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 overview

  • 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.
Target Population
Adults and families
Cost per Participant
$28,290 per participant

Evidence and impacts

Proven

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

  • In the seventh year after random assignment, participants earned an average of $8,251 more than members of the control group. 
  • Compared to a control group, participants were 5.2 percent more likely to be working 35+ hours per week and 9.2 percent more likely to hold a job with comprehensive benefits (health insurance, paid holidays, paid sick days, paid vacation, and retirement benefits) seven years after random assignment.
  • A cost-benefit analysis showed that $1 invested in the program returned $2.46 in benefits to society.

Best practices in 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.