Bipartisan Coalition Unveils New Data And National Shared Plan Of Action To Help Close The Opportunity Gap In America

Sep 19, 2012, 09:03 ET from Opportunity Nation

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1200 leaders from across the political spectrum and representing every corner of society gathered today to support Opportunity Nation's national Shared Plan of action, an eight-point plan combining public and private sector efforts to create new pathways for young adults to succeed in high school, post-secondary education, and careers.

The bipartisan campaign also released new data that provides a snapshot of what opportunity looks like at the ground level.  Called the Opportunity Index, the measure ranks every state and assigns nearly every county in the country an opportunity score ranging from "A" for excellent to "F" for failing.

"The Opportunity Index shows that the number of young adults aged 16-24 years old who are not connected to school or work plays a powerful role in the success of a community," said Mark Edwards, executive director of Opportunity Nation.  "If we are to be competitive as a nation in the global economy, we need to make sure that all our young adults have the ability to climb the ladder of success, and our Shared Plan is designed to do just that."

Opportunity Nation's Shared Plan of action combines actions that can be taken by legislators at every level of government, business and private sector entities, and individuals themselves, including but not limited to:

  1. Incentivize Innovation through an Enterprising Pathways Program
  2. Increase Pathways to Secondary and Post-secondary Success for All Youth
  3. Boost Youth Mentoring in Communities
  4. Reauthorize and Reform Federal Policies to Improve CTE

Leaders such as Senators Marco Rubio, Tom Harkin, and Chris Coons; Governor Deval Patrick; media personalities Arianna Huffington, Judy Woodruff, Michael Gerson; celebrity Jordin Sparks and many others were on-hand to offer their thoughts on what America needs to do so ensure that the skills and talents of an entire generation are not lost because of inadequate pathways to success. 

In the midst of a national election, and with both political parties seeking to own the issues of improving economic mobility and restoring the American Dream, the event was particularly well timed and commended for its efforts to demonstrate that bipartisan cooperation can still exist in the nation's capitol.

A complete list of speakers, as well as links to download the Shared Plan and to see where you state ranked on the 2012 Opportunity Index can be found at

Contact: Chris Cashman, 646-396-0798

SOURCE Opportunity Nation