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Hyams Foundation Symposium. October 28, 2008. The Opportunity Divide. 4.3 million young adults (18-24 years old) in the US have not progressed beyond a high school diploma and are neither employed nor enrolled in postsecondary education

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the opportunity divide
The Opportunity Divide
  • 4.3 million young adults (18-24 years old) in the US have not progressed beyond a high school diploma and are neither employed nor enrolled in postsecondary education
  • Youth experiencing this "disconnection" from the economic mainstream make up nearly 15 percent of all 18-24 year-olds in the US.
  • 17,000 of these young adults live in Greater Boston

Year Up at a Glance:

Program Overview and History

Founded in 2000

First class of 20 graduated in 2002

We serve urban, low-income 18-24 year old high school/GED graduates from Greater Boston

Intensive one-year program provides technical and professional skills, corporate apprenticeships, an educational stipendand college credit

A program based upon high support and high expectations

Growing rapidly, with current sites in Boston, Providence, Washington D.C., New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta (March ‘09)

Recently expanded 30% in Boston to serve 280 students a year


Year Up at a Glance:

High Expectations and Results

  • 90+% positive apprenticeship supervisor feedback
  • 90% of graduates placed in full & part-time positions – earning an average of $30,000 year
  • 44% of graduates currently attending college
  • 607 members of the Year Up Boston Alumni Association

Employer Engagement:

Apprenticeship Program Overview

  • The apprenticeship program provides employers with a cost-effective source of pre-trained, pre-screened entry-level talent in two fields:
    • Information Technology
    • Investment Operations
  • Six-month apprenticeship cycles begin in late July and late January each year.
  • Apprentices work full-time Monday through Friday with the exception of a half day on Wednesday.
  • Corporate partners contribute a weekly rate of $795 during the apprenticeship period.
  • Corporate partners may hire Year Up graduates at the conclusion of the apprenticeship program without placement fees.

Employer Engagement:

Connecting Talented Young Adults & Great Companies

employer engagement 6 components of a successful program
Employer Engagement:6 Components of a Successful Program
  • Prospecting and Sales
  • Due Diligence
  • Student-Partner Matching
  • Onboarding & Orientation
  • Client Service: Monitoring & Support
  • Service Recovery

Prospecting and Sales

Goal: Secure enough quality apprenticeship seats to provide

a valuable learning opportunity for each student

  • Scan market to identify prospects with the “right” type and quantity of positions**
  • Utilize Year Up network to gain C-level introductions
  • Present the Year Up value proposition
    • Pre-trained, pre-screened, and diverse
    • Cost-competitive with staffing agencies
    • “Test drive” a potential employee with no obligation or fee to hire
  • Target a commitment for multiple placements to hedge against risking the relationship on a single unsuccessful apprenticeship

** For Year Up this means companies with knowledge-worker jobs and a sizeable back-office function

Goal: Gather critical information about the company, manager,

team, and position in order to best match students with

apprenticeship positions

Due Diligence

Each cycle, Year Up staff meet with hiring managers to collect

key information about each apprenticeship position. This includes:

  • Background check requirements
  • Skill requirements
  • Supervisor style
  • Organizational and team culture
  • Work location
  • Work environment

Student-Partner Matching

Goal: Determine optimal match that provides apprentices with

a challenging experience and that meets employer business needs

  • Each cycle, program and apprenticeship staff match all students and positions.
  • In addition to achieving optimal fit, this team considers past history with a given account and manages risk accordingly.
  • Matching based on:
    • Partner due diligence and position description
    • Student “Facecard”

Onboarding & Orientation

Goal: Prepare managers and students for success on

the first day and beyond

  • Apprentice Onboarding – Year Up supports apprentices in navigating all company onboarding processes (i.e. application, criminal/credit background check, drug screen, ID badging).
  • Manager Orientation – Year Up hosts workshop with new managers to review logistics, share tips from experienced managers, meet Year Up client service team.
  • Meet & Greet – Before the first day, apprentice and YU staff advisors meet the new apprenticeship supervisor to begin relationship-building and reduce anxiety.

Client Service: Monitoring & Support

Goal: Ensure apprentices and employers have positive

apprenticeship experience

  • Year Up client service staff make site visits and service calls
  • Year Up surveys each manager twice during apprenticeship phase. Results inform “Performance Review” for each apprentice
  • Apprentices return to Year Up one afternoon each week to further develop skills and troubleshoot challenges

Service Recovery

Goal: Resolve apprenticeship challenges promptly and in a way that

delivers the most appropriate outcome for employers and students alike

  • Make all apprenticeship service issues a priority
  • Gather facts before reaching and voicing a conclusion
  • Differentiate between skills mismatch, low motivation, and “life happens” social work challenges
  • Engage key program support staff (advisor, social worker, instructor) and plan accordingly
  • Set plan for follow-up communication and continue checking in to ensure all parties are satisfied

Remember: Sometimes the “right” outcome is to end an apprenticeship,

since this honors a culture of high expectations for students and

employers alike.

thank you
Thank You!

Contact Information:

Casey Recupero

Executive Director

Year Up Boston

93 Summer Street

Boston, MA 02110

Phone: (617) 542-1533