Opportunity@Work is a non-profit social venture whose mission is to secure a future of robust opportunity in which all Americans can learn, pursue and realize their potential contribution.

 

Why This is Important

Meaningful work is essential to human flourishing and to America’s promise of upward mobility and civic equality, while tapping the full talents of our people is essential for productive and inclusive economic growth. The gradual erosion of such work for many in the US economy over the past 30 years threatens both America’s promise and economic vitality.

 

The Problem: Growing Mismatch Between New Job Opportunities and Old Skills

  • As of July 2015, there were 5.8 million open jobs in the U.S. -- the highest on record
  • About half of employers report struggling to find skilled workers they need to hire
  • 6 - 7 million working age people have dropped out of the labor market
  • Voluntary job mobility - a key measure of labor market dynamism and source of wage growth for workers - has declined 28% since 2000
  • Median wages have been stagnant, in real terms, over the past 15 years


Social Investor + Incubator

Opportunity@Work will build on the myriad efforts to improve the employment outcomes by acting as a social investor and incubator to co-design and launch new ventures, and to streamline and scale the adoption of existing tools, methods, public policies, business practices, and market institutions needed to:

  • Make pathways into high-value work through high-quality training that is more accessible to all Americans. 
  • Create a more inclusive job market in which employers hire and promote candidates who have the skills and can do the job whether or not they have traditional degrees or experiences.
  • Channel private, public, and social investment to programs, tools and resources that improve the skills and earning power of unemployed or underemployed Americans.
Meaningful work that contributes to a valued outcome, earns a family living, and builds human and social capital is essential to America’s promise of upward mobility and civic equality. Even after more than a year of strong job creation, too many Americans are either out of work or treading water in working situations that neither tap their full potential nor offer a path to job progression or higher pay. Individually, employers can’t find the skills they need - because collectively, they underinvest in developing those skills, hire in ways that overlook much potential talent, and use technology more to automate tasks than to accelerate learning. Our economy has the potential for faster and broader growth in productivity, work, and wages, if our institutions can adapt the basis on which we hire, train, and use emerging technology to develop and deploy new skills more rapidly and flexibly – not only to fill open jobs, but to make the U.S. a magnet for high-value, high-paid work.
— Byron G. Auguste (Co-Founder, Opportunity@Work)
 

 

Partners

 
I could not be more delighted that Opportunity@Work is coming to New America. They capture the essence of our concept of civic enterprise, linking big, important ideas about how to solve public problems with direct action on the ground. Our education policy group does some of the best work around on how competency-based education can give workers the leg-up they need to join the 21st century economy; Opportunity@Work will be putting those ideas into practice.
— Anne-Marie Slaughter (President & CEO, New America)
 

MORE TO COME...