Navigating with the STARs: Reimagining Equitable Pathways to Mobility

The COVID-19 crisis lays bare the deficiencies in our labor market. STARs comprise two thirds of our essential workforce and yet they continue to experience the decades-long trends in wage decline and limited upward mobility.  We must reimagine our approach to our workforce to achieve an equitable recovery.

Read the Research

Byron Auguste sits down with Cognizant US Foundation Executive Director Kristen Titus to discuss how STARs can rise in the post-COVID economy.

STARs: Skilled Through Alternative Routes

Millions of Americans are locked out of better jobs simply because they lack a four-year degree. Yet these workers have skills that companies desperately need  – skills they developed through military service, in training programs, at community colleges, on the job, or through other alternatives to college. It’s time for more employers to recognize and value individuals who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs).

Learn more about STARs

We're re-wiring the labor market so that STARs can work, learn and earn to their full potential.

Our Approach

At Opportunity@Work, we envision a world where STARs have a fair chance to achieve the American Dream — with fulfilling jobs, rewarding careers, and better lives for themselves and their families.

Here’s how we’ll realize that vision:


We are awakening companies to the value of STARs’ talent. 

With a community of partners, we are gathering, sharing, and publishing data-driven insights that raise STARs’ visibility and change perceptions of workers without a four-year degree.

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We are connecting employers with STARs.

We are connecting employers with training providers and STARs through the rapid scaling of our online marketplace which will make it faster and easier for employers to hire STARs.

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We are accelerating learning and investment in support of STARs.

We are inviting partners to share insights, and test solutions on behalf of STARs, sharing what we learn with the entire workforce development field. 

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Stay connected as we work to expand career opportunities for STARs!

Our Partners

Opportunity@Work appreciates the vital support from our partners and supporters.

Latest Updates

Announcing our STARs Research Community!

The STARs research community produces scholarship across business and social science disciplines to understand STARs’ skills, experiences, career pathways, jobs and more.

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Up to 30 Million in U.S. Have the Skills to Earn 70% More, Researchers Say

Opportunity@Work research findings point to the potential of upward mobility for people without a college degree.

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There Are 6 Million Black Workers Missing From Your Talent Pool

By shifting from degree requirements to skills-based hiring, employers can make their jobs more accessible to 68% of Black workers who do not have degrees.

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