Director, Employer Engagement
Detroit, MI MWDB

The Mayor’s Workforce Development Board (MWDB) is led by the City of Detroit’s Group Executive for Jobs, Economy & Detroit at Work and brings together executive leaders to identify and implement solutions for Detroit’s workforce ecosystem. The MWDB designated Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC), a 501(c)3 with an independent Corporate Board, to serve as the fiscal and administrative agency for federal, state and local funds allocated and awarded for workforce programs. DESC also employs the staff of the MWDB. Collectively, the MWDB, its staff and DESC identify and function as the Detroit at Work team. 




The Director of Employer Engagement oversees strategic and operational projects and alignment between Detroit area employers, specialized industry groups and collaboratives, and the Business Services unit of the Detroit at Work system. 

This senior leader will help devise unique strategies for and execute the charge of the MWDB’s five (5) priority industries: Construction & Infrastructure, Manufacturing & Mobility, IT  & Professional Services, Healthcare, and Small Business. The Employer Engagement team works closely with MWDB members and other employer partners in each priority industry to help high-growth employers identify specific entry-level and mid-level jobs that the workforce system can help prepare Detroiters to fill, and will work closely with other Detroit at Work senior leaders to build customized training and other work-based learning models that meet the talent needs of Detroit’s businesses.

The Director of Employer Engagement is also directly responsible for developing, maintaining, or supporting industry-led councils for each of the priority industries that help advise the MWDB and inform the strategies that best ensure Detroiters are ready for the opportunities available.

This role is a part of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board (MWDB) Staff and reports directly to the Chief Strategy Officer of Detroit at Work.  


  • Lead an employer engagement team made up of Engagement Managers that develop partnerships and jobs across and outside the priority industries of the MWDB and manage special projects and industry councils;
  • Work with internal and external partners to develop targeted marketing and outreach strategies based on best practices and DAW system data for local and regional employers;
  • Collect and analyze data concerning labor market and employer demand information to formulate and recommend responsive plans to local employer needs;
  • Manage relationships with partner organizations, including employer associations, training providers, workforce development organizations, and other community-based organizations;
  • Identify and develop new industry councils necessary to address emerging and future talent trends;
  • Work with marquee employers to understand their hiring needs and identify shared training opportunities for collaborative talent solutions;      
  • Partner with Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Detroit Regional Partnership, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation to build talent recruitment plans for business attraction and retention projects that bring jobs to Detroit.
  • Work with staff to develop employer-based customized, on-the-job, upskilling, and other work-based learning training programs;
  • Establish and maintain leading-edge team and individual performance metrics;
  • Provide quality control and improvement strategies for all Detroit at Work teams that engage employers;

Desired Qualifications: 

  • High level of critical and creative thinking with a demonstrated ability to produce results 
  • Demonstrated ability to promote collaboration and build coalitions across a wide range of internal and external stakeholder groups 
  • Demonstrated experience in crafting and implementing robust and creative strategic plans 
  • Understanding of budgets and research for data-based decision-making 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; skilled in group facilitation and making oral presentations 
  • Computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet, etc.) and advanced experience working within a Customer Relationship Management system and data visualization tools (Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics preferred) 
  • Open to working outside of the typical work day to meet with stakeholders and attend community events  

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. US work authorization is required. 

Education and Experience: 

  • Experience working with leaders at all level of organizations, including the C-Suite, and particularly HR; additional experience developing partnerships with civic and community leaders 
  • Experience in and/or knowledge of the private sector and business practices in one of the focus industries; marketing, sales, or economic development experience a plus 
  • 5+ years of progressive leadership responsibility in business, recruitment, external affairs, public administration, or higher education; preferably in an externally-facing role   
  • Background in or exposure to workforce development systems through employers, community-based organizations, or government highly desirable
  • Bachelor’s Degree 
  • Master’s Degree in Business, Public Administration, Human Resources or a related field preferred

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) is an Equal Opportunity employer committed to enhancing equity, inclusion, and diversity within the organization. DESC actively seeks applications from women, persons of color, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.