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Year Up Announces $10 Million Commitment from AbbVie to Create Educational and Workforce Development Opportunities for Historically Underserved Youth and Young Adults

Dec 4, 2021

Funds will allow Year Up to connect hundreds more young people across the United States with meaningful wage careers in high-growth industries


Year Up, a national nonprofit that provides young adults with the skills, experience, and support to reach their full potential, today announced it has received a $10 million donation from AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, as part of AbbVie’s broader $50 million, five-year investment in philanthropic partners to support underserved Black communities across the United States.

AbbVie’s commitment will support Year Up’s ongoing efforts to provide intensive, six-month training and internship programs for young adults, with the goal of moving them from minimum wage to meaningful careers in as little as one year. More than 90 percent of Year Up students identify as a person of color.

“AbbVie’s investment in our program will ensure hundreds of Black young adults receive the support, training and resources to secure meaningful careers in a variety of industries,” said Gerald Chertavian, Year Up Founder and CEO. “By connecting even more young people of color with livable wage jobs, we will continue working to close the Opportunity Divide and build a more inclusive, equitable economy.”

“Year Up’s evidence-based workforce development program gives young adults access to opportunity as well as racial and economic justice through targeted skills training, workforce experience and wraparound support that connects them with meaningful careers that align with their personal goals,” said Karen Hale, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, AbbVie. “Year Up’s program helps open pathways and break down barriers of unequal opportunity for Black young adults and other young people of color.”

AbbVie’s $10 million commitment to Year Up is part of the company’s broader $50 million, five-year investment program focusing on helping reduce healthcare disparities and creating educational and workforce development opportunities. In partnership with Year Up and other nonprofits, the program will provide 600+ underserved young adults with opportunities to achieve economic stability and mobility through professional, technical and experiential training and skills development programs.

Nationwide, 90 percent of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college within four months of completing the program, with average starting salaries of $42,000/year. In 2018, the federally-sponsored Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation of Year Up showed a 53% increase in initial earnings for young adults randomly assigned to Year Up compared with similar young adults in a control group—the largest impact on earnings reported to date for a workforce program tested in a randomized controlled trial.