It’s time to tear the paper ceiling that holds back the 50% of workers who are STARs – Skilled Through Alternative Routes, rather than a bachelor’s degree.

Our Latest Work

Tear the Paper Ceiling art installation

Tearing the Paper Ceiling at ASU-GSV

Attendees at the annual workforce ed-tech conference learn more about what it means to Tear the Paper Ceiling in support of skills-based hiring.

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Shift in degree requirements and its impact on the U.S. workforce

Tear the Paper Ceiling with Skills-Based Hiring

STARs, who make up half the U.S. workforce, have been losing access to good middle- and high-wage jobs for decades, often relegating them to lower-wage work that doesn’t reflect the value of their skills. See how their opportunities have changed over 20 years.

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Tear the Paper Ceiling Hiring Playbook for Employers

This practical guide gives talent leaders at every level practical tools and guidance to shift their hiring to include STARs. Over the coming months, the playbook will grow to eight chapters and a series of employer case studies that will provide data to characterize the STARs talent pool and strategies to find and recruit STARs at scale.

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Our Partners

*STARs (noun) — There are 70+ million adults in the U.S. who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes such as community college, workforce training, bootcamps, certificate programs, military service or on-the-job learning, rather than through a bachelor’s degree. STARs include the majority of Black, Hispanic, and essential workers, as well as veterans.

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Our Solutions

For STARs, access to high-wage jobs has less to do with skills – and more to do with employer bachelor’s degree screen.

At Opportunity@Work, we believe that if you can do the job, you should get the job.

Action begins with insight

For decades, STARs have been screened out by a focus on educational attainment. When companies see the data on STARs skills and potential, they realize this is about change, not charity.

That’s why we are gathering, sharing, and publishing data-driven insights that raise STARs’ visibility and change perceptions of workers without a bachelor’s degree.

Visit the STARsInsights Page

Ready to hire? Look to the STARs.

Many companies want to hire STARs for entry-level tech roles, but they’re finding it hard to navigate the emerging ecosystem of nontraditional talent sources. 

Stellarworx is a new, faster and easier way to match STARs with inclusive employers that are ready to hire.

Visit the Stellarworx Page
STARs Innovation Logo

Inclusive by design

STARsInnovation serves as a design and testing laboratory that helps organizations translate their promises into action, helping STARs access higher wage work–and help the businesses who employ STARs fulfill their commitment to a more inclusive labor market.

Visit the STARsInnovation Page

About Us

We know diversity is not just a target but vital to fueling innovation. Meet the team that’s transforming hiring for the benefit of companies and for STARs. We believe there is value in working together to rewire the labor market, helping businesses and nonprofits alike.


of our staff is BIPOC:
Our team represents the diversity and skills of the national workforce.


are STARs:
We don’t just tell other employers how valuable STARs can be—we demonstrate it by including them at all levels of our organization.


are Women:
Gender diversity is a fundamental part of our success and our mission.

Who are STARs?

Listen to STARs share their successes: what led them to where they are today, what obstacles they face and what they hope for in the future. In their own words, hear how these STARs are shining a light on how their distinct yet complementary qualities are contributing to the opportunity movement.

Meet the STARs
LaShana Lewis
Founder and CEO of L. M. Lewis Consulting

“I had tried for many years to get jobs in the tech sector, only to be told that I could not get a job because I did not finish the degree. I was never tested on my technical skills or made it past the first interview.”

Giancarlo Martinez
Senior UI Developer, Projekt202

“I was motivated to pursue tech when I wanted to build a networking platform for the National Hispanic Institute. I was driven by my desire to find a means beyond my financial limitations to connect young Latinx students and professionals.”

Wilkin Sanchez
Ground Control Support Specialist, Envision Technology Advisors

“I started to become passionate about computers at a very early age. The first time I was around a computer, I immediately wanted to figure things out and find out more about it every day; it has been non-stop since then.”

WATCH THIS: See how a shift in college degree requirements has helped displace STARs from middle- and high-wage jobs over a 20-year span.