Reports To: Vice President for Programs
FLSA Classification: Exempt
FTE: 1 Supervises: 1 Senior Program Officer
SkillWorks is a nationally recognized workforce development intermediary and funder collaborative that has invested over $30 million over more than 15 years in innovative workforce development strategies. Launched by a group of public and private funders in 2003, SkillWorks has helped more than 7,000 individuals obtain skills training with thousands entering the workforce or receiving raises and promotions. SkillWorks has completed three five-year phases of work, and is currently operating under a four year strategic plan that launched in 2018 and will run through 2021.
SkillWorks is an initiative that is governed by the funder collaborative, or Funders Group, which is comprised of The Boston Foundation, City of Boston and other private, corporate and philanthropic supporters. SkillWorks sits within the Jobs and Economic Development impact area within the Program Department at the Boston Foundation, leveraging the considerable capacity of the Foundation in finance, operations, public policy and communications and grants management in a wide range of areas that connect to workforce development. The Boston Foundation and the Funders Group are also discussing the best way to integrate the workforce development strategy and investments across the SkillWorks and TBF grantmaking portfolios.
In 2016, in partnership with The Boston Foundation, SkillWorks launched a new effort called PROJECT CATAPULT. Project Catapult is testing a new model that invests in the exponential growth of Greater Boston’s most effective, market-driven training and education strategies by driving significant and flexible resources toward organizational capacity, development of networks of workforce and education providers, and engaging employers as true partners in shaping scalable workforce solutions.
Vision and Strategies
SkillWorks’ mission is to bring together philanthropy, government, community organizations and employers to address the twin goals of 1) helping low income individuals attain family supporting jobs; and 2) helping businesses find, retain and advance skilled workers. SkillWorks’ vision is to help to make Boston a place where every resident has an opportunity to thrive by making a good living and where employers have access to a diverse, well-trained, and qualified talent pool. To accomplish its goals, SkillWorks’ key strategies and investment areas are: 1) Industry Consortia, 2) Workforce Partnerships, 3) Leadership and Community Building, 4) Public Policy and Practice, and 5) Work Readiness and Contextualized Work Experience
This is an exciting time for SkillWorks. Through its skilled and committed Funders Group, SkillWorks is focusing on expanding its reach, building on over a decade of success to achieve lasting systems change in workforce development. The next Executive Director will share the passion and commitment to helping low-income individuals attain family-supporting employment and to helping businesses in the greater Boston region through accessing a skilled talent pipeline. The Executive Director will embrace innovation, collaboration and partnership in building ownership and voice among funders, partners, service providers, industry and government in designing and executing next generation workforce development models and strategies.
In this current iteration of SkillWorks, the funders are balancing our commitment to what has proven valuable over the past 15 years with using what we have learned to enhance and shift our strategies to create broader impact and systems change. SkillWorks and the Boston Foundation launched Project Catapult to take advantage of the generational opportunity of a tight labor market to develop, pilot and evaluate next generation workforce strategies in partnership with funders, providers and employers. The learning that we do through Project Catapult will inform the next phase of the SkillWorks funders collaborative vision and strategy.
The new Executive Director will have the opportunity to lead the funders collaborative through a strategic planning process that builds on our success and learning and grows our coalition and collective impact. SkillWorks is a national leader in building and sustaining a funder collaborative that is grounded in its mission, forward looking in its strategies and aspirational in its goals.
Learn more about SkillWorks at http://www.skill-works.org
Reporting to the SkillWorks Funders Group and the Vice President for Programs at the Boston Foundation, the Executive Director is responsible for the overall success of workforce development strategies and investments made through SkillWorks and Project Catapult. The Executive Director is charged with building on SkillWorks’ track record, realizing the initiative’s vision, expanding and deepening the engagement of funders and partners, maintaining continued financial stability and achieving excellent outcomes for participants and businesses as well as workforce systems and policy changes aligned with initiative goals. The Funders Group and TBF are seeking a leader who is the face and voice of SkillWorks and can shape and communicate the strategy in a clear, concise and compelling way. The next Executive Director will be a systems thinker and movement builder and will effectively engage and grow the funders collaborative.
The Executive Director will lead and manage the organization’s strategic and operational growth, including staffing, resource and budget planning, fundraising, and will steward relationships with SkillWorks’ funders, business and community partners. S/he will also provide forward-thinking leadership, and manage in an open, collaborative environment. S/he will have the ability to manage multiple stakeholders and streams of work and navigate the public policy/advocacy and practitioner worlds. The Executive Director will value and engage the diverse voices of the community, believe deeply in the transformative power of workforce development. S/he will have the skills and knowledge to engage local employers and enhance their level of commitment to partnering and supporting community-based workforce development efforts as a business imperative.
The Executive Director of SkillWorks is an employee of the Boston Foundation in the Program Department. The Boston Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and provides its employees with a rich benefit package.
The content is intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by persons assigned to this job. It is not intended to constitute an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and duties required.
External and internal applicants, as well as position incumbents, who are or become disabled as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act or applicable state law, must be able to perform the essential functions of the job (including those listed above) either with or without reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodation, if any, will be determined by management in consultation with the employee on a case-by-case basis.
This job description is intended to be general and may be revised from time to time. At management’s discretion, the employee may be assigned different or additional duties from time to time.