Thanks to a $750,000 grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, Year Up Arizona will expand its operational capacity to provide higher education and professional career opportunities to low-income, young adults who are not currently in school or employed. The program offers a free, one-year job training curriculum for motivated individuals, ages 18 to 24, in Maricopa County.
“As one of the fastest growing job markets in the nation, Arizona needs a qualified workforce to fill these positions, and Year Up Arizona is helping local youth prepare for those opportunities,” said American entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons. “With the right education and skills, these students will enjoy the benefits of being part of helping Arizona grow.”
The grant will allow Year Up Arizona to serve additional youth at their campus located at GateWay Community College in Phoenix. Students receive the education needed to develop in-demand technical and professional skills before participating in a six-month internship with a top local company, earning college credits and a weekly stipend throughout the year.
“Although our economy is strong, we believe that an important segment of our society is being left behind,” said businesswoman and philanthropist Renee Parsons. “We’re proud to have supported the initial launch of Year Up programming in Arizona and have been impressed with both the impact of the program and the growth over the last three years.”
In 2015, The Foundation provided a $500,000 grant to help launch the Year Up program in Arizona, and with this most recent donation, it is the organization’s largest financial supporter with a total investment of $1.25 million.
“The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is the largest supporter of our cause, bringing much-needed job training and education to local, underserved youth,” said Year Up Arizona Executive Director Kim Owens. “This funding has a significant impact on our ability to facilitate growth and provide an equal opportunity for these young adults to be successful in their careers and financially independent for the rest of their lives.”
A federally-sponsored evaluation conducted by Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) found that the Year Up program has the largest positive impact on earnings for a workforce program tested in a randomized controlled trial.
Since its inception, Year Up Arizona has provided more than 530 young adults with in-demand skills training, creating a pipeline of diverse, motivated talent for leading businesses in areas such as IT, cyber security, business operations and computer programming. The program now serves more than 200 young adults each year, with 90 percent of graduates employed or attending college full-time within four months of completing the program, earning an average starting salary of $34,000 per year. For more information about Year Up Arizona, visit https://www.yearup.org/.