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A YEAR UP by Gerald Chertavian Kirkus Star


How a Pioneering Program Teaches Young Adults Real Skills for Real Jobs—with Real Success

by Gerald Chertavian

Pub Date: July 23rd, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-670-02377-6
Publisher: Viking

A must-read account of the origins and growth of Year Up, a groundbreaking employment program.

Year Up founder and CEO Chertavian debuts with this memoir about his nationwide program, which is aimed at “closing the ever-widening Opportunity Divide in this country.” As evidence of his success, he proudly cites growth rates over the 10 years from the program's start-up, but he also provides references from the 400 or so major corporations that have opened their doors to program participants as interns, and then employees. Year Up, writes Chertavian, offers a unique mixture of educational, social support and mentoring opportunities—not to mention health coverage. The program works closely with corporations, especially in the finance and technology fields, to develop curricula that meet the companies' emerging needs, and participants also learn the social skills they will need in their new lives. Entry-level jobs for program graduates average twice the minimum wage, or about $30,000 a year. Chertavian builds financial support from the corporations who underwrite the internship program, and he encourages networks within communities to refer promising candidates. He is also beginning to partner with community colleges to “connect young adults with living wage employment.” In addition to highlighting his many successes, Chertavian recounts the difficulties students face in rising above difficult, and often brutal, circumstances to keep moving forward. The individuals profiled here are sure to inspire.

Among recent publications on unemployment and education, this is a standout.