Carl Van Horn
No End in Sight: The Agony of Prolonged Employment -- New Nationwide Follow-up Survey by Heldrich Center
Despite positive signs of economic growth and a rising stock market, millions of unemployed American workers see no end to the Great Recession that wrecked their finances and threw their lives into turmoil. A new nationwide survey conducted in March 2010 of more than 900 workers who were jobless in August 2009 documents their continuing struggle to find jobs and the sacrifices they have endured in a punishing economy.
The report, entitled No End in Sight: The Agony of Prolonged Unemployment, was prepared by professors Carl Van Horn and Cliff Zukin of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. The report is based on a six-month follow-up survey with the national scientific sample of unemployed Americans reported in the Heldrich Center's widely acclaimed Anguish of Unemployment report released in September 2009. Seventy-six percent of those interviewed in August 2009 were re-interviewed by Knowledge Networks of Menlo Park, California between March 10 and 23 of this year.
Bloustein Center for Survey Research
The Bloustein Center for Survey Research (CSR) received a $153,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Education to conduct the Survey of Parents of Children with Disabilities as part of the NJDOE State Performance Plan. CSR was also awarded a $160,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services to assist with the creation of the DHSS New Jersey Birth Defects Reporting System and a $185,000 continuation grant for the Autism Component of the same study. CSR received a grant of over $450,000 from the NJDHS Division of Addiction Services to conduct the 2010 New Jersey Middle School Drug and Alcohol Survey.
BOCEP Study Reveals Participants Have Positive Experiences
Earlier this year BOCEP conducted a study of more than 200 course evaluations from 2005 to 2008. The study showed that the vast majority of those who took a course through BOCEP “learned a great deal” and that their course met or exceeded their expectations. Conducted in August 2008 by the Professional Development Institute, the study shows that BOCEP is providing high-quality, convenient online education to professionals in planning and related professions. Among the key findings were: BOCEP learners enjoyed the knowledge they gained in their classes, the interaction they had with their instructors, and the interaction they had with fellow learners. For those who were not completely satisfied with their courses, the main reasons cited were lack of student interaction, not enough or inappropriate course content, the lack of interaction by instructors and inadequate course management. It is useful to note that the positive comments far outnumbered the negative comments.
NJ BPU Awards Grant to CEEEP for New Jersey Energy Master Plan Assistance
The Center for Energy, Economic & Environmental Policy (CEEEP) received a grant from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in the amount of $900,000 to assist the NJ BPU in providing research and modeling support for the state's Energy Master Plan. Since the last Plan was adopted, the global, national, and regional energy picture has changed dramatically in the past decade-plus and continues to do so. Rising energy prices, unrelenting turmoil in the world oil market, environmental protection, intelligent economic growth, and restructuring the electric power industry are motivations for developing this new energy plan.
The Center for Transportation Safety, Security and Risk
The Center for Transportation Safety, Security, and Risk is developing programs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the application of a smart model for rail corridors, support for secure and resilient inland waterways, and for hazard crisis communication training for school bus drivers.
Center for Urban Policy Research Study Illustrates Historic Tax Credits' Ability to Create Jobs, Stimulate Economy
A comprehensive study by researchers at the Center for Urban Policy Research analyzed the economic impact of the federal Historic Tax Credit since its inception in 1976 and concluded that the Historic Tax Credit is a highly efficient job creator—accounting for the creation of 1.8 million new jobs over the life of the program. The study found that Historic Tax Credits generated those jobs more efficiently than other stimulus options and, in fact, the study concluded that the economic activity leveraged by Historic Tax Credit returns more tax revenue to the U.S. Treasury than the cost of implementing the program.
The report, the first ever to examine the economic impact of the Historic Tax Credit, also underscores the need for additional legislation to strengthen the federal credits, making them more widely available for smaller, rural projects and also encouraging their use for green and sustainable rehab projects.
Heldrich Center Receives Grant for NTAR Leadership Center
The Heldrich Center recently received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for continued work on its NTAR Leadership Center. The NTAR project is a multi-year initiative that helps state agencies share best practices that encourage new employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Another major grant was a $99,000 career education project that the Heldrich Center is undertaking for the New Jersey Department of Education. The Center staff is evaluating the introduction of Personalized Student Learning Plans at a cross section of schools statewide to see if they are an effective tool in matching individual student interests and skills to promising career paths.
National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Development
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a grant to the National Center for Neighborhood and Brownfields Development to study the economic impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on regions surrounding former U.S. major nuclear weapons facilities.
National Transit Institute
The National Transit Institute (NTI) was awarded a U.S. Department of Transportation–Federal Transit Administration grant in the amount of $80,000 to assist with the development of FTA Risk Assessment Training materials.
Professional Development Institute's Arts Build Communities Initiative Awarded Grant
In March, the Bloustein Professional Development Institute's “Arts Build Communities” initiative was awarded a $15,000 grant. In the foundation's letter to PDI, Dodge Foundation President David Grant said: "We are particularly impressed by what you have been able to accomplish in your start-up year... the Arts Build Communities is the only organization in New Jersey working at the nexus of creativity and sustainability, which is looking at the arts with the three E's (environment, economy and equity) in mind. With our missions so directly intertwined, we look forward to developing a strong partnership that explores how the arts can be a part of a movement that will yield a more creative economy and more viable, sustainable communities."
Rutgers Center for Green Building
The Rutgers Center for Green Building released the New Jersey Green Home Remodeling Guidelines Version 1.0 (opens a PDF) for homeowners and remodeling professionals in December 2009. The development of the guidelines was funded by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center
The Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) participated in a work group this past winter convened by the Center for Workers with Disabilities (CWD), an affiliate of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA). VTC was asked to join the work group to share findings, successes and outcomes related to the Center's 2005 report Meeting the Employment Transportation Needs of People with Disabilities in New Jersey, prepared for the NJ Division of Disability Services (DDS). Working with colleagues from Illinois, Massachusetts and Minnesota, VTC contributed to the CWD publication Getting to Work: A Case Study Report on Accessible Transportation Projects.
In November the VTC hosted the annual Alan M. Voorhees Distinguished Lecture series. Speaking on “The Obama Administration and the Future for U.S. Transportation Policy” was U.S. Department of Transportation's Under Secretary for Policy, Roy Kienitz, who discussed the Obama administration's priorities for transportation policy. The Obama administration had identified safety, livability, sustainability, and economic recovery as its primary transportation objectives.