Who is ALICE?

United For ALICE@Work

Envisioning A More Equitable Future For Our ALICE Workforce

ALICE Struggles To Make Ends Meet

ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) workers earn above the poverty level, but less than the cost of basics. As a result, ALICE employees navigate hardships every day and must face tough decisions, like choosing between affordable child care and housing close to work. This impacts their effectiveness as employees. Companies can make a difference and foster positive outcomes for their business by helping to create a stable workplace where ALICE workers thrive.

What Is ALICE@Work?

ALICE@Work exemplifies how United Ways can invest in ALICE and partner differently in the community. Our program helps businesses understand the lives of their employees and the experiences they face every day. ALICE@Work puts into action internal policies and practices that positively impact the workforce and overall success and sustainability of the business.

Please fill out this form to learn more about ALICE@Work.

Our Vision

Our Roots

United Way of Northern New Jersey (UWNNJ) created United for ALICE@Work (formerly The ALICE Action Network) in 2018 with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We worked with business leaders and human resource professionals across sectors in New Jersey and nationwide to discuss challenges confronting the ALICE workforce and to learn and share how companies can best support these employees.

The Network held 12 forums that included corporate partners, small business owners, non-profit leaders, industry groups, unions, grassroots advocates, and ALICE workers. We engaged participants in conversations to help understand the challenges facing ALICE households and to brainstorm about a range of workplace, community, and public policy-based strategies and solutions. Check out Employer Strategies to learn more about these efforts.

United Way partnered with the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University to document the themes that emerged during the ALICE Action Forums. The research center then synthesized those topics with relevant human resource literature to identify areas of workplace policy and practice that held the most promise for supporting ALICE workers. This material provided a launching pad for the vision, development, and promotion of workplaces that intentionally invest in ALICE workers.

In 2020, United Way of South Central Michigan (UWSCMI) recognized the needs of ALICE across six counties in Michigan that led to collaborating with local partners to develop and pilot workforce development strategies. In 2021, UWSCMI joined UWNNJ as an integral partner, sharing research and resources, and collaborating on the development of a course curriculum and subsequent tools.

Gratitude & Acknowledgements

Advisory Committee

This body of advisors consists of a diverse group of business leaders who passionately support United For ALICE@Work, and who have committed to improving their workplace culture and policies to better support ALICE. The committee helps guide the direction and the specific deliverables of the project. The individuals involved in this committee generously contribute their time and expertise, providing invaluable support, guidance, and leadership for bettering workplace conditions for ALICE employees.

Sandra Bleckman
Director of Health Services Strategy and Workforce Partnerships
New Jersey Council of Community Colleges

Kathryn Bludis
Senior Human Resources Manager
Progressive Insurance

Cindy Chiarella
Retired Partner

Manie Fahey

Carolyn Kennedy
Senior Vice President
Global Employee Benefits & Administration


Monica Lloyd
Chief Human Resources Officer
Centrica Care Navigators

Sarah Mansberger
Executive Director
Workforce and Community Initiatives

Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency

Alex Martinez
Chief Executive Officer
Lakeland Hills YMCA

Allison Pepin
Founder & Principal Consultant
Diversified Transformations, LLC
Human Resources Consultant for United Way of Northern New Jersey

Ardaman Singh
Chief Human Resources Officer
Greater Somerset County YMCA

Maryellen Valaitis
Retired Chief Human Resources Officer
McGraw Hill Instructor at Piedmont Technical College

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

United For ALICE@Work would not be the success it is today without the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In addition to the financial support, the Foundation staff has been an active participant in the project’s development and implementation, lending hours of consultation and guidance.

Catherine J. Malone
Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

RWJF disclaimer: “Support for this program was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.”

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