Workforce Development Manager


Salary: $50,000

In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and housing. Since 1989, Inspiration Corporation has assisted thousands of individuals and families affected by homelessness, extreme poverty and recent incarceration each year – serving as a catalyst for self-reliance.

Inspiration Corporation programs are voluntary, and all service needs and goals are participant- driven. Our case management philosophy is strengths-based and trauma-informed. Inspiration Corporation practices harm reduction and focuses on reducing or minimizing the harm associated with high-risk behavior through motivational interviewing.

At Inspiration Corporation, employees live this mission by demonstrating the following Core Values. Inspiration Corporation believes that these Core Values are what makes the organization one of Chicago’s leading facilitators of personal transformation, and a great place to work:

  1. Communicate honestly
  2. Act with compassion
  3. Pursue growth and learning
  4. Be humble
  5. Take care of ourselves so we can help others
  6. Work greater together
  7. Create a fun and productive environment

Position Summary

The Workforce Development Manager is responsible for overseeing the recruitment, intake, career development training, case management and job placement components of Inspiration Corporation’s workforce development programs to support the success of participants in meeting their employment and economic security goals. The Workforce Development Manager supervises a team of 4 staff at present (Senior Case Manager, Chef Trainer, Employment Specialist, and a Chef Trainer and Employment Specialist).  The position reports to the Chief Program Officer.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Include the following. Other duties may be assigned


  • Demonstrate Inspiration Corporation’s core values.
  • Exhibit professionalism and high standards in all aspects of performance.
  • Ensure the efficient and effective delivery of services with dignity and respect in accordance with the agency’s mission.
  • Work with all departments as appropriate to ensure that the needs of the agency’s participants are addressed.
  • Attend department and agency meetings.


Program Management

  • Manage the work of workforce development staff to ensure the delivery of high quality services, including hiring, supervision, staff development and evaluation.
  • Oversee and assist with the implementation of all workforce development programming including: 1) participant recruitment, intake, assessment, enrollment and referral partner relationships and referral processes; 2) participant training, job readiness skill development, technological literacy, job placement and retention services; 3) supporting navigation of long-term career pathways; 4) employer engagement strategy and employer recruitment; and 5) participant graduation ceremonies and recognition events for employers and other key stakeholders; (6) peer support and graduate engagement.
  • Provide leadership to ensure successful collaboration of social enterprise restaurant operations with training and workforce development team, transitional jobs employment and unsubsidized employment goals.
  • Ensure the delivery of quality services for all program participants.
  • Meet or exceed program goals for workforce development programs.
  • With Chief Program Officer, establish agency policy and protocol in the area of workforce development.
  • Work with senior and executive staff to develop new or modify existing workforce services to meet the needs of program participants, the agency’s goals and principles, and the requirements of program funders. Modify or develop new programs, policies and protocols as needed.
  • Ensure excellence in data quality through appropriate and timely record-keeping, data collection and reporting, including physical and electronic information, as required for internal management and external funding sources and regulatory agencies. Prepare for and oversee program audits.
  • Support the Finance Department in preparing and monitoring the program’s budget. Manage discretionary costs, ensure accuracy and timeliness of records, stay within budget, and make realistic budget projections.
  • Support marketing and communications efforts through collaboration with Development and Executive Teams.
  • Contribute to the preparation of government contract applications and private funding for the program in conjunction with the Executive Team, Finance and Development Departments.
  • Utilize latest data and current thinking within the workforce development field to inform the program development process. Attend appropriate external workshops and seminars and participate with internal planning processes.
  • Stay abreast of and research potential funding opportunities to support the program.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with other nonprofit organizations to support recruitment efforts and locate and coordinate support services for clients
  • Responsible for the Jericho Scholars program, including: recruitment, enrollment, submitting or overseeing financial support of scholars, recording and reporting data; ensuring participant completion, employment and retention metrics are met and relevant data collected.
  • Represent the agency at contractor meetings and to the community through participation in site visits; membership in professional organizations; participation at relevant events and with collaborative organizations; and involvement in the communities that surround the corporation’s service area.
  • Respond to and resolve participant complaints, concerns, and grievances when they cannot be resolved by other program staff.


Supervisory Responsibilities: The Workforce Development Manager directly supervises the Senior Case Manager, Chef Trainer, Employment Specialist, and a Chef Trainer and Employment Specialist.



EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE & SKILLS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The following requirements are representative of the education, experience and skills necessary for the position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

Four or more years of related experience are required. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university, or equivalent experience, is required. Experience with supervising staff and reporting on government contracts such as Community Development Block Grant, SNAP, JTED, etc. are also preferred.  Strong computer skills are essential, including proficiency in Windows operating systems and Microsoft Office.


PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear.  The employee is often required to stand or walk.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10-20 pounds.


WORK ENVIRONMENT:  The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Maintains standard office hours.  Attends evening, weekend, and early morning meetings and functions as required.

Inspiration Corporation is an equal opportunity employer.


To Apply:

Email resume & cover letter to Please include “Workforce Development Manager” in the subject line of your email.

Inspiration Corporation is an equal opportunity employer.

Posted on 10/12/2021