Opportunity@Work is part of the growing movement of employers, training providers, entrepreneurs, and other advocates working to bridge the opportunity gap for the millions of workers in our country who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) and are being left behind in today’s dynamic economy.
For these STARs, access to good jobs has less to do with their skills and more to do with whether and where they went to college, whom they know, and what they look like. But we believe that if you can do the job, you should get the job.
Our strategy begins by increasing STARs’ access to entry-level technology jobs, because the need for tech talent is both acute and widespread. In the coming months, we’ll be working with our partners to launch three bold new initiatives aimed at expanding career pathways for STARs.
STARs are mostly invisible in a culture that wrongly equates low-wage jobs with low skills. Today, STARs are defined by their lack of a college degree rather than by the skills they possess.
With a community of partners, we’re awakening employers to the value of STARs talent by gathering, sharing, and publishing data-driven insights that raise STARs’ visibility and change perceptions of workers without a four-year degree.
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 and determine which training providers to engage for which skills and roles.
We’re developing an online marketplace with matching and feedback capabilities so employers can spend less time identifying trusted sources of STARs talent and can fill their open roles more quickly.
Failure to realize and prioritize STARs talent in hiring practices has limited investment in alternative routes as talent sources and is slowing progress toward scalable solutions for STARs hiring and advancement.
We will accelerate learning by inviting leading partners to share insights, activate their eco-systems, and test solutions for STARs talent in our marketplace, sharing what we learn with the entire workforce development field.