Opportunity Jobs and Beyond
The existing original research studied by the OFJ research team clearly illustrates that the retail, travel and restaurant industries remain vested in helping their employees climb the ladder of opportunity. The primary limitation that these industries have regarding growth is the ability to train, develop and promote new managers to run their next locations. It is also why opportunity job creators invest tens of millions each year in recruiting, training and developing their employees to provide them with the skills and experience needed to become successful managers.
Those that pay their dues by working hard and seize the opportunities these three industries provide secure a strong and rising level of income and boost their families into the American middle class, and in many cases, beyond. The entry level, opportunity jobs in these industries equip workers with a wide range of skills and experiences and prepare them to succeed in almost any profession. They provide millions with a gateway to a promising career, and often are the only avenue to middle class in an American economy where manufacturing jobs have been driven off shore and high-tech jobs require extensive higher education that is beyond the financial reach of many.
Consider the travel industry, where nearly 40% of workers who began their careers in travel now earn at least $100,000—double the rate for the healthcare industry.
Opportunity job industries are essential contributors to a strong, upwardly mobile job market. They help ensure that all Americans have the opportunities they need to succeed, whether it’s grabbing that first rung on the job ladder or building a rewarding career. To preserve these opportunities, a much broader level of awareness and understanding is needed, along with public policies that encourage the protection of these opportunity jobs and the industries that create them.