Director of Vocational Education and Social Enterprise
Organization: Downtown Women's Center
Region: Southern California
Job Type: Education & Training, Social Enterprise
Director of Vocational Education & Social Enterprise
The mission of the Downtown Women’s Center (DWC) is to provide permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect, and personal stability, and to advocate ending homelessness for women. Founded in 1978, DWC was the first organization to exclusively serve mentally ill and elderly homeless women on Los Angeles’ Skid Row. The DWC Day Center now offers 85,000 meals, case management, and other supportive resources on a drop-in basis to 4300 homeless women each year, while the DWC Residence provides a permanent home and a range of services to 71 women who were once without safe, affordable housing. Please visit www.DWCweb.org for more information.
DWC seeks an enthusiastic and entrepreneurial-minded professional to lead and grow our educational and vocational programs and develop and oversee two retail-based social enterprise operations. This unique position is responsible for providing leadership, support, and expertise to our new and existing programs including the expansion and operations of DWC’s new social enterprises and the development of educational and vocational programs that engage women in activities to develop academic and technological literacy, provide employment skill-building opportunities, and offer supportive coaching and counseling to enhance personal stability.
The Director will provide unique and meaningful education activities and employment training that benefit women served through DWC programs, by:
1. Providing leadership and vision to create a supportive continuum of vocational education services for participants focused on skill-building, job readiness, and non-traditional employment opportunities;
2. Strengthening ongoing operations of the existing social enterprise MADE by DWC, a café and gift boutique selling products handmade by DWC participants and designed to foster work-readiness in participants and cultivate revenue for DWC services; and
3. Developing DWC’s second retail boutique, selling high-quality donated items (opening in Fall 2012), and designed to foster work-readiness in participants and cultivate revenue for DWC services.
The ideal candidate must have the vision and courage to take calculated risks and break new ground. This person must be a hands-on director who can shape behavior and establish the highest standards of excellence while balancing the day-to-day needs of the organization in a collaborative environment as an integral member of the senior management team.
§ Provide vision and oversight for the development and delivery of a range of client-driven educational and vocational services, including assessment, goal planning, facilitating connection to employment opportunities, and documenting progress and results
§ Refine and implement operational systems in MADE by DWC, the Center’s first retail store; ensure ongoing integration within the Center’s programs and the community
§ Lead the development of DWC’s second social enterprise retail boutique, including refining the business plan, establishing the overall vision, developing benchmarks, and working with staff to develop operational and programmatic systems that prioritize job training and skills development for DWC participants
§ Oversee inventory management and product line development efforts, including processing in-kind donations for resale, product mix, design, production, and packaging for handmade products, and retail store design and messaging
§ Work with staff to train, supervise, and engage volunteers and interns to provide programmatic instruction or support
§ Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current workforce trends and local labor market and retail industry information
§ Ensure program compliance with all municipal, state, and federal employment regulations
§ Participate in community coalitions and provide staff support and leadership for a social enterprise advisory committee. Effectively build and manage community relationships to best serve the needs of the organization
§ Develop and manage departmental and retail store budgets, oversee financial management of operations and maintain ongoing reporting
§ Provide regular written and verbal reports to the Board, Executive Team, and funders. Additional reports as assigned
§ Other duties as assigned to support the mission of the organization
§ Five years experience in business or program management, and demonstrated experience managing progressive responsibilities at a senior level; prior experience in workforce development a plus
§ Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree in social work (MSW), business (MBA), or public administration (MPA) a plus
§ Business savvy and experience in financial oversight required; experience in social entrepreneurship, start-up, small business management or retail preferred
§ Able to think strategically with a creative, energetic, and entrepreneurial spirit, and to implement solutions
§ Proven ability to supervise and develop staff, build consensus, and work effectively in a cross-departmental team
§ Experience managing large scale projects and driving change initiatives, ideally within a nonprofit organization
§ Demonstrated capacity to develop programs, operations, policies, and procedures required; start-up experience a plus
§ Must possess strong written and oral communication skills with proven ability to communicate with all organizational stakeholders including clients, direct service and executive level staff, external partners, and the Board of Directors
§ Knowledge of issues related to women’s poverty, homelessness, mental illness, and older adults preferred
§ Detail-oriented, highly organized, and able to set and meet goals and deadlines
§ Criminal background check and clearance required
§ Strong administrative skills and proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook) required
Schedule & Salary: This is a full-time, exempt position; office hours are 9:00am to 5:30pm, with flexibility to work evenings and weekends when necessary. Salary range $60,000 - $70,000/annually depending on qualifications & experience. To Apply: Please email cover letter and resume to HR@DWCweb.org. Please note ‘Director of Vocational Education & Social Enterprise’ in subject line.