WWC review of this study

Bridging the Opportunity Divide for Low-Income Youth: Implementation and Early Impacts of the Year Up Program. Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education. OPRE Report 2018-65

Fein, David, Hamadyk, Jill (2018). (OPRE Report No. 2018-65). Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation. Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED615553

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    1,859
     Students
    , grade
    PS

Reviewed: May 2022

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Short-Term Earnings outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier
Short-Term Employment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Working in a job paying $15 an hour or more

Year Up vs. Business as usual

6 Months

Full sample;
1,859 students

46.46

14.26

Yes

 
 
34
 

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 41%
    Male: 59%
  • Race
    Black
    54%
    Not specified
    41%
    White
    6%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    31%
    Not Hispanic
    69%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    California, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Washington

Setting

The Year Up program was delivered in eight metropolitan areas (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Providence, the San Francisco-San Jose Bay area, Seattle, and Washington, DC). The program was delivered from a single central location in each city except for the two Bay Area offices.

Study sample

Over half of participants were male (59%) and 21 to 24 years old (57%); the remaining were female (41%) and 18 to 20 years old (43%). Over half of the participants (54%) were Black, non-Hispanic, 6% were White, non-Hispanic, and 9% were another race, non-Hispanic. About one-third (31%) were Hispanic. Additionally, 99% had a high school diploma and 3% had an Associate’s degree or higher. The mean family income was $27,021.

Intervention Group

Year Up participants receive six months of technical skills training geared at meeting the needs of the corporate partners of the program. All participants receive training in operating systems and software for word processing and learn how to use spreadsheets and create presentations. There are separate tracks for information technology, business communications, and financial operations with relevant specialized skills. The program also has college partners so participants can earn college credits for satisfactory completion of the classes they take. Following the six months of training, participants have six-month internships with corporate partners that are major corporations in the region. Throughout the experience, general professionalism is emphasized, including regular attendance, professional demeanor, timeliness, diligence (completion of work), appropriate attire, networking, and conflict management. Participants also receive a stipend (per a performance contract) and have staff advisors, social workers, peer support opportunities, and are paired with a mentor from outside the program. There is also some flexibility for sites to customize their curriculum based on local considerations.

Comparison Group

Comparison group members were subject to a three-year embargo on Year Up participation but could receive other training and supports in the community. Each of the metropolitan areas offered alternative employment and training services that the comparison group could access. These included training at community and technical colleges, for-profit postsecondary institutions, and non-profit training providers. Examples include Job Corps, Per Scholas, Jewish Vocational Services, Center on Employment and Training, and Goodwill Industries. The study notes that many training providers offer job readiness and job placement services in conjunction with technical skills training. Others offer mentoring in the business community.

Support for implementation

Year Up receives funding from employer payments for interns; foundation grants; donations from companies and individuals; and, to a small degree, government agencies. Further, a national team supports local offices with operations, sharing information across offices, and overall implementation.

Reviewed: March 2021

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Short-Term Earnings outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Working in a job paying $15 an hour or more

Year Up vs. Business as usual

18 Months

Full sample;
1,859 students

46.46

14.26

Yes

 
 
34
 
Short-Term Employment outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Working and $15/hour or more

Year Up vs. Business as usual

18 Months

Full sample;
1,859 students

46.50

14.30

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 41%
    Male: 59%
  • Race
    Black
    54%
    Not specified
    41%
    White
    6%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    31%
    Not Hispanic
    69%

  • Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    California, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Washington

Setting

The Year Up program was delivered in eight metropolitan areas (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Providence, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington, DC). The program was delivered from a single central location in each city except for the two Bay Area offices.

Study sample

The program sample of 2,544 young urban adults was recruited from a target population residing in eight metropolitan areas in the United States. A majority of sample members were African-American (54 percent) or Hispanic (31 percent). There were more men (59 percent) than women (41 percent). A majority of sample members (68 percent) were living with their parents, and a small fraction (nine percent) had children. Many reported they struggled in high school with 40 percent reported typical grades of C or below, and only 10 percent reported typically receiving A’s. Approximately half had attended some college. Close to two thirds (63 percent) were in families with annual incomes below $30,000.

Intervention Group

Participants enrolled in the program in small cohorts of about 40 students, called “learning communities,” in March and September of each year. Young adults participated in the Year Up program's learning communities in two phases: 1) Learning and Development, and 2) Internship. In the Learning and Development (L&D) Phase, young adults attended day-long training classes from 8:30 AM until 3:30 PM four days a week, and for a half-day on Wednesdays, to learn occupation-specific and general skills in various (quality assurance, financial operations, project management, customer service, and business communications) with IT being most common. During the Internship Phase, students worked in entry-level professional roles at local employers, often major corporations, and worked at internship sites four and a half days a week. On Wednesday afternoons, they returned to Year Up to share their internship experiences, attend workshops, and plan post-program career transitions. Employers were heavily involved and provided support to the program.

Comparison Group

Control group members were subject to a three-year embargo on Year Up participation but could receive other training and supports in the community. Each of the metropolitan areas offered alternative employment and training services that the control group could access. These included training at community and technical colleges, for-profit post secondary institutions, and non-profit training providers. Examples include Job Corps, Per Scolas, Jewish Vocational Services, Center on Employment and Training, and Goodwill Industries. The study notes that many training providers offer job readiness and job placement services in conjunction with technical skills training. Other offer mentoring in the business community.

Support for implementation

Year Up receives funding from employer payments for interns; foundation grants; donations from companies and individuals; and, to a small degree, government agencies.

 

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