Year Up to be Featured at National Summit Focused on Expanding Options for Job Training and Prosperity

Nov 03, 2011, 09:00 ET from Year Up Inc.

More than 150 Young Adult Leaders — Including Year Up Students — to Kick-Start Summit with Discussion on Education and Job Training Prospects in America at Town Hall Meeting on Nov. 3.

NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2011  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the Year Up community, including Year Up Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian, Year Up alumni Kern Williams (State Street Bank), and Year Up employer partners Mike Jennings (LinkedIn) and John Galante (JP Morgan Chase), will be featured as panelists at the 2011 Opportunity Nation Summit on Nov. 4. At the summit, other leading scholars, government officials and employers will discuss expanding the options for job training and economic prosperity for young adults.

Opportunity Nation – a nationwide coalition of nonprofits, foundations, educators, business and political leaders – will host the national summit at Columbia University in New York from Nov. 3 to Nov. 4. Other participants in the summit include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, U.S. Tennis Champion Serena Williams, Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America, and Dorothy Stoneman, founder and CEO of YouthBuild USA, among others.  

Recently recognized by former President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, Year Up is a national nonprofit organization that provides an intensive education and job-training program for urban young adults. Students earn college credits while gaining technical and professional skills and engage in six-month internships with top US companies. Successful completion of the intensive, one-year program enables graduates to move into full-time living-wage employment and higher education. Research independently conducted by Economic Mobility Corporation indicates that students who complete the Year Up program have access to higher quality jobs and earn up to 30 percent more than those who do not.

The 2011 Opportunity Nation Summit is designed to launch a public conversation and bipartisan public policy agenda focused on creating more opportunity in America. The event brings together national leaders from all sectors of society to participate in action-oriented dialogue on what opportunity means, and make commitments about how their institutions can create opportunity while sharing innovative examples of how this is currently being done at the community level. The panel featuring Chertavian and the other Year Up representatives will focus on proven ideas and models for providing young adults with the skills and opportunities they need to pursue successful careers and meet the talent needs of Corporate America. In addition to the panelists mentioned above, other panel participants include Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary for the Department of Labor, Dorothy Stoneman, founder of YouthBuild and Stuart Thorn, CEO of Southwire.

"Our country is facing a talent shortage of more than 14 million skilled workers over the next decade," said Gerald Chertavian, founder and CEO of Year Up. "At the same time, there are millions of unemployed Americans right now who lack the necessary skills and resources to fill those jobs. It's crucial that we continue to focus on expanding proven workforce development programs and other training models to ensure that our country remains globally competitive in the 21st Century."  

To kick-start the summit, more than 150 young adult leaders (ages 16-24) from urban neighborhoods across the Greater New York region will participate in Opportunity Nation Young Leaders Town Hall, organized by Year Up and YouthBuild USA. Several Year Up students are participating in the Town Hall, and six will serve specific roles including emceeing the event and presenting their personal stories. Event participants will focus on Opportunity Nation's proposed policy agenda to promote opportunity and economic mobility in America, as well as how to best combat poverty. A summary of their policy suggestions will be presented to a larger gathering at the summit on Nov. 4.

"This event shows that across the country, young adults like us are eager to get on the agenda of policy makers, business leaders and other decision makers to have our voices heard," said Diamond Jimenez, Year Up New York alumni. "We have a responsibility not to sit silently on the sidelines, hoping that others will find solutions to the challenges facing America today. We'll fight tirelessly to tackle these issues, and together, I'm confident we'll continue to make strides in closing the Opportunity Divide – the gap between untapped talent and the millions of entry-level jobs left unfilled due to the lack of skilled talent."  

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 1,300 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 or

SOURCE Year Up Inc.