Lone Star Prize

Lone S.T.A.R.'s: Charting New Economic Pathways

Merit America

We will drive $1B in wage gains by building new pathways to upwardly-mobile careers for talented, low-wage Texans without bachelor’s degrees, focusing on underrepresented minorities.

Last Updated: January 2022
Project Factsheet
Two-page overview of proposal
Competition Participation
Lone Star Prize
Lone Star Prize
Workforce development
Current Work Location(s):
  • District of Columbia, United States
  • Dallas County, Texas, United States
  • Wake County, North Carolina, United States
  • Sacramento County, California, United States
  • Austin County, Texas, United States
  • Bexar County, Texas, United States
  • Houston County, Texas, United States
Priority Population(s):
  • People of African descent
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Unemployed people
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • 4. Quality education
  • 8. Decent work and economic growth
  • 10. Reduced inequalities

Executive Summary

Since February, nearly 3 million Texans have filed for unemployment, most from underrepresented backgrounds. Today’s challenge is about more than just getting Texans back to work: it’s about creating pathways to higher-paying, more resilient careers and building a more equitable future as the country recovers.

Over the next 5 years, Merit America will prepare vulnerable Texan STARs (individuals “Skilled Through Alternative Routes”) for careers in IT, advanced manufacturing, and healthcare with fast, flexible programs focused on what employers need most. This includes growing our current site in Dallas, and expanding into Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and multiple rural distressed communities. Our programs will allow underrepresented, underemployed Texans (including veterans) to upskill while balancing work, family, and social distancing.

Through this work, we will drive $1 billion in total wage gains over the next five years by serving 25,000 Americans (and 2,500 Texans) with a model that is 90% self-funded.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Merit America

website: https://www.meritamerica.org/
Organization Headquarters
Texas, United States
Organization ID
Number of Full-time Employees
26 to 50
Annual Operating Budget
$5.1 to 10 Million

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity

Organizations may provide budget and employee data based on this proposal or the organization as a whole. For more information on this proposal or organization, please email us.

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