UTEC, Inc.

aka UTEC   |   Lowell, MA   |  www.utecinc.org

Mission

UTEC's mission is to ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disconnected young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success.

Ruling year info

2003

Principal Officer

Mr. Gregg Croteau

Main address

15 Warren Street, No. 3

Lowell, MA 01852 USA

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EIN

38-3669532

NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Employment Training (J22)

Secondary/High School (B25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Streetworker Outreach & Peacemaking

UTEC's nationally recognized model begins with intensive street outreach and gang peacemaking, reaching out to the most disconnected youth by meeting them "where they're at" and facilitating a peace process between rival gang leaders. UTEC Street Workers are typically members of the community who intervene to prevent conflict and retaliation, and in some programs, also connect individuals with needed services, such as housing and job training. UTEC's Streetworker program has five important factors that contribute to its success and sustainability: * Involvement of youth in hiring street outreach workers * Investment in quality training for the street outreach workers * Providing street outreach workers with a comprehensive benefits package and team retreats to prevent staff turnover and burnout * Establishment of community partnerships * Incorporation of peacemaking into outreach

Population(s) Served

UTEC's target youth participate in work crews that blend transitional employment soft skills development with industry skills in culinary arts, Cafe UTEC, mattress recycling, and woodworking. With each crew also structured as its own social enterprise, youth work up to 20 hours/week for minimum wage, 4 days/ week for 5 hours each. Concurrently, youth enroll in UTEC's high school equivalency degree classes and participate in weekly life-skills and professional development workshops. With opportunity to move to higher levels in their work crew, youth are expected to work in this program for a minimum of 9-18 months.

Population(s) Served

UTEC offers an alternative education program tailored for our proven-risk youth.HiSET (formerly GED) classes are offered 4 days/week (4 hours daily) and a minimum of 15 hours are required of all youth who are enrolled in the Workforce Development and Social Enterprises Program. The goal is for all youth to pass state-administered tests and receive high school equivalency degrees.

Population(s) Served

After a Streetworker begins a consistent relationship with a proven-risk young person, he/she will refer them to a transitional coach (TC), UTEC's name for case managers. Youth develop a one-to-one relationship (including a service plan) with a TC and work on major life challenges/obstacles (i.e. housing, finances, family relations, physical/emotional health, and legal matters). Youth then enter one of our Workforce Development Social Enterprises. TCs have a caseload of 15 youth; average of 2 contacts/week for each youth for at least 1.5 hours, providing follow up with youth for two years after their program graduation to track progress toward their long-term outcomes.

Population(s) Served

Youth who participate in the Workforce Development and Social Enterprise program are exposed to the principles of civic engagement and youth organizing and learn skills that will allow them to become active members of their communities. UTEC youth are engaged in local-level community projects and can participate in Teens Leading the Way. UTEC is the lead agency for Teens Leading the Way, a statewide, youth-led coalition that advocates around public-policy issues affecting young people.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Community Health Leader Award 2006

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Neighborhood Builder Award 2008

Bank of America

Social Innovator Award for Creating Opportunities for Disadvantaged Youth 2008

Social Innovation Forum

Innovation Award for Nonprofits 2011

Small Business Association of New England

Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award 2012

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Veronica Award for Outstanding Service in Transformational Relationships 2013

Superstar Foundation

Greatest Contribution to Social Work Practice Award 2014

National Association of Social Workers

UTEC Highlighted as Model Program for Young Adults in the Justice System 2016

National Institute of Justice

"Committed Advocacy" Award Given to Teens Leading the Way 2016

Citizens for Juvenile Justice

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

UTEC's goal is to ensure social and economic success for proven-risk youth by supporting long-term change through sustained relationships with caring adults and programs tailored to youth's needs. UTEC defines our target population as: 1. 16-24 years old; 2. Out of school and without a high school credential; 3. Residing in either Lowell or Lawrence; and 4. Gang-involved, criminally-involved, and/or young parents. UTEC envisions a society in which: * All young people pursue and cultivate healthy relationships and make healthy choices. They belong to a supportive and diverse social network that is free from violence, crime, and other unsafe situations. * All young people are well-prepared to determine their own futures. Young people are self-reliant; they are also self-advocates and know how to seek support when it's needed. * All young people value continual learning and critical thinking, in the classroom and beyond, and seek to understand themselves, their communities, and the underlying root cause forces that affect their lives.* All young people believe that positive change can indeed happen, both in their personal lives and in their own community.UTEC measures the ""social and economic success"" of our mission statement through three defined outcome areas: * Educational Attainment * Employment * Reduced recidivism and criminal activity In fiscal year 2015, our Transitional Coaches served 132 youth as part of UTEC's integrated programming track. Of these youth, 84% had a criminal history, 39% were gang-involved, 84% lacked a high school credential, and 50% were parenting or expecting. Of youth engaged in FY2015, 85% demonstrated an increase in work performance reviews, and 50% of those without a high school degree obtained their high school equivalency credential. Additionally, 84% who attended workforce programming had no new arrests, and 100% had no new convictions. In addition, of youth who completed UTEC programming 2 years ago, 87% have no been arrested since leaving UTEC, and 83% are currently employed. These outcomes compare favorably to statistics for the state of Massachusetts, where 1% of adults without a high school credential pass the GED test, 1 in 7 young adults (ages 16-24) are unemployed, and 60% of inmates and 74% of youth exiting juvenile justice facilities re-offend within 6 years.

Building on research about the importance of structured training programs, sustained mentoring relationships and intensive case management as strongly correlated with improved outcomes for proven-risk youth, UTEC utilizes the following strategies: 1. Street Outreach and Gang Peacemaking: Street outreach ensures that we meet young people "where they're at" and serves as the starting point of UTEC's model. Streetworkers conduct daily outreach and ""crisis positioning"" to make initial contact and build relationships with the highest risk youth in our community who are currently disengaged. 2. Transitional Coaching: Transitional Coaches work with enrolled youth to develop a one-on-one relationship and create a service plan overcome challenges and obstacles. Their involvement continues all the way through a young person's graduation from the integrated model. TCs help youth access health insurance coverage, housing applications, SNAP benefits and other community resources. 3. Workforce Training: UTEC offers youth paid on-the-job experience. We focus on a pathway that starts with transitional employment and leads into opportunities for youth to be involved in the running of our own social enterprises. Youth learn industry-specific skills and earn industry-recognized credentials (ServSafe and/or OSHA certifications). Most importantly, youth develop the interpersonal and life skills required to excel in any workplace. 4. Alternative Education: As part of their participation in the workforce development program, youth are also required to participate in UTEC's HiSET (formerly GED) class. Youth spend approximately 10-12 hours per week as part of their overall schedule. HiSET is taught by a certified teacher employed by Lowell Adult Education, with tutoring support from UTEC's AmeriCorps members. Small learning classes are an integral component of the program. The curriculum is very much based upon a project-based learning framework and social justice integration. 5. Youth Organizing and Civic Engagement: UTEC's organizing programs expose target youth to principles of social justice (building on the themes our youth learn through required Social Justice workshops) and community organizing. Youth learn skills that allow them to become more involved in their communities. Youth meet to plan and implement campaigns that impact both local (city council candidate nights) and statewide issues. 6. Enrichment: UTEC provides afternoon recreational and cultural activities for all youth in the local community, ages 15-22. Enrichment serves not only as a hook to get youth in the door, but also a way to retain them in our other program offerings. Youth can participate in a variety of rotating programs to express creativity, engage in athletic fun, and participate in special events.

Diversity and Cultural Competence As demonstrated by our agency's disproportionately high representation of minority youth, UTEC works to reach youth of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, genders, and sexual identities and is mindful of language appropriateness, cultural sensitivity, and the complexity of youth identifying in various ways - especially those in low-income and minority subpopulations. Our staff's diversity, cultural competence and connections to Lowell's gang and street communities enable UTEC to reach the most disengaged youth. Our staff collectively speak Khmer (Cambodian), Spanish, Portuguese and Vietnamese. They are rarely confronted by language barriers when reaching out to high-risk youth. A number of our staff members are Lowell natives or long-time residents, and some have also been formerly homeless or gang involved. This allows our staff a unique opportunity to relate to youth by understanding where they are in their lives and providing a living example of how to make positive choices and reach success. Management Expertise Like many growing agencies, UTEC relied on its Executive Director to manage and evaluate programs, oversee fiscal systems, and plan for future developments during our first decade. As part of our growth as an organization, we have built a strong management team whose members specialize in these functions and whose work is coordinated and supervised by the Executive Director. UTEC hired its first Director of Evaluation in 2010 as part of our commitment to data collection and performance management. In early 2013, UTEC created the position of Chief Program Officer to further invest in planning, assessment, and implementation across the program model. This executive role oversees the Director of Evaluation, who now provides staff leadership for data collection and interpretation. In 2013, UTEC hired its first Innovation Officer to lead the development of Social Enterprises that would (a) provide our youth with meaningful job experiences, and (b) operate as a source of program income to diversify our revenue stream. A new Director of Development joined UTEC in 2013 to focus on building the individual donor base and increasing corporate support, as part of the overall commitment to diversified revenue. This work is further spurred by a three-year matching gift challenge through Strategic Grant Partners. In the past, there was not a clear separation between programming, facilities, and logistics, such as youth transportation. In FY13, we hired UTEC's first Facilities Manager and in FY14 we hired UTEC's first Chief Operating Officer (COO) to clearly separate facilities, support, and financial functions from program development and implementation.In 2015, we hired a Mattress Warehouse Manager who has significant experience in this field.

As an agency committed to being a field leader in evaluation and organizational learning, UTEC has been steadily increasing our internal capacity to collect and evaluate data. UTEC began using Efforts To Outcomes (ETO) - our agency-wide database software - in November 2010 and all departments transitioned to ETO in March 2011. The Director of Evaluation works closely with our Chief Program Officer to review data with regard to retention, successful completion, and services offered, among other categories. UTEC employs a number of indicators to evaluate youth success. Attendance in WFD and GED programming, along with GED test scores, are tracked regularly. Each young person receives a biweekly Performance Review conducted by the staff Program Manager. Performance reviews focus largely on leadership, teamwork, and soft skills, with a general indicator for the youth's mastery of hard skills that are currently being addressed. Since overall enrollment in Workforce Development can last an average of 18-24 months, tracking a youth's Performance Review scores can be an insightful indicator for employment-skills progress over a shorter time period. UTEC also uses our ongoing data review to assess and tweak details of our program operations. For example, in 2014we re-organized our Workforce programming and HiSET educational schedules to ensure that young people are able to attend HiSET preparation on a daily basis to reinforce concepts and complementary learning skills. Similarly, we have adjusted the format for the orientation phase of Workforce Development, known as ""Transformational Beginnings,"" by providing a longer and more self-contained entry phase for new youth. This longer ""on-ramp"" to intensive programs is intended to provide greater stability and stronger outcomes performance among cohorts who begin their enrollment this way. We have also demonstrated success in our past adjustments. For example, for the 2011 cohort, substance abuse was the most common reason for disengaging (15% of youth who disengaged did so due to substance abuse issues), but this reason has been less prevalent in more recent years (only 2% in 2013); UTEC now provides on-site substance abuse counseling services as part of our integrated model.

Financials

UTEC, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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UTEC, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 9/22/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Scott Mellen

wTe Corporation

Term: 2016 -


Board co-chair

Kenneth Lavalle

Enterprise Bank

Joe Babiec

Mission First Strategy LLC

Belinda Juran

WilmerHale

Tim Nichols

Ropes & Gray LLP

Scott Mellen

wTe Corporation

Diana Frothingham

LeadWell Partners

Neil Maniar

Northeastern University

Barb Vlacich

Kronos Incorporated

Gregg Croteau

UTEC, Inc.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/24/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data