Transforming companies & communities
one employee at a time

National ERN News

ERN USA’s Employer Resource Network®(ERN®) Annual KPI Report shows that member companies who provide an ERN Success Coach at the workplace experience an average of 1394% return on investment with the goal of stabilizing households and growing businesses for vibrant communities.

Learn more...

ERN USA is poised for sustainability and growth with recent accomplishments and offerings including ERN® DataSolutions, individual and state-wide new ERN development, Peer Learning, and collaborative funding.

Learn more...
Join Us for Process, Best Practices & Discussion!
  • Review the process & learn best practices from admin growing ERNs
  • Articulate the value of ERNs in recruitment
  • Sustain employer members with ongoing engagement

ERN USA Employers, Administrators, Success Coaches, Partners, Funders and Researchers - join us for networking, new tools, research, peer learning, and best practice sharing as we Grow Stronger Together. Registration now open!

Learn more...

American Enterprise Institute

Did you miss the American Enterprise Institute Web Event? Learn how Employer Resource Networks® improve employment retention and career opportunities for low wage workers. You can listen to the recording and read the study. Contact ERN USA for framework and assistance in developing an ERN® in your community.

Learn more... Download PDF

New ERN® Study: American Enterprise Institute

RSVP & Join Us! October 22, 2020 11:00am-12:30pm for "Employer Resource Networks®: Improving employment retention and career opportunities for low wage workers." H. Luke Shaefer, Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy, University of Michigan, discusses his recent report reviewing the ERN model, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Brent Orrell with Dr. Shaefer, Jason Heyboer of Lacks Enterprises, and James M Vander Hulst of ERN USA. 

Key Points:

  • Employer Resource Networks® (ERNs®) are an innovative model through which local networks of employers collectively provide work support services to their entry-level workforce.
  • ERNs® hold promise for addressing the societal challenge of unstable labor market attachment among low-earning workers while increasing worker productivity. 
  • While available evidence suggests considerable promise, a future rigorous evaluation could explore whether ERNs® yield sustained impacts on employment, earnings, and well-being.
  • A deeper examination of ERNs® as a private-sector solution could reveal new and promising strategies for supporting workers and their families.
Learn more... Download PDF

Grand Rapids Business Journal

In this article, the Grand Rapids Business Journal highlights ERN USA and its findings from the 2019 Employer Resource Network® (ERN®) Annual Report.  Socially responsible member companies who provide an ERN success coach at the workplace experience an average of 510% return on investment with the goal of stabilizing households and growing businesses for vibrant communities. Contact ERN USA to explore an ERN® in your community.

Learn more... Download PDF

Grand Rapids, Michigan – The newly released 2019 Employer Resource Network®(ERN) Annual Report shows that socially responsible member companies who provide an ERN success coach at the workplace experience an average of 510% return on investment with the goal of stabilizing households and growing businesses for vibrant communities. 

The annual report includes program data from a sample of 20 ERNs® in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. The average workforce utilization rate was 16% and ROI calculated according to company investment and retention. The study is based on 15,573 Service Needs addressed through 10,222 Employee Requests. ERN USA comprises a total of 28 ERNs from nine states with other ERNs® in development in both new and existing states. 

“Along with securing personalized resources for needs that can directly jeopardize job retention, other top ten needs that were consistent with the previous year’s data include coaching and counseling referrals,” said CDO, James Vander Hulst. “ERNs® provide a holistic retention approach combining resource connection with coaching, helping employees create and follow-up with a plan to manage those resources. Once immediate needs are addressed, we move forward with long term goals such as home buying or skill building to further stabilize the individual or family. In addition to high arching turnover savings, the end goal is a focused and skilled workforce with a transformed culture of supportive employment. With current pandemic challenges, success coaching is more important than ever and will continue into next year as we navigate recovery.”

Learn more... Download PDF

Gene Mitchell, Leading Age Magazine

Employer Resource Networks® (ERNs) as a useful model to help workers address personal and career challenges. James Vander Hulst, Chief Disruptive Officer for ERN USA, outlines how ERNs are bridging gaps for all types of workers including the lowest wage workers, the ALICE population and executive managers. “At best, these pressures create stress and reduce the productivity of the worker, and it can also affect their health. At worst, these issues, sometimes basic needs, can cause absenteeism and loss of their job. With the cost of turnover and low availability of workers, Employer Resource Networks can help improve employees’ lives and increase retention.”

Learn more...

In October 2018, over 65 administrators, success coaches and employers met for the annual USA ERN Peer Learning Conference, hosted by New York ERN. Seven states were represented including New York, Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, and Tennessee. “The ERN conference is valuable to all attendees and their respective employees. It stimulates conversations of best practices. People are people regardless of where they live and work with similar issues. We can share, brainstorm and generate a starting point for solutions." Gwen Pulvirent, employer, New York ERN.

Are you an Employer Resource Network® administrator, employer or success coach? Join Us for the ERN USA Annual Peer Learning Conference: October 17-18, 2018 hosted by New York ERN in Schenectady, NY! Share best practices around and learn about Supportive Employee Culture, Determining Employee Needs, Marketing for Success, The Power of Partnership, Soft Skills Training to Ensure Employee Stability, Measuring for Success and much more!

Learn more... Download PDF

Using Employer Resource Networks to Engage Business in Career Pathways Development

USA ERN will discuss how the Southwest Michigan Employer Resource Network (SWMERN) is engaging employers, the public workforce development system, and educational training providers in career pathways planning at the local level. Employers play a vital role in helping the public workforce system and educational training providers understand the types of skills and competencies needed for specific occupations and industries. This information is vital in creating robust career pathway models that meet the needs of industry and workers. Deanna Khemani, Social Policy Research Associates, Oakland, CA; James Vander Hulst, ERN USA, Grand Rapids, MI;  Dallas Oberlee, Southwest W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Kalamazoo, MI

Learn more...

"Building Capacity While Addressing Workforce Challenges"

Join us on June 7th, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio at the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS) Conference. James Vander Hulst (President & CEO, Michigan ERN/Chief Disruptive Officer, ERN USA) and Stephen McDonald (Impact Manager, Lucas County Family Council) will present, "Building Capacity While Addressing Workforce Challenges."

Learn more...

Best Practice Sharing key step in development process

     USA ERN congratulates the Mid-South Employer Resource Network® (MSERN) in Memphis, Tennessee on their February 2018 launch. HopeWorks, Inc. serves as Lead Organization with Gilda Shelby as Program Coordinator and Keva Irvin-Edwards as Success Coach.
     Mid South Employer Resource Network® becomes the 24th active ERN to join USA ERN in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Texas. Four additional ERNs in Arizona, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin are planned for 2018.  Learn more..

ERN Employers & Success Coaches Gather in Michigan to Share Best Practices

Nearly 60 success coaches, employers and strategic partners gathered on January 9th, 2018 in Galesburg, Michigan at the Michigan ERN Annual Peer Learning Conference to share best practices and offer insights on Community Ventures, outreach, and innovative benefit programs. The latest updates in SuccessForce reporting, calculating ROI, and working together as a statewide network of Employer Resource Networks® were also discussed. We thank Bell’s Brewery (a Southwest Michigan ERN employer member) for hosting and to all those participating that made the event a great success! Pictured are a few of the Michigan ERN employers in attendance.


TERN Success Coaching Awarded 1st Place for HR Best Practices

MAPP Practices Conference: October 2017

MAPP Practices Conference: October 2017

We congratulate the TERN ERN Success Coach Program at Andersen Technologies for being awarded the 1st Place Award for HR Best Practices by the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors (MAPP).  Andersen Technologies will be recognized at the upcoming MAPP Benchmarking Practices Conference in October.  The application was submitted with a description of how ERN Success Coaching has impacted the company, and employee testimonials on how it has impacted their lives.  The Benchmarking and Best Practices Conference is a no-nonsense business exchange designed to provide profit-impacting information to senior executives in the plastics manufacturing industry.

Learn more...

The Marion Area ERN in Marion County and Lucas County EaRNed Success ERN of Ohio recently launched with diverse industry sectors and a mix of employers sizes.  In partnering with ERN USA, Ohio joins 18 other ERNS from Michigan, New York, Indiana and Wisconsin.  Together they form a  tri-sector movement to increase retention by offering success coach services at the workplace one employee at a time.

Michigan ERN's Hardship Loan and Savings Program (launched in 2012) was recognized in Crain's Detroit Business along with the Michigan Community Action Association (in development) in offering an option to predatory payday loan "debt traps." When in need of emergency cash, these programs provide a low cost alternative (with saving component) for those who don't qualify for traditional credit.

Learn more...

Together we are growing the ERN Peer Learning Community!  The 2016 National ERN Conference in Ann Arbor, MI welcomed over 70 employers, success coaches, and government and community leaders connected around employer resource networks (ERNs).  States represented included Michigan, New York, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Washington D.C., Texas, Washington and Kentucky. 


Luke Shaefer, University of Michigan Ford School for Public Policy, co-author of $2 a Day

The greatest conference benefits expressed by participants included:

  • Idea sharing
  • Culture building
  • Informative breakout sessions     
  • Data tracking and measurements 
  • Networking opportunities and learning
  • Hearing others' success’ and struggles
  • Connecting with others in like positions
  • Measurement and evaluation framework
  • Understanding the employer perspective
  • Meeting others in different ERN positions
  • Talking with people outside my normal circle
  • Seeing how everyone else handles situations
  • Learning from success coaches embedded in the work

When participants were asked about their interest in participating in peer learning:

Annual Conference 87%
Informal email communication 80%
Quarterly topical webinars 78%
Collaborative workspace/website 73%

Sign up for our email updates and stay tuned for a Save the Date for the 2017 National ERN Conference! 

National Peer Learning Conference

November 14, 2006: Opening Plenary Speaker: Luke Shaefer, University of Michigan Ford School for Public Policy, co-author of $2 a Day

November 14, 2006: Opening Plenary Speaker: Luke Shaefer, University of Michigan Ford School for Public Policy, co-author of $2 a Day

Don't miss the ERN-USA National Peer Learning Conference November 14-15, 2016 at the Marriott Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown.  Learn more and register...

"After two decades of brilliant research on American poverty, Kathryn Edin noticed something she hadn’t seen before — households surviving on virtually no cash income. Edin teamed with Luke Shaefer, an expert on calculating incomes of the poor, to discover that the number of American families living on $2.00 per person, per day, has skyrocketed to one and a half million households, including about three million children.  Where do these families live? How did they get so desperately poor? Through this book’s eye-opening analysis and many compelling profiles, moving and startling answers emerge. $2.00 a Day delivers new evidence and new ideas to our national debate on income inequality."

Learn more...

Join Us at the Marriott Residence Inn Ann Arbor Downtown!
Conference location onsite: Greyline by Zingerman's
Address:  120 W Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: (734) 662-9999

Who should attend:

  • Employers
  • Communities and NGOs
  • Success Coaches
  • Ecomonic Development Agencies
  • State Workforce Agencies
  • Funders
  • Organizations looking for disruptive solutions to poverty

What you will learn and share:

  • Community success stories
  • ERN proven practices
  • Emerging programs and resources

Take part in interactive sessions:

  • Employer Resource Networks: Grassroots to National Movement
  • Success Coaching 101
  • Working with HR
  • Culture Building
  • Private/Public Partnerships
  • Integrating Bridges Training
  • Keynote Employer Panel
  • Metrics Dashboard and SuccessForce Reporting
  • Funders Panel: Seed Investing in ERNs
  • Research, Evaluation and Calculating ROI
  • Hardship Loan & Savings Programs
  • Resource Innovation

Learn more and register...

April 20-22, 2016

ERN USA and Western Michigan University presented, "Tr-sector Collaboration as Social Innovation in Workforce Development in the USA: Developing Employer Resource Networks."  The conference included presentations, panel discussions, work groups and activites related to social transformations following the values of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and diversity.  Pictured: James Vander Hulst (ERN-USA) and Dee Ann Sherwood (Western Michigan University)

ERN-USA recently launched Success Force Mobile, allowing coaches community resource contacts, empoyee information, and data input at their fingertips. This is an expanded function of our customizable SalesForce platform for ERNs.  It provides cross ERN communication, survey dissemination, metrics and reporting capabilities.  With this new tool, you can demonstrate the impact you are achieving in employee involvement, as well as return on investment for employers.