When educational opportunities are lost to young adults, the annual cost is $93 billion in “lost wages, taxes, and social security” to society. Opportunity Nation is a bi-partisan movement that exists for the common purpose of providing economic opportunities to as many Americans as possible. Local community planners and leaders can use the site to enhance their understanding of the relationship between social mobility and economic prosperity in their own localities. The site also offers solutions for solving the educational gaps that exist in many communities.
Users to the site will want to explore each of the five categories listed under Issues. These featured issues include Education, Economic Mobility, Jobs and the Economy, Strong Communities and Reclaiming the American Dream.
Other site highlights include:
- Each of the issues corresponds to a Shared Plan (http://www.opportunitynation.org/pages/the-shared-plan). This plan has an eight step process for reinvigorating local economies, guidance for establishing an “Opportunities Index”, and two downloadable reports on fostering job opportunities.
- Planners and community leaders should then visit the “Strong Communities” section under the Issues category and click on the http://www.opportunityindex.org link. This will bring up a map of the U.S. Find your state or county and a “grade sheet” will emerge for your state or county, along with its economic, education and community scores. Each of these grade/score sheets features local information that the planner or community leader can use to compare or contrast with other counties or states with others.
How to Use
Community planners and local leaders can use this site as a helpful source of information and inspiration. The Opportunity Index is incredibly informative and the action steps in the Shared Plan provide a broad set of goals that can help structure and inform community plans, projects, and initiatives. Finally, the planner or leader can learn more through downloadable resources or engage with other thought leaders through Opportunity Nation conferences.
View the website: Opportunity Nation