Research Topics

Disability Employment

The NTAR Leadership Center, housed at the Heldrich Center and established in September 2007, was a collaboration of partners with expertise in workforce development, disability and employment, economic development, financial education and benefits planning, and leadership development. The NTAR Leadership Center's mission is to increase the employment and economic independence of adults with disabilities by promoting engaged and sustained leadership and partnerships within and among states. Key strategies and initiatives undertaken by the Center included:

In 2015, the Kessler Foundation requested that the Heldrich Center begin performing regular evaluations of the Foundation’s Community Employment Grant Program grantees that are largely located in the State of New Jersey.

Through a contract with the Kessler Foundation and the Poses Foundation, the Heldrich Center is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the Achieving Change Together (ACT) Employment Innovation Initiative, a corporate disability and inclusion project designed to increase the number of qualified employees with disabilities working for PepsiCo, and to improve their employment outcomes and career experiences.

Since its inception, the Heldrich Center has conducted extensive research on the employment of people with disabilities, including a Work Trends survey of employers. The survey revealed employers’ views on people with disabilities in the workplace, the accommodation of these workers, and policies needed to increase workplace accessibility for all workers and job seekers. According to the survey, employers perceived a workplace in which people with disabilities were woefully underrepresented despite the significant number of people with disabilities who can and want to work. 

From 2007 to 2009, the Heldrich Center conducted an evaluation of the EmployMe! program established by the New Jersey Institute of Technology under a grant from the Henry H. Kessler Foundation. The EmployMe! program provided training to individuals with disabilities to help them obtain information technology jobs. The Center’s evaluation featured a quasi-experimental design that compared the employment outcomes of participants with those of similar individuals who did not participate in the program.