LinkedIn’s Year Up Students: Closing the Skills Gap

October 4, 2013

For the past two years, LinkedIn has been partnering with Year Up, an organization that 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. In fact, we were the first Silicon Valley-based company to take part in the Year Up program, starting with our first class of students back in 2011. Since then, we’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Year Up, working together to connect talent with opportunity at a massive scale.

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Year Up places young adults in a comprehensive one-year education and internship program that offers a unique combination of job skills, experience, and mentorship support. Since 2011, I’ve had the privilege of managing LinkedIn’s Year Up program. During this time, I’ve personally worked with numerous bright young minds who have interned at LinkedIn through this program and achieved great things for themselves, and also for LinkedIn.

Jay Banfield, founding executive director of Year Up, wrote an Influencer post this past July titled, Do We Have the Grit to Close the Skills Gap? In it, Banfield writes, “Employers are likely to find many more long-term, high-potential employees – often for less money than they currently spend on recruiting – if we learned to ask the right questions and look in the right places.”

Year Up has proven to be a great resource for us to source talent in the IT department, and the success we’ve seen with the Year Up program has been off the charts. To date, we have extended full-time offers to and hired five Year Up students!

With that, I’d like to take a moment to give a welcome and congratulations to our recent Year Up hires:

I’d also like to recognize our two former students, and also full-time LinkedIn employees:

And finally, our current class of Year Up students who I’m excited to work with and watch grow professionally:

The talent and determination of our Year Up students combined with an instructional approach - by which I am referring to placing students in multiple roles at LinkedIn throughout their internship - has produced tremendous outcomes that I, personally, couldn’t be more proud of.

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