Workforce Diploma

Making diploma attainment and career preparation possible for all Americans.

The path to retooling the nation’s workforce and achieving a brighter economic future begins with ensuring every American completes a high school education — and the nation has made admirable strides toward that goal: There is increasing evidence that the nation might reach the once seemingly impossible milestone of 90 percent on-time graduation by the year 2020.


Even upon reaching that goal, though, hundreds of thousands of students will be left behind.


  • In 2014 — a year in which the nation reached its highest-ever rate of graduation — more than 325,000 high school students left high school before earning their diploma
  • 1 in 7 working age adults (more than 30 million in total1) still have not attained the most basic of all workforce credentials: a high school diploma
  • On average, each individual who leaves school before earning a diploma will pay $230,000 less in taxes over their working lives and consume $70,000 in social services


It is for these reasons that diploma attainment is no longer an education issue; it’s a $9 trillion economic crisis.


In partnership with economic and workforce development leaders across the country, Graduation Alliance is initiating the nation’s first Workforce Diploma program. Targeting working-age adults who exited high school prior to graduation, the Workforce Diploma is fully accredited, available entirely online and on-track to yield an ROI of more than 70:1.


Program participants must be willing and able to demonstrate a profound commitment to their personal advancement. Those who do will graduate the program with a high school diploma — not a GED — and will possess basic and skill-specific credentials, earn industry-based certifications and feel empowered to take on challenging, in-demand careers.

Education Crisis or Economic Catastrophe?

Graduation rates are soaring, but at a cost of $7.4 trillion in lost opportunities that can no longer be ignored. Download our whitepaper to learn more about the hidden costs to our nation of a 90% graduation rate.


  1. United States Census Bureau (2013). Educational Attainment in the United States: 2013 – Detailed Tables. [Report] Retrieved January 26, 2015, from