Impact Profile - GAP Inc.

Providing At-Risk Youth Meaningful Employment While Lessening Recruiting Costs 




Sustainable Development Goals:

#1 No Poverty

#4 Quality Education

#8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

#10 Reduced Inequalities


Business Drivers:

Increase market awareness

Strengthen customer satisfaction and loyalty

Inspire, attract, and retain top talent



Over the last 46 years, GAP Inc. has grown from a single store to a global fashion business with five brands — Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix. Gap's clothes are available in 90 countries worldwide through 3,300 company-operated stores, almost 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites and is still growing.  


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Today, young Americans ages 16-24 are experiencing unemployment rates that are at least twice the national average.  This ongoing challenge of youth unemployment impacts the economy and social mobility. Despite the current unemployment crisis, there are millions of U.S. jobs available that employers need to fill, but applicants lack the required degree, certificate and skills. 


GAP Inc. knows that the only way they will continue to grow successfully is by nurturing a strong, diverse team.  In 2007, GAP Inc. launched This Way Ahead, a store internship program, that empowers teens and young adults from low-income communities by teaching them valuable job preparedness and life skills while also generating proven talent and business benefits.  Young adults ages 16-24 interview for a ten-week paid internship at Old Navy, Gap, or Banana Republic stores. During their internship, participants receive personalized coaching while gaining hands-on experience working in a store.

The program drives growth, education, and retention.  The graduates stay with the company twice as long as their peers and have higher engagement scores.  To date, 75% of This Way Ahead alumni have received job offers from GAP Inc. Gap Foundation’s Executive Director of Community Leadership Gail Gershon described the impact of This Way Ahead: “What we started to see, both through the data and also through qualitative interviews and focus groups, was that these are amazing employees.”

 San Francisco Alum Jommel T.

San Francisco Alum Jommel T.

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With the success of This Way Ahead, GAP Inc. collaborated with the White House Council on Community Solutions under President Obama to design a toolkit that companies can utilize when hiring talent from communities that are often overlooked. 

GAP Inc. has also made a commitment to shift the hiring model so that by 2025, 5% of entry-level new hires in GAP Inc.’s North American stores will be graduates of This Way Ahead. Read more about GAP Inc.’s growing initiatives in CSR and Sustainability here.


Bibliography: About: Gap, Inc.; Youth Unemployment; Press Release: Gap Inc. Announces Expansion of Proven Store Internship Program; A New Way Ahead