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STARs Research Overview

The STARs Insights Initiative is driving a research agenda, grounded in economic data and field research, to build a body of work around the challenges and opportunities facing STARs in today’s labor market.

Many studies focus on how increased educational attainment yields higher earnings for workers. However, that scholarship fails to understand the mobility potential of STARs, more than 60% of the US labor force. The STARs Insights Initiative seeks to fill that gap through a multi-disciplinary research agenda.

This ambitious project cannot be accomplished by one organization alone so our approach has three interrelated components – our own Opportunity@Work Research on STARs and job pathways, the STARs Research Community that seeds and supports work across multiple fields, and practical Field Tools that enable the field to build on and operationalize our findings.

Opportunity@Work Research

Opportunity@Work’s STARs research gathers facts and insights to enables us to rally critical actors in workforce development – especially companies and their executives – around a common North Star: hiring more STARs into middle- and high-wage roles to meet 21st-century talent needs and supporting an equitable recovery from the COVID crisis for STARs.

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STARs Research Community

The STARs Research Community is a community of scholars who are committed to rigorous research and data analysis to further our understanding of the STAR population of workers. Insights from this community will inform employer and workforce practices so more STARs experience economic mobility in the labor market.

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Field Tools

STARs Insights Initiative will develop tools to assist the field of employers and workforce providers to leverage data and insights in their local decision making.

STARs Insights Advisory Panel

The STARs Insights Advisory Panel provides expert guidance for the Insights initiative. Chaired by Dr. Erica Groshen, former Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the panel includes advisors with experience in labor economics, workforce development, and the future of work across the public, private, and academic sectors.

  • Erica Groshen's Photo'

    Erica Groshen

    Former Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Peter Q. Blair's Photo'

    Peter Q. Blair

    Assistant Professor, Harvard University
  • Chandra Childers's Photo'

    Chandra Childers

    Study Director, Institute for Women's Policy Research
  • Martin Fleming 's Photo'

    Martin Fleming

    Former Chief Economist, IBM
  • Michael Strain 's Photo'

    Michael Strain

    Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
  • Keith Wardrip 's Photo'

    Keith Wardrip

    Community Manager, Philadelphia Federal Reserve


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