The Skills Gap

Students from diverse backgrounds, regardless of their socioeconomic status, aspire to lead lives of meaning and prosperity. Yet, many students from marginalized communities have long faced systemic barriers and inequities that severely hinder their ability to access their postsecondary ambitions which limit their employment opportunities.

Graph with data about the Texas Skills Mismatch

Only 45% of Texans possess the necessary skills training required to fill the majority of jobs (54%) in the state, which demand education beyond high school but not a four-year degree.

Preventing Disconnection After High School

When students face uncertainty, lack interest, or are unable to access a traditional four-year college pathway after high school graduation, they can become disconnected from school and work, becoming part of a growing population known as Opportunity Youth (OY). Opportunity Youth refers to young individuals aged 16 to 24 who are neither employed nor enrolled in higher education. Unfortunately, this group is disproportionately composed of people of color from low-income communities.

Student graph representation

45% of young people agree that “getting a college degree is not worth the investment, because I cannot afford to go into debt when I am not guaranteed a future career path.”

Out of an estimated 6 to 9 million Opportunity Youth in the United States, Texas has roughly 12% of these young adults not working and not in school.

Connecting Youth to Careers Requiring Less Than a Four-Year Degree

The disconnection of youth not only leads to worsened life outcomes, it poses a significant loss of city and national economic activity as these individuals are not investing in themselves with further education or training and not participating in the labor market. Now is the time to connect students to high-growth, high-demand career solutions that address the systemic barriers to student success.

Electrician Simulation

BridgeYear is dedicated to reversing the disconnection of youth from promising career pathways. Our dynamic solutions are designed to address the systemic barriers that hinder student success and limit economic growth. Explore our innovative programs to open doors for students: The Career Test Drive® Program offers hands-on career exploration, while Career Accelerators empower students with essential skills to prepare for the workforce. The Certification Cohort Program provides free guided pathways to success, and MorePathways (a BridgeYear website) presents affordable training options in the Houston area.

After 7 years of working alongside Houston’s underserved youth, we know our solutions work to set them on a pathway to social and economic mobility and independence. Join us in shaping a brighter future for youth and our economy.

Be a Catalyst for Change

With your support, we can empower students to enter rewarding careers and achieve economic stability. Together, we can bridge the opportunity gap and pave the way for a brighter future.