Manager of System Partnerships
Detroit, MI Strategic Operations
Job Type



The Manager of System Partnerships will co-design and implement the Detroit at Work system’s referral and partnership strategy and day-to-day activities, following the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board’s (MWDB) vision that all customers have easy, convenient, and coordinated access to the resources they need to achieve financial stability. The MWDB designates 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.  Collectively, the MWDB, its staff and DESC identify and function as the Detroit at Work team.  

The Manager will report to the Chief Operating Officer and will work with direct report(s) and a cross-functional team composed of staff from DESC, Career Centers and other service locations, to create or coordinate partnerships, pilots and policies that provide essential supportive (or wraparound) services to Detroit jobseekers. These essential supports include, but are not limited to, childcare, behavioral health, housing supports, criminal record expungement, technology and transportation. The Manager will help to ensure that Detroit at Work job seekers have access to these resources through the establishment of formal agreements and referral processes with external partners, as well as through creative and innovative methods of leveraging DESC public and private grants.

The role requires experience managing teams, meetings, and projects, the ability to use data to create strategic decisions, and a deep understanding of the structural challenges Detroit residents face in accessing needed supports. 


  • Build strategic partnerships to pilot and expand systemwide efforts that provide strong referrals for our jobseekers to receive essential services they need, using quantitative and qualitative data to inform strategy. Leverage and support partnerships developed by MWDB staff to assist job seekers.
  • Co-design the strategy for barrier removal efforts in partnership with MWDB staff and, where applicable, MWDB Committee members.
  • Manage the implementation of barrier removal efforts for Detroit at Work customers, including, but not limited to: childcare, behavioral health, homeless and housing supports, criminal record expungement, technology, and transportation. 
  • Under the leadership of the MWDB staff and other key partners, help to co-design and implement a comprehensive workforce strategy that increases Detroit job seeker access to affordable, quality childcare. Strategy will include both building the childcare talent pipeline and improving Detroit at Work customer awareness of and access to childcare. 
  • In accordance with the vision established by the MWDB, implement activities that better align the homeless and workforce systems, including the establishment and strengthening of relationships and communication between system leadership and frontline staff and the development of a closed loop referral process for jobseekers in need of both housing and workforce services. 
  • Manage the One Stop Operator contract, whose work includes the alignment of services, improving partner coordination, coordinating external and internal customer service evaluation efforts, and process optimization and improvement.
  • Build internal capacity to better identify and connect jobseekers to key resources, including staff training, development of reports, setting quarterly and annual goals, or adjusting policy.
  • Assign direct report(s) to assist with and carry-out key activities outlined above.
  • Set and meet quarterly and yearly key performance indicators for self and direct reports.
  • Identify trends in barriers faced by jobseekers using quantitative data and qualitative feedback and create system-wide solutions. 
  • Coordinate with internal DESC staff and Career Center provider staff to implement policies, new referral partnerships or programs to alleviate barriers for jobseekers.
  • Support the Career Center team, including, but not limited to, the development or revision of service policies, reviewing Requests for Proposals, participating in management meetings, or setting department-wide goals.
  • Manage relationships with cross-sector partner organizations and build networks for information sharing; cultivate and engage new stakeholders as needed.

The above functions are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by the person assigned to this position. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all duties of the position.




  • Exceptional relationship management skills. Demonstrated capacity to build and sustain collaboration efforts and/or partnerships across multiple stakeholders, including across different organizations and public systems
  • Strong strategic thinking skills with the ability to find connections across a variety of work streams. Demonstrated experience in crafting robust and creative strategic plans.
  • Strong project management skills. Ability to adapt to new priorities while meeting long-term goals and managing associated efforts. Strength with crafting implementation plans for initiatives and programs and successfully executing said plans.
  • High level of critical and creative thinking with a demonstrated ability to produce results.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; skilled in group facilitation, meeting management, and public speaking.
  • Ability to operate effectively as a member of a unified team, as well as experience working across departments and functions.
  • Ability to be proactive, take calculated risks, and make difficult decisions, despite ambiguity or adversity.
  • Experience managing teams and managing multiple discrete projects.
  • Strength in using quantitative and qualitative data to drive continuous improvement.
  • Experience promoting racial equity in social service delivery, including an understanding of the impact of systematic and institutional racism.
  • Must be discrete and professional, particularly when handling confidential information.

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


  • Bachelor’s Degree, with a minimum of 7 years of related professional experience including experience supervising staff and leading large-scale, community-wide projects. Work experience may be substituted for educational requirement. 
  • Background in workforce development, social services, education, or other related systems, ideally with a focus on creating solutions to support the needs of low-wage workers and/or individuals in poverty.
  • Relationships with Detroit and regional community and social services organizations preferred.




Not required.


Background check and drug screen required