US JOBS : '' *YEAR UP* TECH'' : 2/3

IN THE US, YEAR UP has 15,500 alumni, 4,700 people in its programs this year. It is intended for  low-income people, mostly from 18 to their mid-20s

Those selected receive six months of occupational and general skills training., followed by a six month internship at an employer, and they are paid modest monthly stipends.

More than 70 percent of Year Up graduates land jobs within four months, with starting salaries of $34,000 to $50,000, depending on the job and local market.

''In one year, you will not be living the poverty line,'' said Gerald Chertavian, founder and chief executive of Year Up, describing its pitch to applicants.

Like many of the nonprofit training programs Year Up has a rigorous selection process. That raises the question of whether the programs are mainly choosing highly motivated people who are destined for success regardless of their current circumstances - more of a select group than a representative one.

Year Up looks primarily for motivation, not technical skills, in a screening that includes interviews and an essay about the person's background and goals.

About 20 percent of the initial applicants are accepted, a rate that rises to about half for those who complete the interviews, Mr. Chertavian said.

''But it is a self selecting group,'' he said. ''We're  asking these young people to go on a challenging journey in a high-support, high expectations environment. It's not for everybody.

A federally funded evaluation of Year Up, published last year, accounted for selectivity by using a so-called randomized controlled trial. It tracked more than 1,600 Year Up students in 2013 and 2014 and similar young people, who met the standards for admission but did not go through the program.

The earnings of Year Up students were 53 percent more than the control group's a year after graduation and remained far higher for the following year, the study found.

Year Up ''embodies strong forms of what we know makes sense and seems to work,'' said David Fein, principal investigator for  Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education, a multiyear evaluation of training and education programs.

''The impact is real for those who are chosen.''

When Will L. Davis of  Snelville,  Ga, learned of  Year Up, he had a retail job paying just  above the minimum wage. He was looking for more. ''This is my chance.'' he recalled saying to himself.

After the year Up coursework, he landed an internship at the local office of New York Life, where he was hired full time in late 2017.

Today, Mr. Davis, 27, is a cybersecurity specialist working on an incident response team for the company. He earns above $40,000, more than twice his salary in retail. 

Partnerships with community colleges, began as an experiment in 2012, have become the driver of growth for Year Up.

About 3,000 of its 4,700 students are in programs conducted with community colleges. Year Up and the colleges share space, people training courses and best practices.

By combining resources, the program can reduce its cost of $28,000 a student by 30 percent, Mr. Chertavian said.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on jobs and markets, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Steve Lohr.


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