Industry: Retails & Consumer Packaged Goods Business Need: Labor Costs, Onboarding & Training, Recruiting & Efficiency, Retention & Productivity

Gap Inc.’s This Way Ahead program gives young people a chance to prepare for and experience their first jobs. It offers Gap Inc. employees meaningful development opportunities and deeper connections with co-workers, while building their company loyalty.

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"As an employer, we have a unique opportunity to provide youth with a window into the world of work."
Gail Gershon, Executive Director of Community Leadership
Gap, Inc.


As one of the leaders in the retail industry, Gap Inc. wanted to give underserved youth more opportunities to get ready for their first jobs, as well as leverage employee expertise with hiring and training young people.



In partnership with leading youth-serving nonprofits, Gap Inc. developed This Way Ahead (TWA). The program features three key phases: job readiness classes on topics such as diversity and conflict resolution; paid internships at Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic stores; and multiple months of follow-on support and guidance from nonprofit staff. TWA operates in New York, San Francisco, Boston and Houston, with plans to expand to a 5th site in 2015.


  • 76% of youth demonstrated improvements in skills needed to get a first job
  • 51% of youth showed improved confidence
  • 74% of employee volunteers said the program improved their leadership skills
  • 100% of employee volunteers said that This Way Ahead made them “extremely proud to be Gap Inc. employees


Source: Gap Inc. This Way Ahead Overview. 2014.

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