Carl Van Horn
The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development was awarded a $100,000 grant from Johnson & Johnson to manage two workforce initiatives designed to strengthen health care services in New Jersey and nationally. One is to expand awareness among high school students in the greater New Brunswick area of career opportunities in the life sciences; the other is to conduct a nationwide survey of American workers regarding their knowledge, awareness and use of workplace wellness programs and policies, such as stress management, weight loss and smoking cessation.
The Heldrich Center has also been actively involved in the field of assisting persons with disabilities in finding employment, working on various projects with the New Jersey Department of Human Services, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the state’s Developmental Disabilities Council.
The Bloustein Center for Survey Research has taken an active role in health-related survey research. The New Jersey Department of Human Services contracted with BCSR to undertake a New Jersey Drug and Alcohol Household Survey providing statewide estimates on the level of substance abuse and the need and demand for treatment services. The state Department of Health and Senior Services (NJHSS) asked BCSR to conduct a Pregnancy Risk Assessment Management Study, part of a national effort to address issues of low birthweight and infant mortality. In addition, NJHSS awarded BCSR a contract to modify the Birth Defects Reporting System it has been developing for the state by adding a component to specifically track the incidence of autism among children.
The Center for Energy, Economic and Environmental Policy (CEEEP) has begun its third year of work helping to develop the state's Energy Master Plan for the state Board of Public Utilities. CEEEP's work has included extensive data collection, modeling, and analysis of the electricity, heating and transportation sectors.
The Center for Urban Policy Research (CUPR) has published a major research study for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as part of national efforts to expand the nation’s inventory of affordable housing. Entitled “A National Survey of Local Land-Use Regulations: Steps Toward a Beginning," the study will help HUD to create a national database of state and local land-use regulatory practices. Professor and CUPR Co-Director Robert Burchell and Associate Research Professor Michael Lahr served as principal investigators.
In addition, local governments and non-profit organizations from Santa Fe to East Brunswick sought out CUPR’s expertise for economic, workforce and affordable housing analysis. CUPR assessed the economic impacts of historic preservation for Preservation Oklahoma, Inc. and is analyzing the fiscal impacts of oil, gas and geothermal drilling in the Galisteo Basin on Santa Fe, NM. The Township of East Brunswick asked CUPR to undertake a fiscal impact analysis for a proposed transit-oriented development.
The work of the HIV Prevention Community Planning Support and Development Initiative (CPSDI) will continue through 2008 thanks to a $562,799 grant from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. A joint program between the state and the Bloustein School, the project is designed to improve the state's HIV prevention capabilities by increasing the impact of planning body members in their advisory roles and providers in their service roles.
The Rutgers Center for Green Building is creating a New Jersey Green Building Manual and Green Home Remodeling Guidelines for the state Department of Environmental Protection. The guides are intended to simplify the information available to builders and homeowners who want to incorporate green building features.
The New Jersey Sustainable State Institute (NJSSI) has taken on a series of state and local projects to advance sustainable development. The state Department of Community Affairs provided funding for NJSSI to create a Sustainable Communities Leadership Network that will develop a model sustainable community plan. The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation is supporting NJSSI’s work with the Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey. On the local level, NJSSI is helping Middlesex County create a sustainable development plan and serving as a consultant on the "Trenton Green" project.
The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) won its first contract from the Transportation Research Board, submitting the winning proposal for a study that will establish a methodology to estimate the economic development impacts resulting from investments in transit projects. The methodology will be designed for use by state and local transportation agencies seeking federal capital support.
VTC also won a number of contracts from the state Department of Transportation. VTC is helping the state prepare for next year's scheduled reauthorization of the federal transportation program, researching and recommending positions regarding key issues affecting New Jersey that Congress will address in the reauthorization. In addition, NJDOT provided funding to VTC to continue managing the New Jersey Bicycle & Pedestrian Resource Center for the seventh consecutive year, and the Safe Routes to School program for a second year.