As a nationally recognized leader and innovator, a frontline catalyst for change with deep experience in producing positive outcomes, UTEC, Inc. (UTEC) is igniting and nurturing the ambition of our most disconnected young people by trading violence and poverty for social and economic success. Assuming goodness behind everyone’s actions and showing madd love (unconditional acceptance) towards every person, UTEC inspires social justice and sustainability in communities through its mission and programs.
Originally founded twenty years ago in Lowell, Massachusetts by teens in response to gang violence in their city, UTEC intentionally engages young adults, ages 17-25, who are returning to our communities from incarceration or have other histories of serious criminal and/or gang involvement. UTEC is dedicated to helping these young people overcome the very real challenges of poverty, gang involvement, unemployment, and cultural barriers that are pervasive in its communities. When young adults succeed, communities see the greatest positive impact.
Through programs and social enterprises that focus on transition from incarceration or gang involvement, education, workforce development, and civic engagement, UTEC helps otherwise overlooked young people in the communities of Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill, MA achieve their own personal goals. UTEC’s proven model begins with intensive street outreach and correctional facility in-reach to proven-risk young adults. UTEC engages them through intensive supports, job training in multiple social enterprises, and on-site high school credential classes. Social justice and civic engagement are embedded throughout. In 2017, UTEC opened an onsite early childhood education center and introduced two-generation programming for the young parents who UTEC already serves. UTEC’s primary outcome areas are reduced recidivism, increased employability, and increased educational attainment. The long-term recidivism rate for UTEC-enrolled young adults averages less than 15%, compared with a statewide average of about 50%.
UTEC is nationally regarded by practitioners and funders as one of the most innovative, ambitious, and outcomes-focused youth development agencies. They value youth and stakeholder input as a key component of organizational success. Through their expertise, coupled with organizing and policymaking efforts, UTEC informs local and national policies that support proven-risk young people. Organizations across the country seek to learn from them how to engage hard-to-reach youth and to produce positive outcomes through transformative services. They are a learning and teaching agency. And ultimately, the young people they serve return to UTEC as the agency’s next generation of youth workers.
UTEC has risen to the challenges of COVID-19 across fundraising, programs, and internal operations.
At the start of COVID-19, UTEC quickly launched the UTEC Family Fund in order to intensify and transition program services, as well as make up for lost earned income from UTEC’s social enterprises. Phase 1 of the UTEC Family Fund raised $500,000 by June 30th. As UTEC gradually begins resuming some onsite programming, Phase 2 hopes to raise another $500,000.
Despite suspended onsite programming, UTEC has continued to pay young adults’ stipends as well as providing them with two meals a day, as well as other necessary supplies. Education and workforce development training has continued, with UTEC providing all young adults with Chromebooks to continue their studies remotely. Other services, such as Transitional Coaching Support, Mental Health Services, and 2Gen Childcare successfully transitioned to online and virtual offerings.
Targeted gang outreach and crisis intervention has still continued. Streetworkers are using the opportunity to provide material goods during a time of need as an avenue to connecting with gang members in the communities served. Streetworkers are also still providing critical gang intervention services for any conflicts on the streets. Adjusting to the necessary challenge of jails not allowing visitors at this time, UTEC is working to enable and maintain regular contact with incarcerated young adults and their families via calls and letters, while also supporting families of incarcerated YAs with material deliveries.
As Massachusetts begins to re-open, UTEC is committed to safely bringing young adults back into onsite programming to keep working towards their goals. UTEC has pivoted its catering service, Madd Love Meals, to deliver 1,000+ free, nutritious meals a week to families and seniors facing food insecurity during COVID-19 as well as front-line workers.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In the midst of a long-overdue national outcry about systemic racism in our country, every company, organization, and individual has rightfully been compelled to examine their prior actions and practices in an effort to determine how they can best root out racism.
UTEC is no different. Action steps being taken by UTEC to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts currently include hiring a third-party consultant to conduct an equity audit, forming an internal Diversity Committee, hiring a Director of Talent to support work on DEI, and anti-racism training for all staff.
Young adults are the highest-risk, highest-cost segment of the justice system. In Massachusetts, more than half of young adults returning from jail will be re-arraigned within a year.
In 2018, 148 young adults ages 17-25 participated in UTEC’s intensive programming. Of those:
600+ additional young adults were served through Streetworker engagement, enrichment activities, and other events.
Of young adults enrolled in FY18:
Programs and Services
Organizing and Policy Making
UTEC provides space for young adults to engage in organizing and policymaking initiatives through civic engagement programming. Today, UTEC maintains engagement in local, state, and federal government initiatives. In 2018, two youth-led policy efforts were signed into Massachusetts law. UTEC’s and Teens Leading the Way‘s campaign for juvenile expungement became law in April 2018. And more than 8 years of TLTW advocacy for a civics education bill was also signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in November 2018.
Currently, UTEC youth are organizing to pass an amendment to the juvenile expungement law the broadens access.
UTEC’s Chief Executive Officer, Gregg Croteau, MSW, has continuously led UTEC since becoming its first executive twenty years ago. Under his tenure, UTEC has prospered by developing its vision, theory and model, continually investing in the excellence of its programs and their impact and by building sustainable resources to fund excellence.
Mr. Croteau champions the mission value of expanding organizational resources and enjoys a personal track record of motivating and engaging with UTEC’s most valued philanthropic and government supporters. Additionally, UTEC’s Chair of the Board of Directors, Scott Mellen, a key organizational leader, has been guiding the board on initiatives of significance to UTEC’s future philanthropy, including establishing an emerging new board fundraising role, engaging the CEO as a full board member, and preparing the board to guide UTEC as it grows and changes.
Over the past several years the Board of Directors has assumed new expectations for its members which include treating UTEC as one of their top philanthropic priorities with expected levels of giving and getting others to give. Board leadership welcomes partnering with the new Chief Advancement Officer (CAO) to expand philanthropic support.
In the past eight years support and revenues have quadrupled, from about $2M in FY’11 to an estimated $8+M in FY’20. Government grants and contracts and foundation grants contribute $4+M per year from state, federal and foundation sources. UTEC has an impressive history of receiving major grants from large foundations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. Individual and corporate giving, including major gifts and events, contribute from $1M to $2M per year. Both individual and foundation giving have grown over the past few years, with recent gifts including a three-year pledge of $1.5M and a $900,000 family foundation gift.
UTEC’s financial model includes an important role for earned revenues from its social enterprise programs and from its properties. UTEC owns and manages properties which provide space for UTEC programs, producing rental revenue and providing space for income generating events. UTEC’s properties and social enterprise programs also create new relationships and opportunities which might also potentially support future expansions of UTEC’s philanthropic base.
The individual giving program provides an excellent opportunity for the new Chief Advancement Officer’s impact. Expansion of the base, systems development and program building provide an arena for innovation and excellence.
Corporate engagement is an area of opportunity and growth for philanthropy since it rests on UTEC’s entrepreneurial strength and its engagement of business leaders. Among its recent business endeavors, UTEC has launched its own brand for its social enterprise products, Madd Love Market.
UTEC is committed to investing in advancement. In addition to the CAO position, a Director of Development is also a planned hire to oversee the systems and operations of the advancement office.
UTEC’s five-year strategic plan provides a clear vision for scaling UTEC’s operations and expanding their reach nationally. It is supported by four strategic priorities: Expand Social Enterprise; Innovate In Young Adult Justice; Reach Two Generations at Once and launch the Center for Youthwork Excellence. Raising money in support of its vision will be a core responsibility for the CAO.
Serving as UTEC’s first CAO and reporting directly to the CEO, the CAO will work closely with the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council (some of whose members have made six and seven figure commitments).
The CAO is charged with expanding UTEC’s philanthropic support. The CAO will have the resources in place to support this growth in dollars raised and engagement of supporters. UTEC has experienced rapid growth in recent years, and as such, is prime for innovations in best practices for fundraising, to strategically expand advancement’s capacity, and position UTEC for its next stage of development – all while increasing dollars raised currently and over time.
There are seven positions reporting into advancement: a Director of Grants, a Grant Writer, a Major Gifts Officer, a Manager of Corporate Relations and Communications, a , a Development Associate, a part-time Communications Coordinator, and, importantly, a new position, a DOD to be hired by the CAO.
The CAO is expected to engage high level donors in their portfolio and be responsible for direct solicitations that contribute to bold long-term advancement goals while also supporting senior leadership team in fundraising activities. The CAO and their development team will execute cultivation and fundraising events and build the capacity of UTEC’s Board of Directors to identify and invite new donors. They will provide direction for the overall vision of the Development program, as well as strategic systems and operations for all aspects of the department, in partnership with the DOD. The CAO will also work closely with the Manager of Corporate Relations and Communications to enhance donor communications. The new hire will also work closely with the Chief Financial Officer to best integrate systems between development and finance, as well as serving as a thought partner to the CEO.
UTEC aims to hire a qualified candidate who is deeply committed to advancing racial equity in their overall work and has the cultural competency to help UTEC in this endeavor. Above all else, the Chief Advancement Officer will act as a lead ambassador for UTEC’s culture, demonstrating personal commitment to the organization’s values and imparting them to others, both within and outside the organization with high energy, positivity and intentionality.
Leadership and Management
Prospect and Portfolio Management
All qualified candidates will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Please email your cover letter and resume in confidence to:
Chief Executive Officer
Development Guild DDI