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Evaluating Year Up’s Programs for Young Adults


Highlights

  • Millions of young adults face limited economic opportunities.
  • Abt is evaluating Year Up’s original and next-generation programs.
  • Year Up’s original program generated large, sustained increases in earnings.
The Challenge

Prospects for young adults without postsecondary credentials have steadily worsened in recent decades. With few chances at well-paying jobs, millions give up on school and withdraw from the labor force. Helping low-skilled young adults access training that can increase earnings and meet employers’ pressing workforce needs is a critical goal for policymakers, training providers, and employers.

The Approach

Abt is evaluating successive generations of Year Up—a national program for young adults aged 18-24 with high school credentials. The full-time program provides six months of technical training and supports followed by six-month internships with major firms. For the Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) study, Abt is evaluating Year Up’s original program via a large randomized controlled trial (RCT). In related projects, Abt is studying Year Up’s newer, college based model—the Professional Training Corps (PTC).

The Results

A series of reports from PACE provides longer term impact and cost-benefit findings for Year Up’s original program. The newest findings show that the program produced large and lasting increases in average annual earnings gains that reached nearly $8,000 (33 percent) by the fifth follow-up year. The program generated $1.66 in net benefits for every dollar spent.

Abt also is assessing Year Up’s college-based PTC program. Early phases of this work focused on developing evidence-based improvements. For example, an embedded RCT found that enhanced academic coaching increased program retention by 10 percentage points.

Related:

Year Up’s original program

Year Up’s Professional Training Corps and related issues