Who is ALICE?

ALICE Action Network

Envisioning A More Equitable Future For Our ALICE Workforce

The ALICE Action Network was created in 2018 by the United Way of Northern New Jersey with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The purpose of the ALICE Action Network is to engage with business leaders and human resource professionals across sectors throughout New Jersey to discuss challenges confronting the ALICE workforce, and to learn and share how companies can best support these employees.

The Network began with twelve forums that included corporate partners, small business owners, non-profit leaders, industry groups, unions, and grassroots advocates, and ALICE workers.

At each forum, the United Way of Northern New Jersey engaged participants in a conversation about ALICE in the workplace. Each discussion included efforts to understand the challenges that ALICE households confront, and to brainstorm about a range of workplace, community, and public policy-based strategies and solutions.

The result was a wealth of understanding about the reasons why lower income workers struggle, and some sharing of projects, pilots, and policies that New Jersey companies have implemented to address those concerns. Visit the employee strategies section of this website to learn more about those efforts.

Contact Our Staff

Michelle Roers
Senior Director, ALICE Action Network

Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D.
National Director, United For ALICE

Gratitude & Acknowledgements

Advisory Committee

This body of advisors consists of a diverse group of business leaders who passionately support the project and commit 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.

Maria Brau
Vice President,
Human Resources
Investors Bank

Sandra Bleckman
Senior Project Manager,
Employer Outreach and Partnerships New Jersey Council of Community Colleges

Maryellen Valaitis
Retired Chief Human
Resources Officer,

McGraw Hill Instructor at Piedmont Technical College

Manie Fahey

Cindy Chiarella
Retired Partner,

Carolyn Kennedy
Senior Vice President,
Global Employee Benefits & Administration

Ardaman Singh
Director of Human Resources,
Puerto Rican Action Board

Kathryn Bludis
Senior Human
Resources Manager,

Progressive Insurance

Alex Martinez
Chief Executive Officer,
Lakeland Hills YMCA

Allison Pepin
HR Consultant

Alyssa Stewart
Vice President, Impact
& Engagement,

United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo

Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University

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 hold the most promise for supporting ALICE workers. This body of work provided a launching pad for the vision, development, and promotion of ALICE-friendly work environments.

Debra Lancaster
Executive Director, Center for Women and Work

Elaine Zundl
Research Director, Center for Women and Work

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The ALICE Action Network 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.”