Manager of Construction Initiatives*

Reports to Chief Program Officer


Job Summary

This is a grant funded position through August 31, 2022. The qualified candidate will lead all activities of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership’s (The Partnership) construction sector initiatives.  The manager will lead The Partnership’s key strategies of:


  • Improving equity in the construction industry by increasing the number of historically underrepresented individuals entering apprenticeships and other skilled trade occupations; and
  • Raising the profile of sustainable long-term career pathways in construction; and
  • Supporting construction employers in playing an integral role in the system of building and sustaining talent


The manager leads a coordinated regional workforce initiative while managing subcontracts with up to 20 subgrantees. This includes all work and contracts for the operation of ConstructionWorks, a public-private partnership funded by the Illinois Tollway. Additionally, the manager is responsible for managing relationships with affiliate partners and overseeing related industry advisory committees. Communicates all contract activities and outcomes both internally and externally, including regular reports to the Illinois Tollway and additional funders.


Key Responsibilities and Duties

  • Lead the development of The Partnership’s strategy for investing in construction training, work-based learning/apprenticeships, and other projects that foster workforce development in the construction sector in the Chicagoland region.
  • Develop and support strategies that create a strong construction workforce pipeline, particularly with groups underrepresented in the industry.
  • Develop and promote innovative strategies that improve job quality and career advancement for the entry level and incumbent construction workforce
  • Serve as a source of information and assistance to employers, workforce development organizations, and community partners with respect to the construction industry
  • Manage all construction related grants including program implementation, vendor contract management, goal development, data collection and analysis, and reporting requirements.
  • Coordinate efforts among all subgrantees and affiliate partners on full range of activities, including community engagement and recruitment; pre-apprenticeship training; placement and retention services; job development; technical assistance; policy and strategic planning; and engagement of regional employers, unions, and government and community stakeholders.
  • Provide leadership, oversight and technical assistance to subgrantees and service providers.
  • Manage contract deliverables and invoicing, enact reporting procedures and troubleshoot any issues that arise.
  • Convene construction industry advisory committees, composed of construction businesses and industry groups, organized labor, government agencies, community organizations, and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with other Partnership staff, including the fiscal team, other programs staff, the Business Relations and Economic Development unit, the communications team, and the Policy team.
  • Manage program outcomes against goals and communicates expectations and outcomes with subcontractors and funders.
  • May supervise staff, including conducting performance evaluations and managing assignments.



Minimum Qualifications

  • A deep understanding of the construction sector, including skilled trades occupations, regional employer landscape, regional labor unions and industry organizations, and regional construction buyers.
  • A working understanding of workforce development practices, including the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, regional community college systems, union apprenticeship programs, pre-apprenticeship programs and sector-based workforce development initiatives.
  • Five years of progressively responsible professional experience, in workforce development, sector strategies, consulting, government management, construction management, non-profit management, public administration, public policy, or a related field AND demonstrated experience managing a team of individuals to successful program outcomes.


  • A Bachelor’s degree; MBA, MPP, MPA or other relevant professional degree preferred AND eight years’ project management experience, a Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential,
  • Possession of a valid Driver’s License and proof of automobile insurance or other reliable transportation.


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Other Characteristics

  • Strong strategic thinking skills.
  • Ability to manage and supervise relationships with co-workers, sub-grantees, and contractors.
  • Ability to manage multiple work streams and contractors simultaneously.
  • Ability to produce concise and effective communications.
  • Ability to work in a racially diverse environment in which working towards racial equity in workforce or economic development or social service sectors is key.
  • Flexible and self-directed.
  • Knowledge of computer software products and platforms MS Word Suite, including Power Point and Excel.
  • Ability to analyze large amounts of quantitative and qualitative data and draw insightful conclusions —including the ability to manage large datasets using Excel or other database and statistical software.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to facilitate effective meetings that include senior level officials and executives.
  • Effective relationship-building skills.
  • Strong time-management and multiple-priority management skills.
  • Ability to write reports, business correspondence and procedural manuals.
  • Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers and the general public.
  • Good and effective relationship building skills.
  • Ability to read, analyze and interpret general business periodicals, trade and professional journals, technical procedures or governmental regulations.
  • Competency in the ability to use the Internet for research.
  • Ability to travel throughout the region, state and nationally if necessary.
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.