RUTGERS Edward J, Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy


Presentations on Community Colleges and the Labor Market

Heldrich Center researchers Jennifer Cleary and Dr. Michelle Van Noy recently presented, “A Framework for Understanding Labor Market Alignment in Higher Education” at the Council for the Study of Community Colleges’ annual conference. Amidst pressure to promote successful employment outcomes among graduates, higher education institutions, particularly community colleges, are facing pressure to improve labor market alignment. However, labor market alignment is a concept without a clear definition. This presentation offered a comprehensive framework for understanding labor market alignment with a focus on community colleges, and assessed current research and practice on the issue and provided recommendations for future research. View their presentation. 

Additionally, Cleary and Van Noy, along with Michael Metzgar, executive director of the Workforce Development Program at Raritan Valley Community College, presented at the American Association of Community Colleges’ conference. Their presentation, “Aligning Higher Education with the Job Market: Innovative Ideas for Designing Strategies and Measuring Success,” explored ways that labor market alignment can be defined, implemented, and measured in community colleges. It also explored concepts critical to understanding alignment, how particular strategies contribute to outcomes, and lessons on implementation. View Cleary and Van Noy's presentation and download Metzgar's presentation.

Heldrich Center Developing Labor Market Alignment Framework

Colleges around the United States are challenged to improve student outcomes and stimulate economic growth by aligning the numbers and skills of graduates with industry needs. However, there is little agreement among stakeholders regarding what policies, actions, and outcomes are most desirable and effective. Drawing upon current Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Training grant evaluations, as well as years of experience working with higher education, industry, and the workforce system, Heldrich Center researchers are developing a comprehensive framework that will provide practitioners with an overview of the full range of policies and practices used to achieve labor market alignment and the array of approaches and measures that can be used to quantify its outcomes.

This effort will help higher education leaders make more informed decisions about how to implement and measure labor market alignment at the system, institution, and program levels. The Heldrich Center is seeking to further develop its framework through partnerships with colleges and programs that are engaged in labor market alignment activities and that seek to reflect upon and improve these activities through research and evaluation. Contact Michelle Van Noy or Jennifer Cleary if you are interested in discussing the framework and/or potential partnership opportunities.


Getting to Know You: Jocelyn Elise Crowley

Jocelyn Elise Crowley is a senior faculty fellow at the Heldrich Center and professor at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. In this new interview, she discusses her research, teaching, and workplace flexibility policies.


Register Today: The State of Workforce Diversity 2014

On Wednesday, April 23, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Heldrich Center will host The State of Workforce Diversity 2014. This year’s symposium will feature a keynote presentation on disability employment and a featured presentation and panel discussion on the widening income gap and its effect on diversity in both the workforce and society.

For the fifth consecutive year, top national diversity thought leaders, executives, academics, policy experts, and researchers will gather at Rutgers University to present and exchange their insights and ideas in an interactive environment with employers, governmental officials, public policymakers, and educators. The symposium provides an opportunity to share the most current research, content, and practices that can help to advance the future of workforce diversity strategy.

This year’s symposium will feature Randy Lewis, retired Senior Vice President of supply chain and logistics at Walgreens; David Dante Troutt, Professor of Law and Justice John J. Francis Scholar at the Rutgers School of Law–Newark; Hattie Dorsey, President, HBDorsey & Associates, LLC and former President/CEO, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership; and Bill Hackney, CFA, Managing Partner, Atlanta Capital Investment Managers.

There is no charge for attending The State of Workforce Diversity 2014. However, seating is limited and registration is required. Click here to register online by April 18, 2014, or copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:

The Heldrich Center Advisor

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Workforce Development Conference Logo


The Heldrich Center and the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Kansas City are partnering on an exciting project that will result in a national conference and an edited book in 2014. Read more.

Now Open: Registration for Workforce Development Conference

Join the Atlanta and Kansas City Feds along with the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University for the conference Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Polices for the 21st Century. The event will take place October 15–17.

Workforce development and labor market issues have come to the forefront as the nation continues its recovery from the Great Recession. National experts will share their perspectives on transformative education and workforce development strategies and policies to:

Improve opportunities for job seekers, students, and workers, especially those who face the greatest difficulties in the labor market

Meet the needs of employers and society for a highly skilled, well-educated, competitive, and productive workforce

Deliver effective and efficient solutions that can be adopted by federal, state, or local/regional governments as well as by educational institutions, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Who should attend: Workforce development providers, postsecondary educators, federal, state, and local policymakers, community-based organizations, researchers, lenders, the philanthropic community, and students are encouraged to attend.

Conference Hashtag: #WDPolicy14

Register today for this conference before the early bird deadline of Friday, July 18 and save $50.


Did You Know?

The Heldrich Center, founded in 1997, provides an independent source of analysis for reform and innovation in policymaking. The Center conducts research and evaluation projects to identify best practices in workforce development and employment and workplace policy. The Center’s evaluations are grounded in an understanding of a program’s core objectives, use cutting-edge methods, and provide ongoing feedback for program staff to improve program processes and outcomes.

The Heldrich Center offers an experienced evaluation team trained in a variety of disciplines, including economics, organizational psychology, sociology, political science, and public policy. Evaluators are well versed in customized mixed methods, calculating student outcomes, and comparison group analysis.

To learn more about the Center’s evaluation capacity, contact Bill Mabe, Ph.D., director of research and evaluation, at 732.932.4100, x6210.


Recent Publications

Looking for the latest Heldrich Center publications? Click here for a list of our most recent publications, all listed in reverse chronological order (with most recent listed first).