Climbing the Ladder: How to Invest in New Jersey's Working Families

By NJPP and Center for Women and Work

The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) started in 2002. It is a national initiative aimed at assessing state policies and programs that are designed to help low-income working families achieve economic security. Supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce and Charles Stewart Mott Foundations, the WPFP engages in partnerships with state nonprofit organizations to examine state work force development policies that involve education and skills training for adults; economic development; and work and income supports. The WPFP provides support for state groups to engage in a two-part, phased process that begins with an in-depth assessment of state economic conditions and policies that affect working families. The second phase involves actions to strengthen those conditions and policies. For more information on the Working Poor Families Project, visit

New Jersey Policy Perspective is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 1997 to conduct research and analysis on important issues facing the state. NJPP’s goal is a state where everyone has the chance to reach his or her full potential in a growing economy.

Center for Women and Work at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey was founded in 1993 to conduct research, education, outreach and advocacy on issues affecting working women and their families, and to challenge the status quo in policies and organizations that educate, train, and employ them.

This report was researched and written by Eileen Appelbaum, Mary Gatta and Karen White of Center for Women and Work and Mary E. Forsberg, Sarah Stecker and Jon Shure of New Jersey Policy Perspective.

If you like our reports, please consider a tax-deductible contribution to NJPP! Please click here to download the full report.