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Education Design Lab partners with OneTen to drive economic prosperity for Black talent in the United States

Education Design Lab forms strategic partnership with nation’s leading coalition committed to hiring and advancing Black Americans without four-year degrees

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 5, 2022) — Education Design Lab (the Lab), a national nonprofit helping colleges and employers design equity-based education solutions, today announced it has joined forces with OneTen, a coalition designed to close the opportunity gap for Black talent in the United States by working with America’s leading executives, companies and talent developers to hire and advance one million Black Americans without four-year degrees into family-sustaining roles within ten years. The Lab typically engages community colleges first and identifies the right mix of employers to engage. With OneTen, the Lab is starting the process by identifying employers first and matching them with appropriate community college partners.

As an endorsed OneTen talent developer, the Lab joins a growing portfolio of leading educators, upskillers and career training providers committed to providing in-demand skills for sought-after jobs at the country’s top employers. The Lab’s long-term goal is to create a replicable process that enables OneTen employers around the nation to build sustainable talent pipelines for Black (l)earners — learners and earners — with the community colleges in their region. Specifically, the partnership will use micro-pathways, an approach launched by the Lab’s Community College Growth Engine Fund (CCGEF).

Co-designed with (l)earners and employers, micro-pathways are defined as two or more stackable credentials (including at least one 21st century skill micro-credential) that can be completed in one year or less, resulting in a job at or above the local median wage, and start (l)earners on the path to an associate degree. By having employers committed to the co-design process at the start, colleges can respond more quickly to in-demand jobs. The three-year project will begin with CCGEF colleges located in four key markets:

  • Indianapolis, IN (Ivy Tech Community College )
  • New York, NY (City University of New York)
  • Philadelphia, PA (Community College of Philadelphia)
  • Washington, DC (Prince George’s Community College)

Micro-pathways offered in those regions are designed to lead to family-sustaining careers in information technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. Explore micro-pathways by industry sector here.

“The Lab is excited to partner with OneTen as part of our ongoing efforts to design education toward the future of work,” said Lisa Larson, Head of the Community College Growth Engine Fund. “This partnership will highlight the Lab’s leadership in skills-based education and hiring and support OneTen in reaching their goal of closing the opportunity gap for Black talent. Community colleges are best positioned to support OneTen and the Lab in this crucial mission.”

This partnership is more important than ever as the racial wealth gap in America remains vast, largely due to the lack of access to quality, well-paying jobs that do not require college degrees: 79% of jobs paying more than $50,000 require a four-year college degree, which automatically excludes the 76% of Black talent over age 25 with relevant experience who don’t have baccalaureate degrees. In an economy where Black people only own 1.5% of America’s wealth, harnessing multi-stakeholder partnerships is vital to spearheading diversity and fostering pathways to earned success.

“In today’s dynamic hiring environment, we recognize that it is absolutely essential to meet Black talent where they are in order to create equitable pathways to success,” said Maurice Jones, CEO of OneTen. “We’re thrilled to partner with the Lab to continue their work building strong talent pipelines from community colleges into some of the country’s top employers.”

The Lab and OneTen plan to empower and support the need for a diverse workforce through placement of Black talent into jobs that companies sorely need. By addressing unmet business needs, helping candidates find fulfilling employment and allowing more individuals to transition into careers with family-sustaining wages, inclusive work culture is within reach.

About Education Design Lab
The Education Design Lab (the Lab for short) is a national, nonprofit innovation engine that co-designs, validates, and scales education-to-workforce models through a human-centered design process focused on understanding learner experiences, addressing equity gaps in higher education, and accelerating economic mobility for new majority learners. Learn more about the Community College Growth Engine Fund here, and download: Design Insights Brief: Community College Growth Engine Fund Micro-pathways: A Gateway to Community College Transformation. Join the Lab’s #InnovatorNetwork: LinkedIn + email newsletter

About OneTen
OneTen is a coalition of leading chief executives and their companies who are coming together to upskill, hire and promote one million Black individuals who do not yet have a four-year degree into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement over the next 10 years. OneTen connects employers with talent developers including leading nonprofits and other skill-credentialing organizations who support development of diverse talent. By creating more equitable and inclusive workforces, we believe we can reach our full potential as a nation of united citizens. OneTen recognizes the unique potential in everyone – every individual, every business, every community – to change the arc of America’s story with Black talent. Join us at, where one can be the difference.

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