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.
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.