Giving Compass' Take:

• Year Up is an organization that provides training programs for 18-24-year-olds that will lead to partnerships and internships at companies within the Year Up network. 

• Can Year Up work with higher education institutions to encourage them to make partnerships with other organizations and strengthen those connections so that the students can benefit from the partnership?

• Career and technical education schools could be potential sites to make similar partnerships and models of change that Year Up is currently doing now. 

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the students, mostly minorities from poor families, will tinker with computers, hone their e-mail skills, work on PowerPoint presentations, and even practice giving professional handshakes. And in a few months’ time, the 80 students will move on to coveted internships in Silicon Valley, all the more impressive since the students do not have college degrees.

This is Year Up, a training program that serves more than 3,000 students nationwide every year and that is effective in getting people without college degrees into good jobs. The model solves a growing problem in a tight economy: Across the country, hundreds of thousands of people are stuck in low-paying jobs with little room for upward mobility, while employers complain that they can’t find enough qualified workers for jobs that don’t require college degrees.

Year Up takes students who might not otherwise know how to negotiate the working world and gives them the skills they need to make it in in-demand jobs. After six months of intense training in a classroom and counseling from mentors, it connects them with six-month internships in fields like business, technology, and finance. The students in the San Jose classroom will move on to internships doing IT support or as administrative support staff at companies like Google, Salesforce, Facebook, and Tesla. In many cases, those internships will lead to full-time employment. Year Up also pays students a stipend while they go through the program.

Having buy-in from companies is what makes Year Up successful. Companies need to fill open jobs with good people, and Year Up takes on the responsibility of preparing those people for the workforce.

Read the full article about Year Up by Alana Semuels at The Atlantic