Year Up

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

  • This strategy can help address educational disparities and provide assistance to unemployed workers. The U.S. Department of Treasury has indicated that strategies that help achieve these outcomes are eligible for the use of Fiscal Recovery Funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program basics

  • Prepares young adults for careers in information technology and financial operations
  • Provides 6 months of full-time training in IT, business, and financial services sectors, followed by 6-month internships at major firms
  • Extensive support, including weekly stipends, with an emphasis on development of professional and technical skills

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)


Proven (highest tier)

Year Up has conducted two, multi-site longitudinal RCTs that have demonstrated large, positive treatment effects on employment and earnings

Target population

At-risk youth

Program cost

$28,290 per participant

Implementation locations

  • 34 locations in 17 states
  • Boston, Providence, New York City, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle

Dates active


Outcomes and impact

  • Increased average quarterly earnings by $1,895 (53%) in the sixth and seventh quarters after random assignment
  • Five years after randomization, earnings for Year Up participants were nearly $8,000 higher than members of a control group
  • A cost-benefit analysis showed a $1.66 return for every $1 invested in the program

Keys to successful implementation

  • Strong national curriculum standards and consistent monitoring ensure that Year Up is delivered with fidelity across all program locations.
  • Year Up engages directly with employers to identify in-house skills shortages and then create curriculum for and pathways to those positions. Courses are often project-based and minimally rely on lectures
  • A selective, multi-stage screening process ensures that Year Up identifies youth who are most able to benefit from the program.
  • Participants must adhere to a strictly-enforced contract, which mandates timeliness, attendance, classroom participation, homework completion, professional dress and hygiene, and respectful behavior.
  • Training occurs via a cohort model, with each cohort consisting of 40 students. These cohorts help strengthen relationships and trust between students and staff.

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