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Year Up Announces Significant, Sustained Earnings Gains for Young Adults in Five-Year Study

Jun 18, 2024

New report demonstrates Year Up's substantial, long-lasting impact on earnings gains.
New report demonstrates Year Up's substantial, long-lasting impact on earnings gains.


New federally-sponsored study by Abt Associates shows $1.66 return for every $1 invested in Year Up


As the U.S. continues to grapple with increasing income inequality, the nonprofit Year Up announced today the results of a new report by Abt Associates showing a 30-40 percent increase in earnings of Year Up participants — low-income young adults without college degrees — in the fifth year of the study.

Four years after participating in the Year Up workforce training program, young adults (ages 18-24) assigned to the Year Up group saw annual earnings nearly $8,000 higher than those young adults who qualified for the program but were assigned to a control group and directed to other community programs.

In addition, the study showed that employed Year Up participants were significantly more likely to be working in full-time jobs that required at least mid-level skills, with 31 percent of employed Year Up group members working in IT roles relative to 5 percent of control group members. Employment in IT will see increased demand in 2019-2029 based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment projections post-COVID.

"The ongoing COVID crisis will disproportionately impact individuals without four-year college degrees in the coming decade — particularly Black and Latinx Americans — unless we as a country can provide effective interventions," said Gerald Chertavian, Year Up Founder and CEO. "We need to scale proven pathways to meaningful careers to ensure a more equitable economic recovery post-COVID."

Beyond positive impacts for participants, a conservative cost-benefit analysis by Abt Associates showed each $1.00 invested in Year Up generates a $1.66 return to society as a whole.

"The federal government currently spends billions of dollars each year on training programs with little if any rigorously demonstrated effects," said David Fein, Abt's principal investigator on the study. "Year Up is remarkable for raising a good deal of its revenue from employer payments for interns. Were the government to pick up half the costs, the nation could move as many as one million young adults to opportunity for around $14 billion. Society would reap a net benefit of about $23 billion in just five years — assuming Year Up can be scaled with comparable effectiveness."

Year Up provides young adults with six months of in-demand technical and professional skills training, followed by a six-month internship at a leading company such as Bank of America.

"Our partnership with Year Up has brought dynamic, talented and diverse young leaders through our doors," said Cathy Bessant, chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America. "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."

Year Up is one of nine programs Abt is evaluating in the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) project sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families. Future reports from the ongoing study will extend analysis over a longer follow-up period.

To read the full report, visit:


About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people's lives. From combatting infectious disease and conducting rigorous program evaluations, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing - and more - we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges.