What is the Opportunity Gap?
The Opportunity Gap is the lack of access to resources and quality education needed to set individuals up for success. Without training or credentials, it is nearly impossible to acquire sustainable employment with higher-wages. While this may seem like a small feat, this disparity impacts the trajectory of lives and creates patterns that can leave generations of a family trying to get ahead to no avail.
In New Hanover County alone, about 25% of households have an annual salary of under $25K. This is less than the living salary needed to provide for a single individual according to MIT’s living wage calculator.
The North Carolina Department of Commerce found that 40% of NC employers are having trouble hiring talent. The top reasons for this include a lack of skills training and employability. Inaccessibility to the skills and education needed to attain this level of employability should not equate to having to settle for low-paying positions with little to no opportunity for growth.
Since its start in 2003, StepUp Wilmington has worked to meet the need in our community by providing free job skills training, access to gainful employment and works with community partners to make affordable higher education possible. The organization also works with local employers to provide jobs with a fair wage, and established NextUp to address underemployment in our region, allowing individuals to find better jobs with increased income.
While there is still work to be done, StepUp Wilmington is actively working to create more pathways to success for members of our community.
If you or someone you know is ready to get to work, give us a call at (910)343-8469 to learn more.