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Homelessness in the United States has Reached its Highest Level Since Tracking Began in 2007


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the prevalence of homelessness in the United States has reached its highest level since the inception of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) tracking in 2007, with a record-breaking 653,104 individuals experiencing homelessness during the latest annual count.

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USA Today study says NJ among the states with the most adult children supported by parents


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, a USA TODAY survey encompassing 5,000 parents in 36 states with adult children aged 22 to 40 revealed that 65% of parents extend some form of financial support to their adult offspring. Notable findings specific to parental support in New Jersey include:

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New Study Suggests Almost half of young New Jerseyans do not believe they will achieve the same level of financial security as their parents

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  • $75,201 is the highest salary that young New Jerseyans expect to earn – ever.
  • Hawaii residents are the most optimistic about future earnings potential; Oklahomans the least. 
  • Almost half think they would need to move to a large city to earn the highest salary possible.
  • Interactive map showing salary expectations across America.


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, a new study by online course platform Teachable has shone a light on young people’s expectations when it comes to their future finances. In light of the record levels of debt, high inflation, and the trend of tech giants shedding tens of thousands of jobs, it would not be surprising if young people in America today have a somewhat pessimistic view of their financial futures. The company surveyed 4,800 18-24 year olds, revealing that almost half (46%) of young New Jerseyans believe they will not achieve the same levels of financial security as their parents. This compares to a national average of 43%.

Continue reading New Study Suggests Almost half of young New Jerseyans do not believe they will achieve the same level of financial security as their parents

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What Ever Happened to the American Work Ethic?

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, studies continually show that many Americans are being paid by the government not to work more than to be in a job. This is not only bad for the economy, but bad for people’s health, and happiness.  Employers have been saying that the work ethic is slipping with young workers. The WSJ poll results below seem to confirm that the younger generation puts less emphasis on work and excelling on the job than the boomer’s generation.

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Survey: Are college students entitled? 86% say classes are too hard, yet many hardly study


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, as reported by the New York Times, an NYU professor was recently fired after 82 of his 350 students signed a petition against him for making his organic chemistry course too hard.

Continue reading Survey: Are college students entitled? 86% say classes are too hard, yet many hardly study

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How Important Are Internships For Your Future?

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Internships give students the opportunity to learn and acquire skills that can’t be taught in the classroom. Internships are a highly effective way of preparing students for their futures. Student interns develop interpersonal skills, learn how to be professional in the workplace, and learn how to work in a team.

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Early to Bed Early to Raise Makes a Man ….tired


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, American was built on hard work and up until the 1960’s we were a culture “early to bed ,early to raise ,makes a man healthy wealthy and wise . “

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5 Tips to Start Jump Millennials’Entrepreneurial Mindset


February 17,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, So, you’re a smart, imaginative, persuasive millennial and – contrary to the bad rap your generation usually gets – you’re willing to work REALLY hard. You’re just waiting for all those boomers and Xers to get the heck out of the way so you can have your turn at the brass ring.

But why wait?

You and your well-educated and connected friends are in a great position to create your own success – by creating your own business. Survey after survey finds that millennials have a true entrepreneurial mindset; you like flexibility and independence, and you’re determined to pursue your passions. And, thanks to the accomplishments of others before you (the young founders of Airbnb and Uber, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg), you’re likely to get more support and less eye-rolling should you strike out on your own.

“With more resources available to start-up founders, and a new respect for what innovative thinkers can do, there’s no need to wait around for your corner office and executive title,” says Matt Stewart, an entrepreneur and co-founder of College Works Painting (, an internship program that provides practical business experience for college students. “Why sit and dream about climbing the ladder at someone else’s business when you can create your own?”

The idea of building something from nothing is daunting but doable, says Stewart, who started his company with just four employees in 1993 and now operates nationwide. Here are some of his tips for getting started:

  • You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Create opportunity by finding a business model that delivers solutions to an urgent need that customers have. Your customers should already understand your product or service and believe in its necessity, not just think that it would be “nice to have.”
    • Define what makes you unique. Once you’ve picked a service or product to focus on, find out what makes you different. Research competitors to determine their customers’ likes and dislikes. How can you pair your individual experience with a solution that addresses what’s missing in the marketplace?
    • Understand that competition is good. Try to avoid starting a business that doesn’t already exist. If there are similar products or services to yours, it means there’s a demand. Now it’s up to you to figure out how you can deliver something that’s different and better.
    • You don’t need to start the next Facebook. Don’t worry about entering the market with a huge company. Instead, focus on providing a great solution for a niche group of customers ¬and then over-deliver. You can’t service 1 million customers if you don’t know how to service 10. Focus on your first 10 customers.
    • Ready, shoot, aim. Don’t wait to get started. You won’t know if you’re onto something unless you start making sales. Your idea isn’t validated until you have paying customers. Don’t spend too much time planning; start engaging with potential customers as soon as you can.

If the fear of failing is holding you back, Stewart says, remember that there’s no better time to take a risk than when you’re first starting out.

“Meanwhile, you’re gaining work experience, learning to be a leader, and doing it on your own terms,” he says.

About Matt Stewart

Matt Stewart is co-founder of College Works Painting (, which provides business experience for thousands of college students each year. The award-winning program also offers high-quality house-painting services for homeowners.

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Helping Your Sons And Daughters Prepare For The Business World

RHS_ Graduation_theridgewoodblog

October 2,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Each year, parents send their sons and daughters off to college with high hopes that in four years – give or take – they will earn a degree and embark on successful careers.

But while moms and dads may fret most about grades and study habits, they can give their offspring a real boost if they also insist the students carry some of the financial burden for college, says Matt Stewart, an entrepreneur and co-founder of College Works Painting (, an internship program that provides practical business experience for college students.

That means getting a job – either during the school year or over the summer break, or both.

“College students are much more invested in the experience if they have to help pay for college, rather than have mom and dad take care of everything for them,” Stewart says. “There’s a natural tendency to work a little harder on classwork when at least a part of the tuition or dorm room costs come out of your own pocket.”

But beyond that personal-responsibility aspect, it’s worth noting that businesses are seeking job candidates with real-world work experience.

“Those on-the-job lessons are invaluable,” Stewart says.

For example, interns with College Works Painting operate their own house-painting business with hands-on guidance from mentors.

The benefits for students of working their way through college include:

• A regular paycheck. The rising cost of higher education has put paying the full price of college out of reach for many parents, and scholarships and grants often provide only a small percentage of the costs. The more students can pay themselves, the lower their student-loan debt will be when they enter the workforce.
• Practical experience. Nothing prepares you for work like work, Stewart says. A classroom can train students on certain skills necessary for their career choice, but on-the-job experience is just as valuable. Even if a part-time job is unrelated to career aspirations, a student might learn such skills as collaboration, time management and customer relations.
• Resume enhancement. One of the weaknesses recent college graduates sometimes have is their resumes can be skimpy. A few summer jobs can help tremendously, Stewart says, giving managers who might consider hiring you more confidence that you have experience beyond listening to professorial lectures and cramming for final exams.
• Additional references. Hiring managers want to talk with people who know your work habits, and while it’s nice that a favorite professor or a high school football coach is willing to say good things, it’s even better to have references who can discuss relevant job skills.

“Having any job can be beneficial, but if you can you should try to land an especially challenging job or internship,” Stewart says. “When you graduate, you’re going to face stiff competition in the job market. The more you’ve been able to stretch yourself past your comfort zone and develop new skills, the greater the odds are that you’ll be the one picked out of all the applications that come pouring in.”

About Matt Stewart

Matt Stewart is co-founder of College Works Painting (, which provides business experience for thousands of college students each year. The award-winning program also offers high-quality house-painting services for homeowners.

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How To Get Hired Right Out of College With The Right Internship

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Rep. Scott Garrett with his DC interns

May 23,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Improving economic conditions have finally caught up to millennials, providing them with a brighter job market, according to the United States Department of Labor.

But a recent Federal Reserve Bank of New York report says the devil is in the details. Not all new college graduates are doing equally well. The kind of degree they earned is an enormous factor in the job hunt.

“There’s no question that your field of study significantly alters your prospects, but even having chosen the right field is no guarantee,” says Matt Stewart, an entrepreneur and co-founder of College Works Painting (, an internship program that provides practical business experience for college students.

How you approach your field, such as engagement at an internship, can boost your professional prospects immensely.” 

For example, interns with College Works Painting operate their own house-painting business with hands-on guidance from mentors. They learn valuable leadership skills by functioning as leaders in a business.

“Unemployment for our alumni has remained at less than 4 percent, including when youth unemployment exceeded 16 percent a few years ago,” Stewart says. “This kind of challenging yet fun student experience helps ensure a good career for college graduates right out of the gate.”

He offers tips about what students should look for in an internship so they can gain the professional experience they need to land a job after graduation.

• Know what you will actually be doing.  While simply being in a company’s culture has value, many businesses assign students to their lowest-level work. Grunt work, to some extent, is a fact of life in most professions. But that kind of work won’t propel a student’s career. Consider an internship that gives you real responsibility and provides experiences that will definitely come in handy in your future career.
• Consider a company’s internship recognition. Don’t accept an internship with just any organization. Think about the business awards the company has won, the type of articles that have been written about the company, and how the company contributes to their industry and community. If you can, get information on how other former interns fared.
• For any student, real experience is crucial. Whether you’re an artist, athlete, musician, theater major, English student, a STEM-field student, or a business major or future entrepreneur, getting experience often comes with a heavy price. This includes the loss of personal or family finances. Look for opportunities that provide guidance while allowing you to apply skills to real-life challenges such as budgeting, marketing, and managing employees. These are transferable skills that apply to any industry.

“Regardless of how the economy is doing, you’ll want to put forth your best effort,” Stewart says. “As we’ve seen, the market can take a nosedive at any time.”

About Matt Stewart

Matt Stewart is co-founder of College Works Painting (, which provides business experience for thousands of college students each year. The award-winning program also offers high-quality house-painting services for homeowners.

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Taxpayers Pay through the Nose for the Minimum Wage


A Billion Dollar Stool to Reach the Bottom Rung of the Job Ladder

Adam Millsap

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In February, the Obama administration proposed a “First Job” initiative. The main goal of the aptly titled initiative is to help unemployed young people obtain their first job by spending $5.5 billion on grants, training, and direct wages. Unfortunately – but unsurprisingly – the press release failed to acknowledge the most significant factor impeding employment in this age group: the minimum wage.

Everyone knows that a first job is a vital step in a young person’s development. Research has shown that work experience at a young age teaches positive work habits, time management, perseverance, and improves self-confidence. Increases in teenage employment also reduce the rate of violent crime. Yet despite these well-known benefits, the US maintains a minimum wage policy that makes it very difficult for all but the most productive teenagers to find a job.

When the minimum wage was discussed in the late 19th and early 20th century it was in the context of preventing the least skilled, most “undesirable” workers from finding a job, with the goal of eradicating the unemployable people. For the next 80-plus years it was common knowledge that a minimum wage would reduce employment among the least-skilled workers. The only debate was about whether such a reduction was desirable from society’s perspective, as many of the appalling eugenicists of the time contended.

As late as 1987, the New York Times editorial staff recommended a minimum wage of $0 because of its negative effects on employment. The Times argued that the minimum wage was an ineffective anti-poverty tool whose employment costs outweighed any benefits from higher wages.

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Most Americans are totally broke


By Quentin Fottrell, Marketwatch

January 6, 2016 | 1:24pm

Americans are starting 2016 with more job security, but most are still theoretically only one paycheck away from the street.

Approximately 63 percent of Americans have no emergency savings for things such as a $1,000 emergency room visit or a $500 car repair, according to a survey released Wednesdayof 1,000 adults by personal finance website, up slightly from 62 percent last year. Faced with an emergency, they say they would raise the money by reducing spending elsewhere (23 percent), borrowing from family and/or friends (15 percent) or using credit cards to bridge the gap (15 percent).

This lack of emergency savings could be a problem for millions of Americans. More than four in 10 Americans either experienced a major unexpected expense over the past 12 months or had an immediate family member who had an unexpected expense, Bankrate found. (The survey didn’t specify the impact of that expense.) “Without emergency savings, you may not have money to cover needed home repairs,” says Signe-Mary McKernan, senior fellow and economist at the Urban Institute, a nonprofit organization that focuses on social and economic policy. “Similarly, without emergency savings, people could raid their retirement account.”

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Upgrade Your Workers’ Skills with State Funding

December 5,2015
the staff of the Rmidgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Many state governments, including NJ, have funds set aside to train your workforce at no cost to you. The intent is to create a better skilled workforce that will translate into better productivity and increased profitability for these companies.

These extraordinary state programs allow you to realize income with no strings attached and without deviating from your company’s day-to-day activities. These programs are intended for most companies regardless of size.

In today’s economy, trained and effective workers can mean the difference between a competitive business and an extinct business. The Customized Training initiative is a component of the Workforce Development Partnership program and is funded by a small allocation from employers and workers.
TNT Educational Services is in the business of securing government funding by way of training grants and offering a wide range of training classes targeting an increase of productivity at no cost to the company. Bergen IT LLC ( is partnering with TNT Educational Services ( in order to become a provider of technology training.

To Request additional Information, please call Bergen IT at – 201-689-1823 or

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Stephen Moore: No President Obama, Poor People Don’t Work as Hard as Rich

US President Obama waves from a golf cart in Kailua

By Dan Weil   |   Tuesday, 09 Jun 2015 04:57 PM

Here’s an interesting take on income inequality that bucks conventional wisdom.

While President Barack Obama claims that low-income Americans work just as hard as their wealthy counterparts, that simply isn’t true, says Stephen Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

“Yes, many people in poor households heroically work very hard at low wages to take care of their families, no doubt about that,” he and Heritage Foundation research associate Joel Griffith write in The Washington Times.
Special: What the Bible Says About Investing (Shocking)
“Yet the average poor family doesn’t work nearly as much as the rich families do. And that’s a key reason why these households are poor.”

Census Bureau data show that for every hour worked by those in a low-income household, those in a wealthy household toil five hours.

“The idea that the rich are idle bondholders who play golf or go to the spa every day while the poor toil isn’t accurate,” Moore and Griffith explain.

“The finding that six out of 10 poor households have no one working at all is disturbing. Since they have no income from work, is it a surprise they are poor?”

Meanwhile, Americans are concerned about the growing inequality of income, but they don’t see the government as a solution for the most part, according to a new study by four esteemed professors for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

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How Millennials Could Damage the U.S. Economy


The Fiscal Times
April 30, 2015

Millennial workers have had it rough in recent years, coming of age during the Great Recession and experiencing higher levels of unemployment and underemployment than older generations.

A new study finds that Millennials, who will dominate the U.S. labor market for the next 50 years, may face another problem: They’re less prepared for today’s job market than many of their international peers, putting them (and the country) at a distinct disadvantage in an increasingly global economy.

A recent report by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) examined data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIACC), which showed that American millennials are badly lagging behind in numeracy, literacy and problem-solving skills. Experts can only speculate on the reason for the skills gap, but the report warns that the consequences of such relatively low scores could be serious for American competiveness and could have an impact on the U.S. both socially and politically.

The study shows that even our top-performing millennials are not measuring up to their counterparts overseas. Further, the gap between America’s highest- and lowest-performing workers is among the largest.  The study suggests that such a disparity can lead to dire consequences, including “mistrust in government, decreased civic engagement, increased rates of incarceration, poor health, obesity, addiction and more”

“We did not do well across the board in all three of the skills that we looked into, particularly in numeracy,” said Madeline Goodman, director of research at the ETS and one of the study’s co-authors, adding that the report presents troubling implications for the future of American competiveness.

Nearly two-thirds of millennials scored below the minimum standard in math. “If these individuals are going to be trained for jobs that have remuneration … then they need to have basic skill level” she said.

Among the 22 participating countries, U.S millennials 18 to 34 years old ranked 21st in numeracy — only Spanish millennials had lower scores. In literacy, half scored below the minimum proficiency level, ahead of only Spain and Italy.  For problem solving in technology-rich environments, 56 percent of American millennials met the minimum standards, behind every other nation.

That’s a problem for U.S. employers, more than two-thirds of whom look for communication, problem-solving and quantitative skills in their new hires, according to a report last year by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Even so, employers expect to hire more new college grads this year than they did last year, according to a NACE report released earlier this month.

One of the central paradoxes of the ETS study is that the millennial generation is our most educated, and the study’s authors make the case that many post-secondary institutions are not adequately providing students with the skills necessary to be successful in the job market.  The financial loan burden to pay for this education can also be crippling.

“These results are suggesting that a significant chunk of Americans will have trouble moving up in the labor market and getting out of lower-wage jobs,” says Harry Holzer, professor of public policy at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy.

The skills gap may be having an impact on productivity and growth, and federal educational programs such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have not produced the needed results, Holzer says.

Holzer adds that Americans may need to revaluate the way they obtain these skills, and suggests that post-secondary education should not mean only a bachelor’s or  associate’s degree. Upgrading America’s technical education schooling, including certificate programs in such high-demand fields as IT and health tech, may give young people entrée to high demand middle class jobs. He compares American millennials to Germans, where many high school graduates can already solve complex technical problems.

Mark Schneider, vice-president and Institute Fellow at The American Institutes for Research, is also critical of American universities, many of which he believes don’t equip students with the skills they need to function in the workplace or the wider community.  He calls most college educations “too long, too expensive” and says the liberal arts skills that they provide are not marketable.