Associate Director, Workforce Development
at Heartland Alliance

Date Posted: 7/7/2020

Job Description

Associate Director, Workforce Development

Summary:   The Associate Director of Workforce Development will ensure that employment programs successfully connect jobseekers overcoming barriers to employment to unsubsidized employment so that they can attain economic security.  Participants may be overcoming barriers including convictions in their background, low literacy or English-language skills, lack of employment history, homelessness, and populations served may include those who may be collecting public aid benefits in the form of food stamps or cash assistance, residents of public housing or newly-arriving refugees.  The successful candidate will supervise multiple programs following organization and program/department policies and procedures, be responsible for program outcomes, reporting and utilizing best practices and Heartland Alliance’s Philosophy of Care.  Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

The Associate Director of Workforce Development works with external partners, Heartland Alliance READI leadership*, staff and employers to build a culture that is grounded on trauma-informed, strengths-based and restorative justice values.  The Associate Director of Workforce Development reflects Heartland Alliance Philosophy of Care in engaging with internal and external partners.

*Heartland Alliance (HA) 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. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Coordinates all services and placement needs (subsidized and unsubsidized).
  • Assists in the direction of employment preparation, training, and placement of participants. Orients, assesses and prepares participants for success in the workforce as needed.
  • Oversees program and contractual outcomes and provides necessary reports to funders and Managing Director of Employment and Economic Advancement as required. Responsible for reporting activity to external stakeholders, including funders, and internal stakeholders.
  • Develops and maintains key partnerships with employers, referring partners and others to achieve strategic outcomes benefiting participants
  • Hires, trains, supervises and evaluates program staff and may manage program managers. Responsible for ensuring that all staff provide services in accordance with the Heartland Alliance Philosophy of Care and understand and are aware of contractual obligations, program rules/manuals, applicable laws, etc.
  • Ensures the implementation of organization and program/department policies and procedures. (e.g. personnel, financial, client eligibility, CARF-accreditation requirements, Standards of Professional Conduct, etc.)
  • Contributes to the strategic plan for employment services within HHCS.
  • Assists with the identification of underserved populations, works to establish needs assessments and helps to develop new service sites. 
  • Provides general management of budget with program leadership and financial staff.
  • Responsible for ensuring program data quality, including complete and accurate data entry for all program activities, participant outcomes, service provision, etc.
  • With the Managing Director, other program leadership and Donor and Community Relations, contributes to the development of proposals to secure government and private funding to support employment program and service activities.
  • Attends internal and external meetings as required.
  • Keeps current in field of employment services through professional development, committee work, coalitions and workshops.  Represents Workforce Development services with external groups, such as Chicago Jobs Council and etc.
  • Reads and comprehends contract requirements and develops logic models.
  • Participates in quality assurance activities as required by organization, accrediting bodies and funders.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience:  Bachelor’s degree and 4 years relevant experience.  Experience leading a team preferred. Experience managing specifically SNAP Employment and Training, Transitional jobs, TANF Workfirst, WIA, JTED, sector-training or Bridge programs preferred. 
  • Language Skills: Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.  Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.  Ability to speak effectively before groups of participants or employees of organization.
  • Computer Skills:  Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.
  • Other Qualifications:  Must have valid Illinois Drivers license and be able to independently travel throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs. May require weekend and evening hours.

Competencies:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to demonstrate each competency

  • Financial Planning: this may include but is not limited to the preparation and development of departmental and program budgets
  • Leadership: This may include but is not limited to the supervision of other program managers and supervisors, representation of division and/or organization ant company events, and development of program staff
  • Collaboration: ability to positively represent the agency to external audiences such that it advances the mission of the organization
  • Interpersonal Skills - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Managing People - Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement; Takes responsibility for subordinates' activities; Makes self available to staff; Provides regular performance feedback; Develops subordinates' skills and encourages growth; Solicits and applies customer feedback (internal and external); Fosters quality focus in others; Improves processes, products and services; Continually works to improve supervisory skills.
  • Quality Management - Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization's goals and values; Benefits organization through outside activities; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives; Organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; Develops realistic action plans.
  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.

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.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit and walk.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Work Environment:  The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise in the work environment is moderate.

Supervisory Responsibilities:  Manages staff and may manage subordinate supervisors who supervise employees within Workforce Development programs. Is responsible, with the Senior Director and Executive Director for the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of these units. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.

Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, 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.

Job Snapshot

  • Employee Type: Full-Time
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Job Type: Management
  • Experience: Not Specified
  • Date Posted: 7/7/2020

About Us

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Heartland Alliance—the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest— believes that all of us deserve the opportunity to improve our lives. Each year, we help ensure this opportunity for nearly one million people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. Our multicultural staff are passionate about our mission and make Heartland Alliance a dynamic and exciting place to develop your career.


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