Industry: Nonprofit Partnership: Year Up: Boston Business Need: Diversity, Retention & Productivity

As the Boston-based Housing Partnership Network (HPN) has grown over the past several years, the need for increased capacity on the Information Systems (IS) team has emerged. In 2014, the organization launched an innovative partnership with Year Up, to gain access to a previously untapped source of skilled, driven, and diverse young people to meet its talent needs.

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"In looking to fill our Information Systems positions, our traditional hiring process proved to be costly and time intensive. For a fraction of that cost, our relationship with Year Up has given us access to a pool of driven candidates with the necessary technical skills. Forward-thinking organizations should aim to partner with organizations like Year Up for organizations to meet their demand for IS expertise and prepare for the workforce of the future, which is younger, more diverse, and trained for success outside of the traditional educational path."
Sherry Burton, Senior Associate

Proud Partner With

Year Up Boston seeks to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Year Up Boston achieves this mission through a one-year, intensive training program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credits, and corporate internships. Year Up Boston opened its doors in January of 2001 to a class of 22 students. Now serving more than 200 students each year at its site in downtown Boston, Year Up Boston continues to demonstrate the successful impact the program has on the lives of urban young adults. Year Up Boston currently has more than 40 corporate internship partners, 100 community partners, and 300 volunteers.

THE CHALLENGE

During a recent period of organizational growth, HPN had a need for new talent on its Information Systems team. HR leaders were motivated to find a solution that would help HPN build a workforce that reflects the communities they serve.

THE SOLUTION

HPN’s partnership with Year Up gave it access to a pool of technically trained, professional, and diverse program graduates, who were interviewed for an entry-level role on the IS team. From this pool of candidates, IS team leaders selected a young man for a part-time role, who has since become a full-time, permanent member of the team.

THE OUTCOME

  • Gained access to a pipeline of skilled and vetted talent
  • Built a more robust Information Systems team
  • Reinforced diversity strategy

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