Speaking at the event were Torrey Smith, Players Coalition Board Member and Two-time Super Bowl Champion; Year Up President Cyril Turner; Year Up Charlotte Site Director Elise Ford; National Year Up Site Director Roland Selby; Central Piedmont Community College President Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer; and Bank of America Community Engagement Executive Kathryn Black.
The free yearlong program prepares students (ages 18-24) for entry-level technology and customer-facing roles. Participants spend one semester taking technical and professional skills classes taught by Central Piedmont and Year Up staff, and the following semester in a full-time, credit-bearing internship at a corporate partner firm.
The program is provided to students at no cost. Throughout the year, students earn college credits and a weekly stipend, and have access to Central Piedmont’s many services, including the college’s library and tutoring resources, as well as additional Year Up services.
“We are excited because this partnership fits so well with the mission, vision, and historic purpose of Central Piedmont,” said Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont. “Central Piedmont has always been a driver of economic mobility. The college has always worked to build and offer pathways to careers and further education. We are proud to join with Year Up Charlotte and Bank of America as we seek to transform lives and bring new possibilities to individuals and their families.”
The first 53 students began classes in August 2019; the program will grow to serve 120 young adults over the next year.
Nationwide, 90% of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college within four months of completing Year Up, with average starting salaries of $40,000/year.
The program received a grant from the Players Coalition in Jan. 2019 to support the program’s expansion into new cities like Charlotte and help Year Up change perceptions of Opportunity Youth from social liabilities to economic assets.