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Talent Developers Have New Pipeline to Employers

Published Jul 25, 2022 by Susan Moore

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Talent developers across greater Houston have a new tool to help them directly connect clients without bachelor’s degrees to employers specifically seeking to hire them.

Stellarworx, a robust talent marketplace tool, designed exclusively for Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) jobseekers – those other than a bachelor’s degree. Stellarworx is now available to help the Houston region’s 1.6 million STARs jobseekers join candidate pools through a new collaboration between Opportunity@Work, Chevron and the Partnership's UpSkill Houston initiative.

“We know that talent developers can struggle to identify players who are actively hiring STARs and spend months build relationships with employers and compete for a limited number of jobs available for STARs,” said Opportunity@Work’s Nicole Daniels in a recent meeting hosted by UpSkill Houston. “The employers on Stellarworx have chosen to come to us because they want to embrace skills-based hiring and they want to hire STARs, and they recognize the diverse skills and perspectives that STARs bring to the table.”

STARs account for about 70 million workers nationwide (60 percent of the American workforce) and cut across all demographics and people groups, according to Opportunity@Work. They have developed skills employers seek and value through avenues including community college, military service, and on-the-job training, but are often screened out of talent searches because they do not hold a bachelor’s degree. Thanks to degree requirements used as proxies for skills, workers only have access to about 26 percent of all new jobs created.

Stellarworx is providing talent developers an easier way to have their clients recognized by employers hiring for good jobs with good pay and opportunities for career advancement. All jobs posted on Stellarworx come with a minimum wage of $20 per hour, and they all must lead to a career pathway.

The talent marketplace:

  • Uses skills-based matching to identify employers and jobs best suited to enrolled STARs.
  • Offers talent developers a one-stop-shop to aggregate labor market supply and demand information.
  • Supports a healthy feedback loop between talent developers and employers to drive better client outcomes long term.
  • Provides talent developers data and insights to track their clients’ career searches.

The Stellarworx talent marketplace was launched in late 2020 is currently operating in three U.S. cities (and counting). More than 110 employers utilize the platform to find talent from its 2,100 talented STAR users.

Opportunity@Work, which developed the platform, works to rewire the labor market open pathways for STARs to work, learn, and earn to their full potential. 

“If they have the skills to do the job, they should be able to get the job,”  the organization’s Bridgette Gray said.

Talent developers who are interested in learning more can contact Opportunity@Work’s Nicole Daniels directly at

The Partnership’s UpSkill Houston initiative works to strengthen the talent pipeline employers need to grow their businesses and to help all Houstonians build relevant skills and connect to good careers that increase their economic opportunity and mobility. Learn more.

Executive Partners