Director, Workforce Development Systems and Policy



Reporting to the Vice President of Systems Change Strategy, the Director will advance UNITE-LA's efforts to build a skilled workforce aligned to regional employer demand for talent and that is inclusive and representative of local, diverse communities. The position will oversee the advancement of UNITE-LA’s workforce development systems change and policy advocacy goals which include:

  • Increase the capacity of public workforce development systems and education/training programs in L.A. County and California to achieve racial equity and improved economic outcomes for Opportunity Youth and low-income workers
  • Improve alignment between education and workforce training systems and regional employer demand for skills and talent in high-growth industries
  • Build public and political will at local, state and federal levels to advance equity-centered workforce development policies through coalition building, joint advocacy, and elevating the voices of Opportunity Youth and low-income workers
  • Influence and inform employer practices to improve hiring, retention, and upward mobility of Opportunity Youth and low-income workers

The Director will be a strategic and collaborative leader with strong knowledge of workforce development systems and/or policy in California and experience in racial equity work. The Director will serve as a leader and public face for UNITE-LA's workforce development systems and related policy initiatives, responsible for advancing impact through partnerships with business, education, government, community-based organizations, philanthropy, labor and/or other stakeholders committed to developing an inclusive and equitable economy through workforce development. The Director will influence and drive change through these relationships and play a critical role in fundraising, communications, and strategic partnerships.



Since 1998, UNITE-LA has established itself as a trusted education and business intermediary for the Los Angeles region, dedicated to supporting the development of effective public education and workforce systems, so that all children and youth succeed in college, career and beyond. Through the intersection of programming, policy, and systems change efforts, UNITE-LA works to increase access to high-quality early childhood education, develop career pathways in high-growth industries, improve college access and success, and ensure workforce readiness, especially for individuals with high barriers into the workforce. Committed to developing and sustaining a diverse workforce with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and inclusive for all, UNITE-LA is currently engaged in organization-wide efforts to fully integrate equity and anti-racism into our operations and work.



The Director of Workforce Development Systems and Policy will work closely with the Vice President of Systems Change Strategy, supervise one direct report, and collaborate with cross-functional staff teams, such as the Pubic Policy and Program Divisions, to support the Workforce Development Systems & Policy portfolio in the following ways:

  • Strategic and Analytical Thinking:
    • Provide content expertise on workforce development issues -- particularly as it relates to high-growth, high-demand industries, employer engagement, collaboration across education, government and community-based organizations in cradle-to-career education, data systems, and policy advocacy
    • Serve as content expert on diversity, equity and inclusion issues in public and private workforce development efforts and maintain deep and broad knowledge about racial equity and economic mobility
    • Develop, oversee execution of, and facilitate continuous improvement of organizational workforce systems change and policy strategies, annual workplans, and partnerships
  • Relationship and Stakeholder Management: Lead workforce systems and policy partnerships by:
    • Representing UNITE-LA externally to steward existing relationships and pursue and design new strategic partnerships at local, state and national levels
    • Oversee and guide efforts around partner convening and engagement - particularly around the L.A. Workforce Systems Collaborative and ad hoc convenings of stakeholders as needed – by helping to craft agendas and materials and facilitating/co-facilitating
  • Project and Workflow Management:
    • Oversee and manage direction of implementation of workforce systems and policy advocacy projects, ranging between small scale short-term projects to complex, multi-year initiatives
    • Facilitate and support direct reports and other relevant team members in developing and maintain project plans with strategies, activities, and timelines to support workflow and communications across internal staff teams and external partners to accomplish objectives
  • Team Management and Operations:
    • Support the effectiveness of direct reports through supervision and coaching and facilitating professional development and growth through mentorship
    • Coordinate and manage project teams of staff from across UNITE-LA, external contractors and/or external partners to create cohesive and effective project teams
  • Resource Development and Management:
    • Lead fund development efforts to generate revenue for workforce development efforts – including stewarding/cultivating relationships with funders, designing and developing proposals and reports, overseeing grant implementation
    • Oversee budget development and management
  • Content Development and Communications:
    • Engage directly and oversee staff and contractors in conducting research on workforce issues, tracking relevant state and federal policies, and drafting documents such as policy briefs, presentations, advocacy letters, reports, and social media posts
    • Lead development of content for UNITE-LA communication vehicles and tools for communicating workforce systems and policy efforts – including website, newsletters, and social media platforms


Skills & Qualifications

  • Passion, energy and commitment towards UNITE-LA's mission and racial equity
  • Subject matter expertise in workforce development issues, especially in the Los Angeles region and/or California
  • 9+ years of relevant professional work experience in workforce development of communities facing high education and labor market barriers
    • Candidates with Master's degree in relevant fields such as public administration, public policy, social work, or education may qualify with 5+ years of experience
    • Candidates with a Bachelor's degree in relevant fields may qualify with 7+ years of experience
  • Demonstrated organizational and project management skills, including:
    • Ability to develop workplans and prioritize work across multiple projects while maintaining quality of work
    • Ability to balance strategic vision with detail-oriented implementation
  • Experience managing effective teams whether comprised of direct reports, colleagues from other departments with no formal reporting structure, contractors and/or external partners
  • Track record of attracting and stewarding revenue to support ongoing work and new initiatives (whether philanthropic grants, government contracts, fee-for-service models, individual donors, etc.)
  • Ability to build strong relationships and work effectively with internal teams and a diverse array of stakeholders, including forging new strategic partnerships as needs and opportunities arise
  • Experience with planning and facilitating internal and external stakeholder meetings
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to communicate complex ideas accessibly for a wide range of audiences and translate content for various stakeholders based on context
  • Intellectually curious learner willing take in new information and perspectives to inform and adapt work; demonstrates a growth mindset and desire to continuously improve



This is a full-time exempt position with a starting salary range of $85,000-$90,000 or commensurate with experience. Our competitive benefits package includes paid sick leave, vacation, and work-life harmony time, in addition to a robust paid holiday schedule; 401(k) participation with employer contribution; competitive health, vision and dental insurance, flexible spending accounts, and more. UNITE-LA promotes a culture of work-life harmony with flexible schedules and offers employee growth development plans to support pathways forward.



This position is based in Los Angeles, CA. While many staff continue to regularly work remotely, attendance at our downtown Los Angeles office or at community events in the L.A. region can be expected a few times a month. Occasional travel is required for in-state and out-of-state conferences. At this time, UNITE-LA is requiring all staff who represent the organization in-person (whether in the office, at off-site meetings, or for travel) to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, including a booster if eligible, or to present a valid religious or medical exemption to Human Resources.


To Apply

Interested candidates should submit their resume and a cover letter summarizing your qualifications for the position to [email protected] using the email subject line "Director of Workforce Development." Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with priority by Aug. 31, 2022.

UNITE-LA is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to developing and sustaining a diverse workforce, because we believe that it makes our organization stronger. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regards to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or age. We will consider for employment all qualified applicants, including those with criminal histories, in a manner consistent with applicable state and local laws, including the City of Los Angeles' Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring Ordinance.


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