More than 65,000 young adults in Chicago do not have access to live-able wage jobs or post secondary education. At the same time, Chicago firms have an estimated 100,000 job vacancies due to a lack of skilled talent.
Gerald Chertavain is trying to change that with his organization Year Up. It's grown from 22 students in Boston to nearly 8,500 adults, served in eleven sites across the United States.
About 84% of students in Year Up's graduating class are employed or attending college full-time within four months of graduation, earning an average hourly wage of $15.
Year Up Chicago launched in 2010, enrolled their seventh class in September and has served 383 students total.
Chertavain and Year Up graduate Terrence Thompson spoke on how Year Up works to close the opportunity divide and helps fill the gap in middle skills jobs.
These are positions requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree, in fields such as IT. It's not just about technical skills, but professional skills as well.
Year Up has 21 corporate partners in Chicago. Chertavain explained why the organization is a vital resource for the local and national job market.
For more information, please visit Year Up's website.