transform hiring practices

If employers want to solve the skills gap, the solution is to hire for skills mastery rather than resume history.
— Byron Auguste

We are working with employers to change the way they hire. By building a hiring channel that focuses on skills and competency instead of pedigree and history, we are enabling employers to hire candidates who can do the job and may otherwise have been overlooked. 

With a million IT jobs to fill over the next year, employers will need to tap into nontraditional and overlooked talent pools. Finding the right person for the job is essential for continued growth in the Tech sector and the American economy.

expand learning pathways

Closing the opportunity gaps will benefit companies and job seekers alike, empowering all Americans to create a brighter economic future for the country.
— Yolanda Townsend, Senior Vice President & General Counsel

There is an immense job training and education accessibility gap. Too many Americans do not know what the next step on their career ladder could look like. We work with community partners across the nation who are making information about training and education accessible to anyone who has the aptitude and motivation to learn to enable more Americans to take that next step. 

pioneer talent financing

We are re-imagining education financing with the individual at the center of the design.
— Karan Chopra

The Problem
Millions of Americans have the ability, but not the means, to attain digital-age middle class jobs through upskilling and job retraining. Barriers such as a lack of traditional credentials, low credit scores, and personal circumstances prevent people from pursuing higher-paying jobs - jobs that would break the cycle of poverty and help individuals  and their families attain greater financial stability. Moreover, current financing options do not effectively align incentives around successful career outcomes for the individual.  

The Solution
Opportunity@Work has a radical yet simple solution: remove these barriers by constructing a financing system that aligns all information, incentives, and returns around the individual’s success. After 2 years of incubation and testing, Opportunity@Work launched the “Earn and Learn” pilot in November 2017. 

Key elements of our solution include:

  • Inclusive selection: the underwriting process is based on the ROI of the education pathway (as proven by their outcomes data) and an individual’s potential to succeed – not on past credit history or pedigree.

  • Payments tied to individuals’ success: individuals will pay a portion of their income – benchmarked to affordability and sustainability for the individual - so payments are based on success and designed to be affordable.

  • Education provider risk sharing: a share of the revenue to the education or training institution will be tied to student graduation and job placement, aligning the educators’ incentive with student success

  • Wrap around support: individuals receive funding to cover living expenses, transportation, computer access and other supports necessary for successful completion

  • Pay it forward: any surplus returns from repayments after netting out costs flow back into the fund to support future indiviuals on their education-to-employment journey.

Learn and Earn Program

Learn and Earn Program

Opportunity@Work, along with General Assembly, is currently piloting the Learn and Earn Program in Washington, DC with an initial cohort of low-income students who are currently overlooked or underrepresented in tech occupations. We have plans to launch additional pilots in other cities in the near future. The pilots will be conducted in partnership with leading accelerated training institutions (both nonprofit and for-profit) with proven outcomes - for example, high graduation and job placement rates into skilled jobs with strong future demand and salary growth.
We will use the learnings from the pilot to improve and deploy a solution that we believe can transform student financing – aligning incentives around upward mobility for the individual.  It will allow low-income American strivers with the ability to acquire skills for our dynamic economy to reach their potential, support their families, and inspire their communities as they “pay it forward”. Importantly, at a time of rapid disruption in our economy, we aim to prove a model that will allow low-income individuals and lower-wage employees to access effective (re) training for in-demand jobs and careers.