Director (Apply By: Thursday, February 9 at 11:59pm ET)

Jobs for the Future
Massachusetts, United States
Competitive Salary
Closing date
Feb 17, 2023

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Apply By: Thursday, February 9 at 11:59pm ET 

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 experiencing a period of unprecedented growth and is strategically organizing both to scale its impact and to support the wellbeing of our staff. As a result, we've recently created several new positions and departments to build a solid foundation for growth in support of our mission to drive equitable economic advancement for all. 

The Field Implementation Team (FIT), a new team within Solutions Design & Delivery (SD&D) at JFF, plays a central role in advancing JFF’s mission applying capabilities, expertise, and talent to implement field-facing programs, initiatives, and strategic solutions across JFF and JFFLabs.  The FIT is comprised of subject matter/domain experts, or developing experts, and generalists across a range of experience levels (Coordinator through Senior Director, AVP, or Senior Advisor).  The FIT is the largest team at JFF with more than 150 members who contribute to the design and execution of JFF’s funded work across the Solutions Group, JFFLabs, Strategic Engagements, the Policy & Advocacy team, and other teams.  

Due to JFF’s rapid growth and opportunities for increased impact, we are currently hiring multiple Directors to meet the needs of various teams across JFF. These new Directors will be assigned to specific portfolios of project work across JFF, based on the organization’s evolving needs and staff members’ skillsets and interests. As subject matter experts in the education and/or workforce development ecosystem, Directors will be poised to help our partners transcend the traditional education and workforce space to connect and expand efforts on the ground. Directors will serve as leaders of and contributors to JFF projects and initiatives, including leading project teams, defining workstreams and projects that align with team priorities and JFF’s mission and vision, and setting ambitious and achievable goals to deliver high-quality outputs and measurable results. In addition, Directors are stewards and champions of DEI within and across JFF by ensuring that individual differences are respected, decisions, teams, and processes within our programs and initiatives have centered equity at all stages, and that our mission, values, and DEI commitments is connected and reflected in our field work. 

Directors will work collaboratively with their manager, Senior Directors and other FIT team members to ensure strategic alignment, execution consistency, and ultimately the success of the projects they lead. This position represents an exciting opportunity for an experienced project and program leader who empowers, inspires and holds self and others accountable for applying an equity lens to their work and maximizing impact across programs. 

Based on the organization’s current needs, and candidates' skills and interests, you could be deployed across projects for one or more of the following teams listed here

  • EDUCATION PRACTICE: Transform policies and practices, build capacities, and drive behavior change of existing education systems, institutions, and providers, including K-12 schools, postsecondary institutions, traditional certificate/credential providers, and adjacent organizations supporting learners. Check out impact stories here
  • EMPLOYER MOBILIZATION PRACTICE: Transform policies and practices, build capacities, and drive behavior change of private sector employers and employer coalitions and associations. Learn more here
  • WORKFORCE & REGIONAL ECONOMIES PRACTICE: Transform policies and practices, build capacities, and drive behavior change of federal and state public workforce development systems and organizations, labor unions, workforce development nonprofits/CBOs, and regional or community actors and coalitions. Spearhead JFF work on inclusive regional economic development. Check out impact stories here
  • CENTER FOR APPRENTICESHIP AND WORK-BASED LEARNING: Transform policies and practices, build capacities, and drive behavior change in Registered Apprenticeship and emerging work-based learning systems to center on ensuring and delivering equitable and high-quality career opportunities. Learn more here.  
  • CENTER FOR JUSTICE AND ECONOMIC ADVANCEMENT: Transform policies and practices, build capacities, and drive behavior change to eliminate barriers to economic mobility for people with criminal records. Check out impact stories here
  • CENTER FOR RACIAL ECONOMIC EQUITY: Transform policies and practices, build capacities, and drive behavior change to eliminate racial disparities in educational attainment, employment, wages, and ultimately, wealth, beginning with a focus on Black Americans. Learn more here
  • JFF LABS: JFFLabs is JFF’S innovation arm—we catalyze new ways to achieve our mission at JFF and with our partners. JFFLabs bridges communities and drives innovation in education and workforce systems through market insights, incubating solutions, and investing in promising companies. Learn more here

What you'll do:  

Project and Program Leadership  

  • Develop and lead complex projects from concept through implementation, ensuring on-time completion of deliverables (including managing timelines, budgets, work plans, program staff, and partners)  
  • Communicate project expectations, updates, and milestones (i.e., status and progress reports, roadblocks/contingency plans, post-mortems, etc.) to key stakeholders and ensure projects and deliverables are moving toward established goals and objectives 
  • Apply your domain knowledge and expertise to provide guidance and strategic support to partners, and maximize JFF’s impact and success in the field 
  • Facilitate and lead small and large group meetings, trainings, and presentations for diverse stakeholders 
  • Contribute to the development of frameworks, models, and repeatable solutions or service lines applicable to JFF’s work 
  • Manage and mitigate risks to ensure projects are on track and driving toward meaningful impact 
  • Ensure that equity is centered at all stages of designing and executing programmatic initiatives and projects  
  • Manage and cultivate relationships with internal and external stakeholders  
  • Understand and respond to the challenges that leaders and systems face; armed with that knowledge, conceptualize and develop tools, resources, and strategies to effectively solve problems and eliminate barriers to progress for our partners 
  • Lead others to provide effective and consistent delivery of JFF’s programs and services; mentor, coach, and support project staff to maximize learning and high-quality execution 
  • Ensure your project teams have the tools and resources needed to execute their work, meet expected deliverable deadlines and produce high-quality project outcomes 
  • Support staff on your project teams to develop subject matter and functional expertise (e.g., ensuring that people have project work aligned with their desire to develop expertise.) 

Influence and Contribute to JFF's Programmatic Strategy 

  • Support partnership development within and across initiatives 
  • Contribute as needed to business development and fundraising (e.g., proposal design and drafting, subject matter expertise, partner recruitment, funder conversations) in areas aligned to your expertise, under the sponsorship and direction of Practices, Centers, or JFFLabs 
  • Collaborate with various teams across JFF to shape and implement bodies of work that support JFF strategic goals/mission and respond to and influence developments in the field 
  • Synthesize insights and patterns from engagements to identify and cultivate solutions and innovations into practice 
  • Develop operational and impact plans for future work based on learnings over time 
  • Design, launch, and scale work rooted in closing equity gaps and driving systemic change in partnership with Practices, Centers, or JFFLabs 


Who you are:   

  • You have 8+ years of experience, with content expertise important to JFF’s mission and strategy and a track record of success leading and contributing to large, complex capacity-building efforts with partners across the education and/or workforce development ecosystem 
  • You have experience leading projects, particularly around implementing new bodies of work 
  • 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 supported and engaged staff amidst change and ambiguity  
  • You manage and/or influence team members and their work effectively to keep the team focused on results. 
  • You model inclusive leadership, working effectively with colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds, and ensuring that decisions, teams and processes respect individual differences 
  • You have a demonstrated ability to apply an equity lens to your work in order to maximize impact  
  • You build positive, effective, and collaborative work cultures and take pride in developing people and helping them to meet their professional goals 
  • You possess strong communication skills – both verbal and written – and can clearly communicate complex ideas 
  • You are a compelling facilitator who is adept at engaging and inspiring both internal stakeholders and our partners, building strong relationships with—and advising—senior-level systems leaders 
  • You have demonstrated success advising senior executives and decision makers and get energy from building coalitions and consensus to bridge competing priorities and drive progress. You are equally happy being out front presenting to 200 people and setting up someone else to do so successfully   
  • You have outstanding relationship-building skills, are able to build bridges and provide influence within and beyond the boundaries of the FIT function and our organization, and are able to lead through influence with stakeholders, colleagues, and members of your project teams 
  • You are a systems builder, able to identify areas for growth and capable of working collaboratively with others to develop new systems and processes  
  • 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 possess strong strategic and critical thinking skills with an interest in systems-level design, integration, and implementation; You love working at a strategic level, but are also happy to roll up your sleeves in addressing tactical and operational matters when needed, especially during periods of growth 
  • 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:  

We are accepting applications through Thursday, February 9 at 11:59pm ET. Applications submitted by that date will be reviewed and candidates will receive updates on their candidacy by the week of February 13. As part of your application, please include your resume and a thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position. 


Candidates can expect the following hiring process and timeline:   

  • Stage 1 (February): Phone Interviews   
  • Stage 2 (February to Early March): Virtual Interview Round 1 
  • Stage 3 (Mid-March): Performance Task
  • Stage 4 (End of March – Early April): Virtual Panel Interview 
  • Stage 5 (April): Reference Check/Offers  


Things to note about this hiring process:   

  • If you are invited to a phone interview, our People & Culture Team will share additional context about our teams’ current needs.   
  • If you advance to the final interview round, you will have the opportunity to learn more about and meet people from the projects you might be assigned to.  


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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