New Start New Jersey Podcast
New Start New Jersey is committed to exploring and enacting the most effective public policy initiatives to grow the economy and improve our quality of life in New Jersey.
info_outline #48: Robert Puentes 12/15/2017
#48: Robert Puentes As governments face mounting infrastructure priorities within a resource-constrained environment, leaders and practitioners have turned their attention to creative methods to meet fundamental needs. One such construct is the public-private partnership, an agreement between a private-sector entity and a government agency to collaborate on the delivery of a service or facility to the public. While examples of public-private partnerships – or P3s – exist in the United States, the model’s diversity and flexibility can lead to a lack of clarity regarding the relative advantages. An understanding of the merits and limitations of public-private partnerships would prove worthwhile for a state such as New Jersey, which has yet to authorize P3s for transportation and which houses the fifth-worst infrastructure in the nation. Joining New Start New Jersey for this examination of public-private partnerships is one of the nation’s leading transportation experts, Robert Puentes, President and CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation.
info_outline #47: Dr. Teresa Ghilarducci 12/06/2017
#47: Dr. Teresa Ghilarducci Anyone who even casually follows public policy recognizes New Jersey faces a significant challenge with respect to its pension system. The state ranks last in the nation in terms of funding ratio, along with several other metrics that speak to the dimension of the problem. A number of efforts over the years – notably the New Jersey Pension and Health Benefit Study Commission – have outlined steps to mitigate certain outcomes and to place the state on a more practical path. As New Jersey recently elected a new Governor and with pension funding a clear priority, the opportunity exists to weigh all alternatives moving forward. Joining New Start New Jersey for an examination of options available to the state as it approaches the pension situation is one of the country’s foremost experts in retirement security, Dr. Teresa Ghilarducci, the Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Chair in economic policy analysis and Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research.
info_outline #46: New Start Career Network: Two Years on the Job 10/19/2017
#46: New Start Career Network: Two Years on the Job The second anniversary has arrived for the New Start Career Network, the nation’s first initiative dedicated solely to returning older, long-term-unemployed citizens to the workforce. Within only two years, the New Start Career Network has served over 2,800 members, with many having found positions due to the resources, guidance and support made available to them. Even with this success, the issue continues to pose significant challenges here in New Jersey, a state with one of the highest percentages of long-term unemployment in the country. Too many individuals and families struggle with the income insecurity and the overall instability associated with long-term unemployment. In short, the state still has a great deal of work to do. Fortunately, to help solve this far-reaching problem, New Jersey has proven methods, devoted volunteers and dedicated partners. For this discussion of the second year and coming years of the New Start Career Network, New Start New Jersey speaks with the two people who deserve the most credit for the progress: Carl Van Horn, Distinguished University Professor at Rutgers University and Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development; and Maria Heidkamp, Director of the New Start Career Network.
info_outline #45: Steve Van Kuiken 10/11/2017
#45: Steve Van Kuiken McKinsey and Company – the world’s leading consulting firm – recently published Re-seeding the Garden State’s Economic Growth: A Vision for New Jersey. This comprehensive analysis recognizes New Jersey’s significant assets – such as an enviable location, an educated population and strong industries – but also acknowledges systemic hindrances that have inhibited the state’s dynamism. Beyond simply identifying areas for improvement, the report outlines a strategy with which New Jersey can more closely approach its potential. As the authors write, “We in New Jersey do have an outstanding opportunity to reignite our growth. If New Jersey makes the right choices now, it can create a future-oriented, high-growth economy.” Joining New Start New Jersey for this discussion is Steve Van Kuiken, Senior Partner at McKinsey and Company in New Jersey.
info_outline #44: Daniel Castro 10/11/2017
#44: Daniel Castro In July of 2017, the Center for Data Innovation released The Best States for Data Innovation, the annual assessment of how individual states have kept or set the pace in advancing the policies that will enable their citizens to succeed in a data-driven economy. By examining 25 indicators across the three categories of data, technology and people and companies, the Center for Data Innovation not only measures progress, but also offers recommendations drawn from the best practices on display throughout the nation. According to The Best States for Data Innovation, New Jersey ranks 23rd, suggesting a certain level of achievement with additional room to improve. Joining New Start New Jersey for this discussion of data innovation in the states is Daniel Castro, Director of the Center for Data Innovation and Vice President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
info_outline #43: Bob Dean 10/05/2017
#43: Bob Dean As cities, regions and states aspire to design more sustainable, equitable, prosperous and efficient communities, planners and civic leaders can cast their eyes toward Chicago, specifically GO TO 2040, the comprehensive regional plan that encompasses seven counties and 284 municipalities. Overseen by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Go to 2040 aims to enhance regional mobility, promote livable communities, elevate human capital and advance efficient governance. The initiative has earned national praise, held up as framework deserving replication. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of Go to 2040 is Bob Dean, Deputy Executive Director for Planning with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
info_outline #42: Mary Barber 08/01/2017
#42: Mary Barber Energy efficiency – defined simply – entails “using less energy to provide the same service.” Such a straightforward concept poses far-reaching, demonstrable benefits for the environment, the economy and society. Once ranked among the top-ten states in the nation with respect to energy efficiency, New Jersey has dropped to 24th in recent standings, due to high costs, poor infrastructure and the failure to manage optimally its clean-energy funds. Several policy options remain available for New Jersey to harness energy efficiency’s potential. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of steps the state might consider to enhance its energy-efficiency profile is Mary Barber, Director of New Jersey Clean Energy at the Environmental Defense Fund.
info_outline #41: Katie Woslager 07/13/2017
#41: Katie Woslager In 2015, the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program introduced the category of advanced industries, sectors anchored by R&D and STEM activity that generate high-wage, high-growth, sustainable and inclusive employment. When exploring initiatives with which New Jersey could invigorate its advanced-industries profile, Colorado houses a highly successful model. The state’s Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program backs locally incepted innovations in the pre-investment stage, shepherding technologies and services from the research phase through development to commercialization. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of Colorado’s progress with its Advanced Industries Accelerator Grant Program is Katie Woslager, Senior Manager of Advanced Industries with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
info_outline #40: Ken Berlin 06/23/2017
#40: Ken Berlin The Paris Climate Agreement represents an historic diplomatic achievement in the global partnership to stem the climate crisis. Approved by 195 nations in December 2015, the Paris Agreement aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit warming to well below two degrees Celsius. Recently, the United States announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a move that has drawn widespread and forceful criticism. In response, individuals, organizations, businesses and governments have strongly affirmed their commitments to the principles and practices of the Paris Agreement. Notably, several states have formed the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition dedicated to taking bold steps on climate change. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of the Paris Agreement is the President and CEO of The Climate Reality Project, Ken Berlin.
info_outline #39: Ethan Pollack 06/19/2017
#39: Ethan Pollack Investments by employers in the training of its workers have plummeted in recent years, while the need for enhanced skills has increased significantly during the same period. This fundamental asymmetry has weakened the overall workforce, with consequences spilling throughout the economy. In a recent paper, the Aspen Institute brings to light a number of the forces driving this dynamic. More importantly, the Aspen Institute recommends the introduction of a Worker Training Tax Credit as a possible solution. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of the Worker Training Tax Credit is one of the authors, Ethan Pollack, Associate Director of Research and Policy for the Future of Work Initiative at the Aspen Institute.
info_outline #38: Josh Goodman 05/22/2017
#38: Josh Goodman The Pew Charitable Trusts recently published the report “How States Are Improving Tax Incentives for Jobs and Growth,” a nationwide assessment of a tool employed to expand jobs, generate investment and enhance competitiveness. The past few years have seen have a number of states put in place mechanisms to measure program performance, with the evidence intended shape future design. This study underscores the need for such evaluation, as well as highlights the components of successful efforts to date. Joining New Start New Jersey is one of the authors of the report, Josh Goodman, an Officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts with expertise in economic development tax incentives.
info_outline #37: Martin Robins 03/15/2017
#37: Martin Robins A powerful driver of the state and region’s economic prosperity, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently approved a $32-billion, 10-year capital plan. With a commitment to the Gateway project, significant enhancements to the region’s airports and the development of a new bus terminal – among other projects – the investment framework features initiatives that will shape the region’s competitive landscape for generations. Of course, the process by which the Port Authority arrived at the final version highlighted the critical, historical balance struck between the two states, a dynamic that has attracted increased attention as of late. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of the Port Authority’s capital plan is one of the state and region’s foremost transportation experts, Martin Robins, Director Emeritus of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University.
info_outline #36: Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress 03/03/2017
#36: Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress In recent months, the mission of the Center for American Progress only has elevated in importance, as the organization continues to strengthen the intellectual foundation of progressive values for the nation. Under Neera Tanden’s leadership, the Center for American Progress stands as the foremost advocate for justice, opportunity and security for all families and citizens. Joining New Start New Jersey Chair and Co-Founder Tammy Murphy for this discussion is Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress.
info_outline #35: Richard F. Keevey 02/17/2017
#35: Richard F. Keevey As the state assesses its fiscal present and future, adjustments to New Jersey’s revenue structure deserve consideration. One proposal involves the elimination of the Corporation Business Tax and the implementation of a franchise tax. The proponents suggest such an alteration would result in simpler and fairer processes and outcomes for the state and the business community. Joining New Start New Jersey is national expert Richard F. Keevey, the former Budget Director and Comptroller for the state, a Senior Policy Fellow at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and a Lecturer at Princeton University.
info_outline #34: Elizabeth McNichol 01/27/2017
#34: Elizabeth McNichol Income inequality has received increased attention internationally, nationally and in the states, with the gap between the highest earners and those further down the income scale continuing to widen rather demonstrably. According to a recent report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, in terms of income inequality, New Jersey ranks seventh in the nation when accounting for the wealthiest five percent of households and fifth when accounting for the wealthiest 20 percent of households. In its analysis, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities assesses not only where states sit with respect to inequality, but also recommends several policy prescriptions for countering the trend, a number of which New Start New Jersey has promoted. Joining New Start New Start New Jersey for this discussion is Elizabeth McNichol, a Senior Fellow with the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and the author of the report “How State Tax Policies Can Stop Increasing Inequality and Start Reducing It.”
info_outline #33: Dr. Michael Lahr 01/20/2017
#33: Dr. Michael Lahr Over the coming decade, according to the most recent forecast prepared by the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service, the state should experience only moderate employment growth and modest increases in the Gross State Product. Of course, several variables could alter the state’s economic trajectory, in particular policy developments at both the federal and state levels. Joining New Start New Jersey is the author of the forecast, Dr. Michael Lahr, Director of the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service and Research Professor at Rutgers University.
info_outline #32: Dr. Joel Cantor 12/20/2016
#32: Dr. Joel Cantor With the latest Open Enrollment Period underway for the Affordable Care Act, statistics reveal that since the policy’s arrival, the portion of nonelderly adults without insurance in New Jersey has fallen by almost 40 percent, with over 670,000 state residents having gained coverage. At the same time, a fog of uncertainty has enveloped the Affordable Care Act, due to national events. A series of decisions on the near horizon could affect directly hundreds of thousands of New Jersey citizens, while also triggering ripples across the marketplace and broader economy. Guiding New Start New Jersey through the complexity and uncertainty of the Affordable Care Act’s future is Dr. Joel Cantor, Director of the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers University.
info_outline #31: Bonnie Watson Coleman 12/07/2016
#31: Bonnie Watson Coleman New Start New Jersey has highlighted the concerns of the long-term unemployed, as the state houses one of the highest percentages of this population in the nation. Progress has occurred in returning individuals to the workforce, thanks to organizations like the New Start Career Network and to outstanding leaders, with none better than Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. The Congresswoman sponsored the Investing in Older Americans Act and the Expanding Penalty-Free Withdrawal Act, important legislation in the ongoing effort to support our long-term-unemployed citizens. Her work on behalf of the unemployed continues decades of service in which she has fought to ensure families and vulnerable members of our society receive fairness, justice and opportunity. Without question, we live in a better state and nation thanks to Bonnie Watson Coleman. Find Bonnie Watson Coleman on: Twitter: Facebook:
info_outline #30: Johanna Calle 12/02/2016
#30: Johanna Calle Immigration clearly has elevated as a priority, due largely to recent national events, although the central issues have unfolded for years and decades. While the specifics of anticipated action at the federal level remain unclear at the moment, states retain the ability to promote initiatives that would strengthen existing protections while also taking important steps forward. According to certain calculations, New Jersey houses the third largest population of immigrants in the nation, which underscores the significance of this debate in relation to the state’s economic and social future. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of immigration in the state is Johanna Calle, Program Coordinator for the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice.
info_outline #29: Thomas Espenshade & Susan Walker 11/09/2016
#29: Thomas Espenshade & Susan Walker Recognizing the ongoing disparity in educational performance across race and income levels, ReachUp USA adopts an innovative approach impelled by the truth that positive intervention at an early stage in a child’s development delivers the highest returns. Building upon Reach Up and Learn – a model developed more than 25 years ago at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica – ReachUp provides weekly home visits by trained community health workers to bolster parenting techniques and to support a child’s cognitive and emotional progress. Reach Up and Learn’s outcomes are more than encouraging, with the participants displaying improved skills, greater educational attainment and higher earnings. New Jersey serves as the entry point for ReachUp in this nation, as the project emerges from Princeton University and begins its implementation in Trenton. Joining New Start New Jersey for this discussion of ReachUp is Dr. Thomas Espenshade, Senior Scholar, Lecturer and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, and Dr. Susan Walker, Professor of Nutrition and Director of the Tropical Medicine Research Institute at the University of the West Indies.
info_outline #28: Bill Rodgers 11/04/2016
#28: Bill Rodgers With the movement toward an increase in the minimum wage to $15 receiving elevated attention, The Century Foundation recently published the report “The Impact of $15 Minimum Wage on Hunger in America,” which explores how a proposed upward adjustment in wages would influence the persistent policy challenge of food insecurity. As author William M. Rodgers notes, approximately 14 percent of the citizens in the nation suffer from food insecurity at present, a significantly higher portion of the population than the 11 percent who fell into this category in 2007, prior to the Great Recession. Rodgers’ research outlines the relationship between the minimum wage and food insecurity, while presenting rigorous analysis to quantify the effects of a projected increase. Joining New Start New Jersey for this discussion is William M. Rodgers, a Fellow at The Century Foundation and Professor of Public Policy and Chief Economist at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.
info_outline #27: Steve Mullin 11/04/2016
#27: Steve Mullin Based in Seattle and comprised of senior executives from the private sector in Washington state, the Washington Roundtable aims to effect positive change in public policy toward the goal of enhancing economic vitality and expanding opportunity. In 2011, the introduced Benchmarks for a Better Washington, a tool designed to capture the state’s national performance in the areas of innovation, education, transportation and business climate. Using independent data, Benchmarks for a Better Washington provides a set of metrics to guide Washington toward remaining a top-ten state in quality of life and innovation, while simultaneously retaining lower costs for conducting business. New Start New Jersey recently released Touchstones for a Stronger New Jersey, a piece modeled directly after Benchmarks for a Better Washington. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of his organization’s work with Benchmarks for a Better Washington, as well as other projects, is Steve Mullin, President of the Washington Roundtable.
info_outline #26: William Doyle 10/28/2016
#26: William Doyle With the cost of higher education receiving heightened attention across the nation, the College Affordability Diagnosis provides a state-by-state overview of the expenses shouldered by individuals and families in the pursuit of further training, development and edification. Beyond the presentation of comparative data, the College Affordability Diagnosis examines attendant antecedents and outcomes, while offering policy prescriptions designed to keep the option of post-secondary education within reach, especially as higher education remains a pathway to more meaningful participation in the economy in New Jersey and throughout the country. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of the College Affordability Diagnosis is one of the co-authors and a leading expert on the topic, Dr. William Doyle, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Higher Education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development.
info_outline #25: Tammy Murphy with Carl Van Horn and Maria Heidkamp 10/20/2016
#25: Tammy Murphy with Carl Van Horn and Maria Heidkamp One year ago, the New Start Career Network launched to address one of the more intractable and insidious problems facing New Jersey: long-term unemployment for older workers. New Jersey houses one of the highest percentages of long-term-unemployed individuals in the nation, the impact of which negatively influences our economy and our families. Thanks to the leadership of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, within only one year, the New Start Career Network has served over 1,600 members with the support of over 160 volunteer career coaches and numerous partners. The New Start Career Network has earned the praise of the United States Secretary of Labor, among several others. Most importantly, the New Start Career Network has made a tangible difference in the lives of our state’s citizens. Joining New Start New Jersey Chair and Co-Founder Tammy Murphy to discuss the first year and coming years of the New Start Career Network are: Carl Van Horn, Distinguished University Professor at Rutgers University and Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development; and Maria Heidkamp, Director of the New Start Career Network.
info_outline #24: Dr. Gale Spak & Raymond Vaccari 10/12/2016
#24: Dr. Gale Spak & Raymond Vaccari New Jersey possesses a rich history with respect to manufacturing, dating back to 1791 and the founding of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures, a unique quasi-governmental body launched by Alexander Hamilton to cultivate the industry along the Passaic River. In recent years, the federal government and a number of states have recognized the significant role played by manufacturing in the innovation economy, enacting initiatives to rejuvenate the sector’s mechanics, techniques and workforce. As New Jersey assesses its manufacturing present and future, the state does so from a position of natural strength, thanks to unrivaled density, an enviable location, transport access and a network of engaged partners. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of manufacturing in the state are Dr. Gale Spak, Associate Vice President at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Raymond Vaccari, Director of Manufacture New Jersey.
info_outline #23: Nell Abernathy 09/21/2016
#23: Nell Abernathy In its own words, the Roosevelt Institute subscribes to the philosophy that until economic and social rules work for all, they are not working. Building upon the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor, the Roosevelt Institute brings together leading minds across generations to explore and refine policies aimed at generating inclusive economic growth and shared prosperity. Notably, in 2015, the Roosevelt Institute published Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy, a comprehensive agenda developed to correct longstanding structural flaws that have resulted in widespread inequality. Joining New Start New Jersey is an author of Rewriting the Rules, Nell Abernathy, who serves as the Vice President of Research and Policy with the Roosevelt Institute.
info_outline #22: Martin Johnson 09/09/2016
#22: Martin Johnson Founded in 1981, Isles is a community development and environmental organization based in Trenton. With the overarching goal to foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities, Isles designs and develops effective services that support this mission, services aimed at revitalizing communities, training adults and youth, building wealth and promoting healthy living. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of Isles and an examination of the challenges the organization addresses is Founder and CEO Martin Johnson.
info_outline #21: Brenda Hopper 09/09/2016
#21: Brenda Hopper Small businesses comprise an indisputably significant segment of the state’s economy. New Jersey houses over 820,000 small businesses, which employ 1.7 million people and account for over 50 percent of our workforce. From creating jobs to fostering innovation to generating exports, small businesses drive considerable activity. As such, policies aimed at further harnessing the potential of small businesses in New Jersey recommend themselves as priorities. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of small businesses in the state is Brenda Hopper, the CEO and State Director of the New Jersey Small Business Development Center.
info_outline #20: Nariman Farvardin 08/22/2016
#20: Nariman Farvardin Stevens Institute of Technology stands as one of New Jersey’s most valuable resources, especially as the conversation focuses increasingly on how the state will enhance its natural advantages in the innovation economy. New Jersey’s higher education institutions remain an essential component in the value proposition to businesses and individuals as to why investment in the state should deepen. Policies directed toward strengthening our universities, availing students of opportunities and retaining talent should receive priority. Joining New Start New Jersey for this discussion is the President of Stevens Institute of Technology, Nariman Farvardin.
info_outline #19: Demelza Baer, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice 08/19/2016
#19: Demelza Baer, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice is an urban research and advocacy organization dedicated to the advancement of New Jersey’s urban areas and residents. Since its inception, the Institute has devoted itself to an agenda aimed combating poverty with opportunity and overcoming barriers with innovation. The Institute’s work continues to focus on generating economic mobility through models that leverage the strength of the public and private sectors. Joining New Start New Jersey for a discussion of the Institute’s ongoing efforts to move our state forward is Demelza Baer, Policy Counsel for the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.