The Door serves nearly 11,000 youth from all five boroughs, providing an array of wraparound programs and supports. In addition to general operating support, we provided the principal support for a strategic partnership with Gap Foundation’s This Way Ahead, (now called This Way ONward [TWON] and housed within the Old Navy brand), which capitalizes on the need for salespeople in some sectors of the retail industry. Through the partnership, the Door trains underserved youth who, after the training, are guaranteed retail jobs at Old Navy.
While New York City has numerous workforce programs, the vast majority focus on internships without strategic consideration to ensure participants are placed in a job or on career-tracks with advancement opportunities–which is a key priority in the TWON program. Old Navy is a good employer match because its customer base is receptive to younger salespeople, there are few entry-level skill requirements, flexible hours, and numerous advancement opportunities. Old Navy has made a commitment of 5% of Old Navy entry-level hires being TWON youth.