Director - Career Launch Chicago

Director - Career Launch Chicago
District Office

City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), the largest community college system in Illinois, is made up of seven colleges and five satellite sites, providing more than 70,000 students each year access to a quality, affordable education. CCC supports students in meeting their goals – whether that is pursuit of a credential to head into or advance in the workforce, an associate degree with the intention to transfer to a four-year college, free GED or ESL courses, or continuing education. CCC seeks candidates committed to our students' success and offers a unique opportunity for faculty and staff to have a lasting impact in our students' lives.

Career Launch Chicago is a new public-private partnership that aims to build a robust youth apprenticeship system that connects education and workforce training, launching students into high-demand careers. Career Launch seeks to align education and training between Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), while building on work-based learning systems and relationships that result in youth apprenticeship opportunities for dual-enrolled students. Through Career Launch, CPS and CCC will put in place the tools, processes and technology to support the successful onboarding, implementation, graduation, and employment for students and employers. Reporting directly to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Early College, the Director-Career Launch Chicago will be responsible for leveraging internal and external partners to support the mission and success of Career Launch, including teams at CPS and CCC engaged in the 5-year strategic roadmap, and CTE and workforce academic teams. The Director will report to a management committee that includes leadership from CPS, CCC, and Office of the Mayor, City of Chicago. The Director will also work with the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance at an advisory level.

  • Oversees development and advancement of the mission and goals of Career Launch in coordination with CPS and CCC. Key duties include stakeholder engagement, program/project management committee management, and system coordination across staff or vendors to support implementation.
  • Creates marketing materials that explain youth apprenticeship opportunities. Identifies opportunities locally and nationally to promote youth apprenticeships and supports recruitment efforts at high school level to attract students to youth apprenticeship programs.
  • Helps build systems and tools that will ensure relevant information is captured from all stakeholders; develops scopes of work with potential vendors to update or create systems; works with partners to keep information updated.
  • In partnership with other key stakeholders, creates and executes an employer engagement strategy; maintains a list of employer prospects; develops partnership agreements. Maintains continuous lines of communication with employers throughout the apprenticeship experience to problem solve and ensure satisfaction; advocates for equity and access in hiring.
  • Participates in CPS/CCC led discussions with employers to develop requirements for youth apprenticeship opportunities; ensures each apprenticeship has a detailed training plan and necessary MOUs, including specifications on compensation and benefits; monitors compliance measures and works with stakeholders to ensure program execution.
  • Maintains continuous lines of communication with apprenticeships throughout the apprenticeship experience. Ensures students meet apprenticeship eligibility requirements and provide informational and preparation workshops, ongoing mentorship and case management support.
  • Coordinates the apprenticeship experience across stakeholders - with education and training providers, business partners and other organizations or agencies. Acts as a consistent point person to address issues and problem solve. Seeks opportunities for partnership across sectors, initiatives and organizations.
  • Puts in place systems and structures to document and monitor apprenticeship programs and apprentice-specific requirements, including metrics on outcomes for students and employers.

Qualifications :

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Advanced Degree preferred.
  • Five years of relevant experience.
  • Strong understanding of the Chicago Public School landscape.
  • Familiarity with research on student success, work-based learning, and labor trends
  • Passion or interest in solving talent pipeline issues in Chicago.
  • Experience in an entrepreneurial role, where issues have to be identified and resolved quickly in collaboration with multiple stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to launch a new program, initiative or organization.
  • Experience working in a highly accountable and metric-driven environment.
  • Strong analytic, writing and public speaking skills, including the ability to assess and synthesize complex information into a clear, concise summary.
  • Ability to monitor and analyze impact, trends and research and translate into evidence-based strategic recommendations.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, rapidly changing environment with many stakeholders that at times have competing priorities or where you have little direct authority over their work (influence vs command).
  • Ability to engage with stakeholders at multiple levels and project manage committees to move work forward.
  • Ability to be a trusted thought partner and collaborator with educational institutions, philanthropic organizations, employers, etc.
  • Willingness to take initiative, manage a high volume of work and meet ambitious deadlines – sometimes in an independent, self-directed manner.
  • Strong leadership skills with high level strategic thinking and planning skills.
  • Understanding of financial statements, contract negotiations, budgeting and resource allocation, and governance structures.
  • Proven ability to act with integrity, humility and modesty.

Chicago residency is required for all full-time employees within 6 months of hire.
We are an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.
Thank you for your interest in City Colleges of Chicago.

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