We are excited to feature Year Up Baltimore in this month’s Customer Spotlight. Year Up provides a Professional Training Corps that gives low-income college students an intense year-long program of training and mentorship. The Year Up mission is to “close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.” We’ve worked with them for over four years now and so we asked operations specialist Adenike Akintilo for more information!
Your website states that young adults spend six months in classroom training. What are some of the lessons that they walk away with?
Students during the learning and development phase of the program take college credit courses that pertain to the Year Up tracks. In Baltimore, we have the following tracks: Business Operations, Information Technology, Cyber Security, Construction Supervision. Also in this first phase, students are with Year Up staff learning soft skills from email etiquette to emotional intelligence. In the second six months of the program, students are placed on internship at a corporation where they are able to apply and also further develop their soft and technical skills. During this phase, our interns are matched with a professional mentor.
What are some ways you match young adults with companies in a way that it becomes a long-term employment?
Our corporate engagement team invests a lot of time in understanding the needs for talent in the industries we serve. These needs translate into the tracks we offer and the curriculum
What are some ways you support young adults in their transition into work?
During the first phase of the program, students are assigned a coach, and during their transition into internship they receive a mentor. Students also have an employment placement manager whose prime focus is to make sure students are prepared and have an action plan to launch their career through full or part time work or school, full or part time.
Can you describe your admission process for young adults to enter into your program?
To be accepted into the program, a young adult is required to be between the ages of 18-24 with a GED or high school diploma. Students complete an interest form followed by attending an information session with a Year Up team member. Students then have to submit an essay about their interest in their preferred track and “why” Year Up followed by an interview. Student who with no previous college experience are required to take the Accuplacer college placement test.
What are the mentor’s roles?
The mentors role is to support students as their transition into corporate America, as well as be an advocate for them as they prepare for their next phase of their journey.