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Program Director, Education-to-Careers Pathways Initiatives

Jobs for the Future
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Sep 23, 2022

View more

Position Type
Community Development, Philanthropic Advisors
Employment Type
Full Time

About JFF:   

Jobs for the Future (JFF) drives transformation of the American workforce and education systems to achieve equitable economic advancement for all.  


About the position:   

JFF is hiring a Program Director with a commitment to closing equity gaps and creating and scaling innovative pathways and models for workers and learners to support our growing portfolio of Education-to-Career Pathways Initiatives. In this new position, you will be responsible for cultivating and building new partnerships and funding opportunities, producing insights and thought leadership, and leading the launch and coordination of new work across multiple JFF units and teams.  

JFF’s Education-to-Careers Pathways Initiatives aim to increase the power and agency of young people to find their preferred pathway to the workforce and choose the path of lifelong learning through an increase in the acceptance, availability, and legitimacy of high-quality pathways. The ideal candidate will have cross sector knowledge and should understand the landscape of college to career pathways, innovative learning models, and credentials available to students. 

As Program Director, you will support a multi-year, integrated program of narrative change, market research, policy engagement, investment in innovative learning models and quality frameworks, and employer practice change. You will be the face of the Initiative, overseeing multiple work streams concurrently, developing processes and reporting mechanisms that drive team accountability, keeping stakeholders aware of milestones, and cultivating relationships with both internal teams as well as external leaders, including policymakers and funders.  

The ideal candidate will have an entrepreneurial, agile mindset, a passion for working on a wide variety of projects, and a demonstrated ability to lead cross-functional teams. This person will be a strategic thought partner to our partners, funders, and others in the field while connecting the dots internally at JFF to bring the best across JFF teams to our partners.  


What you'll do:  

Program and Project Management  

  • Oversee at least 4 multi-year workstreams and indirectly lead 20+ project team members.  
  • Partner with program and marketing teams, as well as task/workstream leads to define project objectives, resource requirements, timing, and deliverables 
  • Develop, manage, and communicate project expectations, updates, and milestones to key stakeholders, mitigate risks, and ensure grant deliverables are moving toward established goals and objectives. 
  • Develop operational and impact plans for future work based on initial learnings. 

Strategic Relationship Management, Partnership Cultivation and Fundraising 

  • Cultivate and maintain new and existing strategic relationships with key stakeholders, funders, and consultants. 
  • Pursue new fundraising opportunities and lead the cultivation and execution of new partnerships to support innovative pilot programs. 
  • Create a space of learning across JFF teams and partners externally. Lead through opportunity framing, design workshops, and learning exercises. 
  • Collaborate with initiative contributors and senior leaders to build a cross-sector big-tent strategy including funders, K-12, postsecondary, employers, tech startups, etc.  
  • Identify opportunities for external engagement and thought leadership at public forums to highlight and advance the work of the Education to Career Pathways Initiatives. Lead external engagement opportunities in partnership with workstream leads. 

Research and Thought Leadership 

  • Support and build upon the market research and narrative change efforts developed in current work to expand impact externally and influence stakeholders. 
  • Identify, prioritize, and represent JFF at high level public forums and other external engagements, and contribute to JFF’s thought leadership in relevant domains through publications, blogs, and other media. 
  • Synthesize insights and patterns from engagements; partner with JFF teams to build an insights agenda and measure Initiative outcomes  


Who you are:  

  • You have at least 7- 10 years of professional experience leading teams and designing, launching and scaling new portfolios of work that are rooted in closing equity gaps and driving systemic change. 
  • You bring content knowledge and expertise in designing, scaling up and/or advocating for education-to-career-pathway initiatives for workers and learners and are confident representing and leading conversations on behalf of JFF as a national thought leader on these topics. 
  • You have knowledge and experience in innovation or human-centered design initiatives (a plus) and managing projects through agile methods. 
  • You are an expert relationship builder and have experience identifying funding for new bodies of work through partnership development and fundraising. 
  • You bring structure to environments with evolving processes and are comfortable working in an environment that can be ambiguous, with rapidly changing priorities. 
  • You have experience working across sectors and are adept at leading meetings and building relationships with high-profile partners, funders, and business leaders. 
  • You have excellent communication skills – both written and spoken – and can translate complex ideas into accessible messaging for a wide range of audiences. 
  • You enjoy building out and coaching others on process development and resource allocation and can create excitement and energy around your work. 
  • You possess high energy and passion for JFF’s mission and the ability to apply JFF’s core values to all areas of your work. 
  • You model inclusive leadership, working effectively with colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds, and building and stewarding an organizational culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • You build positive, effective, collaborative cultures and teams wherever you work. 
  • You are a curious and adaptive learner, with a willingness to take in new information, perspectives and data to inform your work. 
  • You demonstrate a growth mindset and a desire to continuously improve in your work. 


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at JFF:   

JFF is committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. JFF fosters a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, culture, and experience.  As part of our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, JFF strongly encourages people impacted by the criminal legal system to apply. 


To apply:   

As part of your application, please include your resume and a thoughtful cover letter, addressed to Joel Vargas, Vice President, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position.  


Positions at JFF are not eligible for employer-visa sponsorship or open to F-1 student visa holders.  


All JFF employees are required to be fully up to date on their vaccinations against COVID-19, unless a medical or religious exemption has been requested and a reasonable accommodation approved.   


JFF offers a competitive salary and benefits package, commensurate with experience and skills. 

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