• September 2018
  • Vol. 19, No. 7

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Workforce Training Program for Disadvantaged Young Adults Boosts Initial Earnings

A recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation looks at the implementation and initial impacts of the Year Up training program, which provided job skills training to over 3,500 young adults aged 18–24 with a high school diploma or the equivalent in eight cities between 2013 and 2014. Year Up is one of nine initiatives being evaluated in the federally sponsored Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation.

Launched in 2000, the Year Up program was designed to give economically disadvantaged young adults without postsecondary credentials an opportunity to develop skills and connections to help keep them engaged in the labor force. The program provides 6 months of full-time training in the information technology and financial service sectors followed by a 6-month corporate internship.

For the evaluation, the team randomly assigned the young adults to treatment and control groups. The report looks at both implementation and early impacts—following up 1.5 to 3 years later, depending on the outcome—with plans for future reports to look at program impacts with a cost-benefit analysis for up to 6 years. The report shows the following:

  • Year Up was implemented with high design fidelity in all eight metropolitan locations.
  • Year Up positively impacted the scope and nature of services and training received by its students.
  • Year Up's effects on earnings were consistently positive (average quarterly earnings were $1,895 higher for treatment recipients than the control group in the sixth and seventh quarters of the program), and its impacts on other indicators of early career progress were likewise positive.

Bridging the Opportunity Divide for Low-Income Youth: Implementation and Early Impacts of the Year Up Program is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/resource/bridging-the-opportunity-divide-for-low-income-youth-implementation-and-early-impacts-of-the-year-up-program.

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