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The New York Times

Gaining Skills Virtually to Close the Inequality Gap

By: Steve Lohr on Jun 7, 2020

Successful job-training programs for low-income young people have long been held in person. Can a virtual ladder still be a path to the middle class?

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“We don’t teach a subject,” said Ashley Russell, an instructor at Year Up, a nonprofit job-training program. “We teach people.”Credit...Lyndon French for The New York Times

 

When the word came in early March, Ashley Russell recalled his first reaction as “sheer astonishment.” Within a week, Year Up, a nonprofit job-training program in cities across the country, would go entirely online after being held entirely in person.

The promise of Year Up is that an intensive regimen of technical and professional training can be an on-ramp to a middle-class career. “You can change your life,” said Mr. Russell, an instructor at Year Up in Chicago.

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