DC’s Year Up Relocates to Bring its Year-Long IT Training Program to More Young Adults

April 2, 2014

11:00 am

When your organization is as successful as Year Up, growth is inevitable. Since 2006, Year Up National Capital Region (NCR) has tackled what it calls “our American crisis,” expanding its student roster of low-income technology students from 20 in its first year to 240 per year today.

Growth is what prompted Year Up NCR to move to a new location so it can continue tackling this crisis head-on. The United States is home to 6.7 million “disconnected” young adults, or 18- to 24-year-olds who have not progressed beyond a high school diploma and are neither employed nor enrolled in postsecondary education. More than 70 percent of low-income, minority youth in the US leave high school and/or GED programs without a path toward either a post-secondary degree or a livable wage job. Year Up addresses this problem by providing marketable jobs skills, stipends, internships and college credits so students can excel in the region’s lucrative IT industry.

And, now it will be doing so from a larger, more accessible location.

“As an organization dedicated to closing the Opportunity Divide, it was important that we be accessible to our students, in a space that we could make our own,” said Ronda Thompson, Executive Director of Year Up NCR in a press release.

Year Up’s new DC-adjacent facility is located beside the Crystal City metro station and occupies 13,689 square feet. Within these walls, Year Up will continue to pursue its mission to provide low-income young adults with the skills, experience, and support to help them reach their professional potential.

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Students learning new skills at Year Up

Nationally, Year Up has served more than 8,500 students in its 11 locations. The relocation to Crystal City will allow it to serve even more DC-area students, where the unemployment rate is 8.1 percent. Year Up NCR will celebrate the move with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, April 16, from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

“This ceremony will allow businesses and professionals throughout the National Capital Region area to witness our program from the students’ perspective,” said Harris. “This will also, ideally, increase our amount of champions who desire to donate their time, treasure and/or talent to assist deserving young adults with the opportunity to attain successful careers in IT.”

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Jill Biden meets Year Up students

Image credit: Year Up’s Facebook Page

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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