In FY19, UTEC served 167 young adults in our intensive enrollment program, and over 600 total including Streetworker outreach and engagement. Of enrolled young adults, 89% had a criminal record; 74% were gang involved, 66% lacked a high school credential; and 38% were expecting/parenting at the time of enrollment.
Despite these barriers, our young adults achieved:
- 97% had no new convictions or technical violations;
- 88% had no new arrests or technical violations;
- 76% who attempted a HiSET test passed at least 1 HiSET subject area test
- 79% were employed in a UTEC social enterprise
- 37% of young adults employed in a UTEC social enterprise earned an industry-recognized certification (e.g., OSHA or ServSafe).
Areas of Impact
UTEC is a nationally recognized program for justice-involved young adults. The program starts behind the walls of correctional facilities and transitions into an intensive program in the community post-release.
The nature of our wraparound supports, social enterprises, organizing work, training institute, and innovative partnerships creates a variety of impacts in the lives of the individuals and communities we serve. With over 20 years of experience, UTEC is a catalyst, innovating in the way we serve young adults (ages 17-25) who are criminally and/or gang involved in Massachusetts’ Merrimack Valley.
Violence / Gun Violence Reduction
Without intervention, 52% of young adults will be re-arraigned within one year of release.1 Young adults’ recidicism rate who are enrolled in UTEC intensive programming is consistently below 15%.
UTEC’s long-term commitment extends across multiple years, multiple chances, and a variety of pathways, which uniquely empowers young adults with the skills, resilience, and hope needed to achieve social and economic success.
Streetworkers start building relationships with incarcerated young adults through engaging them in programming that starts while incarcerated and continues upon their release into the community.
Violence / Gun Violence Reductions
UTEC Streetworkers are peacemakers in our communities. They act as first responders when there are acts of violence to ensure victims’ families and friends are supported and to reduce the possibility of retaliation.
UTEC Streetworkers host social outings with rival gang members to ease tension, promote peaceful conflict resolution, and prevent violence.
UTEC facilitates the Gun Violence Prevention Training Center for Excellence with peer organizations across the state working with high risk populations across the state on a public health approach to end gun violence.
Onsite education classes prepares young adults to take themulti-part HiSET test to earn a high-school 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.
Social justice and social emotional learning are integrated into all educational activites.
Workforce Development / Social Enterprises
UTEC young adults are paid stipends while they are enrolled in the post-release intensive program working in one of three social enterprises (Mattress Recycling, Woodworking, & Food Services).
The three social enterprises provide growth potential for young adults while preparing them for and connecting them to external employment.
Workforce training includes certificate programs (OSHA, ServSafe, Forklift), and integrates social emotional learning.
Organizing / Civic Engagement
UTEC facilitates Teens Leading the Way (a state-wide, youth-led
policymaking coalition that focuses on young adult justice.
The organizing work crew provides young adults experience in civic engagement and a pathway to public service.
Young adults plan and host candidate forums for elections from
City Council to U.S. Congress.
2Gen / Early Childhood Education
UTEC’s 2Gen Early Childhood Education Center provides a whole-family approach, integrating parenting supports, to end the cycle of violence and poverty.
2Gen offers free onsite childcare and education to the young children of parents who participate in our integrated program.
Full-time mental health clinicians provide resources for young adults to heal and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
UTEC partners with correctional facilities to increase access to mental health supports to incarcerated young adults.
Transitional Coaches serve as long-term mentors and wraparound service coordinators, committing 3-5 years to 1:1 support for each young adult.
Mentorship focuses on individualized personal, vocational, and
educational goals through a trusted relationship.
Free, healthy meals are provided daily to young adults in UTEC’s intensive program.
Since COVID-19, UTEC Food Services social enterprise has
shifted café, catering, and events operations to provide free, healthy, culturally appropriate meals to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity across the Merrimack Valley.
State-Wide & National Impact
UTEC leads the Gun Violence Prevention Training Center for Excellence to share best practices and facilitate peer learning in streetwork, violence intervention, and emerging adult justice with community-based organizations and municipalities.
MA Dept. of Public Health chose UTEC to lead gun violence prevention training of community-based organizations across the state.