Gap Inc.

Gap Inc.

Gap Inc.’s Pioneering This Way Ahead Program: Giving youth a way in + a way up


Gap Inc. has long been a pioneering leader in the opportunity youth employment space, which builds on the company’s commitment to supporting community development while also addressing a challenging retail environment of high turnover.


Launched over a decade ago, Gap Inc.’s This Way Ahead program was initially designed to give young people facing barriers to employment an opportunity to land a first job. Specifically targeting 16-24 year olds from low-income communities, the program provides participants with a career coach and peer “buddy” to help them navigate the new and sometimes difficult world of work.

The Outcome

Gap Inc. has found that this innovative program has been a powerful talent pipeline. The employees who join the company through This Way Ahead have been shown to stay at the company twice as long as their peers, have higher engagement scores, and secure stable employment at a rate that is 31% higher than that of their peers. This success has led Gap Inc. to announce expansion plans of the program to 53 cities globally, with a commitment to hiring 5% of their entry level workers from This Way Ahead by 2025.