Our History

Celebrating 25 Years!

UTEC was founded in 1999 by a group of young people in Lowell, MA. Today, we remain committed to the success of young adults in Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill.

UTEC was founded by young people, for young people.

1999 – UTEC was founded in Lowell as the result of an organizing movement driven by young people to create a teen center in response to gang violence.

2006- UTEC purchases its current program location, a beautiful church (formerly St. Paul’s United Methodist Church) built in downtown Lowell in 1839.

2009 – After ten years in operation as a drop-in center and safe space for young people of all ages, UTEC staff engaged in a Theory of Change process that led to a programmatic restructuring to provide intensive, integrated services for the most disconnected youth ages 17-25.

UTEC decided to continue the organization’s gang prevention work and education programming, as well as expand its employment and case management services.

2011 – UTEC began construction to expand and renovate its youth center in downtown Lowell to accommodate increased enrollment and grow our social enterprises. By 2016, UTEC had expanded its social enterprises into three industry areas: Mattress Recycling, Woodworking, Food Services. In 2017, the 2Gen Center @ UTEC opened its doors to provide onsite early education for young children of UTEC’s enrolled young adults.

2017 – UTEC expands its social enterprises into three industries: Mattress Recycling, Woodworking, and Food Services. The 2Gen Center at UTEC opened its doors to provide free, on-site childcare for the young families we serve.

2019 – we celebrated the grand opening of our Haverhill site. In the same year, UTEC was selected as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ provider for a Gun Violence Prevention Training Center for Excellence, which is now the premier training facility in the state for addressing gun violence through both a public health and racial equity lens.

2020 – UTEC’s culinary social enterprise launches Madd Love Meals to provide free food to those most impacted by COVID-19.

2023 – UTEC embarks on a new Theory of Change process to reevaluate community needs and how we address them.

2024 – Happy 25th Anniversary! Today, UTEC remains committed to the success of young adults in Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill.

Our Programs

Leadership Team

Outcomes & Impact