Our Programs

Madd Love in Action

UTEC’s unique, comprehensive program model shows madd love to young adults through multiple chances, across multiple years, and access to multiple pathways.

Street Outreach & Violence Intervention

UTEC’s Streetworkers meet young adults “where they are at.Their work serves as the starting point of UTEC’s model. The primary goals of the Streetworker program are to recruit participants for UTEC’s Workforce Program and to assist in reducing violence in the cities of Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill through gang peacemaking.

Streetworkers are in the community every day building relationships with proven-risk young people. This 24/7, on-call outreach takes a variety of forms: visits to gang hotspots and locations that are susceptible to escalated violence, home visits to recently-justice involved young people, hospital visits after a youth is shot or stabbed, funeral presence to prevent retaliation, visits to juvenile detention facilities and county jails, and monitoring of social media.

Why Does Reentry Matter?

Behind the Walls Programming

Our team is always seeking opportunities to connect with young adults exactly where they are in life, even if that place is jail. Streetworkers, Educators, and Mental Health staff have an extensive “in-reach” program where they work with young adults inside correctional facilities. To carry out this activity, UTEC Streetworkers work in collaboration with the Lowell Police Department, The Department of Youth Services, the Middlesex and Essex County Sheriff’s Offices, and the State Department of Corrections.

The team conducts individual visits to build relationships, address mental health, and assist young people with reentry plans, and they facilitate small-group talking circles to address issues of shared interest and to deepen these relationships.

Upon a young person’s release, Streetworkers provide immediate transition support, often picking the young person up from the facility and taking them for a meal, a haircut, shopping for street clothes if needed, and visiting the UTEC program center to encourage enrollment into our workforce programming.

Transitional Coaching

Our team seeks to remove any barriers that may prevent a young person from achieving their goals. Transitional Coaches are the young adults’ primary support person, helping to instill motivation, build self-confidence, and nurture feelings of self-efficacy.

They serve as a connector to key supportive services that can address any gaps or barriers to a youth’s success (e.g., signing up for health insurance, helping them apply for food stamps, meeting with landlords to facilitate housing options, etc.) and help them throughout their participation in UTEC work training programs.

Workforce Development via Social Enterprises

We believe in multiple chances. Our social enterprises (Mattress Recycling, Food Services, and Woodworking) offer young adults a space where they can get paid work experience and progress at their own pace to develop the job and life skills required to achieve independent success.

Our social enterprises achieve a triple bottom line:

  • Facilitate positive youth development, along with paid work experience
  • Generate earned revenue to support our mission
  • Support our communities’ economic development


Most of our 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 test to earn a high-school equivalency credential. Our 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.

UTEC’s education team also partners with each program to integrate social-emotional learning into the curriculum to prepare young adults with the skills needed for meaningful success for themselves and their families. UTEC’s customized SEL competencies strive to support young adults to combat systems of oppression, white supremacy and examine racist structural systems in order to advocate for equitable policies and social justice on the local, state, and national levels. Social-emotional competencies include:

  • Communications & Relationships
  • Growth Mindset
  • Self-Reflection
  • Independence
  • Self-Management

Organizing & Policymaking

Core to UTEC’s mission is the idea that those closest to the problem should lead the efforts for a solution. And given that the population that UTEC serves is often one that does not have their voices heard, this is especially critical. We recognize that the young adults impacted by systemic barriers are the true experts on these issues, and can identify specific challenges and potential solutions based on their lived experience.

We seek to expose young adults to principles of social justice and community organizing, learning skills to allow them to systematically address problems and inequities across the state. By doing this grassroots organizing work, young adults are empowered to make change in their own lives as well as their communities.

Mental Health Services

UTEC works with young adults as more than students or workers, but as whole people. The vast majority of our young adults are diagnosed with mental health needs or trauma histories.  UTEC has a full time staff of Mental Health Clinicians who support young people in developing healthy coping skills and prioritizing their mental well being.  The mental health team also acts as strong advocates for the young adults in the various systems that they often have to navigate – with the goal of helping to guide and empower the young adults to find their voice!

2Gen Center

More than half of UTEC’s young adults are also young parents. UTEC operates an onsite early childhood education center to help our young families break the cycle of poverty. With a child-centered, social-emotional based curriculum, our 2Gen Center is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy that encourages children to lead their own learning.

Experienced, educated teachers supporting independence and self-regulation, children at the 2Gen Center are building on the same core competencies that their parents are working on next door.

Support Our Programs

Purchase Madd Love Market Products

Handmade products from UTEC Woodworking are a great way to give a high quality gift while supporting UTEC young adults.

Connect UTEC To Your Company

Businesses that value social responsibility can find many ways to support UTEC that align with their resources and priority areas.

Hire UTEC Social Enterprises

Choose Mattress Recycling, Catering & Events, and/or Woodworking to spark sustainability through your business.