Rutgers’ Heldrich Center, GfK Honored By AAPOR for Work Trends Research Program

  Rutgers’ Heldrich Center, GfK Honored By AAPOR for Work Trends Research

 Win Policy Impact Award for surveys chronicling the plight of the unemployed
                          during the Great Recession

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- May 21, 2013

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) has presented its
2013 Policy Impact Award to GfK and The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce
Development at Rutgers University, for their four-year survey series capturing
the realities of unemployment during the Great Recession and its aftermath in
the US.

In a statement, AAPOR said that the Work Trends research has “given state and
national policymakers, journalists and the general public a better
understanding of the financial and psychological impact of long term
unemployment in the US.”

Directed by Carl Van Horn and Cliff Zukin of the Heldrich Center, with the
assistance of GfK and the Heldrich Center’s staff and students, the Work
Trends surveys have illuminated topics such as the experience of prolonged
unemployment, the struggles of recent college graduates during the Great
Recession, and the impact of the economic downturn on the personal finances of
everyday Americans.

Work Trends findings have been featured in hundreds of national publications,
TV and radio newscasts, and websites, with coverage from The New Yorker, The
New York Times, USA Today, NPR, and CNN.

“Over the past 15 years, the Work Trends series has conducted nearly 25,000
interviews with American workers about their jobs, the workplace, and the
government’s role in the labor market,” said Dr. Carl Van Horn, Director of
the Heldrich Center and Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of
Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers. “Findings from the series have
influenced policy discussions at the highest levels — from the White House to
the US Congress and from leading businesses to educational organizations. The
faculty and staff of the Heldrich Center are grateful to the American
Association of Public Opinion Research for recognizing the value of our
contribution to providing the public, policymakers and employers with deeper
insights into how workers are experiencing the new realities of the workplace
and the economy.”

"This was a very rewarding but painful research project on the effects of
long-term unemployment,” said Dr. Cliff Zukin, Senior Research Fellow at the
Heldrich Center and Professor at the Bloustein School. ”We followed a national
sample of 1,200 unemployed people for three years, surveying the majority of
them four times. We witnessed a continuous erosion of their economic status
and savings, and great social and psychological trauma as the Great Recession
took its toll on millions. Very few got back to where they started before they
lost their jobs."

“We are honored to be working with The Heldrich Center on a project of such
importance to policy makers and the public, and to have that work recognized
by AAPOR,” said Mike Dennis, Managing Director of GfK’s Government and
Academic Research team. “The Work Trends series has provided an ideal
application of our ability to survey a fully representative sample of the
population online, delivering a clear picture of how disenfranchised and
struggling Americans have been faring.”

About GfK

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 12,000
experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and
shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using
the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the
clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their
customers. In 2012,GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.51 billion.

To find out more, visit or follow GfK on Twitter:

About The Heldrich Center

The John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development  is based at the Edward
J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, at Rutgers University. It
is one of the nation’s leading university-based research and policy centers
dedicated to raising the effectiveness of the American workplace through
improved workforce education, placement, and training. The Center identifies
innovative workforce practices and practical policy changes that can help
Americans receive the education and training they need to be productive and
prosperous in a global knowledge economy. Learn more at The entire series of Work Trends reports is
available for download at


GfK Marketing and Communications, Consumer Experiences North America
David Stanton, 908-875-9844
Vice President
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