Growing Home is a USDA-Certified Organic urban farm in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago that uses urban farming as a vehicle for paid job training for individuals with barriers to employment. Individual barriers for program Production Assistants (“PAs”) may include prior contact with the criminal justice system, barriers related to living near or below the poverty line, or lack of traditional market economy work experience.
The Employment Training Associate is a frontline staff position responsible for the support of Production Assistants’ job readiness, successful job placement, and employment retention outcomes, as well as supporting overall execution of the Employment Training (“ET”) program at Growing Home, Inc. The Employment Training Associate reports to the Director of Employment Training (DET) and works closely with a committed group of 3 other frontline staff.
We are looking for a dynamic individual to add to our team. We are seeking candidates who are detail oriented, have exceptional group facilitation and lesson-planning skills, and thrive working directly with job-seeking program participants.
Top candidates will be energetic, committed to individual and social change, and willing to assist in all aspects of executing our classroom job readiness program and participant placement and retention goals. The ideal candidate will have experience in group facilitation, job coaching and/or job development, working 1-on-1 or in small groups with marginalized populations, and cultural sensitivity in working with diverse populations. Finally, the Employment Training Associate will be passionate about engaging adult learners through interactive and well-structured lessons, developing curriculum, and providing career support to job seekers.
Curriculum/Job Training Facilitation:
Assist with the development and facilitation of all classroom lessons to ensure an overall successful delivery of curriculum:
Act as lead classroom facilitator (facilitate or co-facilitate a minimum of 50% of in-house led lessons) on topics related to job readiness (interview skills, resume writing, time management, professionalism, and online job search, etc.);
Coordinate with and support other internal staff facilitators and co-facilitators;
Review effectiveness of curriculum, communicate assessment and any suggested changes to DET and draft new lessons as necessary
Assist with the coordination and cultivation of new and existing external partners who support curriculum execution
Promote a classroom environment that is engaging to adult learners, interactive, organized, and well-executed
Employment Placement Support:
Conduct individual and small group job coaching sessions with PAs along with other ET Staff
Support PAs’ independent job search in later half of program with other ET Staff; including mentoring PAs on online job search and application skills
Assist in researching, identifying, and connecting job leads for PAs
Co-manage the employment opportunities Google Sheet
Co-lead the tracking of all PA job applications, interview scheduling, interview preparation, and PA follow-up after the interview
Assist ET Staff in identifying and supporting PA interview needs (such as interview clothing or transportation assistance)
Employment Retention Support:
Responsible for providing ongoing retention support for PAs and recent grads at the beginning of their new job placements, including day before first day on the job check-in, and first day, first week, first month check-ins; Communicate needs or issues to ET Staff
Responsible for tracking the employment placements for an assigned group PAs (approximately 20-25 individuals)
Responsible for tracking and collection of 30, 60, and 90-day employment verification forms and paystubs for an assigned group of PAs (approximately 20-25 individuals)
Maintain up-to-date and report-compliant case notes related to employment placement and retention in Salesforce CRM;
Assist ET Staff with tracking of Alumni job applications, interview scheduling, and follow up
PA Attendance Tracking and Job Readiness:
Tracking daily PA activities – including daily attendance tracking in Salesforce CRM, and daily tracking of PA work hours
Responsible for bi-weekly PA payroll, ensuring accurate hour amounts are submitted to payroll
Responsible for the tracking and communication of PA attendance and classroom behavior issues to DET:
Assist DET in disciplinary actions and one-on-one conversations as necessary;
Assist with drafting attendance or performance warnings as appropriate; and
Assist in the onboarding and orientation of PAs in each new cohort, including informing PAs of program policies and expectations
Participate in weekly Staff 2-on-1 performance check-ins with PAs
Communicate any necessary PA support matters to Case Management Coordinator (CMC) and DET to ensure all PA support matters are being addressed in a timely and appropriate manner
Responsible for maintaining accurate files, case notes, and other documentation for internal purposes and grant reporting
Assist in office support tasks and operations
Assist in recruitment functions; collaborate with ET team for PA application review, interviews, and hiring decisions
Assist in reporting and data management
Work approximately 3 scheduled farm shifts per program year, and 1 farmers market shift on a Saturday per program year
Assist with occasional worksite cleaning and maintenance duties
As needed, assist with Growing Home open houses and events, which may include nights or weekend hours
SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS
Bachelor’s degree is preferred but not required
At least 1 to 2 years’ experience in workforce training, curriculum development, and/or employee supervision and management
Experience with classroom or with group facilitation required
Experience with job development or job coaching highly preferred
Demonstrated ability to teach adults the fundamentals of job readiness skills, including interview skills, resume and cover letter writing and formatting skills, proficiently navigating online applications, and professional electronic and verbal communication with employers
Comfortable working directly with marginalized populations; ability to engage with individuals in an authentic and nonjudgmental manner
Outstanding written and verbal communication skills required; ability to engage, inspire, and influence a wide variety of stakeholders
Exceptional organizational and time management skills; ability to work independently and exercise sound judgment in decision-making
Professional computer skills required, proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Google Suite required, proficiency in Salesforce or related CRM a plus
Ability to work some evenings and weekends
Some travel for meetings and retention duties will be required. Must have an aptitude and willingness to navigate public transportation throughout the greater Chicago-area, or a valid driver’s license
The Employment Training Associate works Monday through Friday at the Wood Street Urban Farm, 5814 S. Wood Street, and is supervised by the Director of Employment Training. Primary work hours will be between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. For special events or at particularly busy times per year, the Employment Training Operations Associate may be required to work weekend or evening hours.
To apply, submit an application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your application must consist of a cover letter and resume. The subject line of your application email should be “Employment Training Associate.” Applications must be received as a single PDF document. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with interviews on a rolling basis. Emails only - calls, in-person visits, and postal mail will not be accepted. Incomplete applications or applications that do not comply with the outlined application procedure will not receive a response with submission.
This is a full-time position, exempt from overtime pay, with competitive salary range depending on prior experience. In addition to base wage, Growing Home offers a competitive benefits package.
All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, current employment status, or prior record of arrest or conviction.
About Growing Home
Growing Home works to build healthy people and communities in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood through their innovative work in urban agriculture. Their farm-based employment training program helps individuals with barriers to employment such as criminal records, homelessness, and lack of experience, find and keep stable full-time jobs. Their USDA-certified organic farms also provide healthy food and food education to families living in an area considered a food desert. Through farming, Growing Home seeks to bring good jobs and good food to all.