“After years of studying the failure of the U.S. to respond adequately to worker dislocation, especially for older workers, I would like to use my voice to gain the attention of policy makers, employers, and the public. We need to radically reframe the conversation around the future of work for all generations.”


Maria Heidkamp

Director, Program Development and Technical Assistance, Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ

Maria Heidkamp is the Director of Program Development and Technical Assistance at the Rutgers University Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Since joining the Center in 2006, she has written extensively on the challenges facing older and dislocated workers. She directs the Heldrich Center’s New Start Career Network, an initiative launched in 2015 that has assisted over 4,800 older (age 45+), long-term, unemployed job seekers. She is also leading an effort to help the New Jersey Department of Labor establish a New Jersey Career Network including digital tools and increased access to coaching for job seekers. 

She co-chaired New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Labor and Workforce Development Policy Transition Committee and was a subject matter expert for the National Governors Association’s Good Jobs for All Americans initiative under Montana Governor Steve Bullock.

Before joining the Center, Heidkamp directed the Labor Market Transition Project in Hungary for the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Agency for International Development, helping the Hungarian government develop policies and programs to respond to mass layoffs caused by privatization and restructuring during the post-communism transition years. She received the First Order National Defense Award from the Ministry of Defense for her work with the Hungarian army as it was facing layoffs leading up to NATO accession. 

She served as a workforce policy analyst for the National Governors Association and directed the Wisconsin Labor-Management Council. She has a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University and a master’s degree from New York University.


Learn more here about the Encore Public Voices Fellowship, which supports diverse voices focusing on aging, longevity and the intergenerational opportunity. 

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