Arizona Education: Year Up Program

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“Year Up” is a program that is designed to provide in one year young urban adults with experience, skills and financial support that will set them on a path to an education for a professional career. We’ll take a look at how the program is helping one student and then talk to Randy Moore, site director of higher education programs for Year Up Arizona about how they help students and how the program helps business.

TED SIMONS: COMING UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON" -- HEAR ABOUT A PROGRAM THAT GIVES STUDENTS A ONE-YEAR CAREER AND EDUCATION BOOST. AND PHOENIX IS MOVING UP IN A NEW REPORT ON TECH TALENT THOSE STORIES NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON. "

VIDEO: "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS. MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU!

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON. "I'M TED SIMONS. THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION CONTINUES IN CLEVELAND DESPITE THE ABSENCE OF A NUMBER OF GOP LAWMAKERS. INDEED, REPRESENTATIVE TRENT FRANKS IS ONE OF THE FEW FROM ARIZONA'S CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATE TO EVEN ATTEND THE EVENT.

TRENT FRANKS: IT'S A BUSY TIME. A LOT OF OTHER MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DID COME. I DON'T KNOW WHICH ONES WERE HERE WHEN. I JUST CAME IN LAST NIGHT MYSELF, I WAS COMING FROM LONDON AND I WANTED TO COME BECAUSE I BELIEVES THIS PROBLEM THE INNOVATIVE IMPORTANT ELECTION IN MY LIFETIME.

TED SIMONS: THE CONVENTION WRAPS UP TOMORROW NIGHT WITH A SPEECH FROM PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE DONALD TRUMP. "ARIZONA HORIZON" WILL HAVE A SPECIAL LIVE ANALYSIS AT 10:00 TOMORROW NIGHT WITH LOCAL POLITICAL CONSULTANTS IN THE STUDIO AND LIVE FROM CLEVELAND.

TED SIMONS: AND FEDERAL OFFICIAL HAVE ASSURED ARIZONA SENATOR JEFF FLAKE THAT COLORADO RIVER WATER CURRENTLY BEING SAVED BY ARIZONA WILL NOT WIND UP IN CALIFORNIA OR ANYWHERE ELSE. ARIZONA IS BANKING FROM THIS ALLOCATED WATER FROM THE COLORADO RIVER TO GUARD AGAINST FUTURE SHORTAGES, UNDER PREVIOUS AGREEMENTS AND COURT RULINGS, CALIFORNIA COULD LAY CLAIM TO ANY UNUSED WATER BUT TODAY, SENATOR FLAKE SAYS, QUOTE, THAT WILL NOT UNILATERALLY RELEASE SUCH APPORTIONED BUT UNUSED WATER FOR CONSUMPTIVE USE IN ANOTHER LOWER BASIN STATE WITHOUT THE CONSENSUS OF ALL THREE LOWER BASIN STATES AND SAYS, ARIZONA CAN REST ASSURED NO OTHER STATE WILL GET ITS HANDS ON WATER WE HAVE SAVED IN LAKE MEAD. AND ENSURE CONTINUED ACCESS TO OUR SHARE OF THE COLORADO RIVER. WITHOUT ASSURANCES FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, ARIZONA MIGHT HAVE RECONSIDERED HOW MUCH WATER TO BE STORING IN AQUIFERS AND LAKE MEAD.

TED SIMONS: TONIGHT'S EDITION OF ARIZONA EDUCATION LOOKS AT HOW ARIZONA HAS ONE OF THE HIGHEST RATES OF DISCONNECTED YOUTH IN THE COUNTRY OF THESE ARE YOUNG PEOPLE EITHER UNEMPLOYED OR OUT OF SCHOOL AND ESSENTIALLY DOING NOTHING. A PROGRAM AT GATEWAY COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS GIVING THESE KIDS A HAND. PRODUCER ALLYSA ADAMS FOUND OUT THE PROGRAM IS A WIN FOR AREA EMPLOYERS AND YOUNG ADULTS LOOKING FOR HIGH-PAYING CAREERS.

ALLYSA ADAMS: IN THIS COMPUTER PROGRAMMING CLASS AT GATEWAY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, IT'S NOT ENOUGH JUST TO PLUG IN THE CODE. YOU'VE GOT TO LOOK SHARP DOING IT.

ABDIWELI NUR: I'VE NEVER WORE A TIE OR DRESSED LIKE THIS AT SCHOOL -- NEVER EVER DONE THAT.

ALLYSA ADAMS: AS HE DISCOVERED, IF HE WANTED TO BE PART OF YEAR UP ARIZONA, HE HAD TO LOOK THE PART.

ABDIWELI NUR: I HAD TO LEARN THAT I HAD TO WEAR A TIE EVERY DAY AND CLEAN EVERY DAY AND HADTO SHOW UP -- FEEL LIKE I WAS ENGAGED.

ALLYSA ADAMS: YEAR UP IS AN INTENSIVE TRAINING PROGRAM. NO SLACKERS ALLOWED. BECAUSE THIS COLLEGE PROGRAM ISN'T JUST ABOUT CLASS WORK.

KIM OWENS: IT'S DESIGNED TO HELP YOUNG ADULTS WHO MAY NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO LAUNCHINTO THEIR CAREER, WE DO THAT BY LISTENING TO EMPLOYERS AND FINDINGS OUT THE SKILLS THEY NEED AND WE'LL FIND YOUNG ADULTS THAT HAVE THE TALENT BUT LACK THE OPPORTUNITY AND BRING THE TWO TOGETHER THROUGH THE PROGRAM.

ALLYSA ADAMS: STUDENTS SPEND THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR LONG PROGRAM IN THE CLASSROOM, BUT A LOT OF WHAT THEY LEARN ISN'T ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN. SOFT SKILLS LIKE HOW TO TALK TO COWORKERS AND ANSWER EMAILS AND WRITE A RÉSUMÉ ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT.

ABDIWELI NUR: YOU'VE GO TO SHAKE HANDS AND IT'S NOT LIKE A HAND SHAKE; IT'S A HANDSHAKE, EYE-TO-EYE, WHICH IS VERY HARD SOMETIMES. AT FIRST, IT WAS HARD FOR ME TO SHAKE HANDS AND LOOK AT PEOPLE DIRECTLY IN THE EYES.

KIM OWENS: WE HIRE FOR SKILLS BUT FIRED FOR BEHAVIORS, WE ADDRESS SOME OF THOSE BEHAVIORS THAT MIGHT NOT LAND US IN THE PATH WE WANT TO HEAD.

ALLYSA ADAMS: ONCE THEY KNOW HOW TO BUILD A PERSON NETWORK, STUDENTS LEARN HOW TOBUILD AN ACTUAL NETWORK. THEY GET THREE HOURS OF TECHNICAL SKILLS TRAINING EVERY DAY. CYBER-SECURITY, OR JAVA PROGRAMMING.

KIM OWENS: WE LOOK FOR THE HIGH GROWTH JOBS THAT WILL BE SUSTAINABLE AND ACCELERATING PACE HERE IN PHOENIX.

ALLYSA ADAMS: THAT ALSO MEANS HIGH PAY. WITH THE AVERAGE WAGES FIRST YEAR GRADUATES AT $35,000 A YEAR. THE PROMISE OF A JOB IS WHAT MADE LUPE PEREZ FOCUS ON JAVA CODING.

LUPE PEREZ: IF YOU TRY SOMETHING NEW AND CHALLENGING LIKE PROGRAMMING THAT COULD LEAD YOU INTO BUSINESS AND OTHER LIKE TECHNICAL IT AND OTHER THINGS YOU COULD USE.

ALLYSA ADAMS: STUDENTS ARE HEAVILY SCREENED BEFORE BEING ACCEPTED INTO THE PROGRAM AND ADMINISTRATORS AREN'T LOOKING AT ACADEMICS.

KIM OWENS: WE'RE LOOKING FOR STUDENTS THAT WE DESCRIBE AS HAVING GRIT. WHO REALLY WANT TO BE IN THE PROGRAM LIKE THIS. AND CAN APPRECIATE, YOU GET NO ENTITLEMENT.

ALLYSA ADAMS: EVERY STUDENT GUARANTEED A SIX-MONTH PAID INTERNSHIP WITH ONE OF THE LOCAL CORPORATE COMPANIES LIKE AMERICAN EXPRESS, GO DADDY AND BANK OF AMERICA INVEST IN YEARUP.

KIM OWENS: IT'S HIGHER. WE'LL HAVE THAT FEEDBACK AND WE HEAR THAT THEY SHOW UP ON TIME. THEY RAISE THEIR HANDS AND ASK QUESTIONS AND DEEPLY WANT TO UNDERSTAND AND THEY DEEPLY WANT TO SUCCEED.

ABDIWELI NUR: FOR THE PAST SIX MONTHS, I REALLY WORKED HARD.

ALLYSA ADAMS: HE ADMITS HIS FIRST ATTEMPT AT COLLEGE WASN'T SUCCESSFUL.

ABDIWELI NUR: I WAS CONFUSED ABOUT MY TEACHER AND YEAR UP MAKES YOU FOCUS ON THE PATH.

ALLYSA ADAMS: STUDENTS GET LOTS OF HELP FROM MEN FOR AND ONE-ON-ONE GUIDANCE FROM INSTRUCTORS AND FEEDBACK SESSIONS AND PÉREZ SAYS HER BEST MOTIVATORS ARE HER PEERS.

LUPE PEREZ: WE WANT TO SUCCEED AND THEY'RE HOLDING EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE TO PERFORM TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITIES, I GUESS YOU COULD SAY.

ALLYSA ADAMS: JUST ONE YEAR, SURROUNDED BY SUCCESS AND GROUNDED IN HIGH EXPECTATIONS, ONE YEAR AND THESE STUDENTS ARE ONLY MOVING UP.

TED SIMONS: STUDENTS CAN EARN UP TO 30 COLLEGE CREDITS DURING THE PROGRAM AND GET PAID A STIPEND WHILE THEY GO TO SCHOOL. RIGHT NOW, ARIZONA HAS THE FASTEST GROWING YEAR UP PROGRAM IN THE COUNTRY. FOR MORE, WE WELCOME RANDY MOORE SITE DIRECTOR OF HIGHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR YEAR UP. THIS SOUNDS VERY INTERESTING AND WHAT WE SAW IN THE PACKAGE, WHAT IS YEAR UP ARIZONA.

RANDY MOORE: SURE, FIRST I'LL START WITH YEAR UP AND I THINK WHAT IS SO INTERESTING, WE'VE BEEN AROUND FOR 16 YEARS, FOUNDED IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AND IT WAS REALLY FOUNDED ON THE PREMISE OF MENTORSHIP. HE PARTICIPATED IN THE BIG BROTHER PROGRAM AND HAD A LITTLE BROTHER FROM THE LOWER EAST SIDE IN NEW YORK CITY AND HOW HE WAS ABLE TO HELP THE YOUNG MAN, HIS NAME IS DAVID, TO REALLY EXPERIENCE DIFFERENT THINGS HE HAD NEVER EXPERIENCED. AND SO WHEN WE LOOK AT THE PROGRAM AS A WHOLE, IT WAS TAKEN A STEP FURTHER TO HELP THESE YOUNG ADULTS MANY OF WHOM COME FROM LOW-INCOME BACKGROUNDS TO CONNECT THEM NOT TONIGHT ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE BY THE INTERN EXPERIENCES WHICH IN MANY CASES TURN INTO ENTRY-LEVEL EMPLOYMENT.

TED SIMONS: AGAIN, THIS IS FOR MOSTLY COLLEGE AGE. 18 TO 24.

RANDY MOORE: 18 TO 24.

TED SIMONS: AND PREPARING THEM FOR THE MAINSTREAM ECONOMY. WE SAW KIDS, WE DON'T THINK ABOUT IT, GET IN SHIPSHAPE AND ON TIME AND A LOT OF THINGS THAT THEY DON'T DO.

RANDY MOORE: WE IMPORTANT AND YOU HEARD FROM ONE OF THE STUDENTS. EACH STUDENT IS ASSIGNED A COACH AND SO A COACH COULD BE SOMEONE LIKE MYSELF OR KIM, OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WHO KIND OF TALKS TO THEM, NOT ONLY ABOUT THINGS GOING ON IN THE PROGRAM BUT OUTSIDE OF THE PROGRAM AND ABLE TO SHARE WITH THEM SOME OF THEIR EXPERIENCE.

TED SIMONS: SO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT SOFT SKILL, AGAIN, PROBLEM SOLVING AND WORKING WITH TEAMS, HOW DO YOU TEACH THAT?

RANDY MOORE: START WITH THE ADMISSIONS PROCESS. WE WANT TO SEE THAT THE STUDENTS HAVE MOTIVATION AND GRIT AND DETERMINE NATION. WE START THAT BY BASICALLY ASSESSING THEIR SKILLS AND SEEING WHAT THEY WANT DO IN THEIR FUTURE. IF THEY WANT A PROFESSIONAL CAREER. THAT IS FOLLOWED BY A INTENSE ORIENTATION. SO ALL OF OUR STUDENTS GO THROUGH A WEEK LONG ORIENTATION WHERE WE FOCUS ON BUILDING COMMUNITY AND TRUST WITH THE STAFF AND FACULTY THAT WILL BE IN THEIR JOURNEY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AND THROUGH THROUGHOUT THAT PROCESS, WE GAUGE WHAT THEY DO ACADEMICALLY AND WHERE THEY NEED THE EXTRA SUPPORT AND ALSO WHAT SKILLS THEY'RE GOING TO NEED SPECIFICALLY FOR THAT INTERNSHIP.

TED SIMONS: LET'S SAY YOU HAVE A KID GOOD AT PROBLEM SOLVING AND WORKING IN TEAMS BUT TIME MANAGEMENT IS A PROBLEM. DO YOU HAVE SIT DOWN AND SAY, HERE'S HOW I DO IT?HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED DO. STOP DOING THAT -- HOW DOES IT WORK?

RANDY MOORE: WHAT IS INTERESTING, A TRADITIONAL COLLEGE STUDENT HAS THEIR COURSES AND THEY MAY PARTICIPATE IN A EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY OR NOT. WITH YEAR UP, IN ADDITIONS TO TRADITIONAL COURSES WE LAYER IT WITH PROFESSIONAL SKILLS TRAINING AND LEARNING ABOUT BEING A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT -- AND WE HAVE THEM MAP OUT WHERE THEY SPEND THEIR TIME. AND IF I SPEND 80% PLAYING VIDEO GAMES I MAY NEED TO REASSESS MY TIME MANAGEMENT WHEEL AND ANOTHER FUNCTION WE LOOK AT WHAT TYPE OF LEARNER, VISUAL, MULTI-MODAL AND REALLY HELPING THEM TO ACQUIRE THESE SKILLS THEY NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S INTERESTING. WHAT ABOUT THE KID, YOU WANT KIDS WITH GRIT AND DETERMINE NATION, WHAT ABOUT THE KID WHO MAY NOT SHOW MUCH GRIT OR DETERMINE NATION BUT YOU JUST HAVE TO GET IT OUT OF HIM OR HER.

RANDY MOORE: THAT'S A EXCELLENT QUESTION. OUR PROGRAM IS BASED ON HIGH SUPPORT HIGH EXPECTATION. EACH STUDENT WHEN THEY COME INTO THE PROGRAM ARE GIVING A CONTRACT AND THEY HAVE A CERTAIN ACCESS POINTS AND IT'S TIED TO THE STIPEND WE HEARD ABOUT. IN THEY'RE COMING INTO SCHOOL LATE THEY'RE LOSING A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF POINTS WHICH IS -- HITS THEIR WALLET.

TED SIMONS: YEAH.

RANDY MOORE: AND ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT THAT, IT HELPS THEM TO DEVELOP THE SKILLS AND STAMINA AND ENDURANCE THEY NEED IN THE PROFESSIONAL WORLD.

TED SIMONS: THE COACHING AND HANDS-ON SKILLS AND MENTORSHIP, IF YOU WILL, TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE HERE AND WHAT YOU NEED DO TO CONNECT WITH THESE KIDS.

RANDY MOORE: I THINK ONE OF THE IMPORTANT THINGS IS CREATING A TRUSTING AND SAFE SPACE. WE KNOW MANY OF OUR STUDENTS COME FROM BACKGROUNDS WHERE THEY MAY NOT HAVE SEEN A PROFESSIONAL FROM THEIR AREA OR WHO LOOKS LIKE THEM. AND ONE OF THE THINGS WE DO, WE HAVE A GUEST SPEAKER SERIES EVERY FRIDAY WHERE WE HAVE A PROFESSIONAL COME IN AND KIND OF TALK IT THEM A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THEIR BACKGROUND AND WHERE THEY'RE FROM AND WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A PROFESSIONAL AND GIVE THEM THE NUGGETS THEY THEY'D TO BE SUCCESSFUL.

TED SIMONS: I WOULD IMAGINE FOR SOLVE SOME; IT'S A WAKE-UP CALL.

RANDY MOORE: IT'S A REAL WAKE-UP CALL AND IT'S GREAT TO HEAR THEM IN THE HALLWAY, HEY, I MET SO AND SO FROM AMERICAN EXPRESS OR ARIZONA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION AND I THINK I CAN DO IT.

TED SIMONS: THAT'S GOT TO BE VERY ENCOURAGING. AS FAR AS RELATIONSHIPS WITH BUSINESS PARTNERS, I GUESS THE BUSINESSES, THEY GET A BIT OF A PIPELINE FOR EXTRA LEVEL TALENT, DON'T THEY?

RANDY MOORE: YES. IT'S GREAT, WE KNOW THAT MANY OF THEM, YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE THESE INTERNSHIPS AND SOLVE SOME MAY RUN PARALLEL WITH OTHER INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS BUT THE COOL THING ABOUT THE YEAR UP PROGRAM, WE ALWAYS HEAR ABOUT THE SOFT SKILLS. THIS INTERN STANDS OUT BECAUSE THEY HAVE THIS EXTRA -- THESE SKILLS AND ALSO HAVE THE SUPPORT FROM YEAR UP. WE DON'T JUST DROP THEM OFF BUT COACH THEM THROUGHOUT THE TIME THEY'RE AT THE INTERNSHIP.

TED SIMONS: I READ THAT THE CURRICULUM COULD BE TAILORED TO THE BUSINESS PARTNERS. IF TED'S HAMBURGER WANTS CERTAIN THINGS DO I COME TO AND SAY I NEED A KID WHO CAN DO X, Y, AND Z?

RANDY MOORE: THAT SPEAKS TO THE PARTNERSHIP. BEING ABLE TO WORK WITH THE FACULTY AND EXPLAIN TO THEM AT GATEWAY WHAT THE PARTNER IS LOOKING FOR AND LOOKING AT THE CURRICULUM AND SEEING HOW WE CAN INFUSE THE SKILLS INTO THE PREEXISTING CURRICULUM.

TED SIMONS: ARE WE TALKING ABOUT MIDDLE SKILLED WORKER?

RANDY MOORE: IT'S BASICALLY A JOB-TO-THAT REQUIRES SKILLS THAT ARE HIGHER THAN A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA OR GED LEVEL BUT LESS THAN A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE. THAT'S WHY THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE PARTNERSHIPS IS AWESOME, IT ALIGNS WITH THE PROGRAM OF STUDY.

TED SIMONS: HOW MANY KIDS ARE YOU WORKING WITH SO FAR?

RANDY MOORE: 175 SO FAR THAT HAVE GONE THROUGH THE PROGRAM IN ARIZONA AND 13,000 NATIONALLY.

TED SIMONS: DO THEY COME BACK AND SPEAK TO THE CURRENT STUDENTS AND SAY, LOOK, THIS IS WHAT I WENT THROUGH AND HERE'S WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO?

RANDY MOORE: YES, THEY DO. WE HAVE A ROBUST ALUMNI PROGRAM. THEY BECOME A MEMBER AND THEY BELONG TO A NATIONAL NETWORK, MANY OF WHOM WORKING FOR CORPORATIONS AND THEY'VE GONE THROUGH AND EARNED BACHELOR'S AND MASTER'S DEGREES.

TED SIMONS: FOR YOU PERSONALLY, WHAT GOT YOU INTO THIS? IT HAS TO BE A REWARDING EXERCISE.

RANDY MOORE: I COME FROM NEW YORK CITY. LIVED IN THE BRONX AND QUEENS, NEW YORK, AND WENT THROUGH A EXPERIENCE WHERE I DIDN'T HAVE PLANE PROFESSIONALS AROUND ME AND WHEN I SAW YEAR UP AND INTRODUCED TO IT THROUGH A VOLUNTEER, IT WAS SOMETHING THAT I THINK OF REALLY HIT CLOSE TO HOME FOR ME AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE 12 MILLION JOBS OUT THERE AND THE 6 MILLION YOUNG ADULTS WHO NEED THIS OPPORTUNITY, IT REALLY SPOKE TO ME ON A PERSONAL LEVEL AS WELL.

TED SIMONS: IF THIS IS SPEAKING TO SOMEONE WHO OWNS A BUSINESS AND WANT TO GET INVOLVED.

RANDY MOORE: OUR WEBSITE IS YEARUP.ORG AND YOU GO TO OUR ARIZONA SITE AND THERE ARE DIFFERENT WAYS TO BE INVOLVED. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FUND A INTERN, WE WOULD LOVE TO START THAT CONVERSATION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SERVE AS A GUEST SPEAKER, A MENTOR TO OUR STUDENTS, THAT'S ANOTHER AWESOME PART OF OUR PROGRAM. EACH OF OUR STUDENTS HAS A PROFESSIONAL MENTOR TO COACH THEM. WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU, AND IF YOU HAVE IDEAS HOW TO IMPROVE OUR PROGRAM QUALITY AND HOW WE CAN GIVE BACK, WE'D BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HEAR FROM YOU.

TED SIMONS: CONGRATULATIONS, IT SOUNDS LIKE A REWARDING EXPERIENCE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

RANDY MOORE: I APPRECIATE YOU INVITING ME. THANK YOU.

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Randy Moore: Site Director of Higher Education Programs for Year Up Arizona

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