Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with John Galante, Executive Director of Year Up New York/New Jersey, to discuss the ways this unique program is giving young people opportunities for education and employment within their communities.
“Hi, I’m Steve Adubato. This is One on One. We’re coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio. It’s our pleasure to introduce our friend John Galante, who is executive director of an organization called Year Up New York | New Jersey, which is? In Year Up… You didn’t expect that right out of the box! [laughter] Okay. Tell us what that program is. By the way, we’ve got some great video coming up on this. Go ahead. Sure. Sure. So Year Up is… the mission of Year Up is to close the opportunity divide. On one side of the divide, we have underserved opportunity youth who are basically… have no connection to corporate America whatsoever. And we estimate there’s about five million of those folks between the ages of 18 and 24 in the United States of America. On the other side of the divide you have all these great companies with these terrific careers that have a need for talent, and there are twelve million opportunities in these companies for entry and middle level jobs that will go unfilled because they can’t find the talent with the right skills to fill those jobs. What? Are you matching them up? We’re matching them up. We basically bring the young adults into our program, we put them through a six-month learning and development phase, where they learn soft skills. How to show up to work on time. How to dress. How to, basically operate in a team. How to help each other. How to give and receive feedback in a positive way. How to listen? How to listen. And then we teach them technical skills. Some technology skills, some financial operation skills, accounting. In many cases, we work with community colleges for the technical skills. Are there internships as well? They have some… some of our college… we have some college partners that actually have internships. Yeah. By the way, our friends at United told us about you guys. They’re one of the many… They’re one of our… …corporate sponsors? They’re one of our large… we have about 250 partners overall. Corporate? Corporate partners. United is one of our great partners. They’re… we consider them a high five partner. Meaning they host interns, they hire alums, they volunteer, they mentor some of our students, and they’ve donated a million dollars to each one of our centers in Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. By the way, I want to talk a little bit more about why corporations do it, and then why more should. But we’re about to hear from one of the graduates, if you will, from the Year Up New York | New Jersey program. Let’s check this out John. Sure. I grew up in East New York, Brooklyn, and growing up, it was…”