Today, nonprofits Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council announced a new collaborative effort that will inspire employers to remove hiring barriers that block the majority of workers in the U.S. from earning higher wages commensurate with their skills.

The multiyear effort will focus on creating upward mobility for the more than 70 million workers in the U.S. who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs), such as community college, workforce training, bootcamps, certificate programs, military service, or on-the-job learning, rather than through a bachelor’s degree. Leveraging Opportunity@Work’s labor market insights and support from a growing coalition of more than 20 corporate and nonprofit partners to date, the effort will include a national public service advertising campaign, developed by the Ad Council and creative agency Ogilvy, launching this fall.

In an effort to change the narrative around the value of STARs’ skills and potential in the workplace, the upcoming integrated campaign will span mass media, social media, targeted digital advertising, earned media, and other communications channels to raise awareness of the skills and potential of STARs.

National organizations ranging from employers to philanthropies and workforce development organizations have already joined the growing coalition in support of STARs. This initial group of more than 20 partners will support this collective effort, and includes the following:

  • Chevron
  • Cognizant Foundation
  • Comcast NBCUniversal
  • Emsi Burning Glass
  • Gap Foundation
  • Grads of Life
  • Generation USA
  • Google
  • IBM
  • IDEO
  • James Irvine Foundation
  • JFF
  • LinkedIn
  • Merit America
  • National Fund for Workforce Solutions
  • NPower
  • Per Scholas
  • SkillUp
  • Strada Education Network
  • Walmart
  • Workday
  • WorkingNation
  • Year Up

Ahead of the September launch of the national STARs campaign, Opportunity@Work plans to add more interested partners to the coalition, and encourages those interested in becoming part of the movement to visit to get involved.

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