Bouncing Back Nine Lessons in Resilience and Reemployment

August 31, 2022

New brief offers advice from long-term unemployed workers on coping and getting back to work.

With concerns rising over the health of the U.S. labor market, the Heldrich Center is releasing Bouncing Back: Nine Lessons in Resilience and Reemployment, a research brief that offers advice from long-term unemployed workers on coping and getting back to work. These helpful insights are from individuals who were enrolled in the Heldrich Center’s innovative New Start Career Network (NSCN), a privately funded program offering free online information and career coaching from hundreds of volunteer coaches to more than 6,000 job seekers.

“It is inspiring to hear from workers who lost jobs, struggled, yet eventually were able to return to work. This brief highlights important lessons as the number of long-term unemployed workers is predicted to rise over the coming months,” said Carl Van Horn, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Heldrich Center.

Also available is a comprehensive summary research report on the center’s six-year-long NSCN project, Helping Older, Long-term Unemployed Job Seekers: A Report on the Heldrich Center’s New Start Career Network. It highlights the impacts of the center’s program that offered New Jersey job seekers free web-based tools, individual and small group coaching from trained volunteers, employer engagement, and connections to resources provided by a wide array of private and nonprofit organizations. 

“These success stories will help other long-term unemployed older workers find hope and learn effective strategies. They offer important lessons to others in the same predicament,” said Maria Heidkamp, Founding Director of NSCN and Director of Program Development at the Heldrich Center.

The New Start Career Network was supported by donations from the Philip and Tammy Murphy Family Foundation, New Jersey Resources, the Fund for New Jersey, the Corporation for National and Community Service/New Jersey Volunteer Generation Fund, Amazon, and other New Jersey-based companies.