Opportunity@Work Announces Support from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s support will assist Opportunity@Work in expanding access to career opportunities so that all Americans can work, earn, and learn to their full potential

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 30, 2017 – Opportunity@Work announced today that they have been awarded a grant by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) as part of CZI’s efforts to support organizations working to improve economic opportunity for people across the United States. CZI’s support will help Opportunity@Work transform hiring practices, expand learning pathways, and pioneer talent financing to empower more Americans to work, learn and earn to their full potential.

“Millions of Americans don’t believe that today’s labor market gives them a fair shot. In many ways, unfortunately, they are right,” said Byron Auguste, CEO and co-founder of Opportunity@Work. “Since we began this work, we’ve encountered people from across the country and from all walks of life who have worked hard to get the skills but lack the pedigree, degree or resume that screens them in with traditional hiring practices.”

Opportunity@Work will be accelerating its efforts to expand opportunities for overlooked and underrepresented job seekers, including:

  • Expansion of the national TechHire initiative to support local ecosystems of job seekers, employers, educators and community-based organizations to build a tech talent pipeline of overlooked and underrepresented individuals.

  • Creation and launch of an online skills-validation tool through which job seekers can demonstrate their skills to employers.

  • Development and deployment of a new way to finance learning-to-earning pathways, so that low-income individuals gain greater access to tech training.

Opportunity@Work Board Chairman Reid Hoffman, Partner at Greylock and co-founder of LinkedIn, said “America’s middle class has been built on talent, work, and opportunity. Given the challenges of adapting to rapid technological and economic change, we must invest in initiatives to innovate at scale and renew economic mobility. I’m delighted that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is helping to add capacity to this cause.”

“Today’s learners should be able to show what they know and continue advancing their skills through credentials with lasting value recognized by employers in today’s labor market. We need to bring innovation to both our education and workforce systems,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation.

“Opportunity@Work and our partners are working to create a ‘lane’ in the labor market where anyone can show what they can do, and be ‘screened in’ based on performance, not ‘screened out’ due to pedigree,” said Karan Chopra, executive vice president and co-founder of Opportunity@Work. “The reality for job seekers should be ‘show what you can do and jobs will look for you.’ We are aiming high, counting on allies and partners - employers, educators, innovators, civic and community organizations - to add their expertise, assets, and voices to build a more inclusive and innovative labor market.”

In supporting Opportunity@Work, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative joins other generous funders including the Aphorism Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Capital One, FedEx, Hewlett Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lumina Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and The Michelson 20MM Foundation.

For more information about Opportunity@Work’s key initiatives, please visit: http://www.opportunityatwork.org/about-us

Press Contact:

Tari Linda Lau, Communications Associate, Opportunity@Work.
Email: Tari@Opportunityatwork.org
Phone: 202-847-4475

About Opportunity@Work

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. By 2025, Opportunity@Work will empower over 1 million Americans, creating $20 billion+ per year of additional earnings for Americans across the country. Opportunity@Work expands access to career opportunities by building partnerships with employers, community organizations, civic leadership and job seekers to transform hiring practices, expand learning pathways, and pioneer talent financing. To learn more, visit www.opportunityatwork.org.