In our troubled economy one program is giving students new hope: Year Up, a year long training program for so called "disconnected youth". Begun in 2000 and already in 6 different urban areas, Year Up pays young adults for five months of transformational training and then installs them in six-month apprenticeships designed to lead to high-wage jobs.
With an 83 percent student retention rate; 87 percent employment rate; average wage of $15.50 an hour, many experts agree they may have found the way to reach youth.
In a second of several reports about social entrepreneurship Business Desk correspondent Paul Solman interviews past and present students, staff, and business executives about what Year Up can offer us all.
"I love being here. I want to go to school for science. I want to go to school for biotech. You will put that motivation in be, make me like want more out of life." --Student
"Many of our workforce development programs in America are not listening…So as security evolves in the information technology industry, as things like BlackBerries grow in increasing importance, if we can stay ahead of that curve and be nimble, you will, I argue, be able to kick the recession rather than get kicked by the recession." --Gerald Chertavian, Year Up, Founder
"I think the main thing that we're clear about certainly for the young adults we serve, but frankly for the whole working population, is that continuing to remain competitive as a worker is about being able to learn and stay up on 21st-century skills. And so we've figured out how to do this with this population of young adults, and I think we probably have some things to share about how we could do it with lots of different kinds of people." --Shawn Bohen, Director of Strategic Growth, Year Up
1. What is an entrepreneur?
2. What is job training?
1. Do you think this program is a good idea? Why or why not? Would you like to participate in something like this?
2. This program is targeted at "disconnected youth" what are they disconnected from? Why?
3. This program teaches soft skills (social networking)-- where did you learn these skills?
4. What do you think the founder, a social entrepreneur, gets out of this program? Why does he do it?
Year Up website:
In depth coverage: Social Entrepreneurship: