By shining a spotlight on what works, as well as identifying barriers to growth, we hope to spark a dialogue—particularly within the social impact investing space—about how to scale more robust and creative on-ramps to launch a larger portion of the 44 million working-class adults in America toward good and better jobs.

Together, we can:

Scale strategies and programs that work. Philanthropists, funders, and social entrepreneurs can invest in these models, build better business cases, or develop innovative approaches that address the barriers to scale that on-ramps face. With an ecosystem approach, more partners can help on-ramps more clearly demonstrate their value and efficacy, so that others can accelerate their learning and develop even more on-ramps. There is also a need to showcase more employers that view on-ramps as goodwill matched with better business practices.

Build an infrastructure for growth. On-ramps are proven models that other groups can leverage. Workforce investment boards and learning providers, such as community and technical colleges, which serve large populations of adult learners, can partner with on-ramps to deliver learning content or augment training, wraparound, or placement services. Or more directly, they can develop their own on-ramp programs.

Demystify and incentivize. Policymakers and funders can change the narrative about hiring nontraditional talent pools by incentivizing more employers to partner with innovative, nontraditional programs and attract more entrepreneurs to design new models to target the adults who are at serious risk of being left behind.

End of Report Excerpt