Year Up - Boston, MA

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Year Up


Headquartered in Boston, MA, Year Up has 12 sites in 11 cities throughout the United States.

The President ideally will be based in Boston; however, Year Up is open to considering alternative locations for the President depending on candidate requirements.

Reporting Relationships

In this newly created position, the President reports to Founder and CEO, Gerald Chertavian. Along with the Founder and CEO, the President will interact closely with the 13-member National Board of Directors, chaired by Paul Salem, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director, Providence Equity Partners.

While the organization structure is evolving in this fast-growing organization, it is anticipated that reporting to the President will be the Senior Executive Team consisting of: National Directors of Program, Corporate Engagement (Internships), and Development; National Site Director – East; National Site Director – West; and Chief Operating Officer.

Reporting to the CEO in addition to the President, will be the National Directors of the Million Person Model (MPM); and Strategic Growth and Impact (Influence). (See Page 6.)

In total, current staff numbers approximately 350.



Founded in 2000, Year Up has the distinction of being rated one of the Top 10 non-profits making a difference by U.S. News and World Report (2010). Year Up strives to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Year Up recognizes that the Opportunity Divide – specifically, historical barriers to education and professional work – is driven by race, ethnicity, national origin, and socio-economic status. Year Up seeks to close the Divide by setting high expectations and providing high support for young adults.

Through a one-year intensive training program in which students “earn and learn”, Year Up provides urban young adults ages 18-24 with a unique combination of hands-on technical and professional skills, college credits, and corporate internships while receiving a weekly stipend. Year Up lives by and adheres to a core set of values that reflect an unshakable belief in the talent and full potential of the young adults it serves. Its holistic approach focuses on students' professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. It operates in 12 sites nationwide, including: Atlanta, Boston, Bay Area (San Francisco and Silicon Valley), New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn), Providence, Puget Sound (Seattle), National Capital Region (Washington, DC) and Chicago, with Year Up Professional Training Corps (PTC) sites located in Miami, Baltimore, and Philadelphia (opening Fall 2013).

At the same time that Year Up helps young people gain the hard skills, soft skills, and knowledge today’s businesses demand, Year Up’s corporate partners gain access to the talented and well-trained workforce they need to compete in the global economy. It’s a balanced equation that not only helps the U.S. empower its young people – providing opportunity where it did not exist before – but also improves the economic state of the union.

In 2013, Year Up will serve approximately 1,900 students across the country to support them in realizing their potential. Since its founding in 2000, Year Up has served over 7,500 young adults.

Closing the Opportunity Divide

Year Up believes that their students possess unlimited potential. The organization knows that given the right opportunity, with challenging standards and high support, the young people it serves can literally accomplish anything they set out to achieve. Yet millions of young adults in this country are stuck on the wrong side of the “Opportunity Divide.” Despite talent and motivation, many young people lack access to higher education and sustainable, living-wage careers. Those who do gain access often struggle to realize their full potential, lacking the preparation and resources needed to take advantage of opportunities for school or work. A disproportionate percentage of these “disconnected” young adults are minority and low-income.

On one side of the Divide are more than six million disconnected young adults, out of work and out of school, lacking the resources and guidance needed to succeed in today’s economy.

On the other side of the Divide, U.S. businesses are facing a shortage of 14 million college-educated workers over the next decade … a gap that high school graduates are not prepared to fill and that fundamentally threatens our competitiveness as a nation.

These are troubling realities, yet they represent a significant national opportunity. Helping young adults to gain the skills and knowledge today’s businesses demand puts those young adults on a path to postsecondary education, successful careers and economic self-sufficiency. Employers then gain access to the talented and well-trained workforce they need to compete in the global economy. Economic justice for disconnected young adults means economic prosperity for U.S. businesses and the nation at large.

Year Up’s talented workforce is comprised of individuals too many of us have long been conditioned to dismiss as social liabilities. In order to close the Opportunity Divide, we must redefine urban young adults as economic assets and work together to ensure their successful transition into the economic mainstream.

The Program

The Year Up program emphasizes academic and professional rigor, setting expectations high for quality of work and professional behavior. A strong structure guides students through the steps necessary for achieving success in the classroom and the workplace.

For the first six months of the program, earning a stipend while they learn, students develop technical and professional skills in the classroom. With tracks in Information Technology, Financial Operations, Project Management and Quality Assurance, technical skills classes might include: desktop and network support, Help Desk, hardware repair, and operating systems. Professional and communications skills classes might include: business writing skills, time management, career networking, and communicating clearly and effectively.

Students then apply those skills during the second six months during an internship at one of Year Up's 250+ corporate and federal government partners, continuing to earn a weekly stipend. Students earn up to 23 college credits from Year Up Academic Partners of higher education, and are supported by staff advisors, professional mentors, dedicated social services staff, and a powerful network of community-based partners.

Program Evaluation

Program evaluation helps Year Up understand their successes and shortcomings, gain insight into how to improve results, and ensure it is providing its young adults with the tools they need to cross the Opportunity Divide.

In a 2011 report, independently conducted research by the Economic Mobility Corporation (EMC) indicated that students who attend the Year Up program have access to higher quality jobs and earn up to 30% more than those who do not. This study was based on a randomized controlled trial (RCT) – the gold standard in policy and social science research. EMC President Mark Elliott called this “the most exciting evaluation results we’ve seen in youth employment in 20 or 30 years – and the first to show a really substantial earnings gain”.

In 2012, Year Up was honored to be chosen as one of nine programs participating in the groundbreaking Innovative Strategies for Increasing Self-Sufficiency (ISIS) study. ISIS is a federally funded, 10-year, large-scale, rigorous evaluation of career pathways programs across the country. Its objective is to promote and increase the economic self-sufficiency of low-income individuals and families.

The invitation to participate in a study of this size and caliber is a significant opportunity for Year Up and stands as a testament to the success and distinction of the program. Involvement with ISIS will help Year Up “prove and improve” its model. Not only do findings contribute to the body of research demonstrating the impact Year Up has on students’ lives, but being part of this study affords Year Up expert advice, additional programmatic and financial resources, and access to a community populated with the country’s top career pathways organizations.


Year Up’s results include:

· 100% placement of qualified Year Up students into internships.

· Over 91% of corporate partners would recommend the Year Up program to a friend or colleague.

· 84% of graduates are employed or attending college full-time within four months of completing the program.

· Employed Year Up graduates earn an average of $15 per hour – the equivalent of $30,000 per year.


As mentioned above, Year Up has the distinction of being rated one of the Top 10 non-profits making a difference by U.S. News and World Report (2010). It is also named one of the 50 best nonprofits to work for by The NonProfit Times , and one of the best non-profits to work for by Opportunity Knocks . Other awards include Fast Company Magazine’s Social Capitalist Award for innovative business model and social impact in

2005, 2007, and 2008. In 2009, the Harvard Business School published a case study on Year Up’s origins and success and, in 2011; A Year Up by Gerald Chertavian became a New York Times Best Seller.

Plans for Growth

Year Up has achieved tremendous success over the past 13 years. The organization has grown from serving 22 students in 2001 and expects to serve 1,900 in 2013. Year Up has no plans of slowing down.

In June 2011, Year Up kicked off its five-year Growth Strategy with its $55 million Opportunity Campaign . This strategy calls for Year Up to:

· Grow and Strengthen the Core – Year Up will scale their direct service program to serve 2,500 students annually by 2016, improving the core program model as well as expanding it.

· Develop the Million-Person Model – Year Up will design and pilot alternative program models that can grow rapidly to serve many more young adults across the U.S. These models will build on the successful practices of the core model, with a focus on innovations that allow for greater scale. Year Up will partner closely with community colleges in this process to increase graduation rates and successful transitions into the labor market.

· Create Systems Change – Year Up will broaden access to career and postsecondary opportunities by influencing the systems that perpetuate the Opportunity Divide. By leveraging the credibility of their core program, their systems change strategies focus on influencing three key areas—the “3P’s”: improving perceptions about urban young adults from social liabilities to economic assets; changing employer practices around finding and developing talent; and supporting public policies that increase the number of effective pathways to work for young adults. The growing corps of alumni are critical allies as Year Up pursues these strategies at both the national level and in the various metropolitan areas where sites operate.


With an annual operating budget of nearly $62 million (2013), approximately $32 million will be derived from philanthropic support and $30 million from internship income. As stated above, in June 2011, Year Up kicked off its $55 million Opportunity Campaign . As of June 2013, Year Up has raised over $40 million toward this goal.


Year Up has grown quickly and its strategy calls for continued growth in existing core programs and new program model development and implementation. The role of President was created to lead and manage Year Up’s operations and guide the organization to performance excellence through the executive leadership of a seasoned professional. The President will work closely with the Founder and CEO to oversee the organization and allow the CEO to focus on long-term strategy and external relations.

As it is currently envisioned, the President will partner with the CEO to lead Year Up’s strategy and will be directly accountable for the following functions of the organization to ensure Year Up is positioned for continued growth: all elements of the core program at sites (consisting of programmatic performance goals and P&L responsibility for Year Up’s two $30+ million revenue streams - philanthropic support and internship income); programmatic and academic strategy; finance, information technology, and human resources departments; infrastructure support; oversight and execution of internal strategic priorities; and inspirational and motivational leadership of the senior executive management team to achieve organization-wide goals through an unwavering commitment to the culture and mission.

More specifically, this will entail:

• Accountability for the organization-wide P&L ( anticipated to be $100 million in 2-3 years ).

• Oversight of the day-to-day operations and management of Year Up’s Core Sites and National Office through direct management of Year Up’s Senior Executive Team.

• Performance management of short and long term Core and National priorities to ensure a path towards site financial and operational sustainability by 2016.

• Partner and direct report to the Founder and CEO with operational responsibility for implementation of the vision and long-term strategy.

• Partner to Senior Leadership to create and assess strategy for long-term growth and ensure excellence in the continued development of Year Up’s workforce.

• Oversight and management of national functional areas through management of the COO, including Finance, Information Technology, and Human Resources.

• Responsibility for the creation and development of a Shared Services Department to optimize service delivery across the organization and ensure the supporting infrastructure and strategy is in place for long-term sustainability.

• As appropriate, work with Board Committees/members.

The Founder and CEO will focus on: Long-term strategic planning and thought leadership; New strategic ventures and internal strategic priorities; Opportunity Campaign strategy and execution; External champion building/relationship building/stewardship; Board management and strategic governance (fiduciary duties); Stewardship of culture and values; Branding/public relations/speaking engagements.


The successful candidate must be a seasoned executive with strong management skills and business acumen, possessing cultural competency and a deep commitment to those served by Year Up. Prior experience in some fashion with underserved communities is highly desired.

Year Up seeks a high-energy, proactive and results-oriented individual who possesses demonstrated leadership experience in the management of a fast-growing, complex organization. Ability to identify and/or support opportunities for pragmatic growth and innovation is required, as is experience executing multi-year strategic planning. Experience navigating and successfully implementing organizational change in a multi-site environment is ideal. Experience may have been gained in any sector: not-for-profit, academic, government or corporate.

Mature and self-assured, the successful candidate must be able to demonstrate immediate credibility and command the respect of others. S/he must possess strong communication, interpersonal, diplomatic, influential and motivational skills to work effectively with staff, students, Board, the corporate sector and other philanthropic partners.

With a proven track record of ability to implement operational excellence across an organization, the President will foster collegiality and inspire staff to their maximum capability, e nsuring excellence in both individual performance and team collaboration. A hands-on, participatory management style and respect for the capabilities of dedicated staff will work best in this already well-functioning organization, where staff operates in a friendly, familial, yet highly professional manner.

The successful candidate will thrive on working in a demanding, yet rewarding position in support of this premier institution. It is expected the President will make a long-term commitment to this important position.


A minimum of an undergraduate degree is required; an advanced degree is highly desirable.


A competitive compensation package will be offered to the successful candidate.


Please send a thoughtful cover letter and resume to: Ann Kern, Senior Client Partner (, David Mead-Fox, Ph.D., Senior Client Partner ( and Joan Sherry, Senior Engagement Manager (

Diversity candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Year Up is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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