Who is ALICE?

United for ALICE@Work

Envisioning A More Equitable Future For Our ALICE Workforce

United for ALICE@Work (formerly The ALICE Action Network) was created in 2018 by United Way of Northern New Jersey with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We work with business leaders and human resource professionals across sectors in New Jersey and all across the country 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, grassroots advocates, and ALICE workers.

At each forum, United Way of Northern New Jersey engaged participants in a conversation about ALICE in the workplace. These discussions included efforts to understand the challenges facing ALICE households 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 companies have implemented to help ALICE families become more financially stable. Visit the employee strategies section of this website to learn more about those efforts.

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

Visit the employee strategies section of this website to learn more about these efforts.

Contact Our Staff

Michelle Roers
Senior Director, United For ALICE@Work

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 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

Alyssa Stewart
Chief Impact Officer
United Way of South Central Michigan

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

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
Former Research Director, Center for Women and Work

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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