Who We Are

The New Start Career Network (NSCN), a program to serve New Jersey’s older, long-term unemployed job seekers is operated by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, a national policy and research center within the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.

Since its founding in 1997, the Heldrich Center has been documenting the challenges facing long-term unemployed and older job seekers.  These challenges are especially acute in New Jersey, where four in 10 unemployed job seekers—over 125,000 individuals—have been out of work six months or longer.

With support from several private foundations and a wide array of community partners, the Heldrich Center has developed the NSCN to connect New Jersey job seekers to a mix of free-of-charge “high tech” and “high touch” services to help them meet their employment needs and address their personal and financial challenges. These services include job search information and advice, career coaching provided by a network of trained, volunteer coaches, access to education and training, and referrals to mental health and financial advising. We are also engaging public, private, and nonprofit employers to hire qualified NSCN members and reform hiring practices to help New Jersey’s long-term unemployed job seekers. Click here for a copy of the NSCN brochure.

Major funding for NSCN was provided by the Philip and Tammy Murphy Family Foundation with additional support from New Jersey Resources, the Fund for New Jersey, the AARP Foundation, DirectEmployers Association, and the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.  For more about the Heldrich Center, please visit our website at: www.heldrich.rutgers.edu.


NSCN Advisory Board

Chair of the Advisory Board
Philip D. Murphy
State of New Jersey
Sivaraman Anbarasan
Executive Director/CEO
NJCC Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development
Amy Mansue
Chair, NJ Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
President & CEO, Children’s Specialized Hospital
Dennis Bone
Director Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship,
Montclair State University
Carlos A. Medina
Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ
Tim Castano
New Start New Jersey
Gil Medina
Executive Vice President
Samuel A. Delgado
Vice President, External Affairs
Verizon New Jersey
Beverly Riddick
Executive Director
Ready to Work Business Collaborative
Christina DeOliveira
Chair, Workforce Readiness
Garden State Council - SHRM
Richard Toland
Enterprise Account Executive
Christopher DiMeo
Program Manager
NJ State Building & Construction Trades Council.
Kathy M. Weaver
Vice President of Programs
Newark Alliance
Vicki Gaddy
Vice President, Talent Services
Bio NJ
Melanie L. Willoughby
Chief Government Affairs Officer
New Jersey Business and Industry Association
Glenn Henry
Director of Human Resources
UPS—North Atlantic District
David Zaharchuk
Global Industry Research Leader
IBM Institute for Business Value
Ralph Izzo
Chairman, President and CEO


John Doe

Maria Heidkamp

heidkamp@rutgers.edu 848.932.1490
Maria Heidkamp is Director of the New Start Career Network and a Senior Researcher at the Heldrich Center where her projects involve the long-term unemployed, dislocated and older workers, and persons with disabilities. Previously, she worked overseas for the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Agency for International Development as the director of the Labor Market Transition Project in Hungary. She has a B.A. in government from Cornell University and a Master’s degree from New York University.
John Doe

Carl Van Horn

vanhorn@rutgers.edu 848.932.4100
Carl Van Horn is Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at Rutgers and Director of the Heldrich Center. He is a widely recognized expert on workforce, human resources, and employment policy issues with extensive experience in public and private sector policymaking. He is a member of the university’s graduate faculties of planning and public policy, management and labor relations, education, and political science. He earned his Ph.D. in Political Science/Public Policy from Ohio State University.
John Doe

Michele Martin

Michele Martin, NSCN Senior Associate, is a certified Career Development Facilitator Instructor with over 20 years of experience in career coaching and workforce development program development. She is President of The Bamboo Project, Inc. where she focuses on individual and organizational capacity-building, coaching, training and program design to build career resilience. She has a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. 
John Doe

Robb C. Sewell

rcsewell@rutgers.edu 848.932.1489

Robb C. Sewell is Senior Writer/Editor at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. He manages  the New Start Career Network's communications and events. Previously, Robb managed communications at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He has a B.A. in English from Rutgers University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Rosemont College.

John Doe

Heather Allen

hjallen@ejb.rutgers.edu 848.932.1078
Heather Allen is the Communications Coordinator at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development where she focuses on events and communications for the center, as well as New Start Career Network (NSCN). Prior to this position, Heather was a Project Manager with the Health Care Talent Network and was responsible for managing the state's Southern Region Targeted Industry Partnership (TIP). She also has experience as the Program Manager with the Transportation, Logistics and Distribution Talent Network and spent four years as a key member of the TLD TN team at the Heldrich Center. She has worked for SMLR, the Heldrich Center, and other research centers at Rutgers for 15 years. Her expertise includes researching and writing reports on industry trends; program marketing, including social media; employer development; presentations to job seekers and employers; and managing program data and information. She has a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Developmental and Educational Psychology, both from Boston College.
John Doe

Art Baer

arthur.baer@rutgers.edu 848.932.1692
Art Baer is a volunteer career coach for New Start Career Network and is also serving as Employer Outreach Coordinator to help New Start Career Network expand its network of employer partners. He is a three-time Rutgers graduate (MBA, EdM, AB) and has an extensive background in recruitment and career services.