Gap Inc. announces plans to significantly expand This Way Ahead, its life skills and on-the-job training program for Opportunity Youth, from 15 cities in 2017 to 53 cities globally. 

Launched in 2007 for 16 to 24-year-olds from low-income communities, the company is rolling out new partnerships with non-profit organizations and introducing program models that will enable it to operate year-round. Based on the program’s proven results to attract and retain highly-engaged employees, the company plans to hire five percent of all new entry-level store employees from the program by 2025.

In addition to helping young people gain first job experiences, findings from program evaluations show that This Way Ahead also benefits Gap Inc. and the communities where it operates.

Examples include:

  • Participants tend to stay with the company twice as long as their peers and have higher engagement scores than their co-workers.
  • In 2017, 70 percent of participants reported increased confidence, particularly in their ability to get a job in the future.
  • Last year, 80 percent of store managers who worked with This Way Ahead participants reported increased skills in key competencies like leadership and communication skills.
  • Results from a new survey of This Way Ahead alumni (2007–2016 participants) show that 72 percent go on to secure stable employment compared with 55 percent of their peers.