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Our Programs

Streetworker Outreach

Streetworkers build relationships with proven-risk young adults, conduct gang peacemaking, visit young people in correctional facilities to provide supports and build relationships, and recruit individuals to engage in UTEC’s programs upon their return to the community. Streetworkers also facilitate gang peacemaking and respond to incidents of community violence. With more than 25 active gang sets in our communities, crisis response and conflict resolution are essential to breaking barriers for young people.

Transitional Coaching

2016-04-06-utec-327Transitional Coaches are both mentors and wraparound service coordinators who meet 1:1 to help young adults overcome barriers, and connect them with essential supports, including our onsite mental health and substance abuse counseling. A young person’s Transitional Coach stays with them throughout their UTEC enrollment, which averages 18-24 months as young people build on their own Core Competencies in four key areas: Universal, Personal, Vocational, and Educational.

Workforce Development in Social Enterprises

2016-04-06-utec-299Our social enterprises (Mattress Recycling, Food Services, and Woodworking) offer young adults paid work experience to develop the job and life skills required to excel in any workplace. Our social enterprises achieve a triple bottom line:
1. facilitate positive youth development, along with paid work experience;
2. generate earned revenue to support our mission; and
3. support our communities’ economic development.

Gun Violence Prevention Training Center for Excellence

Our Gun Violence Prevention Training Center for Excellence program is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The program currently assists 10 Massachusetts community organizations that address gun violence in high-risk gun violence neighborhoods within MA through proper training and strategy development. Training focuses on the key components of violence prevention such as street outreach, comprehensive social needs assessments and referrals, mentoring, behavioral health services, workforce development, and community engagement and mobilization. The Center for Excellence continues to grow and aspires to include more organizations and make further impact statewide and nationally.


2016-04-06-utec-119Most 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/GED test to earn a high-school equivalency credential. Our small classes, tailored instruction, and extra support make a big difference for young people who often been out of the classroom for several years before coming to UTEC. In 2018, we piloted a dual-enrollment program so that young people can earn college credits for work completed with us.

Social Justice and Civic Engagement

Young adults are the experts in their own experiences, and returning that knowledge to the community is essential for our shared progress. Starting with Fresh Inspirations morning circles facilitated by young adults, and our SoJust workshops, young people build their understanding of issues in the local community through social justice and community organizing activities. Statewide, UTEC coordinates a youth-led policymaking coalition that focuses on young adult justice. Learn more about our overall policy work.

2Gen Center @ UTEC

More than a third of UTEC’s young adults are also young parents. In 2017, we opened an onsite, UTEC-operated 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. With 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.

Enrichment & Special Events

UTEC is a family, and families need to play and celebrate together, too. Enrolled young adults can spend extra time with us in the drop-in center, through cultural arts programs ranging from breakdancing to visual arts to sports and fitness training. We have a sound recording studio, gym space, and hold holiday parties, dances, and family events for young people throughout the year.