It’s time to build a labor market that works for everyone — together

A skills-first labor market means more opportunities for Americans

We’re building a labor market where all Americans can work, learn, and earn to their full potential. Because right now, highly skilled STARs (workers who are skilled through alternative routes) are overlooked simply because they don’t have a bachelor’s degree. The result of today’s broken labor market? Positions are left unfilled, economic mobility is restricted, and stalled industry and economic growth.

Opportunity@Work is driving action and clarity by providing insights, customized tools, and services to advance skills-first hiring practices so STARs can thrive. No organization can do this alone – we must work together, on purpose.

70+ million U.S. workers are Skilled Through Alternative Routes such as on-the-job experience, military service, community college, partial college completion, certificate programs, and workforce training, rather than through a bachelor’s degree. STARs exist in every industry, geography, and represent the demographic diversity of the country.

Together, we can bridge the gap to prioritize skills over degrees so STARs, employers, and communities can thrive.

Custom Solutions to Catalyze Change


Employers need skilled talent to innovate and compete – but without a STARs talent strategy, they only have half a talent strategy. STARs represent 50% of the U.S. workforce, but many employers don’t have a strategy to tap into the STARs talent pool. We can empower you with STARs-driven tools and data to implement skills-first hiring.

Public Sector

If you’re in the public sector, you’re no stranger to wearing multiple hats. Maybe you’re trying to hire skilled talent as an employer, or perhaps you’re a policymaker wondering how you can remove degree requirements and advance skills-first hiring. Through the STARs Public Sector Hub we can provide you with the tools and resources you need.


If you are a systemic change leader, you know that the biggest and toughest problems can only be solved when partners work together. Working with Opportunity@Work means gaining a partner who will optimize your time, investment, and ensure your portfolio contains a STARs-inclusive strategy.

We work with more than 50 partners, including:

Featured Work & News
Our Latest Research


Recognizing the Value of Skilled Credentials

Skilled credentials come in various forms from a range of providers and offer numerous benefits for both employees and employers…

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Opportunity@Work on Wisconsin Public Radio

As more than a dozen states have taken the lead to remove unnecessary degree requirements for public service jobs, Wisconsin’s Public Radio…

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Tear the Paper Ceiling with Skills-Based Hiring

Chief Analytics & Research Officer Papia Debroy’s powerful testimony to the Congressional Committee on Education & the Workforce…

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In 2022, Opportunity@Work launched a national public service campaign called “Tear the Paper Ceiling,” developed in partnership with the Ad Council, aiming to raise awareness of STARs’ potential and the barriers they face. More than 60 leading corporations and organizations have committed to tear the paper ceiling by adding their voice and taking action. In just one year we’ve seen hundreds of thousands of new jobs opened up to STARs that were previously inaccessible.