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Posted: Saturday, October 21, 2017 12:06 AM


Program Director

The Chronicle of Philanthropy | New York, NY (10017)


The Workers Lab seeks a Program Director (PD) to help shape and advance our work supporting organizing efforts and enterprises that build scalable and sustainable power for working people in the 21st century economy. The PD will manage the day-to-day program needs of The Workers Lab.  S/he will assess and analyze the fields of economic justice, worker organizing, entrepreneurship, and economic development to identify opportunities for partnership, grants, and investments. S/he is expected to share substantive knowledge with partners in the field, funders, board members and investors. In addition, s/he will also serve as a ‘connector’ of partners with practitioners, government officials, scholars, non-profit and corporate sector leaders, and other donors on issues of common concern to leverage positive impact toward common goals.  S/he will work closely with our Director of Communications and Fundraising to identify funding opportunities and to disseminate lessons to the field.  



By providing a space for our partners to experiment, validate ideas, and scale models, we seek to find solutions that meet the needs of workers now and in the future. We work towards our mission by supporting the following:


Our Innovation Fund acts as a flexible funding stream for entrepreneurs, worker organizers, and public-sector leaders to experiment in service of finding solutions to the issues facing workers. We have two open application processes per year and offer a range of capital types.  Design Sprints are our latest approach to tackling specific problems in a time-bound way. Adapting this method from Google Product Development, help us convene key stakeholders, deepen our understanding of an issue, develop testable prototypes, and learn real-time.  


The Enterprise Institute is our signature business development program. We partner with Michael Bush, CEO of A Great Place to Work, to support entrepreneurs and worker organizers to validate their early stage ideas by using the business model canvass method. Since The Workers Lab launched, we have run five of these programs with over 30 participants.


Once we have validated project ideas, we dedicate staff and additional financial support for projects and enterprises to scale.  Given the time and financial commitment required, we restrict these to one per year.


The Program Director is the primary staff member responsible for the development of grant and programmatic portfolios and all related activities. Working as a member of The Workers Lab team and under the management guidance of the CEO, this PD will develop The Workers Lab’s grant recommendations, establish and implement a monitoring and evaluation framework, and ensure shared learning. The PD will play a leading role in shaping specific grant activities, ensuring all activities are designed to deliver the goals of The Workers Lab.



The Program Director should be dedicated to social, economic, and racial justice and must be able to thrive within a nimble institution with internal demands and address organizational responsibilities with the same amount of care as those in the external field.  S/he will have strong relationship management skills to manage a significant amount of partner communications, grant making processing, and convening.  The ability to prioritize, write and communicate succinctly and project manage are crucial for this role. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Develop grant making activities in a team-oriented context that are aligned to the strategic goals of The Workers Lab.
  • Manage grant making process and portfolio, including quarterly grant planning, undertaking periodic reviews of progress with grantees, performing grantee site visits, reviewing financial and narrative reporting from grantees, and reviewing and approving grant status reports.
  • Work with The Workers Lab partners to develop proposals for grant and loan recommendations, determine the goals for a grant or loans, its activities, expected results, indicators of success and budget.
  • Develop and implement field, grantee, and partner convenings relevant to review opportunities, challenges, and advances.
  • Recommend and participate in learning and evaluation activities to guide the evolution of programmatic work.
  • Report regularly on the progress of the strategies including planned activities and emerging impacts in written form to be shared with a broad public audience.
  • Represent The Workers Lab the government, media, academic, business, philanthropic, and civic leaders through meetings, updates, speeches, briefings, and interviews.
  • Demonstrate outstanding professional relations with colleagues across the organization and with external constituents, serving as a substantive and reputational ambassador for The Workers Lab.
  • Collaborate with peers, Directors, and Officers of the Foundation to promote learning, exchange and strategic partnership. Learn from and collaborate with key stakeholders inside and outside the Foundation.
  • Produce independent research on emerging bodies of work and the role The Workers Lab could substantively contribute to them or not.  
  • Serve as direct co-manager, mentor, and coach to Program Assistant.


  • BA/BS (or equivalent combination of education and experience) in relevant field of study plus a minimum of 8 years experience in the fields of economic development, entrepreneurship, or worker organizing in a role that manages high volume people interactions and administrative processing.
  • Preferably experience working directly with one of the core partners on The Workers Lab including entrepreneurs or worker organizers.
  • Deep understanding of social and economic justice landscape in the United States.
  • Fluency in English; Fluency in Spanish a plus.
  • Exceptional leadership presence – internally and externally.
  • Exceptional communications skills – excellent verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to be a productive member of a community of people at work, respecting differences while working toward shared goals, comfort with periods of ambiguity, constructive participation in ongoing organizational development

Travel & Hours

Travel expected, approximately 20%, mostly for grants related work, but also to attend team conferences, retreats, and meetings. Given that we work across different time zones, some non-traditional hours for early or late calls are an occasional expectation of this role.


  • Commitment to The Workers Lab mission and core values of supporting worker organizers and entrepreneurs to build power for working people in the 21st century economy.
  • Humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor.
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues.
  • Action-oriented and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams.
  • Experience and interest in program evaluation.


Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Workers Lab, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.


All applicants should submit a cover letter, resume to

• Location: Manhattan

• Post ID: 133373747 manhattan is an interactive computer service that enables access by multiple users and should not be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider. © 2017