The nonprofit workforce development program Year Up Charlotte will be holding a virtual graduation ceremony to celebrate its inaugural graduating class at 6 p.m. ET on July 23. At the start of the ceremony, Cathy Bessant, Bank of America’s chief operations and technology officer, will join Year Up’s Founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian for a fireside chat to highlight Bank of America and Year Up’s long-term partnership and to inspire, encourage and motivate Year Up Charlotte graduates in their path forward and as role models for others.
“Year Up is highly effective in attracting smart, motivated young people with diverse backgrounds who will be our leaders of the future,” said Bessant. “Our partnership provides these students an opportunity to learn with us through Year Up internships, and ultimately reach their full potential while pursuing a career in technology.”
Year Up Charlotte opened its doors to Charlotte students in August 2019 with generous support from Bank of America, the John M. Belk Endowment, and the Duke Endowment, and in partnership with Central Piedmont Community College and Leading on Opportunity, a nonprofit focused on improving economic mobility in Charlotte. Bank of America hosted 39 Year Up interns as part of the inaugural class.
“Through our partnership with Bank of America — and through Cathy’s leadership in creating diverse pathways to opportunity and employment for young adults — Year Up has continued to advance a more inclusive economy in Charlotte and across the U.S.,” said Chertavian. “As we work to improve economic mobility and close the racial income gap, employers like Bank of America are helping us ensure that young people of color receive the skills, support and experience necessary to secure meaningful careers in top industries.”
Year Up Charlotte provides talented and motivated young people a semester of technical and professional skills training to prepare them for entry-level technology and customer-facing roles, followed by a semester-long, credit-bearing internship at a top company like Bank of America. In 2018, the federally sponsored Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE) evaluation of Year Up showed a 53% increase in initial earnings for young adults randomly assigned to Year Up, compared with similar young adults in a control group. Nationwide, 90% of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college within four months of completing Year Up, with average starting salaries of $42,000 per year.
Trinity Simpson, one of the students graduating from Year Up Charlotte’s first class, will deliver the keynote speech. Simpson feared that if he stayed in his small town in North Carolina, he would “be working a minimum wage job with no opportunity and become another statistic.” He has just completed his Year Up internship at Bank of America in cybersecurity and has accepted an offer as an operations control analyst at the bank.
Bank of America has partnered with Year Up since 2006 in cities across the United States, providing Year Up internship opportunities for more than 1,400 students in areas such as Global Technology and Operations; Consumer and Small Business; Global Wealth and Investment Management; and Global Strategy and Enterprise Platforms.
Year Up is an award-winning, national 501(c)3 organization that enables motivated young adults to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in just one year by providing the skills, experience, and support they need to reach their full potential. Through a one-year, intensive program, Year Up utilizes a high-expectations, high-support model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, coursework eligible for college credit, and corporate internships at more than 250 top companies. Its holistic approach focuses on students' professional and personal development to enable young adults with a viable path to economic self-sufficiency and meaningful careers. Year Up has served more than 30,000 young adults since its founding in 2000, and expects to serve 5,000 young adults this year. Year Up has presence in 27 U.S. cities, including Arizona, Baltimore, Bay Area, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Greater Atlanta, Greater Boston, Greater Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, the National Capital Region, New York City/Jersey City, Pittsburgh, Puget Sound, Rhode Island, South Florida, Tampa Bay, and Wilmington. Year Up has been voted one of the “Best Non-Profits to Work For” by The NonProfit Times. To learn more, visit http://www.yearup.org, and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).
Mark T. Pipitone, Bank of America
Lauren Peachey, Year Up