Our Focus

The Skills Gap Initiative team of alumni volunteers is focused on key problems in workforce development ‒ especially for people from poorer New York area communities. We focus our efforts to improve placement and career progression outcomes for people who have a high school education or equivalent. 

The Skills Gap Initiative stems from work done by Harvard Business School’s faculty in 2012, U.S. Competitiveness Project.

The Challenge

Job Seekers

Motivated employees have neither the skills needed for career-oriented mid-level jobs in healthcare and tech, nor the ability to fund the education needed to acquire the skills.


Willing employers in healthcare and tech have openings that exceed the number of trained and competent employees, so positions go unfilled.

Our Approach

Our team of  HBS alumni volunteers created a ground-breaking partnership between healthcare employers including Weill Cornell and Mt. Sinai hospitals, and educators including LaGuardia Community College, a branch of the City University of NY.  

We collaborated with our partners to develop an intensive, 5-month evening program to train students to be employable as medical billers. Students completing the program qualified for immediate job openings.

We extended our partnerships to offer new opportunities for more students – and employers – by working with LaGuardia’s TechHire and CyberSecurity programs, to improve  placement rates and by securing funding for the new program. 

Our team recently launched new initiatives exploring innovative funding structures needed to support students of our current and future programs. 

The Opportunity

The Skills Gap Initiative provides a path forward for men and women seeking not just a well- paying job, but an on ramp to a career.  

And, it’s a win for alumni seeking fulfilling work, a win for our participating employers, a win for the City’s program sponsor, and a win for CUNY’s community colleges. Since 2016 more than 140 men and women have completed the healthcare program, and found employment, many of whom have already progressed from their entry level hire. 

We believe that our workforce development approach offers a replicable model of value to similar problems in other cities.

New Alumni Volunteers Always Welcome

Let us hear from you if you’d like to learn more about what we do and how you might help.

Alumni capable of making a 12 month commitment – or more – are especially encouraged to become part of our 17-member SGI team.

If you have problem-solving skills and want to work with our group of motivated alumni to expand our offerings and explore new opportunities, reach out to SGI Co-Chairs, Barry Puritz, MBA 1965, bpuritz@gmail.com, or Richard Kane, MBA 1968, richkane1@gmail.com.