For two decades, North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN) has served residents of Chicago’s North Lawndale and nearby West Side communities, delivering employment services to those with significant barriers. Since our founding in 1999, NLEN has established a network of caring staff and volunteers offering job training and job skills certifications that open doors to family-sustaining wages; and help soften the stigma of having a criminal record or of being poor, and provide pathways to jobs and prosperity.
Outcomes of our work by the numbers:
helped 70% of our workforce graduates retain jobs for the long term
ensured that fewer than 8% of NLEN clients who served time returned to prison – compared to 45% of returning citizens across Illinois
connected more than 1,000 individuals to technology annually
helped more than 1,000 people learn to manage income and increase their wealth
Today, NLEN serves more than 2,000 people annually, helping them to gain new skills, improve their self-worth, secure jobs, and become financially secure. NLEN’s mission remains to improve the earnings potential of people in North Lawndale and surrounding communities through innovative employment initiatives that lead to economic advancement and an improved quality of life.
This Chief Program Officer (CPO) is responsible for the overall development, expansion, integration and implementation of NLEN’s program strategy by enforcing the use of systems that facilitate smooth work flow, equitable and efficient work allocation, quality control, monitoring and evaluation, and communication within program departments. The CPO safeguards departmental and organizational objectives and that operating requirements in line with the needs and mission of NLEN by ensuring:
Workforce development programs are carried out to meet and exceed the employment needs of NLEN program participants and the North Lawndale community.
Program performance objectives, both quantitative and qualitative, as defined in the program design, government contract, or funding proposal are met.
Programs are regularly evaluated to ensure that each activity meets its own specific objectives and larger organizational objectives that are aligned with NLEN’s mission and strategic vision.
NLEN has the capacity to grow, innovate new programs, and/or expand and improve program effectiveness and the impacts of existing programs to meet the diverse employment needs of job seekers.
Government contracts and private funding from new and ongoing funders is secured to sustain workforce innovations by identifying potential new funders and researching and writing proposals.
NLEN’s work environment is a cooperative and communicative work environment that encourages employees to move from good to great and to strive for excellence.
NLEN and its staff understand, articulate, promote, and meet the organization’s vision, mission, and core values.
NLEN program methodologies are recognized and respected as innovations in workforce solutions for job seekers with significant barriers to employment.
Public education and advocacy is conducted on workforce issues related to low-wage adults.
Who You Are
You are a graduate and/or hold a professional degree in a relevant field (nonprofit management, social work, business, etc.) or equivalent experience.
At least 10 years of relevant experience working in a leadership position in the program implementation arena.
You have an indisputable passion for the organization, mission and the members we serve
You are proactive, assertive and have a hands-on disposition
You require limited direction and in turn are provided the right amount of autonomy to keep you hedging forward in your role
What else… you have strong interpersonal skills and ability to adapt quickly to a fast paced, changing environment
Team-oriented! Yes, that’s you. You bring an excitement for contributing to the overarching goals of the Program departments and the mission of the organization
Most importantly, you believe in conducting yourself with the highest degree of integrity and ethical standards. It is your mantra!
Why You Should Apply
Opportunity to be a part of an organization with demonstrated leadership within the community
To boast that your work helped shape the future of our clients by helping to increase their livelihoods and quality of life
To enjoy the competitive benefits we offer to include:
Group health, dental, and vision insurance
Compensation dependent upon experience and qualifications
11 Paid holidays
Internal Number: 7736387060
About North Lawndale Employment Network
The North Lawndale Employment Network (NLEN) assists North Lawndale residents through innovative employment initiatives that lead to economic advancement and an improved quality of life. NLEN was founded in 1999 through an 18-month community planning effort led by the Steans Family Foundation to serve the unmet employment needs of the North Lawndale community. In 2004, we launched Sweet Beginnings, a social enterprise and wholly owned subsidiary of the North Lawndale Employment Network.
NLEN continually updates its services to meet the employment needs of clients and the community at large. NLEN’s approach to addressing the extremely high rates of unemployment and underemployment in North Lawndale is to offer employment services and transitional jobs to North Lawndale residents, many of whom are formerly incarcerated persons and others with significant barriers to employment.