New Orleans, LA

Director of Workforce Initiatives, Greater New Orleans Foundation

The Organization

The Greater New Orleans Foundation has been a trusted philanthropic leader in the 13-parish Greater New Orleans region for nearly 100 years. Our vision is to create a vibrant, sustainable, and just region for all, and our mission is to drive positive impact through philanthropy, leadership, and action. As a community foundation, our resources are comprised of more than 900 charitable funds established by individuals, businesses, and organizations with a passion for charitable giving and a deep commitment to the Greater New Orleans region. As a civic leader, we bring together passionate people from nonprofits, business, government, and philanthropy to address our region’s greatest challenges.

The Foundation is an inspiring, engaging, challenging, thought-provoking, diverse, and dynamic place to work and advance your career. We pride ourselves on investing in high-quality staff members and encouraging success by allowing individuals the opportunity to both contribute and enhance their skills and talents as well as to share their unique perspectives as we address community challenges. Our workplace environment nurtures a diverse team and results in a broad base of staff knowledge and talent.

Position Overview

Director-level positions at the Foundation are exciting, multifaceted roles that include a mix of strategic leadership over important local and regional issues and tactical execution. Our Directors operate as civic leaders within their area of focus; they build coalitions, leverage their content expertise, influence change in the public sector, and secure funding to allow the ecosystem’s work to flourish. They lead local and regional initiatives, designing programs, driving high-quality evaluation, and serving as a key public voice in their area of focus. More than just great thinkers, our Directors are doers. They not only conceptualize the ideas that drive us forward, but they implement them as well.

The Director of Workforce Initiatives is responsible for the implementation, development, and management of workforce strategies and initiatives that support entry-level and middle-skilled workers getting into the workforce through careers with pathway opportunities. The Director partners with community stakeholders to envision, incubate, spin-off, or fund innovative programs aimed at improving career advancement opportunities for workers already employed to help move families towards their full economic potential. The Director is adept at cultivating partnerships and an expert at collecting, analyzing, and communicating opportunities on workforce trends to a broad range of stakeholders. The Director is responsible for consistently reporting data on program outputs and outcomes both internally and externally.

The Director of Workforce Initiatives reports directly to the Vice President for Programs and supervises two Workforce Navigators responsible for implementing the New Orleans Workforce Innovations program. Cross-functional support for the overall Programs Department is provided by one Program Officer, with additional support available pending the programs funded at the time.

Principal Duties

Workforce Development Strategy and Programs

●      Establish and maintain a deep understanding of the workforce development and economic landscape in the Greater New Orleans region as well as national trends, with a particular focus on healthcare, water management, green infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, and information technology.

●      Design and implement an overall strategy for workforce development partnership efforts including workforce sector gap analysis, program development, project goals and outcomes, evaluation measures, employer job needs, worker skill sets and competencies, curriculum development for training, worker recruitment process, and participant tracking.

●      Oversee the Foundation’s workforce investments and initiatives including, but not limited to, New Orleans Works and New Orleans Workforce Innovations; manage workforce navigators and set the agenda for the New Orleans Works Collaborative, an employer-led partnership that connects entry-level and middle-skilled workers to jobs that offer career pathways.

●      Identify and lead fundraising and resource development efforts that fund the Foundation’s Workforce Initiatives, in collaboration with the Vice President for Programs and the Foundation’s Development and Donor Relations Department.


External Relations & Communications

●      Establish and cultivate relationships across sectors and between organizations, including education/training, public officials, and other service providers as well as employers to align the policies, strategies, and resources of the region’s workforce system.

●      Serve as the key external face of Foundation workforce initiatives through participation in partnerships, collaborative groups, and community shareholder events.

●      Work in partnership with employer partners, funders, and other community stakeholders to design and implement a comprehensive data collection and communication effort, including regular reports highlighting trends, opportunities, and suggested solutions.

●      Develop, write, and maintain a variety of reports, documents, correspondence, and records related to areas of assigned responsibility. Conduct presentations regarding these materials and other matters related to workforce initiatives on behalf of the Foundation.

●      Staff and support any committee of the Foundation’s board and stakeholders in collaboration with the Vice President of Programs.

●      Represent the Foundation on boards, committees, and advisory groups locally, regionally, and nationally.

Cross-Program and Cross-Departmental Collaboration

●      Establish and maintain a broad understanding of all areas in which the Foundation works, including grantmaking and programs, and, under the supervision of the Vice President for Programs, actively seek opportunities for collaboration and cross-area work.

●      Seek opportunities for creating “synergies” or collaborations between areas, avoiding the isolation of working in a silo.

●      As a member of the Foundation’s Programs Department, provide occasional support for special projects and initiatives in other program areas or departments.

●      Collaborate with the Communications Department in efforts to share knowledge and information with external audiences, with the Development and Donor Relations Department in fundraising and donor relations efforts, and with the Finance and Administration Department to complete relevant requests.

●      Work in conjunction with the Vice President of Programs on the creation and management of the annual operating budget.

●      Contribute to the growth of programming by working collaboratively with the Vice President of Programs and a diverse set of internal and external partners and stakeholders.


Remain Flexible about Work Assignments

 Because of the fluid and evolving nature of work at the Foundation, the Director of Workforce Initiatives may, from time to time, be asked to take on other assignments not covered in this position description. The Director of Workforce Initiatives is expected to demonstrate openness and flexibility when asked to take on these new assignments.


Required Qualifications

●      Exceptional oral and written communication skills, including the ability to simplify and effectively communicate complex topics.

●      Strong project management skills, including the ability to work closely with outside vendors and monitor project budgets, deadlines, and deliverables.

●      Excellent computer skills, including proficiency with MS Office.

●      Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to collaborate with and lead a team.

●      Strong growth and entrepreneurial mindset.

●      Receptiveness to feedback and course correction, and willingness to learn.

●      Steadiness and resilience under changing internal and external circumstances and needs.

●      A preference for a quick pace of work, while maintaining high levels of detail-orientation and accuracy.

●      Ability to operate as both a leader and a doer, executing programs in a “small shop” environment.

●      A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Experience & Education

●      Bachelor’s degree (master’s strongly preferred)

●      7+ years experience working in workforce development, talent development, public administration, or related areas. Greater New Orleans region experience preferred.

●      History of successfully engaging diverse audiences in conversations about workforce development.

●      Expertise in managing and interpreting complex quantitative and qualitative data and communicating this data across varied audiences.

●      Understanding and agility in navigating varied political environments, including management priorities, staff roles and responsibilities, and external factors impacting the Foundation.

●      Experience with fund development, including grant-writing, reporting, budget development, and prospecting.

●      Experience with program design, grantmaking, evaluation, and research.

●      Experience and strength managing partnerships and coordinating across initiatives.

●      Salary commensurate with experience.

How To Apply

●      Please submit your resume, cover letter, and salary expectations to Only complete applications will be considered. A writing sample will be requested for candidates who advance to late-stage interviews.

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