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. UTEC believes that our young adults have unique expertise through experiences that can help our staff and policymakers discover the best solutions to our most difficult social problems.

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.

Policy Platform: UTEC’s policy platform includes legislative and administrative initiatives ranging from youth violence prevention funding to young adult justice reform, ending multi-generational poverty, and enhancing social enterprise workforce development. Download our 2019-2020 Priority Legislation brief.


UTEC’s youth organizing program model
  • SoJust: Social justice workshops named “SoJust” that exposes all of our young adults to various systemic issues ranging from racism and ageism to homophobia and ableism.
  • UTEC Council: Young adults interested in getting more involved in localized initiatives to improve UTEC can also sign up to be on the UTEC Council.
  • Candidate Forums: Since 2003, UTEC young adults have hosted youth-led candidate forums ranging from City Council and School Committee elections. More recently, young adults have hosted policy series for state-level offices, including a Gubernatorial Policy Series and, in 2018, our first ever Congressional Candidates Forum.
  • Youth-Led Policy Campaigns: For young adults interested in fully engaging in statewide policy initiatives, there is Teens Leading The Way (TLTW). TLTW is a statewide youth-led policy coalition through which UTEC partners with other organizations who serve high- and proven-risk young adults throughout Massachusetts. The coalition’s young adults choose and carry out their own legislative and/or administrative policy campaigns. Learn more about Teens Leading The Way.

For more information on UTEC’s organizing and policymaking work, please contact Geoff Foster at gfoster@utecinc.org or 978.856.3947

Running for office and interested in visiting?

UTEC maintains an open invite to any candidate for public office who is certified on the ballot in a community or region we serve (Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill). Visits will include a tour, a presentation of the UTEC model and outcomes, and a dialogue with our program members about issues important to them. UTEC will also periodically hold youth-led candidate forums and campaigns will be notified in a timely manner. We do not do forums at request. For more information or to schedule a visit please contact our Director of Organizing and Policymaking at gfoster@utecinc.org or 978.856.3947.