Our latest insights on education, assessments, and employability.

Back to Blog 06.20.23

Spotlight on STARS – Skilled Through Alternative Routes

by Eric Stoller

Territorium is all about bridging education to employability. Our technology empowers learners and workers and provides organizations with actionable data that reveals each learner’s validated skills in a comprehensive way that counts and matters.

With skills mattering more (than just a degree) each day in the workforce, it’s no surprise that we support the work being done by Opportunity@Work:

“The mission at Opportunity@Work is to rewire the U.S. labor market so that all individuals Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) can work, learn, and earn to their full potential.

STARs are defined as individuals at least 25 years old, currently active in the workforce, and having a high school diploma, but not having a bachelor’s degree.

STARs have developed valuable skills on the job, through military service, in community college, or through other alternative routes. In fact, [Opportunity@Work’s] research has found that millions of STARs have demonstrated skills for roles with salaries at least 50% higher than their current job.

At 70 million strong, STARs are a massive pool of skilled talent, larger than the populations of California and Texas…combined.”

One of Opportunity@Work’s signature initiatives is the Tear the Paper Ceiling campaign:

“The Paper Ceiling(n) the invisible barrier that comes at every turn for workers without a bachelor’s degree. See also: no alumni network, biased algorithms, degree screens, stereotypes, and misperceptions.

The paper ceiling represents the degree screens, biased algorithms, stereotypes, and exclusive professional networking that block career opportunities for more than 70 million workers in the U.S. who are STARs – Skilled Through Alternative Routes rather than a bachelor’s degree. When we tear the paper ceiling, employers gain access to a massive and diverse pool of skilled candidates for hard-to-fill jobs, while STARs get a fair chance to earn the higher wages that lead to upward economic mobility.

With workers and companies uniting to create a new and more equitable future of work in which skills matter more than what’s on paper, both STARs and employers can thrive again.”

At Territorium, we are proud to support Opportunity@Work as their initiatives lead to positive outcomes for workers across the United States.