For too long the issues that make up the rungs on the ladder of opportunity have been neglected in America. Successfully repairing the broken rungs will only be possible through an inclusive, collaborative process, one that recognizes that there is a role for everyone to play: business and governments, academia and non-profits, and everyday Americans.
No political party or ideology has a monopoly on good ideas to increase opportunity, and by bringing together a broad cross-section of individuals and organizations, and by cutting across program and policy silos and finding common ground, we can create lasting solutions to increase opportunity in America.
Using the research gleaned from the Opportunity Index, Opportunity Nation identified an early and critical rung on the ladder of opportunity that requires urgent action today: ensuring that the rising generation is equipped with the skills needed to compete in the current and future economies.
With input from our diverse coalition and a collection of bipartisan think tanks, our first Shared Plan of Action recognizes that not everyone will pursue a bachelor’s degree right after high school, and therefore multiple pathways are needed to engage today’s young adults that are looking for alternative ways to begin their post-secondary school and ultimately a career.Our nation will not be competitive in the future if only our most privileged are able to succeed, and with nearly seven million young adults not employed and not in school, we are at risk of losing a generation of innovation and talent.
Images from top to bottom: Opportunity Scholars Town Hall Event; 2011 Opportunity Summit; Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief Huffington Post (Left); Michael Gerson, Columnist, Washington Post (Right)