the campaign in 2018, driving more video stories and interest in using 7-Second Resumes more broadly. We celebrated several national and international awards including a Shorty Award, Clio Award, and a Gold ADDY Award as well a feature in Forbes and Fast Company. The campaign even caught the eye of LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, who created his own video resume. Global company Swiss Post Solution’s interest was also piqued, and they piloted the 7-Second Resume as part of their recruiting/screening process in 2018. They received more than 1200 video resumes in month one of testing, and plan to integrate into their hiring practices moving forward. Given this success, Grads of Life is looking to scale to a wider audience and productize the 7-Second Resume tool—enabling employers to facilitate independent productions and use it as a screening alternative to the traditional resume.
Another key component of our perception change is our field catalyst work—leveraging our robust direct service expertise to identify gaps and compel participation in building a more inclusive talent marketplace. As part of this work in 2018, we identified a need for employers to assess themselves on best practices for recruiting, training, and retaining Opportunity Youth, and began developing Opportunity Navigator —a new web-based tool launching in 2019 — which will enable this assessment and provide employers with resources to implement these practices.
2018 also brought significant progress toward our policy change work—engaging key elected leaders and 2020 presidential candidates, supporting legislation that benefits Opportunity Youth, and amplifying and leveraging the voices of Year Up alumni.
We continued our strategic political outreach amongst leaders and policymakers, distributing PACE fact sheets to every congressional office in 2018 and hosting several PACE results briefings across the country. We also distributed our non-partisan Year Up National Policy Agenda to lawmakers on the Hill and our new California Policy Agenda across the state to educate them on Opportunity Youth issues. Leading up to the upcoming election, we also created a Candidate Policy Guide to distribute to 2020 presidential candidates.
In 2018, we also amplified and leveraged the voices of Year Up alumni to advance our policy efforts. Year Up Bay Area hosted the first Alumni Civic Engagement session where Black Lives Matter Activist DeRay McKesson led a workshop on using our voices for change and how to put Year Up citizens’ power to work, a Rhode Island alumnus served as a panelist at the Milliken Dialogues and Policy Summit, and more than 100 alumni participated in the Obama Foundation’s Community Leadership Training, which encourages civic engagement in young people. To further amplify and leverage our alumni voices, we are creating a National Alumni Speakers Bureau that will better connect alumni with high-impact local and national opportunities for social change.
Thanks to your generosity, 2018 was a record breaking year for Year Up. We opened Year Up locations in new cities, expanded enrollment in several markets, invested in innovation, and saw our graduates earning higher wages than ever before; all thanks to the philanthropic investments of people like you.
Since Year Up was founded, all growth and innovation has been funded by philanthropic support from individuals, families, foundations, and companies who believe in the potential of Opportunity Youth. It is inspiring to see giving to Year Up grow each year and we are grateful to all of the donors recognized in our 2018 Annual Report.
Several years ago, Year Up launched our third growth capital campaign, Opportunity Campaign III. We set an audacious goal of securing $225,000,000 in philanthropic commitments to fund our strategic priorities. I am proud to share that more than 1,700 people and organizations nationwide committed more than $241,000,000 to Opportunity Campaign III. We exceeded our goal because people saw the potential of our students and recognized that investing in opportunity benefits us all. The generosity of the Year Up donors is an investment in a better future for our communities and our nation.
The collective impact of the vision of each Opportunity Campaign III investor, the personal generosity of each Opportunity Society member, the partnership of each foundation, and the loyalty of each investor who committed to support Year Up year after year is immeasurable. In addition to the 4,000+ young adults served in 23 U.S. cities last year, you supported 15,500+ Year Up alumni whose professional success is now positively impacting their families and communities nationwide. You enabled Year Up to plan boldly for the future by investing in new programs that will deepen our impact on the Opportunity Divide.
The growth in philanthropic support of Year Up is a testament to the potential of the young adults we serve and the achievements of our alumni. While we are so proud of the successes of the first 18 years of Year Up, we have much work to do to close the Opportunity Divide. We look forward to partnering with you to make this vision a reality. Thank you for supporting Year Up.
Susan M. Murray National Director of Development
“In addition to the 4,000+ young adults served in 23 U.S. cities last year, you supported 15,500+ Year Up alumni whose professional success is now positively impacting their families and communities nationwide. You enabled Year Up to plan boldly for the future by investing in new programs that will deepen our impact on the Opportunity Divide.”