National nonprofit Year Up launches new site in Arizona to train disconnected youth for jobs in Fortune 500 companies

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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Chancellor Rufus Glasper, GateWay College President Steven Gonzales will join Year Up for launch events; JPMorgan Chase Market Manager Curtis Reed to present $200,000 grant

Year Up, a national nonprofit organization that partners with Fortune 500 firms such as JPMorgan Chase to train disconnected youth and prepare them for jobs in high-demand sectors, has expanded to Arizona and will hold two launch events on April 30.

The first event will begin at 10 a.m. at the Maricopa Skill Center, 1245 E. Buckeye Road, Phoenix, where Year Up Arizona is based, where Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will address students and staff. There will also be an evening launch party at Maricopa Skill Center from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

At the events, Year Up will introduce Kim Owens, the founding Executive Director of Year Up Arizona. With more than 20 years of leadership experience, Ms. Owens previously served as Vice President of Workforce Solutions at the University of Phoenix’s Community College Center of Excellence.

The celebrations will feature remarks from Year Up CEO and Founder Gerald Chertavian, Maricopa Community College District Chancellor Dr. Rufus Glasper, and GateWay College President Steven Gonzales.

JPMorgan Chase, a founding sponsor of Year Up Arizona, will present a $200,000 philanthropic grant to support Year Up Arizona’s efforts to train and prepare underserved youth for good jobs in high-demand sectors. Year Up Arizona projects that 120 students will have participated in the program over the next 12 months.

“It's our most basic responsibility to make sure everyone in Phoenix has the skills and education they need to succeed, and to do that we have to address the fact that one in five young women and men ages 16 to 24 in our community do not work or go to school," said Mayor Greg Stanton, a member of Year Up Arizona's Launch Committee. "Year Up Arizona will reconnect these young adults by providing them with the skills and experience needed to launch exciting careers in financial services and other industries."

“The Maricopa Community College District is thrilled to partner with and host Year Up Arizona at the Skill Center,” said Dr. Rufus Glasper, Maricopa Community College District Chancellor. “Year Up’s proven approach leads to great opportunities for youth and is a perfect fit for the Maricopa Community College District.”

“For more than 15 years, Year Up interns and graduates have been redefining what talent looks like at top companies across the country,” said Ms. Owens. “I’m honored and excited to partner with Maricopa Skill Center at GateWay Community College to help underserved young adults reach their full potential through professional careers and higher education, while providing organizations like JPMorgan Chase, American Express and Liberty Mutual Insurance with the talent they need in Arizona to grow and compete effectively around the world.”

“Our partnership with Year Up Arizona will help young people get the skills, experience, and training they need to pursue good careers that will move their lives forward,” said Curtis Reed, Market Manager for the Arizona and Nevada Middle Market at JPMorgan Chase & Co., who will be presenting the $200,000 grant. “By working together, we are not only helping individual lives, we benefit an entire community.”

Year Up Arizona was launched in partnership with the Maricopa Community College District and is one of three new sites added to the program in 2015, for a total of 13 sites across the U.S. As a Professional Training Corp (PTC) site, it is modeled after the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and helps students earn an associate’s degree while providing them with professional development and work experience closely linked to labor market demand. Students dress professionally for their classes, learn about office culture and gain valuable “soft” skills like time management, working in teams and problem solving.

These students will take college courses and Year Up courses in computer programming or business operations at GateWay Community College for one semester and then participate in a six- month, full-time, credit-bearing professional internship. Students will receive up to 30 credits for the year as a stackable credential that will fully count towards an associate’s degree, which they can complete the following year.

About Year Up Inc.
Year Up's 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. Year Up achieves this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Its holistic approach focuses on students' professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Year Up currently serves more than 2,700 students a year at sites in Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Jacksonville, the National Capital Region, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay Area, and South Florida. To learn more, visit http://www.yearup.org or http://www.youtube.com/yearupinc.

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Roberto Zeledon
Year Up
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