New workforce development program launched in partnership with Central Piedmont Community College, with support from Bank of America, the John M. Belk Endowment and the Duke Endowment.

Continuing to expand its proven program to create pathways to meaningful employment for low-income youth, the national nonprofit Year Up will celebrate the launch of its new site in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a breakfast and ribbon cutting ceremony at Central Piedmont Community College on September 17th at 8:15 AM. Torrey Smith, Players Coalition Board Member and Two-time Super Bowl Champion, will speak at the event, along with Year Up President Cyril Turner, Year Up Charlotte Site Director Elise Ford, National Year Up Site Director Roland Selby, Central Piedmont Community College President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, and Bank of America Community Engagement Executive Kathryn Black.

Year Up Charlotte is the nonprofit’s first site in North Carolina, and is launching with generous support from Bank of America, the John M. Belk Endowment, and the Duke Endowment, and in partnership with Central Piedmont Community College and Leading on Opportunity, a nonprofit focused on improving economic mobility in Charlotte.

The free yearlong program prepares students (ages 18-24) for entry-level technology and customer-facing roles. Nationwide, 90% of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college within four months of completing Year Up, with average starting salaries of $40,000/year.

The first 53 students began classes in August 2019; the program will grow to serve 120 young adults over the next year. Two current Year Up Charlotte students will speak at the ceremony.

“Year Up is a great program that works – they’ve helped thousands of young people across the country access higher education and meaningful careers,” said Torrey Smith. “I’m excited to see them bring their proven approach to Charlotte to give young adults the skills, experience and support they need to be successful.”

Year Up Charlotte students will take part in an intensive, one-year program combining professional coaching, hands-on skill development, and internships at top companies like Bank of America. In partnership with Central Piedmont Community College, young adults will have access to the library, tutoring resources, and other services offered by the college, in addition to the services offered by Year Up.

“We are excited because this partnership fits so well with the mission, vision and historic purpose of Central Piedmont Community College,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “Central Piedmont has always been a driver of economic mobility. The college has always worked to build and offer pathways to careers and further education. We are proud to join with Year Up Charlotte and Bank of America as we seek to transform lives and bring new possibilities to individuals and their families.”

“Bank of America began partnering with Year Up nationally in 2004, and we’ve hired more than 470 interns since then,” said Kathryn Bank, Community Engagement Executive at Bank of America. “We’re thrilled to continue investing in the program—and in our future workforce—in Charlotte and across the US.”

“Year Up Charlotte will help bridge the divide between the talented, motivated young adults in this city in need of an opportunity and companies like Bank of America in need of their skills,” said Year Up President Cyril Turner. “As employer demand for this talent pipeline grows, Year Up Charlotte will quickly scale its impact throughout the community.”

Participants spend one semester taking technical and professional skills classes taught by Central Piedmont Community College and Year Up staff, and the following semester in a full-time, credit-bearing internship at a corporate partner firm. The program is provided to students at no cost. Throughout the year, students also earn college credits and a weekly stipend.

Last summer, a federally-sponsored 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.

Torrey Smith, a two-time Super Bowl champion and former Panthers wide receiver, is a Founding Board Member of the Players Coalition, an independent 501c3 (charity) and 501c4 (advocacy) organization, working to improve social justice and racial equality through focused initiatives in the areas of Police & Community Relations, Criminal Justice Reform and Education & Economic Advancement.

In January 2019, the Players Coalition awarded Year Up with a national grant to support the program’s expansion into new cities like Charlotte and its growth in existing markets, and to help Year Up change perceptions of Opportunity Youth from social liabilities to economic assets.

To learn more about Year Up Charlotte, including how to apply for the program, how to become a corporate partner or how to sign up as a volunteer, please visit

About Year Up

Year Up is an award-winning, national 501(c)3 organization that enables motivated young adults ages 18-24 to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in just one year by providing the skills, experience, and support they need to reach their full potential.Through a one-year, intensive program, Year Up utilizes a high-expectations, high-support 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 26,000 young adults since its founding in 2000, and will serve more than 4,700 young adults in 2019 across 25 U.S. cities including Arizona, Baltimore, Bay Area, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Greater Atlanta, Greater Boston, Greater Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, the National Capital Region, New York City/Jersey City, Puget Sound, Rhode Island, South Florida, Tampa Bay, 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 CharityNavigator for twelve consecutive years, placing them in the top 1% of tracked organizations.

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About Players Coalition

Players Coalition is an independent 501c3 (charity) and 501c4 (advocacy) organization, working with professional athletes, coaches and owners across leagues to improve social justice and racial equality in our country. The work is focused on three key pillars: Police & Community Relations, Criminal Justice Reform and Education & Economic Advancement. Players Coalition is solution-oriented, and members invest significant time and resources to educate themselves on various issues impacting their communities to identify where their influence can have the greatest impact . In 2017, the Players Coalition was co-founded by NFL Pro-Bowl Safety and 2017 NFLPA Byron “Whizzer” White winner Malcolm Jenkins and retired wide receiver and NFL 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year winner Anquan Boldin. Players Coalition continues to grow in numbers of ambassadors with the collective goal of making an impact on federal, state and local levels through advocacy, engagement and providing resources. For more information follow @playerscoalition on Instagram and Facebook and @playercoalition on Twitter.