The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) is sponsoring the launch of a Jobs for America’s Graduates program in the State of Illinois (JAG Illinois). Education Systems Center at NIU (EdSystems) is partnering with Iowa JAG, Inc. (iJAG) to incubate and establish the JAG Illinois program until a new nonprofit is formed in 2020.
The Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) program model supports students who have multiple economic and environmental barriers that are impacting their academic performance. Without JAG intervention, data indicates that the likelihood of this population making a successful transition from high school into some level of continued education, work, the military, or national service, is 30-40% less than their peers. The JAG program works with cohorts of 35 – 45 students daily during the regular school day. In each program JAG is delivered through a student-centered learning strategy incorporating project-based approach. Students are actively engaged in leadership development activities, work-based learning, employability skills development, Career Association (CA) membership, as well as other associated supports and interventions. Nationally, the JAG program has served 1.2 million young people in 30+ states over 38 years. JAG National Iowa’s affiliate, iJAG, is in its 19th year and is one of the top performing organizations in the JAG Network.
JAG Illinois’ launch is planned for three sites in Fiscal Year 19 (for 1 semester and through June 30, 2019), and four more sites in Fiscal Year 20 (July 1 – June 30, 2020). The new JAG Illinois nonprofit will lead further scaling of JAG programs throughout Illinois with a mix of public and private resources.
The JAG Illinois Director of Operations will work in close partnership with the iJAG Chief Executive Officer and the Executive Director and staff of EdSystems to successfully launch JAG Illinois. This position is supported through a partnership agreement between iJAG and EdSystems – the position will be a full-time employee of iJAG, and housed at EdSystems’ office in Chicago, Illinois. In 2020, the position will transfer to the new JAG Illinois nonprofit.
The Director of Operations will be the leader of the launch of JAG Illinois, and will shape the vision and strategic direction of the organization during this initial incubation period and position it to serve as an important, statewide solution preparing significantly at-risk youth for success in college and career. With support from iJAG and EdSystems during the initial 2-year incubation period, the Director of Operations will manage JAG Illinois services and programs, supervise and evaluate the performance of JAG Specialists and any other JAG program staff, serve as the primary liaison between the program and schools, and analyze data on outcomes.
In addition, the Director of Operations must:
Be prepared to provide leadership to an organization that both satisfies JAG national standards and meshes with other aligned initiatives in the Illinois education and workforce ecosystem.
With support from iJAG and EdSystems, be capable of securing funding, managing a staff, and providing leadership for the launch of a new nonprofit corporation.
Be effective in forging partnerships with the educational community and the private sector to gain maximum benefits for those served by the program.
Demonstrate passion for JAG’s mission and expanding opportunity for significantly at-risk youth.
Promotes maximum effectiveness of the JAG Illinois model and mission among JAG Specialists and school personnel. Conducts site visits to assure the JAG mission is adhered to and model standards are met. Regularly conducts classroom observations and advises, counsels, and directs Specialists for continual improvement.
Maintains the highest level of confidentiality, integrity and professionalism.
Working closely with EdSystems, secures and maintains the support of the Governor, State Superintendent, and other appropriate State agencies.
With support from EdSystems and iJAG, establishes a new, private nonprofit corporation and a Board of Directors.
With support from EdSystems through June 2020, conducts Board of Directors meetings on a regular basis and provides overall supervision and management of the corporation under the direction of the Board.
Supervise the installation of JAG’s Electronic National Data Management System and require that all specialists and other staff know how to use it.
With support from iJAG and EdSystems implements the 3 National Instructional Strategies – Project-based Learning, Employer Engagement and Trauma Informed Care through a competency-based approach and assures alignment with Illinois requirements and policies.
Leads the program implementation process including coordination with school district staff and administration on program components and classroom needs.
Interviews and selects (in conjunction with the iJAG and EdSystems) JAG Specialists and any other staff and supervises and evaluates the performance of the JAG Specialists.
Oversees all JAG Specialist performance evaluations and appraisals and performance plans in conjunction with iJAG CEO and Human Resources professionals as appropriate.
Interfaces with School Administration about site performance regularly.
Enhances status and perception of program and resolves problems by developing and maintaining effective working relationships with school administrators and community leaders, and by serving as liaison between schools and program. Assures iJAG and EdSystems are informed on the status of each school partnership.
Develops, organizes and conducts training opportunities for new employees and professional development. All professional development is based on needed growth areas.
Assures that quality direct service is provided to clients by monitoring program outcomes, data analysis, observing and overseeing processes including student selection, assessment, classroom management and instruction, business connections, and obtaining feedback from schools, community and staff.
Work with iJAG and EdSystems to establish a system for continual program improvement and identify opportunities for the development of new services for local schools.
Regularly reviews and briefs iJAG and EdSystems on site-level reports and recommends appropriate action to be taken.
Prepares progress and outcome reports and site updates and presents them at quarterly Board of Director meetings and share with iJAG President/CEO and EdSystems.
Ensures the planning and implementation of all statewide student events annually.
Ensures that all documentation and reporting requirements are met in a timely fashion by JAG Specialists.
Advocates for the program and enhances its visibility by participating in public relations activities, attending meetings, speaking to various community groups, and talking to legislators and business and industry leaders.
Works with iJAG to develop, review, and update company policies and procedures as they relate to the operations staff.
Works with iJAG and EdSystems in marketing and development efforts.
Participates in national and staff seminars as appropriate.
Participates, if necessary, as an accreditation reviewer for Jobs for America's Graduates in other state.
Bachelors degree (Masters preferred) in business, education, or a related discipline. An equivalent combination of training, education, and experience will be considered.
Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with a variety of individuals, within and outside of the school system.
Ability to effectively develop positive relationships, and diffuse and resolve potential sources of conflict and/or misunderstanding between school Administration/staff and JAG Illinois Administration/staff.
Skills necessary to manage the activities and performance of a small staff from a distance and to develop the staff's human relations, leadership, supervision, and motivational techniques.
A current, valid driver’s license and the ability to travel statewide on a regular basis.
Skills necessary to effectively organize, manage, and achieve multiple goals and priorities.
Ability to educate a variety of constituencies and interested parties about the program by developing ongoing relationships and making formal presentations.
Experience in functioning effectively as a member of an administrative team.
Experience in developing community and private sector partnerships.
Understanding of public education and workforce systems, with experience with such systems preferred
Proficiency in basic computer applications including word processing, excel and Microsoft applications such as Outlook.
Reports to: EdSystems Executive Director and iJAG CEO
Please submit a 1) resume, 2) cover letter, 3) representative writing or work product sample, and 4) contact information for three references addressed to Jonathan Furr, Executive Director of Education Systems Center, to: email@example.com. Deadline to apply is November 21st, 2018.
About Education Systems Center
EdSystems is dedicated to working with public and private sector organizations at the leading edge of education system reforms and innovations to better prepare students for opportunities in the global marketplace.
At EdSystems we work to craft education policies and build programs that improve student outcomes throughout Illinois, across the United States and internationally. Our work is not to innovate within the classroom or school building-it is to bring education reform and innovation to scale.
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