Year Up's National Director for Strategic Growth and Impact Shawn Bohen and Year Up Baltimore Alumnus Ky Smith to Speak Directly to CGI America Participants at Opening Plenary; Year Up's Commitment to Create Professional Training Corps. Selected as an Exemplary Approach
BOSTON, June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Addressing the critical role of innovative partnerships with community colleges in creating effective pathways to careers for young adults, Year Up provided a progress report on its Commitment to Action — the creation of a new program called the Professional Training Corps. (PTC) — today at the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting. Year Up's commitment was selected as an exemplary approach to overcoming challenges in the youth sector, and its progress report was featured in the opening plenary, "Jumpstart Nation: Getting America Back to Work," to inspire others at the event to take action.
Shawn Bohen, Year Up's National Director for Strategic Growth and Impact, and Ky Smith, recent Year Up Baltimore alumnus, spoke directly to CGI America participants about the status of Year Up's ongoing commitment to adapt its successful direct service program to create a learning pathway for low-income young adults that closely links college and career. Year Up announced that it will launch a new community college program in partnership with Miami Dade College in August 2012 as part of the PTC initiative. Miami Dade College is the largest institution of higher education in the United States, with over 174,000 students.
"At Miami Dade, we are continually working to help meet the nation's growing demand for skilled, well-prepared workers," said Eduardo Padron, Miami Dade College president. "We're thrilled to be partnering with Year Up to design and launch the PTC program, which will give graduates the credentials they need to gain successful careers in a knowledge-based economy. We're committed to providing students with the necessary technical and professional skills to thrive in the workplace."
Lauded by President Barack Obama for its proven approach, Year Up is a national nonprofit organization that provides urban young adults with an intensive, year-long training program and career-focused education in growing professional industries. It helps "disconnected" young people not enrolled in school or participating in the labor market cross the Opportunity Divide to access living-wage employment and higher education. In turn, companies gain access to a pipeline of high-quality entry-level talent. For ten years, nearly four hundred employers, primarily consisting of Fortune 500 companies, have found added value in Year Up students as interns and permanent hires. Eighty-four percent of Year Up's alumni are employed and/or attending college full-time within four months of graduation, on a path to economic self-sufficiency. Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian describes Year Up's innovative, scalable model and impact on student lives in A Year Up: How a Pioneering Program Teaches Young Adults Real Skills for Real Jobs with Real Success, available July 23.
Modeled after the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), Year Up's PTC is a community college-based program that will help students earn an associate's degree while providing them with professional development and work experience closely linked to labor market demand. PTC students will take community college courses and Year Up courses for one semester and will then participate in a six-month, full-time, credit-bearing professional internship in finance, information technology, green jobs, or healthcare. Students will receive 15 to 30 credits for the year as a stackable credential that will fully count towards an associate's degree, which they can complete the following year.
Year Up began piloting components of the PTC program in Baltimore in 2010. Ky Smith, who graduated from Year Up Baltimore in January 2012, was offered a full-time position with Radio-One after completing his internship at the firm, and is currently on staff as an IT Technician.
"There are over six million young adults who are not connected to the mainstream economy, and millions of jobs that go unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers," said Bohen. "Year Up is committed to helping motivated people like Ky reach their full potential and gain a sustainable career while pursuing secondary education. We've served over 5,000 young adults already, and that's just the beginning. We're going to take the lessons we learned in Baltimore, and are thrilled to have the chance to continue learning at Miami Dade College as we scale and expand our successful program through the PTC initiative. By providing economic justice for our young adults, we can ensure economic prosperity for our nation."
The PTC will incorporate the central tenets embedded in Year Up's core model - contextualized learning so that students understand the real-world relevance of their education; professional skills to help students succeed in the workplace; attachment to the local labor market and stipends so that they can support themselves and their families while pursuing education; high expectations that reflect the standards they'll encounter in the workplace; and the social and emotional support needed to persist.
About Year Up Inc.
Year Up's mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Year Up achieves this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Its holistic approach focuses on students' professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Year Up currently serves more than 1,500 students a year at sites in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Providence, San Francisco Bay Area, the National Capital Region, and Puget Sound (Seattle). To learn more, visit www.yearup.org or www.youtube.com/yearupinc.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.
CGI's Annual Meeting is held each September in New York City. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their communities or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
About CGI America
President Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) to address economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting in June 2011, CGI America participants have made more than 100 commitments valued at $11.8 billion. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will improve the lives of three million people, create or fill more than 150,000 jobs, and invest and loan $354 million to small and medium enterprises in the United States. The 2012 CGI America meeting will take place June 7-8 in Chicago. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org.
SOURCE Year Up Inc.