Program Officer, Workforce Development & Talent Cultivation
Job Type

Position:               Regular, Full Time, Exempt

Department:       Program 

Reports to:           Program Director, Economic and Community Development & Social Impact Investing

Supervises:          Program Assistant/Coordinator and other staff assigned 

Date Reviewed:  July 2022

Summary: The program officer is responsible for the Cleveland Foundation’s efforts to creatively address the Greater Cleveland area’s workforce and talent attraction/retention challenges and opportunities, through the design, coordination, implementation, execution of ideas and manage strategic investment activities that will lead to equitable economic growth and strengthen the urban core. 

Responsibilities and Expected Outcomes:

  • Serve as a key thought-leader on behalf of the foundation for workforce and talent attraction initiatives across the greater Cleveland area, thereby serving as a catalyst for enhancing the creation, expansion and retention of jobs, and the alignment of human capital to equitable economic opportunities.
  • Work closely with established and new grantee partners to advance the priorities of the Foundation’s workforce, talent attraction, and economic development efforts and prepare monthly, quarterly, and/or annual detail-oriented evaluations of programs. Additionally, provide recommendations to the Foundation’s Board of Directors for funding requests to ensure grants are in alignment with the Foundation’s Economic and Community  Development strategy. 
  • Serve as  Program point of contact with Program Director, Economic and Community Development & Social Impact Investing on a cross-functional team to achieve goals and objectives of the Cleveland Innovation Project (CIP). This may include supporting the development and management of the CIP talent attraction strategy and serving as a public facing thought leader.
  • Work in collaboration with program directors, managers, and officers to identify workforce development/talent attraction intersections.
  • The work may include additional staff supervision, consultants, managing volunteer committees and advisory groups; collaborating with other funders and entities; designing and implementing processes and events; define appropriate outcomes; developing effective evaluation methodologies to measure outcomes; etc. 
  • Capture and disseminate information and prepare thoughtful analyses of workforce  and talent attraction, development, and retention topics and organizations to promote a deeper sense of awareness amongst Foundation stakeholders (staff, board, donors, Greater Cleveland Community).
  • Support the Advancement Team by working with individual and institutional donors to increase the flow of investment dollars into the Foundation, and with the Public Affairs team to bring visibility to the Foundation’s efforts in workforce and economic development.
  • The corpus of this work will contribute to the Cleveland Foundation’s Racial Equity & Inclusion goals and require the ability to work with a diverse constituency.

Essential Qualifications, Credentials and Technical Skills required:

  • Strong understanding of the local/regional economic development arena, and of the market forces, systems, policies, programs, and politics that influence a region’s economic vitality.
  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, public policy, or other field closely related to this work and at least 5 years of relevant, progressively responsible experience, designing, managing, and/or funding efforts that foster economic growth; Master’s degree preferred. 
  • Demonstrated analytical, planning and partnership-building skills. The ability to envision change and to recommend and implement strategies to promote change.
  • Ability to collaborate with other organizations and individuals, and demonstrated effectiveness in working as an initiator, convener, and collaborator.
  • Ability to maintain confidence when working with sensitive information.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills and proven ability to communicate complex issues, and to work effectively with diverse constituencies.
  • Experience working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, and a willingness to work with internal and external stakeholders in a sustained commitment to this work.
  • Proficiency in software programs such as Word, Excel, Outlook, record/database management, etc., web-based skills for research, and social media skills. 


The Cleveland Foundation exists to enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Greater Cleveland. The ability to carry out our mission and to foster our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion can best be pursued if our workforce, grantees, donors, partners, and governing body are inclusive of individuals of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives. 

We believe that diversity encompasses, but is not limited to, age, color, education, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental abilities or characteristics, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and/or other characteristics that make an individual unique.  The Cleveland Foundation is committed to equal employment opportunities for all. 


Based on the foundation's compensation program, estimated annual salary for this position may be anywhere between $60,000 and $75,000, based on the academic, professional and community experiences and credentials of a candidate.  The foundation offers an exceptional benefits package including medical, dental, vision, identity theft, and life and disability coverage, a comprehensive wellness program, an employee assistance program, a fully vested 403(b) retirement plan, ten paid holidays and, for exempt positions, 15 days of vacation and 12 sick days, prorated the first year of service based on date of hire. 


TO APPLY: If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit your resume and cover as soon as possible. We regret that we cannot respond personally to each applicant.

Note:  Hours worked will be largely remote, until we move into our new headquarters building late in 2022. The Cleveland Foundation requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide valid proof of vaccination unless a documented medical or religious exemption is approved. All information provided will be kept strictly confidential.