Detroit, MI Strategic Operations
Job Type


Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the primary responsibility of this position is to oversee the Detroit at Work Career Center System.  DESC anticipates awarding contracts in 2022 to support at least nine Career Centers for adults across the City of Detroit. These Career Centers will utilize Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA), PATH (Partnership. Accountability. Training. Hope.), Wagner Peyser, Trade Adjustment Act and other funds to provide Detroiters employment and training services.

DESC and the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board (MWDB) are currently engaged in a comprehensive effort to redesign Detroit’s workforce development system. DESC and the MWDB have established an ultimate goal of increasing residential employment, improving family financial stability and reducing the poverty rate. The Director will play a key role in working with staff and contractors to achieve this change in Detroit.

The Director will manage a team that is charged with overseeing the services provided at Career Centers, while assisting contractors in providing exceptional career services, building capacity, achieving performance goals, and complying with funder requirements. 



Program Development and Implementation

  • Assists the Chief Operating Officer (COO) in developing, researching and implementing Career Center services and programs.
  • Create standardized procedures and protocols for delivery of services at Detroit at Work Career Centers. Assist providers in creating processes for serving and tracking job seekers, to maintain a high level of quality and consistency across programs.
  • Coordinate resources necessary to implement the following at all Centers: customer- or human-centered design principles, quality standards for career coaching and exploration, integration of financial capability and income support services into Career Centers, and a holistic service model that involves deliberate and strategic partnerships with various organizations.  
  • Work with staff, contractors and partners to ensure Career Centers are fully responsive to needs of customers; resolve customer concerns quickly and effectively.
  • Foster relationships among local schools, universities, businesses and other community employment and education programs to enhance service delivery.
  • Monitor and evaluate Career Center services, investigate trends, recommend and implement modifications to improve program effectiveness. Create reports and prepare analysis of performance related documentation.    

Performance Management and Technical Assistance

  • Work with COO and other members of executive leadership team to establish system-wide goals. Negotiate goals and statements of work with selected contractors.
  • Develop or refine performance management tools and protocols for Career Center contractors.
  • Oversees the provision of technical assistance to sub-grant recipients. Also oversees the evaluation of their effectiveness via on-site visits, review of regularly filed reports and electronic databases. Ensures overall effective delivery of Detroit at Work Career Center services. 
  • Maintains contact and open communication with all providers to determine program needs, if any, and evaluate the progress of all programs.  
  • Compiles and submits all required programmatic reports for submission to DOL, the State, and the City in an accurate and timely manner. Responsible for developing reports that assist the Chief Operating Officer in planning future program goals.
  • Works in tandem with Fiscal staff to ensure that program and fiscal needs of grantees are met. 

Internal Operations

  • Oversee a team of staff responsible for monitoring performance and compliance of Career Center contractors. Provide program staff with resources and day-to-day supervisory support necessary for them to effectively oversee workforce programs and implement new initiatives.
  • Manage staff, which includes assigning work; approving time off; providing guidance and training, giving oral and written reprimands when necessary; effectively recommending grievance resolutions and completing performance evaluations. Establishes annual goals and objectives; counsels staff on issues of productivity, quality of work and conduct; and determines staffing needs to achieve program objectives.
  • Develop and implement planning and project management processes to ensure the effective coordination and integration of programs and resources.
  • Support new/existing program grant writing efforts to generate program start up, improvement, or enhancement funding.  Also, ensure grant compliance and tracking.
  • Organize appropriate committees as related to policy compliance and service enhancement.
  • Prepare executive management and board committee presentations.
  • Perform related duties as required.  
  • Exhibit professionalism, diplomacy, and ability to appropriately interact with Board members, staff, participants, and local stakeholders while maintaining working relationships in all aspects. 


  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Public Administration or Social Work or a related field OR equivalent combination of professional work experience, training and education.  Master’s Degree preferred.
  • Three (3) years of professional experience in administering a public program.
  • Three (3) years of experience managing federal workforce programs (WIOA, PATH/TANF, Trade Adjustment Assistance, and/or Wagner-Peyser Employment Services) highly preferred.
  • Must have at least five (5) years of relevant experience in a leadership or management capacity.


  • Experience managing a team or contractor(s) responsible for delivering federally funded employment services is highly desired. 
  • General knowledge of needs, concerns and issues facing Detroit job seekers and employers.
  • Ability to provide guidance and advice to community groups and organizations regarding grant provisions. Excellent interpersonal skills in dealing with numerous individuals from various agencies.
  • Skilled in writing and editing professional documents.
  • Excellent supervisory and management skills. Ability to demonstrate tact and diplomacy dealing with employee issues in a wide range of diverse situations. Demonstrated ability to support cross-functional teams.
  • Must be able to compile and analyze a wide variety of data sources and utilize findings for program decisions.
  • Demonstrate ability to assess triggers for new policies and procedures; such as, changes to the external operating environment, government policy/legislation, review of strategic directions, new cross-functional initiatives, and need for consistency in service delivery, etc.
  • Assist in the compliance and  monitoring of operations for all state and federal regulations related to project funding.
  • Maintain extreme confidentiality and discretion at all times.  Maintain an appropriate filing system for all confidential materials. Must have the ability to discern highly confidential materials and documents.
  • Excellent computer skills in a Microsoft Windows environment.  Must include Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Adobe PDF and demonstrated skills in database management and record keeping.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline driven, results-oriented environment. Excellent organization/time management skills.
  • Ability to implement and supervise programmatic changes.
  • Ability to identify errors, irregularities and illegal acts and take appropriate action.




Valid State of Michigan Driver’s License – Position requires field work.


Background check and drug screen required.