Findings from the Year Up Implementation and Early Impacts Report

Publication Date: June 13, 2019
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  • Published: 2019


Research Questions

  1. Was the Year Up program model implemented as designed across the program’s eight offices?
  2. How did employment, training, and related service experiences differ between young adults randomly selected to participate in Year Up (the treatment group) and those who could not access the program (the control group)?
  3. What were the effects of access to Year Up on earnings, career-track employment, postsecondary education, and related outcomes? How did these effects vary across subgroups and across the eight local offices?

This brief summarizes findings of the implementation and early impacts study of Year Up, a national sectoral training program for young adults aged 18-24. It is among nine programs Abt Associates is evaluating in Pathways for Advancing Careers and Education (PACE)—a study sponsored by the Administration for Children and Families. Using a rigorous research design, the study found that young adults with access to Year Up had higher average quarterly earnings in the sixth and seventh quarters after random assignment.


Year Up aims to help low-income, low-skilled adults access and complete training leading to employment in high-demand, well-paying occupations. Operated by an organization of the same name, Year Up provides young adults with six months of full-time training in the IT and financial service sectors followed by six-month internships at major firms. The full-time program provides extensive supports—including weekly stipends—and puts a heavy emphasis on the development of professional and technical skills.

Key Findings and Highlights

  • Year Up implemented its program with high fidelity to its design.
  • Year Up had positive effects on the scope and nature of services received by its students.
  • Effects on earnings were consistently large and positive.


The Year Up evaluation included an implementation study that examines the design and operation of the program and enrolled students’ participation patterns, and an impact study that uses an experimental design to measure differences in educational and employment outcomes. Prior to estimating Year Up impacts, the research team published an analysis plan specifying key hypotheses and outcome measures. From 2013 to 2014, the evaluation randomly assigned a total of 2,544 young adults to treatment (1,669) and control (875) groups in 2013-2014. Data sources included the federal National Directory of New Hires, college enrollment records from the National Student Clearinghouse, and the 18‑month follow-up survey. The evaluation also included site visits to document program implementation and operations.

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