Lieutenant Governor will provide keynote speech at ceremony celebrating graduates of nonprofit workforce development nonprofit on July 27

Washington, DC
July 25, 2018

Celebrating the success of its most recent graduating class, the nonprofit Year Up National Capital Region (NCR) announced today that The Honorable Justin E. Fairfax, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, will give the keynote speech at its graduation ceremony on July 27th at 5 pm. The ceremony will take place at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria, Virginia.

“There are 175,000 “middle-skill” jobs – jobs that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a 4-year college degree – currently going unfilled in Virginia. Year Up offers valuable training to give our young adults who are out of work the necessary credentials to fill these opportunities,” said Justin Fairfax, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. “I look forward to celebrating the achievements of Year Up’s graduates as they continue redefining where talent comes from, and what it looks like.”

Year Up NCR provides free job training to talented and motivated youth, ages 18-24, without college degrees at campuses in Arlington and at Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge. Students gain in-demand technical and professional skills in the first six months, then participate in a six-month internship at a top local company. Last month, 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 impacts on earnings reported to date for a workforce program tested in a randomized controlled trial.

“As the second African-American to be elected to statewide office in Virginia and a committed civic leader, Lieutenant Governor Fairfax is a tremendous role model for our graduates as they launch their careers and open doors for other young adults, helping to close the Opportunity Divide,” said Guylaine Saint Juste, Executive Director of Year Up NCR. “We’re honored to have him give the keynote speech at our graduation ceremony, and to have him recognize our students’ hard work and determination to succeed.”

Year Up NCR is also excited to announce that the Peter Kuchli Urban Empowerment Award will be presented to Mehret Belayneh and Buchanan and Edwards. As a workforce development program, Year Up depends on strong partnerships and more importantly, the dedicated involvement of individuals at a corporate and individual level. From the onset, Mehret has been instrumental in this collaboration since she has served as a personal champion and role model for Year Up students. Since 2015, Buchanan and Edwards has become a vital and active partner, contributing to the success of 21 Year Up NCR students. Mehret Belayneh and Buchanan and Edwards embody every characteristic of engaged partners.

Since 2006, Year Up NCR has provided more than 2,400 young adults with in-demand skills, creating a pipeline of diverse, motivated talent for more than 50 of the region’s leading businesses in areas such as IT, Client Services, Financial Operations and Project Management Support. Year Up NCR now serves more than 360 young adults each year, with 95 percent of graduates employed or attending college full-time within four months of completing the program, earning average starting salaries of $40,000/year. Learn more about Year Up NCR by visiting us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


About Year Up

Year Up is an award-winning, national 501(c)3 organization that provides talented and motivated young adults ages 18-24 with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Through a one-year, intensive training program, Year Up utilizes a high-support, high-expectations model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, coursework eligible for college credit, and corporate internships at more than 250 top companies. Its holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to enable young adults with a viable path to economic self-sufficiency and meaningful careers. Year Up has served more than 19,500 young adults since its founding in 2000, and will serve more than 4,000 young adults in 2018 across 21 U.S. cities in Arizona, Baltimore, Bay Area, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Greater Atlanta, Greater Boston, Greater Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, National Capital Region, New York City, Providence, Puget Sound, South Florida, and Wilmington. Year Up has been voted one of the “Best Non-Profits to Work For” by The NonProfit Times for eight consecutive years, and rated a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator for twelve consecutive years, placing them in the top 1% of tracked organizations.

To learn more, visit, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter: @YearUp