Position Scope: The Program Manager is a temporary, full-time position to provide project management in support of the work of the Employment and Income (E/I) line of work of the Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC) Action Agenda. This position will provide support to all of the strategies of the E/I work which is conducted through several work groups. Work groups include a range of individuals who work in workforce and housing organization, who are people of lived experience, and those who administer housing and workforce programs. Most work groups are led by volunteers of those organizations. This position will represent the E/I work to the full Action Agenda project management team and will regularly coordinate with key systems leaders. This position is part of the Chicago Jobs Council’s policy team and additionally contributes to team goals. The Program Manager position reports to the Director of Policy & Advocacy.
Background: The Jobs Council has been an active participant and leader in efforts to improve employment services for people who receive services through Chicago’s Continuum of Care (CoC). The CoC launched its Action Agenda to End Homelessness in 2018. The Action Agenda is how the CoC community of stakeholders pursues its collective work to end homelessness. One of its twelve key strategies (referred to as “lines of work”) is to increase employment and income opportunities. Under the Action Agenda, each line of work consists of a range of projects, strategies, work groups and collaborations and is led by one or two project or program manager.
Chicago Jobs Council’s (Jobs Council) vision is that all people, regardless of where they start or where they’ve been, can access employment as a pathway out of poverty. The Jobs Council moves people out of poverty through employment using on-the-ground expertise, advocacy, and capacity-building. Since it was established in 1981, the Jobs Council’s membership has grown to include over 100 organizations and individuals who work together to influence the development and reform of public policies and programs designed to move people out of poverty, into the workforce and into better jobs. The Jobs Council’s leadership of the Action Agenda’s E/I line of work is conducted to improve employment outcomes for the most disconnected job seekers.
Key duties and responsibilities for the Program Manager include:
Leadership: Serve as the E/I project manager at all Action Agenda leadership meetings and strategy; lead work groups when needed.
Work plan oversight: Help work groups develop, maintain and iterate work plans; report progress, outcomes, and challenges to the Action Agenda leadership.
Coordination: Identify and facilitate collaboration with other areas of the Action Agenda; provide technical assistance to leaders of work groups, responding to information requests, helping with identifying new members and resources; as needed, organize special events, workshops, or trainings for providers and stakeholders.
Policy expertise: Develop necessary expertise in workforce issues for people experiencing homelessness and unstable housing; apply expertise and lessons to the Jobs Council’s policy activities and contribute to policy change activities in both the workforce and housing arenas.
Communications: Be the primary source and provider of information on the activities of the E/I line of work, developing content for newsletters, presentations, reports, social media, meetings, grant proposals, etc. As needed, make presentations at workshops, work groups, conferences and trainings. Support other stakeholders in the CoC and the Jobs Council to understand and communicate the E/I work.
Administration and Management: As needed, maintain contracts, manage consultants, complete grant reports and other written products, and participate in funder briefings and related meetings.
In addition to the above primary duties, the Program Manager is part of the Jobs Council’s policy team contributing information, insights, and ideas to the team’s goals. The Program Manager will also contribute to organization-wide activities and strategy development.
Requirements for the Program Manager
Commitment to the advancement of the Jobs Council’s organizational mission and vision, and our commitment to racial equity
Strong interpersonal skills, especially an ability to build relationships with and work with diverse individuals with diverse work styles
Possesses patience and a non-judgmental attitude
Willingness to do all tasks related to the project, no matter how seemingly “small” (e.g. make photocopies, make coffee for meetings, etc)
Commitment to continuous improvement (i.e. generate or support new ideas to improve the Jobs Council’s efficiency and/or effectiveness)
Possesses self-starting work habits (sees what needs to be done without being told) that demonstrate a clear understanding of the Jobs Council’s priorities and one’s own job responsibilities, while at the same time being open to receiving direction
Participates well in a team including listening to and respecting team members’ ideas, willingness to provide backup on other team members’ projects, display of adaptability when a change is made, and openness to incorporating team feedback on written communications
Interest in the areas of: workforce development for job seekers experiencing significant disconnection from work; housing strategies that integrate employment and work support services; and holistic approaches to service delivery
Possesses self-confidence, including a belief in one’s ability to accomplish a task and select an effective approach to a task or problem, confidence in one’s own decisions or opinions, ability to reflect on lessons learned from failures and successes
Demonstrated project management skills and strategies (e.g. break a project down into smaller steps and incremental goals, create a timeline, track progress, etc)
Strong creative problem solving skills including ability to identify new strategies to achieve goal
Ability to build consensus among a group of diverse individuals with diverse work styles in order to successfully keep project activities and goals moving forward
Clear, concise, and persuasive communication skills (written, verbal, listening)
Excellent organizational and time management skills that allow for the handling of multiple and competing priorities while meeting short and long term deadlines
Exceptional critical thinking and analytical ability; demonstrated ability to balance creativity and logic when making decisions after adequately contemplating various courses of action and collection of facts
Ability to interpret complex data/information and explain it to multiple audiences
Ability to think strategically, balance long term vision with daily tasks
Attention to detail and excellent follow through
Good listening skills
Ability to collaborate and seek support when needed
Ability to stay on top of emerging trends in the field
Proficiency with computer applications in Windows environment, especially Microsoft Office and G-Suite applications, web-based survey tools, online database and website management (or demonstrated ability to learn quickly)
Familiarity with public policies and programs that impact people living in poverty, particularly in the areas of homelessness, workforce development, supported employment, and mental health. This can include one’s own experience participating in related programs or services.
Meeting management, facilitation, and presentation experience
Public policy or program development experience that includes writing, research and presentation
Preferred 4-5 years of related experience. This can include volunteer and personal experience related to this position.
Minimum post-secondary credential; Degrees or certifications related to education, training, counseling, and/or social work preferred
Compensation for the Program Manager position includes $60,000 annual salary and excellent benefits. To apply, please submit cover letter and resume via https://cjc.bamboohr.com/jobs/view.php?id=30 Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled. Estimated start date is November 2019.
THE CHICAGO JOBS COUNCIL IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER. The Jobs Council is committed to building an inclusive staff and strongly encourages applications from individuals of color, people with disabilities, individuals with diverse backgrounds, and those whose life experience is underrepresented in employment programs and policies.
The Jobs Council recognizes that systemic, institutional and individual racism creates disparities in the way people of color fare in the labor market. We are continuously working to review and update our practices, policies, and procedures using a racial equity lens in order to achieve more equitable outcomes for all.
Chicago Jobs Council’s (the Jobs Council) vision is that all people, regardless of where they start or where they’ve been, can access employment as a pathway out of poverty. The Jobs Council moves people out of poverty through employment using on-the-ground expertise, advocacy, and capacity-building. Since it was established in 1981, the Jobs Council’s membership has grown to include over 100 organizations and individuals who work together to influence the development and reform of public policies and programs designed to move people out of poverty, into the workforce and into better jobs.