Jennifer Cleary performs a variety of research, evaluation, and capacity-building activities. Her current work is focused on understanding and improving the responsiveness of higher education to the emerging needs of the labor market and assisting policymakers and educators to build industry-focused workforce strategies. Several recent projects have been focused on addressing workforce challenges in the nation’s transportation industry, including the National Transit Virtual Career Network and the Transportation, Logistics, and Distribution Talent Network in New Jersey. She has also authored several studies on the workforce and education issues associated with emerging industries, including clean energy and other green sectors and she managed New Jersey’s Ready for the Job initiative, a multi-year project to ensure New Jersey educates qualified workers for the state’s key industries. Cleary has also evaluated adult literacy and dislocated worker programs, managed customer satisfaction surveys for several states, and coordinated work on the New Jersey Consumer Report Card System, an interactive directory of training providers.
Cleary has over 10 years of experience managing social service programs and spent 5 years coordinating events and projects for nonprofit organizations. Her previous experience includes working as the executive director for a shelter for homeless families in New Jersey. She also served as an events coordinator for the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Foundation. Cleary earned her master’s degree from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and has completed over 30 credits of additional coursework in evaluation methods and public policy areas.