How skills-building nonprofit Year Up helps close the 'opportunity divide' in Philadelphia - Generocity Philly

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Dec. 15, 2016 10:26 am

How skills-building nonprofit Year Up helps close the ‘opportunity divide’ in Philadelphia

The national organization's local market helped 700 previously unemployed young adults earn a collective $26.5M this year.

Joe Coyle.

(Screenshot via Vimeo)

Around the Corner” is a PhillyCAM show that offers local social impact leaders the opportunity to share what impact their work is having on the Philadelphia area. 


Young people need jobs — specifically, six million young people across the country who are neither working nor in school.

At the same time, corporations across the country are looking for people to fill entry-level jobs. So, skills-building nonprofit Year Up’s logic follows: Connect those young people with those corporations, et voilà! Birds, stone.

Year Up’s mission is “to close the opportunity divide,” said the Greater Philadelphia market’s executive director, Joe Coyle, during his “Around the Corner” interview with Generocity Editor Julie Zeglen.

Year Up offers six months of college courses and professional skills-building classes at Pierce College — for free, plus a stipend — then matches them with corporations (who pay to participate in the program) to fill entry-level positions for six months.

Within four months of graduation, 85 percent are employed or in school full-time, according to Coyle.

“We want to provide an opportunity and create a situation where young adults can succeed, and we know there might be life issues that might prevent them from succeeding,” he said.

Learn more below.

Watch on Vimeo

PhillyCAM is Comcast channel 66/966 HD/967 and Verizon FIOS channel 29/30 in Philadelphia.

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