Economic Mobility Leaders Join Forces to Meet Growing Demand for Workers Skilled Through Alternative Routes

Opportunity@Work announces the acquisition of LaborX to accelerate equitable economic recovery; expand opportunity for the more than 70 million STARs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Opportunity@Work today announced that it has acquired LaborX, a first-of-its-kind talent marketplace that has helped thousands of workers from nontraditional backgrounds connect to higher-wage jobs. 

Combining the power of LaborX with Opportunity@Work’s Stellarworx talent marketplace platform will meet the needs of a growing number of companies seeking to expand and diversify their talent pipelines with STARs – workers 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 college degree.

“Under Yscaira Jimenez’s visionary leadership, LaborX has been a standout in the growing movement to build an economy that works for STARs, and we’re delighted to welcome LaborX to the Opportunity@Work family,” said Byron Auguste, CEO, Opportunity@Work. “Yscaira’s entrepreneurial track record and LaborX’s experience surfacing untapped talent to place at leading companies will accelerate Opportunity@Work’s path to rewire the U.S. labor market for over 70 million STARs.”

Founded in 2015, LaborX has helped 3,000 workers from 50 training organizations connect to companies such as Facebook, Airbnb, and Honey. Through LaborX’s sophisticated talent matching platform, each job-seeker creates a unique portfolio, often including a video resume that enables employers to get to know candidates beyond their skills and work experience. A proprietary algorithm reviews employers’ job postings to make instant matches, with the aim of both reducing friction in the hiring process and creating new pathways to higher-wage careers for STARs.

“Opportunity@Work’s groundbreaking initiatives have catalyzed a cross-sector movement that is reimagining how we hire, train, and retain STARs in this country,” said Yscaira Jimenez, founder and CEO of LaborX, who will join Opportunity@Work as Entrepreneur-in-Residence. “A STARs-centric recovery must be the foundation of our collective efforts to build back better. I’m honored and excited to join forces with Opportunity@Work in support of our shared commitment to racial equity, economic justice, and innovation.”

The growing STARs movement was catalyzed by Opportunity@Work’s landmark 2020 reports on skills proximities  and wage mobility, finding that more than 70 million workers in America are STARs, including the majority of Black and Hispanic workers. Thirty million STARs already have the skills to make 70% more than they make at their current job, suggesting that by hiring and recruiting based on skills rather than degrees, employers can both address their talent needs and close persistent equity gaps in the workforce. 

Since Black and Hispanic STARs are only half as likely to make positive wage gains based on equivalent skills on the job, more than 10 million STARs from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds have skills for in-demand jobs with transformative wage potential. Opportunity@Work supports leading companies and local workforce ecosystems to act on these findings through solutions such as the STARs Insights Initiative, the Stellarworx talent marketplace platform, and the STARs Innovation Studio.

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About Opportunity@Work:

Opportunity@Work is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase career opportunities for the more than 70 million adults in the U.S. who do not have a four-year college degree but are Skilled Through Alternative Routes – or, “STARs.” They serve STARs through a suite of products, tools, and solutions that enable individuals to access jobs that lead to meaningful, well-paying careers. We empower the diverse ecosystem supporting STARs in a movement uniting employers, educators, workforce leaders, philanthropists, and advocates.