The New Start Career Network started at Rutgers in 2015 as a part of the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and has worked to handle the state’s unemployment issue, which has dropped to 3.5 percent, its lowest rate in 50 years, according to an article from Patch.
The program was created to attend to chronic and long-term unemployment and re-educate those who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. Those who receive help from the program are commonly older and do not have recent education that relates to the modern workforce.
The Center has provided assistance in finding employment to more than 6,000 state residents through job training, networking, guidance in creating a resume, tips on using social media, providing background on the labor market and job fairs, according to the article.
New Jersey has one of the country’s highest rates of long-term unemployment, with more than 4 in 10 unemployed New Jersey residents, nearly 125 thousand people, who seek employment. Of this group, 70 percent had been unemployed for more than a year and approximately half of them were over the age of 45.
Most of those who received assistance were between the ages of 55 to 64, and approximately three-quarters of them had received a college degree.
"Older Americans are more likely to find themselves among the long-term unemployed, and there are very limited remedies in this country to deal with these issues," said Carl Van Horn, founder of the Center. "The longer you are unemployed, the more stigma is attached.”
The Center consists of 400 volunteers who provide assistance. One of its largest funders is the Gov. Phil Murphy's (D-N.J.) foundation, Philip and Tammy Murphy Family Foundation.
"What we did here with the New Start Career Network represents the best of New Jersey, and is a model for the nation," said Murphy (D-N.J.) in a statement. "We have the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, our state university, devoting its expertise and its resources. We have business, government, nonprofits, individual volunteers and other organizations coming together to solve a problem that affects the livelihood of so many."