September 9, 2021
Congratulations to Alliance member Year Up Professional Resources, PBC (YUPRO), honored for the second year in a row with an American Staffing Association Elevate Award! These awards celebrate innovative and effective work-based learning programs to train, upskill, and reskill temporary and contract employees.
YUPRO, which places young adults in IT, financial services, cybersecurity, business operations and customer service jobs, was recognized for its OnRamps@Work Apprenticeship Program, designed to bridge skill development and full-time employment for traditionally underrepresented young adults.
The 26-week paid apprenticeship provides professional development, including soft and hard skills training, as well as community-building and access to free and reduced cost social assistance programs. Apprentices earn an hourly wage of $18.50 or higher, receive one-on-one support from a career coach, and participate in a weekly professional development series on career advancement topics such as “Building a Relationship with Your Manager.”
The program launched in January with 122 participants, 88 percent of whom had lost jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The next cohort began in July, enrolling more than 250 apprentices and including 34 employer partners.
YUPRO CEO Michelle Sims explains, “We created OnRamps@Work to meet the challenges of the moment. At the height of the pandemic, YUPRO faced our social mission head-on with our client partners to design a program that would allow for our primarily BIPOC talent to secure and sustain career-boosting employment at a time of major layoffs, hiring freezes, and high rates of unemployment that disproportionately impacted Black and Latino Americans."
She adds, "The program allows our talent to grow and develop on the job with multiple layers of support to ensure their success, while providing our employer partners with the opportunity to benefit from skills-based hiring that enables more inclusive talent practices.”
Looking ahead to 2022, YUPRO is building out certification-specific apprenticeship programs with Grow with Google and IBM SkillsBuild certifications, to offer further value to employer partners and provide solid career progression for its talent community.