UTEC, founded in 1999 and based in Lowell, was the result of an organizing movement driven by young people to develop their own teen center in response to gang violence.

Today, nationally recognized as a model youth development agency, UTEC’s mission and promise is to ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disconnected youth to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success. They serve proven-risk youth from both Lowell and Lawrence, MA.

The Workforce Development and Social Enterprise program provides youth most in need the opportunity to gain valuable job skills and real earnings to help them pursue positive life choices.  While in the program, participants develop healthy life skills, job readiness (soft) skills, industry specific (hard) skills and financial literacy skills that prepare them for professional and personal pursuits beyond UTEC.  Youth are required to enroll in UTEC’s HiSET class, and the program incentivizes HiSET obtainment.  Knowing that the youth they work with have a number of life challenges to surmount, UTEC offers them multiple chances to excel in the program. The ultimate goal of the program is to help youth develop a pathway to a long-term career and expose them to post-secondary educational opportunities that would otherwise be unattainable.