Business Relations Specialist

Reports to the Director of Business Relations and Economic Development


Job Summary:

Under the direction of the Director of Business Relations and Economic Development, assists in facilitating/implementing strategic job placement and layoff aversion initiatives such as On-the-Job Training, Customized Training, Incumbent Worker Training, Paid Work Experience, Job Development, Re-Entry, and Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act activities in underserved or underemployed areas.  Coordinates and participates in workforce development events such as hiring events and resource fairs and serves as a liaison to the regional business community. Develops and maintains information regarding business and industry trends including employment opportunities and workforce training needs in Cook County.

Serves as the primary administrator of employer/business services for the region’s high growth, high demand industries, currently manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL), hospitality, retail, information technology, and business and professional services, as may be amended and updated from time to time.


Key Responsibilities and Duties:

Responsible for the development and coordination of strategic, industry-focused initiatives that meet employers’ evolving workforce needs;

Responsible for engaging local businesses and securing employment opportunities for The Partnership’s grant funded programs (WIOA and non-WIOA), its delegate agencies, and other clients;

Provides information to the public, local governments, and outside agencies explaining program policies and the provisions of WIOA business services tools;

Facilitates creation and execution of WIOA work-based learning projects including: On-the-Job Training, Incumbent Worker Training, Customized Training, and Work Experience;

May conduct overall workshop coordination and responsibilities for company layoff aversion and layoff events in response to WARN notices;

May lead the sector strategy and strategic direction of one of The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership’s industry-focused sector centers;

Provides technical assistance to service providers and employers;

May serve as a liaison to regional bureaus of economic development (City or County) as well as local chambers of commerce and other business community organizations;

May research Labor Market Information for trends in high growth and demand industries;

Coordinates with program staff engaged in the duty of aiding workforce development agencies and/or employers to provide technical assistance and/or training on business services tools including on-the-job training, incumbent worker training, and customized training reimbursement grants to delegate agencies and other clients, as necessary;

Assists The Partnership’s executive staff in meeting reporting requirements with state, federal, or private entities as directed;

Makes presentations; conducts or facilitates employer workshops and meets with employers individually to provide information on a variety of topics including, but not limited to: labor market information, economic recovery resources, local and/or state tax credits or incentive programs, and business regulatory requirements;

Develop policies and procedures as well as provide technical assistance and conduct training on the business services portal of Career Connect, as appropriate;

Review and make recommendations, where appropriate, for policies and procedures related to WIOA business services tools;


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Public Administration or Social Services; OR, four (4) years full-time work experience in creating and managing projects in the field of Employment Training and Job Development OR equivalent combination of professional work experience, training and education; and
  • Minimum of one (1) year of professional experience in administering grant funded public programs is required; three years performing these job duties is preferred; and
  • Ability to travel throughout the region, state and nationally, if necessary.


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics:

Ability to work in a racially diverse environment in an organization dedicated to advancing racial equity through workforce development, economic development, and social services;

Significant knowledge and experience engaging with business communities, high level executives and owners of small, medium and large sized businesses especially in one of the following industrial sectors: manufacturing, energy, or transportation/distribution/logistics;

Ability to manage a project from concept through implementation and wrap up, utilizing data, leveraging existing resources, and/or developing innovative solutions;

Ability to interact with the general public, local governments, and other agencies as a representative of the Local Workforce Innovation Area (LWIA 7);

Ability to cultivate and maintain relationships both internally and externally with the workforce community;

Intermediate digital literacy proficiency and knowledge of Microsoft Office software; and an ability to use or become familiar with software to manage program data and collaborate virtually;

Ability to demonstrate tact and diplomacy in dealing with employee issues in a wide range of diverse situations.


The duties listed are not set forth for purposes of limiting the assignment of work. They are not to be construed as a complete list of the many duties normally to be performed under a job title or those to be performed temporarily outside an employee’s normal line of work.