Year Up Hosts Talent Solutions Forum in Chicago on Harnessing the Power of Untapped Talent

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Fred Devereux, Central Region President at AT&T, will deliver the keynote speech; forum brings together forward-thinking executives from top companies to share and learn strategies for creating more inclusive economies, particularly for young adults

“This forum is our way to bring together business leaders from a range of industries to share best practices and exchange ideas that will solve today’s most pressing talent challenges,” said Year Up Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian

Continuing to drive systems change to create more pathways to higher education and meaningful employment for young adults, the national nonprofit Year Up will host a Talent Solutions Forum on “Harnessing the Power of Untapped Talent” in Chicago on October 16. The forum is sponsored by Year Up partner JPMorgan Chase, and will take place at Chase Tower at 1 pm CT.

Fred Devereux, Central Region President at AT&T, will deliver the keynote speech on “The Power of Workforce Transformation,” and will discuss how business leaders can transform talent management practices to prioritize opportunity for all. AT&T has been a Year Up corporate partner since 2011, and to date has hosted 159 Year Up interns. In 2019, AT&T announced a commitment to hire 200 Year Up interns annually, through Year Up, by 2022.

“At AT&T, we know that Opportunity Youth have talent and potential. Our Year Up team members are consistently some of the highest performers on their teams. We’re committed to continue building a strong, diverse workforce by rethinking our traditional hiring processes, removing assessement barriers and focusing on retention,” said Devereux. “We want to inspire other business leaders to do the same, and make concrete changes to ensure they don’t overlook skilled, motivated talent while grappling with the impact of increased automation and AI.”

Year Up is a free yearlong program that prepares students (ages 18-24, without college degrees) for meaningful-wage careers in business and IT. Students spend six months learning in-demand technical and professional skills, followed by a six-month internship at one of more than 250 corporate partner firms, including AT&T and JPMorgan Chase. Nationwide, 90% of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college within four months of completing the program, with average starting salaries of $40,000/year.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to promote strong job pathways in America, and our commitment to skills development both globally and locally, we’re excited to help facilitate conversations among top organizations about the business benefits of investing in more inclusive talent management,” said Steve Urrutia, Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase, who will open the forum jointly with Year Up Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian.

“This forum is our way to bring together business leaders from a range of industries to share best practices and exchange ideas that will solve today’s most pressing talent challenges,” said Chertavian. “We’ll be discussing how to build inclusive and diverse talent pipelines that take into account the tremendous value and potential young adults bring to the workplace.”

Year Up launched a campus in downtown Chicago in 2010, and opened a second campus at Harold Washington College last year. Year Up Chicago now serves more than 320 young adults every year. Year Up Chicago graduate Andrea Henderson worked part-time in a grocery store before applying to Year Up; after completing a six-month internship at JPMorgan Chase, she was hired and is now working there full-time.

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.

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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Lauren Peachey
Year Up
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