WRI is partnering with the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership to gather valuable information about the region’s workforce. The project, Seeking Work in South Jersey, aims to better understand the barriers facing both employers looking to hire and job seekers looking to connect or re-connect to the workforce. Through conversations with employers and job seekers, the project aims to identify major obstacles to entry or reentry into the workforce from employee perspectives, better understand the skills and training employers are looking for, and highlight challenges in recruitment and retention of employees.

Researchers will capture in-depth qualitative input to inform the analysis and to enrich understanding of current labor force data. Seeking Work in South Jersey will provide insights into unique workforce trends and barriers across the region’s eight counties, and provide a deep analysis of these same trends within the city of Camden. The project will provide information on South Jersey’s steps forward in a Covid-19 world, and examine the tools, barriers, and opportunities the region has to pursue equitable regeneration of its workforce. This project, which was initiated in August 2020 and continues through August 2021, is funded in part by the Rowan University / Rutgers University–Camden Board of Governors.


How to Get Involved

We are looking forward to engaging a diverse group of employers and job seekers across the South Jersey counties and industries. To help achieve that aim, we are looking for suggestions you have that will enable us to recruit folks for focus groups and interviews. We are asking for specific contacts from businesses, government entities, workforce development boards, community organizations, union representatives, nonprofits that do job training and more that we can reach out to garner participation in this research.

If you are interested in participating or have suggestions, please email Devon Ziminski (devon.ziminski@rutgers.edu) directly with specific individual/ employer or organization names and contact information.

This is an important opportunity to share opinions about the workforce landscape and employment opportunities in South Jersey, particularly as we collectively experience the challenges of COVID-19.

We will begin scheduling focus groups and interviews in Fall 2020 and early 2021.