A nationally recognized nonprofit leader and innovator located in Lowell, MA, UTEC’s mission is to ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disconnected young people by trading violence and poverty for social and economic success. We are proud to partner with UTEC on the search for their first Chief Advancement Officer. To learn more about this opportunity, read the Chief Advancement Officer position announcement on our website. To discover more about UTEC’s impressive and varied programs, keep reading…
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UTEC Breaking Barriers
Through streetworker outreach, UTEC builds relationships with proven-risk young adults, conducts gang peacemaking, visits young people in correctional facilities to provide support and build relationships, and recruits individuals to engage in UTEC’s programs upon their return to the community.
90% of UTEC enrolled young people had no new arrests and 99% had no new convictions. Furthermore, 78% of youth who completed programming two years ago are employed or enrolled in post-secondary education and 94% have no new arrests since leaving UTEC.
Listen to UTEC staff discuss the role their street workers play in preventing youth violence on The Gateway Cities Innovation podcast and watch the video below to learn more about the street workers’ impact.
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Workforce Development in Social Enterprises
UTEC social enterprises offer young adults paid working experience to develop the job and life skills required to excel in any workplace. The social enterprises include event venue rentals; food services at kitchen facilities, Café UTEC, UTEC’s Community Kitchen, and event catering; mattress recycling; and woodworking (pictured here). The high-quality products UTEC participants create, such as cutting boards and merchandising displays, are available for purchase at 35 Whole Foods Markets throughout New England. Recently, UTEC was awarded a $100,000 grant from Eastern Bank to support the development of a new woodworking facility. Learn more about the grant and facility in the Lowell Sun.
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Organizing & Policymaking
Young adults are the experts in their own experiences; returning that knowledge to the community is essential for shared progress. Starting with Fresh Inspirations morning circles facilitated by young adults, and UTEC SoJust workshops, young people build their understanding of issues in the local community through social justice and community organizing activities. Statewide, UTEC coordinates a youth-led policy-making coalition that focuses on young adult justice. Watch UTEC’s Youth-Led Candidate Forum below or click to read a Boston Herald article about UTEC’s support of the Empower Act.
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Most of UTEC’s young adults do not have a high school credential when they join UTEC. Onsite education helps young people prepare to take the multi-part HiSET/GED test to earn a high-school equivalency credential. Small classes, tailored instruction, and extra support make a big difference for young people who have often been out of the classroom for several years before coming to UTEC. In 2018, a dual-enrollment program was piloted so that college credits can be earned for work completed with UTEC.
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“[UTEC is] turning gang members into productive citizens…In talking about their success, their enthusiasm to do more is contagious. Our problem is not that no one has figured out what works. Just the opposite.”