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Youth Education in the Arts Reviews

Updated October 24, 2017
20 reviews

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20 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Potential is there..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Youth Education in the Arts full-time

    Pros

    Mission of the organization is spot on. The students are what matters to everyone who works at the organization except one person.

    Cons

    Too many to list them all.

    Advice to Management

    Resign


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Non-Profit Professional? Stay Away"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Youth Education in the Arts full-time

    Pros

    The staff is amazing (for the most part)

    Cons

    For a nonprofit that focuses on excellence, it does not know how to run a nonprofit that way. The work is less about the mission and more about the revenue.
    There is a push for recruiting in The Cadets & USBands because of revenue, not because a difference wants to be made in these children's lives. Even with the push for revenue, good luck getting a check to pay a bill. Credit cards were turned off frequently because they were not paid or hit the credit limit, relationships with business/organizations were ruined due to nonpayments. Being in the nonprofit industry money will always be tight, but there are also budgets in nonprofits. If you ask about a budget you will told there is one, but will never see it, even for departments. The Cadets frivolously spend money without blinking an eye all to ensure a successful top placing season, but checks that are owed to companies can go up to years without payment.
    Planning does not happen, management does not believe in a strategic plan at an organizational level or a departmental level and if you are caught planning, you will be told that is not what you were hired to do.
    Change is always talked about to become better and more effective, but it frankly never happens.
    Employees are thought of as disposable and it is always the employees fault if their department is unsuccessful. But there is no training, no "check list" and never anyone there long enough to create one. It is a miracle if an employee makes it a full year. Although there is no competition within organization, everyone fears for their job so much they keep information to themselves and never document information they may feel will 'secure' their job.
    You can always work for two weeks straight without a day off, but told you are not working hard enough. You will also fall behind on your own work because you are working on other items for other departments.
    You will questions ethics, for example, there is an event fundraiser where the members are required to fundraiser money, yet the event they are fundraising for never actually happens.
    The vacations/holidays may be great, but good luck taking more than one day off at a time. You will be asked to work a holiday in exchange for a day off later, which again good luck trying to take more than a day off at a time.
    If you have a family, you will find yourself choosing between your job or your family. There is no work/life balance at all.
    When you do finally leave both employees & ex-employees will congratulate you on getting out of there.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "The ...CEO .... writes ....his ...own ...positive ...reviews"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Relations in Allentown, PA
    Former Employee - Customer Relations in Allentown, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Youth Education in the Arts full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    As for working here it was a fantastic way to get back into the activity after taking a break for a few years. The mission is great and you can really get into the nitty gritty of the work for each group. My favorite memories are the ones involving my time working on site with one of our groups. These young people are simply amazing. Working in "Customer Relations" aka not that at all, was a decent way of learning how to multi task and deal with angry individuals.

    Cons

    Sadly the leader of the sinking ship is not all he appears to be. He lures you in with provocative language and promises of making a difference and all that. Once you are in you find that your time is largely spent on his menial tasks while he micromanages you from his desk. Many a time I was asked to work weekends or holidays without and sort of pay. As for my title, well one of his biggest tendencies is to add ...to ....his ...writing for emphasis or something like that. It can be seen in all of his emails and the like. The board is made up of people who are associated with him personally so good luck asking them for help. Stay away if you don't want to waste time and energy.

    Advice to Management

    Get a new board of directors and get the CEO to just manage the drum corps.


  4. "event relations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Youth Education in the Arts full-time

    Pros

    The mission is a great one

    Cons

    The expectations of time and lack of consistent leadership are a real challenge. Very little training is a huge problem


  5. Helpful (6)

    "You want it to be good, but..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Youth Education in the Arts full-time

    Pros

    Unfortunately, not many. If you like the marching arts, you will gain experience, and most other marching arts organizations recognize what it takes to work at YEA!, so moving on to another job within the activity is easy.

    Cons

    Many.

    Salaries are stagnate, except for the CEO, benefits are expensive, PTO is plentiful, but actually scheduling and getting approval for time off can be more challenging than your job. Job turn over is high, in some critical departments, turnover is like a revolving door. Nepotism in hiring is the norm and it always gets messy. Every year is like reinventing the wheel, there are no process or procedures manuals, the CEO tends to make decisions without full knowledge of issues or regulations and there is no board oversight of his actions.

    Overall, as it is currently run, there is no potential for the organization, there is no strategic plan, no realistic budget, no employee stability, no work/life balance, no opportunity for employee growth and development, no consistency in programming, no financial stability, and the list goes on.

    It was once said that more time is spent planning an exit strategy than actually working.

    Advice to Management

    None. No one would listen anyway.


  6. Helpful (14)

    ""Plan" is a 4 letter word. Yes, it really is this bad."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The mission of the organization is what attracts people to work there. Often they are knowledgable of the main activities, or alumni of the sponsored programs. The people who work there all have huge hearts and want to do the best things for the kids.

    Cons

    There are a lot of comments regarding the executive leadership. Unfortunately these are all very accurate. The CEO does not have any practical experience running a business, non-profit or otherwise. He's "been doing things this way for 30 years." The financial instability is a daily struggle, and causes enormous stress to the organization. But there's no plan. The entrepreneurial spirit is often cited, (work more hours, but don't expect anything in return), but there is zero support of employees with real world problems. In fact, the exorbitant hours that are required of the full-time staff are borderline abusive, and certainly unhealthy. Events are often considered "all-hands", where every employee is expected to work 12-18 hours, but not provided food or lodging, and expected to drive company vehicles to the next event the next day, which could last just as long. There are numerous instances where e-mail and phone calls directly from the CEO chastise the employee for being sick, or having to take care of a family member, even if earned PTO is used to do so. The CEO does not trust his management team, openly stating this fact in management meetings. The Board of Directors, whose job is to manage the CEO and protect the organization, refuses to do so. Board reports are provided from managers on a monthly basis, board member feedback is always invited, and there is nothing but silence. Compliance with authorities and contracts is ignored as a matter of practice, and puts the organization and its programs at risk. Turnover is enormous for a company with 20-25 full-time employees. The office building is a shambles, and there is no effort to raise funds to repair or maintain it. There is no planning; there is only desperation to "find some cash". Spending is uncontrolled, and without a plan, impossible to manage. Debt is high. The organization is broken.

    Advice to Management

    The organization needs a plan; not a vision but a plan. A plan with achievable goals, with milestones, ideas, and tasks to get there. A plan that every member of the organization can measure their day against. There need to be great changes. The board of directors needs to either take control, or resign and let someone else take control. The CEO needs his duties re-written, or needs to be replaced. And the employees, especially the full-time employees, need to be cared for, not abused. They have the passion for the mission, but no leadership.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Unfortunate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    As others have said; the mission is great. Many of the people who work there are attracted by the mission of supporting youth and music and performance and driven by passion. The hard work and long hours can create some strong bonds, memories and experiences that you won't find in many other places. Many employees received lots of flexibility around Christmas and New Years and if you enjoy drum corps you can see a lot of it!
    Everyone has to help everyone out so job titles don't mean much; you can learn a lot and gain a lot of experience in a short time.

    Cons

    The over all atmosphere is draining with a negative stifling culture that comes from the top down. It's bothersome to be earnest in your intent but associated with a reputation of moral corruptness.
    Things that have been said -
    "Don't 'Work smarter, not harder' , just work hard."
    "Majority of our staffing should be 20/20/20 - people in their 20s, making salaries in the 20s willing to work 20 hours a day."
    "If he isn't complaining for the check yet don't offer it. We'll take care of it before we need to be back there again."
    Sexual innuendo and outright assessment of my female coworkers both in the room and after they left were not uncommon. Blatant lies and discussion of their private lives were not uncommon in supposedly professional settings.
    Turn over is high and each time someone leaves they are blamed for every bad thing that happens and each job starts from scratch with no established methods for doing the job.
    Same as close working conditions created friendships sometimes it also created gossip and bickering like high school.

    Advice to Management

    The board is supposed to supervise the CEO. Right now they are not fully exercising their oversight. The tools are there - eager employees willing to work with passion, some with impressive experience, and a vast network of supporters - but the culture created by CEO has stifled the company. He created it from scratch but operates like it is still the 80s and for YEA! to grow it needs to be willing to pull in someone new to lead the team.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "All the stories are accurate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Allentown, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Allentown, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Youth Education in the Arts (Less than a year)

    Pros

    If the mission of the organization were followed, the upside could be truly life-changing for literally tens of thousands of participants of the organization's program offerings.

    Cons

    Having worked or volunteered for or with all the other similar 'national marching arts non-profits', I'm happy to admit that organizations such as this do face challenges such as funding, donor engagement, staffing, etc. but none of these are the main issue for this organization as it is currently constructed. The CEO and Board of Directors who willfully enable such behavior are to be directly blamed for the current state of the organization.

    The organization is not financially sound (constantly owing vendors months, some years) even though it generates a sizable amount of revenue and while I was there carried a 'sizable' debt. The ability to pay 'regular bills' (what has to be paid to keep the lights on, etc.) is something that reaches every level of the organization and hinders the ability for it's employees to maintain healthy relationships with outside partners who know that they will not be paid on time. At the end of the day all other pieces of the organization are regularly sacrificed to make sure that the most visible piece is held in it's proper place as a world champion-level performance ensemble.

    The office has a culture that is so toxic I have never personally witnessed or heard of one remotely as bad in my professional career. That culture is due directly to the CEO and their daily actions.

    The Board of Directors have been given first-hand reports of conditions from employees and have chosen to ignore the recommendations regarding the Chief Executive Officer for years.

    Former employees have been subject to a variety of retribution, one being profiled at length, by name, in a youtube video that was distributed to thousands of industry professionals which contained factual inaccuracies about the former employee's performance.

    Staff are berated, undermined and under-prepared for the tasks they are asked to achieve.

    There are no systems. There are no processes. There is no method. There is only today and today's fires which will consume the entire bandwidth of the organization until it's put out. They we start tomorrow with tomorrow's fires.

    Many employees main focus rests with when they might be fired or when they plan to leave and to where.

    There is no upside or any condition that I would recommend any person go to work for this company. No amount of money or benefits could convince any of its former employees to return under the current management team.

    No one should be blinded of their views of the organization by it's most public face. The tree may still produce fruit but the trunk is rotten and hollow and only a matter of time before it falls.

    Advice to Management

    The Board of Directors should take active responsibility of it's role and obligation to the non-profit and exercise control, not blindly following what it is told. I fear for what might happen should this organization be 'righted' before it all comes crashing down.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Warning - Do Not Work Here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Allentown, PA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Allentown, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Youth Education in the Arts (More than a year)

    Pros

    The only pro I can remember was leaving my last day.

    Cons

    Not one true positive review on Glassdoor, that seems right.

    If you are a Drum Corps person don't let the allure of working for The Cadets cloud your vision.

    All of the reviews you have read are 100% true and correct, these are very bitter people because we were all treated like garbage by the CEO and most of staff,. Saying that the Board of Directors should take the CEO out of his position will never happen. Not when you fill the board with people that idolize him and feel like they are a part of the corps because they have donated money to YEA! and The Cadets.

    If traveling to really cool Stadiums to help buses park in the lot for 14 -16 hours a day ,sell T-shirts , loading trucks and vans at 2, 3 or 4 am in the morning and then figuring out that your Salary becomes basically 3-4 dollars an hour this is not the job for you. There was never enough help at live events and you were expected to do it all.. All of CEO'S top people are all yes men and women, mainly because they marched in the Drum Corps or Marched with the Cadets at one point or they are just Drum Corps or Band Nerds. If you are an outsider thinking you are there to do good, give it 6 months, that entire place will break your spirit and you will start looking for work sooner than later. Also your co-workers are not the most friendly either, at least when I worked there.

    Don't disagree with him either. He knows everything about life, relationships, fashion, music, not paying bills on time, lying to your face, hiring some very questionable people and how and why people should donate to the non profit.

    He knows everything about everything, oh and when he gets in a bad mood, especially when his Drum Corps is not winning every year, because he knows they should, make sure you don't talk to him, because he will not interact with you or give you the time of day. He also has this special test he gives his employee, it's all a mental game with him to see if you are strong enough to compete on his level of megalomania.

    There were some other comments here about illegal activities and unethical activities, I would agree with that. Just do the right thing and stay clear of the Non Profit Organization.

    Advice to Management

    The CEO/Director needs to grow up and stop acting like a spoiled kid, By now I would have to think you are almost 60 years old. Sooner or Later that mystique and lore of being who you think you are is going to go away.


  10. "CEO must GO!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Could be the best Youth organization but the CEO MUST GO!

    Cons

    Read ALL the nagitive reviews. The are all 100% correct!
    Avoid working here like the plage untill you see a new CEO!

    Spends every dime the company raises and The Cadets and invest as little as possiable on ALL other programs.

    YEA is in survival mode all of the time and can NOT acheive excellence due to the volatile environment!

    CEO says we are growing but continues to fold program.

    CEO thinks he is a GOD in the activity and can make every decisdion for every group within the company. It is impossiable to be a " one man show" and be successful.

    If the CEO can not be excellent how can you expect anybody else to be excellent!

    Advice to Management

    If we continue with the current CEO, YEA will go bakrupt!

    Fire the CEO, he has NO CLUE WHAT HE IS DOING!


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