New Start New Jersey Podcast








April 2017
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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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-48.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:03pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

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.  

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-46.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54pm EDT

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.  

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-45.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-44.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-43.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:29pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-42upd.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-41.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:04pm EDT

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. 

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-40.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:04pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-38.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-36.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-35.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT

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.”

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-34.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01pm EDT

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.

Direct download: nsnj-podcast-33-new.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT