Year-Up Charlotte connects graduates to high-quality jobs despite hardships of pandemic

Updated: Aug. 7, 2020 at 2:32 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A workforce development program in Charlotte that provides training and internships to young adults is persevering through the hardships of the job market during the coronavirus pandemic.

Year-Up Charlotte is a workforce development program that provides adults between 18 and 26-years-old with job training and internships that often lead to full-time positions with corporate partners like Bank of America.

Year-Up Charlotte Recruiter Kwain Bryant says students who are dually enrolled at Central Piedmont Community College can apply for the program. They can choose one of three fields to specialize in.

“Our young adults are learning those in-demand technical skills in one of three career pathways: cybersecurity, application development or project management. And they’re also learning those professional skills,” Bryant said.

The first six months are spent in the classroom. The second six months are spent at an internship with one of Year-Up’s corporate sponsors.

For 20-year-old Trinity Simpson, he focused on Cyber Security and took an internship with Bank of America. Simpson recently graduated from the program and took a full-time position with Bank of America.

“I’m just in awe of how I could turn my life into a completely different direction in just 365 days,” Simpson said. “(That’s) something that I’m very, very proud of is just to be able to tell my family that I’m well on my way of making it and affording something that can benefit the whole family.”

Year-Up Charlotte was able to continue educating and training students virtually through the coronavirus pandemic. Nationally, about 90 percent of its graduates accepted full-time positions or continued their education after graduation.

With more people struggling to find work during the pandemic, Year-Up Charlotte expanding its criterion.

“What we did as a program and an organization, we actually increased our age group. We used to be `18-24, but we bumped our age group to 18-26 because we knew the communities were really impacted by this,” Bryant said.

For more information on Year-Up Charlotte and how to enroll, click here:

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