Manager of Workforce Initiatives


Thrive Chicago ( is a local initiative modeled after and supported by the national StriveTogether Network, which provides a roadmap for harnessing the power of collective impact. By bringing together organizations across multiple sectors, agreeing on common outcomes of focus, and uniting efforts spanning the entire continuum from cradle to career, Thrive Chicago will result in citywide alignment that benefits all children.

To accomplish its work along the cradle-to-career continuum, Thrive Chicago has implemented five Change Networks, each focused on a particular outcome: enter kindergarten ready, engaged in enrichment and academic activities, high school graduation, college completion, and employment at living wages. Each of these groups is convened by content experts in the subject area and is comprised of a diverse group of individuals with expertise and interest in achieving impact on their particular outcome. Each Change Network meets regularly. They each also have 2-3 work groups with specific action plans designed to tackle more specific activities within each outcome area. These work groups meet 1-2 times (often by phone) each month.

To provide Change Network members with the support they need to ensure this work progresses efficiently, Thrive employs a skilled facilitator and project manager to guide each group’s work. We are currently seeking to fill the Manager position for the Workforce Change Network.

Job Summary

As an integral member of Thrive’s dynamic and growing team, the Manager of Workforce Initiatives will work with a broad group of Thrive’s stakeholders to inform strategy development and lead day-to-day operationalization for the Workforce Change Network. This skilled project manager will ensure the timely and effective completion of all the Change Network’s work streams. One work stream is the 100k Opportunities Initiative, which is a new national effort that will leverage Thrive’s collective impact expertise and engage our diverse network of stakeholders to prepare and connect thousands of young adults with employment opportunities over the next several years. He or she will work closely with the 100k Opportunities Initiative Project Manager as well as the rest of the Thrive team to ensure that Thrive’s employment-focused work is data informed, outcome driven, implements a continuous improvement process, and aligns with the rest of Thrive’s work.


• Project manage and support Thrive’s Workforce Change Network.

• Develop project work plans and schedules.

• Monitor project activity and status, evaluate progress within complex work plans to identify and respond to difficulties, challenges, and opportunities.

• Drive critical work streams within the Change Networks, providing the capacity needed by group members (in the form of guidance and content expertise) to ensure they adhere to their timelines and deliverables.

• Disseminate clear, accurate, and timely information across stakeholders related to the multiple work streams being undertaken, including the 100k Opportunities Initiative.

• Provide leadership and apply expert knowledge in project work in education, workforce, children, youth and/or families.

• Collaborate closely with the 100k Initiative Project Manager to ensure that effort is leveraging the Change Network whenever appropriate.

• Support the ongoing collaborative work of the Workforce Change Network by filling a variety of support roles including the coordination of meetings (scheduling, identifying and securing locations, setting up conference call numbers, sending recap emails, gathering RSVPs, maintaining mailing lists), events, and community presentations.

• Develop and cultivate relationships with community stakeholders, including practitioners in the education, faith, nonprofit, philanthropic, and civic sectors.

• Conduct qualitative research, analyze findings, and communicate back to Change Network leadership. Facilitate a process of continuous improvement based on these findings.

• Work closely with Thrive staff to create and implement communication strategies for various stakeholder groups including Change Networks members, Leadership Council members, public institutions, education and non-profit partners.

• Assist with grant reporting.

Qualifications and Skills

• Passionate about realizing Thrive Chicago’s vision: Chicago is a city where all succeed in education, career, and life.

• Good organizational skills and high attention to detail required.

• Bachelor’s degree required with at least 5 years of relevant work experience. Master’s degree preferred.

• Demonstrated ability to manage the scope, requirements, deliverables, timeline, and resource needs of complex, multi-stakeholder projects. Knowledge of project management fundamentals and experience managing projects are essential.

• Demonstrated ability to facilitate strategic conversations among diverse groups of stakeholders to achieve a common outcome.

• Excellent oral and written communication skills. Must be an effective communicator with multiple audiences, including community based organizations, foundations, researchers, and educators. Must be able to communicate technical information to a wide variety of audiences.

• Familiarity with collective impact and non-profit sector preferred.

• Knowledge of the education and workforce development systems strongly preferred.

• Strong strategic thinking skills.

• Be self-motivated, able to take initiative, and have a positive personality.

• Good analytical skills. Ability to draw insightful conclusions from large amounts of quantitative and qualitative data.

• Result Oriented - demonstrated performance in delivering results and keeping commitments.

• Advanced skills in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

Application Instructions

Please submit a resume to Jennifer Keeling ( We will review applications on a rolling basis, so it is to your advantage to apply as soon as possible.

Thrive Chicago believes in equal employment opportunities for all, regardless of color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or any other legally protected classification. Thrive’s policy is to hire and promote the most qualified applicants and to comply with all federal, state and local equal employment opportunity laws.