In 2004, the Heldrich Center conducted a national survey of American workers and employers to identify the extent to which workers and employers were continuing to be affected by economic issues and business restructuring during the post-9/11 recession.
This 2009 Work Trends survey found the American worker in a state of deep distress due to the economic downturn. Many of those in the labor force either believe the U.S. economy is in a depression, or think the economic problems indicate the economy is undergoing fundamental and lasting changes. Job losses are widespread. A significant portion of workers say they have been laid off from a full- or part-time job in the past three years, or have seen colleagues get laid off. Meanwhile, many express their lack of confidence in the American banking system.
In 2002, the Heldrich Center began work with the September 11th Fund to provide grants management, technical assistance, research, and performance monitoring for the $78-million Employment Assistance Program, which served over 11,000 workers dislocated from their jobs in lower Manhattan following the terrorist attacks of 2001. The Center developed a comprehensive program design that was used to launch the program in the fall of 2002 and then worked with the Fund and service providers in New York City, New Jersey, and Long Island to manage the program until its conclusion in December 2004.
The Heldrich Center will work with the Kessler Foundation to identify common performance measures that can be used to track the success of the grants the Foundation issues to help people with disabilities obtain employment. A system of common measures and outcomes will enable the Foundation to collect standard information from grantees, to monitor the performance of its various efforts, and to guide program implementation. The Center will also conduct evaluations of six grants that the Kessler Foundation is awarding under its Signature Grant program.
New Jersey's Economic Growth Strategy, released in fall 2006, identified a series of steps the state will take to build a world-class workforce. To support this effort, the Heldrich Center was commissioned to conduct research on the workforce needs of the state's key industries: biopharmaceuticals, finance, and information/communications.
In 2003-2004, the Heldrich Center provided technical assistance to the New Jersey Department of Human Services and the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities in hosting two symposia on the subject of moving people with disabilities into competitive employment in New Jersey. The December 2003 statewide symposium resulted in a report titled Toward the Accessible Workplace: Strategies for Competitive Employment Among New Jerseyans with Disabilities. The December 2004 summit resulted in a report titled New Jersey's Challenge: A Summit on Moving People with Disabilities to Work.
The Heldrich Center worked with the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities to develop a handbook for parents who have children with disabilities. The book serves as a source of encouragement and inspiration for parents about opportunities that exist for children with developmental disabilities, to educate parents about the benefits of working, and provide insight into today’s workplace and the technological requirements of occupations that allow people with disabilities to perform in jobs they may previously have not been able to perform.
In 2002, the Heldrich Center conducted a national survey of American workers on their views related to discrimination in the workplace -- how they perceive and experience discrimination, as well as what they expect government and employers to do about it. The survey was conducted in partnership with the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut.
In 2004, the Heldrich Center produced an in-depth study that described the impact of job loss and offered a series of recommendations for workers, employers, and policymakers for dealing with the consequences of job loss. A variety of research methodologies were used to prepare the study’s report. The Center conducted eight focus groups with dislocated workers in both urban and rural regions, and conducted interviews with human resources executives, outplacement executives, and state workforce administrators and rapid response practitioners.
In 2000, 2002, and 2005, the Heldrich Center conducted three national surveys (Second Wind, Taking Stock of Retirement, and A Work-Filled Retirement) on the topic of older American workers to identify worker issues related to retirement plans, social security and pension concerns, thoughts about the economy and their future, as well as their post-retirement employment plans. The Center’s Work Trends surveys have been featured in more than 200 newspaper and broadcasts worldwide.