Phoenix has one of the highest rates of disconnected youth in the United States—16 percent of young adults are out of work and out of school. Meanwhile, Arizona companies are struggling to find qualified talent.
In 2015, Year Up launched a site in Arizona to provide low-income young adults with six months of technical and professional skills training (in areas including programming and hardware repair), followed by a six-month internship at companies like JPMorgan Chase, American Express, Bank of America, AZ Federal Credit Union, Safeway, and Liberty Mutual Insurance. Students are then on track to complete their associate’s degrees at Maricopa Community Colleges the following year.
Central High School graduate Alicia, a North Central resident, is part of the fourth Arizona class for Year Up. She began her 12-month workforce development program in August. Earning college credits in Business Operations from GateWay Community College and professional soft skills from Year Up staff, Alicia looks forward to applying these skills to her future career.
Before enrolling in Year Up, Alicia, 20, worked as a phlebotomist. She knew she wanted to be involved in the healthcare industry, but felt there was a missing component to her service delivery. Alicia realized that she yearned to understand how the healthcare industry operated from a business standpoint. Soon after enrolling in the Year Up program, Alicia learned that the professional skills like customer service, communications and brand development would also help her be successful in this field and to better serve patients.
Several months into the program, Alicia now has a professional coach, a five-year professional plan and will earn an internship this January. In addition to earning a weekly educational stipend, at the time of program completion, she can earn transferable college credits.
Within her first few weeks in the program, someone told her that participating in Year Up is like winning the lottery. Today, Alicia understands what they meant and says that, “Year Up is an opportunity nobody should turn down.”
Year Up Arizona has opened enrollment for young adults interested in developing the skills needed to reach their potential to succeed in today’s professional business world. This yearlong program begins in January. Year Up Arizona is open to all 18-24-year-olds in Arizona with a high school diploma or GED certificate. Interested candidates are encouraged to visit www.yearup.org/apply or contact the Year Up admissions team at 480-376-0898 or firstname.lastname@example.org.