Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights is a global anti-poverty and human rights organization that has been tackling society’s toughest challenges since 1888. Today, we serve the most marginalized people in society, including immigrants and refugees, people experiencing homelessness, and survivors of violence and torture. We believe that society is better for everyone when all of us can participate, prosper, and reach our full potential.
Heartland Alliance is coordinating READI (Rapid Employment and Development Initiative) Chicago, a network of community-based organizations on Chicago’s South and West Sides that will engage individuals at the highest risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of gun violence in an 18-month wage-subsidized transitional job (TJ) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program, followed by up to six months of follow-up case management and coaching support. The goals of READI Chicago are to: decrease shootings and homicides among those at highest risk of gun violence; create new opportunities for these same individuals to change their life trajectory and decrease their involvement with the criminal justice system; and help build an infrastructure at the community level to promote long-term safety and opportunity in Chicago’s most impoverished communities. The Crime and Poverty Labs at the University of Chicago will lead the program evaluation and we will also partner with the City of Chicago, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and the Illinois Department of Corrections. This initiative will launch in Summer 2017 in Austin and West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, and West Englewood and Englewood.
Reporting to the Senior Director of READI Chicago, the Director of Employment is responsible for the successful implementation of all activities related to program participants’ transitional jobs and connections to unsubsidized employment. The Director will serve on the senior leadership team of READI Chicago, working closely with the Senior Director, Director of Programs, and Director of Operations. She or he will be energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive -- a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical decisions.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Management and Leadership
Demonstrate an effective, inclusive, and collaborative approach to leading, motivating, and inspiring staff and teams
Establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with staff across the Heartland Alliance community and with key stakeholders
Lead READI Chicago’s presence in the city’s workforce development community, through participation in relevant coalitions, committees, and conferences
Contribute to organizational culture aligned with core commitments of tackling root causes; encouraging creativity and innovation; using data for continuous improvement and to measure progress; applying an equity lens to all that we do; partnering with participants and others to co-create and achieve ambitious, shared goals; and aligning and capitalizing on our global and domestic efforts and perspectives
Model the Heartland Alliance Philosophy of Care, ensuring all partners use a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach to programming, including relentless re-engagement with participants
Identify bright spots, gaps, or areas of non-alignment with network of partner agencies and develop effective strategies to optimize programming
Represent program to internal and external stakeholders; support resource development efforts
Identify partners that can provide wraparound services, expungement, and other key services to allow participants to successfully engage in programming
Transitional Jobs Strategy and Support
Direct transitional jobs services and placement needs, supervising program management and ensuring that high quality services are being provided
Cultivate and maintain relationships with transitional work sites and supervisors, which may include city, county, and state agencies, social enterprises, nonprofits, and other businesses related to career pathways that benefit participants
Provide an excellent customer experience to TJ work site partners; analyze work sites and jobs to determine number of crews/number of days/scheduling/associated equipment, materials or other needs to complete work projects; work with subcontractors to schedule crews;follow up with partners to ensure satisfaction.
Direct critical program components including enrollment and orientation, employment preparation, training, placement, and reporting; utilize best practice approaches to all aspects of program design
Ensure that transitional employment orientation, assessment, and preparation are informed by effective practices
Ensure program data quality, including complete and accurate data entry for all program activities, participant outcomes, service provision, etc.
Participate in planning for and execution of professional and personal development opportunities for participants, including 5th day events, hiring events, asset building, and other developmental resources for participants
Cultivate and maintain relationships with private and public sector employers in order to secure unsubsidized employment opportunities for program participants
Create and leverage opportunities to make the case for employers in neighborhoods, downtown, and across the region to hire program participants into meaningful employment; develop and maintain key high-volume partnerships that lead to high-quality jobs for participants
Support job retention following job placement by engaging with participants, employers, and READI Chicago staff
Ensure that participants can gain essential skills, credentialing, and career pathways through READI Chicago in order to meet their individual goals and secure unsubsidized employment that offers sustaining wages, benefits eligibility, and opportunities for advancement
Identify resources and opportunities for education and training, credentialing, transitional jobs placements, apprenticeships, and internships to advance career pathways in conjunction with unsubsidized employment
Identify programmatic capacity-building opportunities for partner organizations and community areas, and shepherd essential resources, expertise, and support to meet network-wide, community-specific, and organization-specific needs
Provide Community Project Managers and staff at partner organizations with day-to-day assistance and guidance
Encourage, mentor, and support partner organizations and staff; coach and develop staff to achieve performance targets, build their knowledge, and improve skills
Lead or facilitate training and development opportunities as needed
Maintain professional skills in workforce interventions, data management, and other key areas to serve as a resource for partner agencies
Ensure quality for all READI Chicago employment services; coordinate with technical assistance providers, consultants, and other stakeholders to ensure that all employment service delivery incorporates effective practices
Other duties as assigned
Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty. Qualifications below represent the knowledge and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
Demonstrated commitment to Heartland Alliance’s mission, Philosophy of Care, and READI Chicago’s goals
Proficiency in best practices and benchmarking in workforce development programming
Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree or equivalent experience preferred
7+ years of related lived and professional experience in workforce development, education, career development, social work, public health, criminal justice, or related human service field
5+ years of progressively responsible leadership at a nonprofit organization; experience managing programs focused on workforce development or criminal justice preferred
Proven experience of developing high-volume relationships with employers with successful long-term retention
Entrepreneurial experience and enjoyment of the challenges of a new and innovative program
Comfort with ambiguity and experience in a growing initiative, balancing the needs to build systems, set strategy, maintain flexibility, and execute on priorities
Demonstrated experience working successfully with the target population
Ability to synthesize complex issues and articulate clearly to diverse audiences
Ability to engage and negotiate respectfully with diverse stakeholders to advance the project
Experience leading and collaborating with teams
Financial management experience
Political savvy and demonstrated ability to build relationships in the field and engage key stakeholders
Demonstrated track record exhibiting problem-solving, critical thinking and communications skills
Unwavering commitment to quality programs and excellence in organizational effectiveness
Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
This position requires travel to sites across the region, including program sites, TJ placement sites, unsubsidized employer partners and other stakeholders.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear.
The employee is required to use hands to key, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms.
The employee is regularly required to sit, stand and walk.
The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.
Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and ability to adjust focus.
Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the Organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Employee Services Office at (312) 660-1431.
Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable mi...litary discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the Organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Employee Services Office at (312) 660-1431.