The data's clear: Our effective job training for
young adults generates a significant, sustainable
increase in earnings and employment.
New research confirms that Year Up’s earnings gains are the largest ever reported to date for workforce programs.
Partnering with the Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation (OPRE) and Abt Associates, Year Up is one of nine leading programs selected to take part in the federally-sponsored Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) Evaluation. This evaluation uses a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the rigorous “gold standard” of studies. This new report evaluates Year Up outcomes four years after graduation.
Four years after young adults participated in Year Up, average earnings for those in the Year Up cohort were 34% higher than for young adults in the control group, confirming that Year Up generates the largest earnings impacts ever captured in an RCT.
The Year Up program doesn’t just benefit our graduates or our partners. Analysis by Abt Associates calculated that every $1.00 spent on Year Up results in a gain to society of $1.66. At scale, that means that a $100M investment in Year Up could generate a return of $166M.
The independent evaluation by Abt Associates found that annual gains of nearly $8,000 in average earnings—a 30-40 percent increase—persisted to the end of the five-year study period.
The earnings impact was significant for all eight Year Up locations included in the study, as well as for every student subgroup—defined by age, gender, race/ethnicity, high school grades, educational attainment, and training commitment.
In short: Year Up works.
New report demonstrates Year Up's substantial, long-lasting impact on earnings gains.
Four years out, average earnings for students in the Year Up cohort were 34% higher than in the control group.
“The return on my investment in Year Up has been phenomenal—beyond Year Up’s unprecedented, sustained increase in earnings for young adults, this study shows how the program benefits society more broadly. Year Up is a win for its students, for employers, for communities, and for people looking to make a real impact in closing the Opportunity Divide. Year Up is the best investment I ever made!”
“Our cost-benefit analysis calculated that every $1.00 spent on Year Up results in a gain to society of $1.66—and that’s only what comes back in the first five years. We have every reason to believe the longer-term impact will be greater. And that’s not counting potential hard-to-monetize benefits like improvement in family well-being, better outcomes for the children of participants, and more.”
“The PACE evaluation results show that investments in job training for young adults pay off with high returns and far-reaching impact. The latest findings prove Year Up’s program enables impressive sustained earnings gains for its graduates, and also demonstrates the transformative potential to expand economic mobility and racial equity. This is an exciting indicator for what job training programs like Year Up could achieve at scale.”
“As a Year Up graduate, I know just how transformative the program is and how it changes the trajectory of your whole life. Not only does Year Up empower you to launch a professional career, it gives you the ability—and the passion—to open doors for others and help employers shift their perspective of what it means to be a qualified candidate. This study makes it clear that what Year Up provides is truly unique and effective.”
“Our partnership with Year Up has brought dynamic, talented and diverse young leaders through our doors. Since 2006, we have hosted more than 1,850 Year Up interns. They bring invaluable skills to our business, clients and communities, enabling us to improve economic mobility and equality by connecting more individuals to sustainable career pathways.”
"The future of our economy depends on our ability to upskill, reskill and provide opportunities to the millions of workers who are currently at risk of being left behind. I've seen firsthand how Year Up's approach to providing young adults with in-demand skills, support, and on-the-job experience provides so much value to both the participants and to the companies that hire them. By scaling effective training programs like Year Up, we can realize a more equitable economic recovery and help our communities thrive."
"As a Year Up donor and supporter for the past 15 years, I have always viewed this organization as a path to racial equity. I wholeheartedly believe that Year Up will continue to close the Opportunity Divide in this country. The latest PACE results further demonstrate the power of Year Up. For every dollar I’ve invested, Year Up generates $1.66, so my donations have proven impact – not just on Year Up students and families, but on entire communities across the nation."
“The Year Up program works as intended. I mastered the professional soft skills and gained marketable job skills that led me to my career. Year Up helped me realize my potential and gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams with poise and planning. I felt supported then and still do to this day. I’m proud to be a Year Up alumnus because I am actively receiving the benefits from all the effort I put in that year. I’m excited to know that Year Up will continue to give other people who look and live like me a chance to improve their life circumstances.”
“These findings provide further evidence of the powerful impact of Year Up’s model, which generates substantial, sustained earnings gains for participants and a broader, notable net benefit to society. Through close partnerships with employers, paired with professional and in-demand technical skills and on-the-job training, Year Up creates pathways to economic mobility for young people at a critical juncture in their lives. We are proud to support Year Up as it continues to innovate to reach significantly more young people in the years to come.”
"The PACE study shows the broader social benefits of investing in effective job training for young adults, with every $1 put into Year Up generating a $1.66 return to society. We’re not only enabling economic mobility among Year Up participants, we’re building an inclusive economy where Black, Latino, and other young adults of color can access meaningful careers at top companies in their community."
“Four years out, our graduates are continuing to see a significant boost in their earnings thanks to Year Up. Their accomplishments and career success serve as powerful evidence of what young adults can achieve when given the opportunity, to the benefit of themselves, their families, their employers, and their communities.”
“Year Up opened doors that I thought were never going to open and prepared me to be the best version of myself. I learned all the necessary skills and how to build the right network to not only kickstart my career, but to continue growing.”
Read the groundbreaking results:
In the Press
A Unique Workforce Development Program Shows Promise in Reducing Inequality and Boosting Economic Growth
Year Up is helping low-income young adults find good jobs. Now it’s up to Year Up and other innovators to convince the government to fund these programs, which have been rigorously shown to substantially increase participants’ earnings.Full article
National RCT of “Year Up” Program Finds Major, Five-Year Earnings Gains for Low-Income, Minority Young Adults
This is definitive evidence of Year Up’s effectiveness when delivered on a large scale under typical implementation conditions...Such highly-effective programs are the exception; surprisingly few rigorously-evaluated social interventions – in workforce development and other areas – are found to produce the hoped-for effects.Read more
Year Up’s Sustained Earnings Impacts Indicate A Pathway Towards An Equitable, Just Economy
In working towards a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce for everyone, Year Up's impact will affect generations. Our graduates are becoming economically mobile: they’re becoming homeowners, community leaders, and supporting their families through good jobs.Full article
Can Biden Save Americans Like My Old Pal Mike?
When I’ve previously written about Americans falling behind, readers have challenged me to say what would make a difference. So here are five policies to create opportunity... A higher minimum wage and broader effort to train people for well-paying jobs by scaling up proven initiatives like Year Up and Career Academies.Full story
Tech Jobs Lead to the Middle Class. Just Not for the Masses
Year Up, one of oldest, largest and fastest-growing in the group, illustrates the evolution, potential and limits of the model... 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.”Learn more
One job-training program for young adults makes a significant difference, study shows
Participants in the nonprofit program called Year Up — which has a Seattle office — saw a 53 percent increase in the amount of money they earned after they finished the program, and two years later, those who participated continued to do significantly better than those who were in a control group... Year Up is the largest participant in the study, and its earnings impacts were the largest reported to date for workforce programs tested.Full story