Who We Are

Opportunity@Work is a nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to expand access to career opportunities so that all Americans can work, learn, and earn to their full potential in a dynamic economy.
 
In the next decade, Opportunity@Work aims to enable at least 1 million Americans to demonstrate their skills and get hired – generating a $20 billion boost in annual earnings by helping workers overcome barriers to hiring, learning, and financing training.

Our mission is to expand access to career opportunities so that all Americans can work, learn, and earn to their full potential.

What We Do

We have a vision for how the labor market can better serve the American people – especially those who have been overlooked and underrepresented in today’s economy. 

Too many individuals with the skills and potential to be successful are overlooked in today’s labor market. We envision a future where talented but overlooked individuals are ‘screened in’ based on skills, not ‘screened out’ based on pedigree. 
 
Opportunity@Work builds partnerships with employers, community organizations, civic leaders, and job seekers to create pathways to meaningful jobs and fulfilling careers. 
 
Our work is anchored by three pillars: transforming hiring practices, expanding learning pathways, and pioneering talent financing. Real impact on the labor market can only be achieved at the intersection of these three pillars, and we are committed to leading these efforts across the country. 
 
Through Opportunity@Work initiatives and programs, we aim to:

  • Change hiring practices so that Americans who can do the job to get the job;
  • Expand opportunities for people to get the skills necessary to succeed in today’s workplace; and
  • Ensure that everyone can work, learn, and earn to their full potential in a dynamic economy.
     
We’re working with employers to change the way they hire, so they can get great talent from the get go.

transform hiring practices ->

With about half of employers reporting difficulty filling open positions and millions of Americans unemployed or underemployed with little job mobility, one thing is clear: hiring practices are not working for anyone.
 
Many people have either the skills to fill those roles or the ability to learn the necessary skills. We help create  the connections between capable job seekers who don’t have a traditional background and employers who need someone who can do the job. We provide solutions that make it easier for employers to hire based on competency and potential, not pedigree. We pursue partnerships with educators working to ensure that skill seekers have access to the learning and training they need to be successful. 

 

We are working with communities to grow the availability and accessibility of accelerated training

EXPAND LEARNING PATHWAYS ->

Affordable job training and education should be accessible to anyone with the aptitude and motivation to learn. We work with educators and training providers to identify the skills that people need in today’s economy.

We are working with partners to pioneer solutions that go beyond traditional loans to offer financing that is accessible for everyone

 

 

pioneer talent financing ->

High interest rates and significant debt should not be a prerequisite for getting the training and skills necessary to get a better job. That's why we are pioneering solutions that go beyond traditional loans. We are creating innovative financing products that protect the job seeker, allow for appropriate risk-sharing, and is financially sustainable. 

 

Opportunity@Work supports and leads TechHire, a national network of communities  that create pathways for overlooked and underrepresented Americans to gain skills and access to open technical jobs across the country. The TechHire program works directly with communities and TechHire partners around the country putting these ideas into practice in the Information Technology industry. 
 
TechHire communities work to create pathways for more Americans to access tech training and well-paying jobs. Launched from the White House by President Obama in 2015 with 21 communities, TechHire has grown to 72 communities reporting over 1300 employers, over 237  training providers, and 4000 people placed into jobs. 
 

why we do it

Every American deserves the opportunity to build a meaningful career by working, learning, and earning to their full potential. 

The United States is on track to add one million new information technology jobs this decade, and millions more in other skilled work – without enough formally prepared college graduates to fill them. Fortunately, millions of Americans have the aptitude, motivation, and even the skills to succeed in those jobs, to contribute meaningfully –  to work, learn and earn to their full potential.  

As of November 2017, there were 6.1 million job openings at U.S. companies – the highest on record – while 6.5 million unemployed Americans look for work. The growing mismatch between new job opportunities and old skills is further exemplified by the fact that 46% of employers report that they can’t find skilled workers to fill open positions.

Our much-discussed “skills gap” is caused mainly by an “opportunity gap” - and is producing a disastrous confidence gap. We have seen a sharp decline in the proportion of Americans who believe that hard work leads to progress, that their children will have good jobs. The U.S. labor market - with its counterproductive focus on academic pedigree, misaligned learning, backward looking financing - is failing our economy and society.  We need to rewire the labor market to revive the American Dream.

We need to think about human capital
as a universal asset.

Opportunity@Work is building tools and networks that improve employment outcomes at scale. We  use existing tools, methods, public policies, business practices, and market institutions to:

  • Make pathways to high-value work accessible to all Americans - particularly those that are overlooked and underrepresented in today’s labor market.

  • Create a job market where employers hire and promote candidates with the skills to do the job regardless of traditional degrees or experiences.

  • Channel private, public, and social investment to programs and tools that successfully build the skills and earning power of unemployed or underemployed Americans.