Social Innovation Speaker Series: Papia Debroy and Kate Naranjo

October 21, 2021

On Thursday, October 21st, Papia Debroy, Senior Vice President of Insights at Opportunity@Work, and Kate Naranjo, Director of Opportunity@Work’s STARs Policy Project, discussed why the American Dream is not being realized by millions of families, particularly families with people of color. An analysis of workers and their jobs shows some clues on how we might change this.

The majority of our workforce are skilled through alternative routes (STARs) instead of a bachelor’s degree. STARs include workers across all races and ethnicities, ages, and geographies in the U.S. and they have experienced an opportunity gap in the past generation that has exacerbated inequality precipitously between them and workers with a bachelor’s degree. Yet, analysis shows many STARs have skills for higher wage occupations. This session will dive into a deeper understanding of this part of our workforce – who STARs are, the skills they hold as well as the employers who hire them and the pathways we could create to support their economic mobility. How might we rethink who is talented in the United States, and build systems that leverage their skills to create a more equitable future.


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