Director, Strategic State Initiatives (West Region)

Please see details about this job opening below. To apply, click here for the job application.

The Opportunity

We’ve recently received funding to pilot a department dedicated to securing sustainable funding at the state-level for our work.  In the past, we’ve pursued multiple funding streams from various local, state, and federal agencies, combining them to cover our operating costs.  A successful state-level approach would allow us to more easily ramp up our offerings in existing cities and in turn enable us to offer larger-scale access to our model.  

To carry out this pilot, we’ve begun to build a team that is managing this work within target states for the pilot.  This work entails 1) developing a unified values proposition that outlines the benefits CEO can provide at a larger scale, the funding needed to achieve this, and the cost savings that would result for each state, and 2) delivering this proposition to key individuals and agencies.  Outreach to states began in September and based on the response we’ve received from many of our states, it’s clear that a larger team is needed to continue this work.

We’re seeking an experienced and connected Director who will lay the groundwork for and securing state-level commitments to support the scaling of CEO’s program in Central and Western states (California, Colorado and potentially Texas). This is an exciting opportunity for an individual interested in playing a key role in contributing to a new initiative that has the opportunity to have a deep impact on people and communities that have experienced cycles of incarceration and poverty in these and potentially additional target states.

This position is currently funded for two years.  Continuation of the position is dependent upon the availability of future funding which we hope to be able to secure. This position can be based in one of the following cities: Sacramento, Oakland, or San Jose, CA.

Who We Are

The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides employment services to people with recently released from incarceration.   Across the United States, over 6,000 people participate in CEO each year, transitioning to employment that supports themselves, their families, and their communities.

What began as a demonstration project of the Vera Institute of Justice in the 1970s to address employment barriers facing the formerly incarcerated following release in New York City has grown into the leading reentry employment organization in the country, where over 25,000 formerly incarcerated individuals have secured full-time employment since 1996.  Since 2009, CEO has gained support to expand its programs through government, nonprofit, and private organizations including the Federal Social Innovation Fund, Blue Meridian Partners, Robin Hood Foundation,, George Kaiser Family Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation. In 2016, CEO embarked on a 5-year strategic plan to grow to serve 9,000 participants annually.

Who You Are

  • You are deeply dedicated to social justice and come to CEO with 5+ years of experience working in justice, re-entry, or workforce policy.  
  • You’ve developed strategies to achieve policy objectives and have successfully led a team around strategy implementation.  
  • You’ve liaised directly with high-level state officials which have directly led to policy reform and/or investment in promoted initiatives.  
  • You have top-notch research and analytical skills (preferably with knowledge and analysis of state budgets).  
  • You’re skilled at clearly, enthusiastically, and accurately presenting information to groups both verbally and in writing, with the ability to tailor your style and communications based on your audience.  
  • You enjoy taking initiative, diving into unknown territory and collecting the information you need from internal and external entities.
  • You prefer a balance of independent and teamwork, with a particular interest in checking in with program leads to ensure your work stays connected to organizational initiatives.  

Major Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the Senior Policy Director and colleagues to develop state-specific values propositions, including identifying and bringing on consultants within target states to support this work.
  • Analyze state justice and workforce trends and budgets for potential funding opportunities that could be dedicated towards scaling funding for CEO’s services
  • Engage with and present values propositions to executive level leadership, including Governors and state agency Directors, to secure their interest in investing in CEO
  • Generate written content, including proposals and briefs, to facilitate engagement with executive and high-level state officials
  • Supervise, support, and develop a team of analysts and a Senior Policy Associate based in California focused on research and content development

Compensation and Benefits

The salary for this position is commensurate with demonstrated experience and abilities.  We also offer a comprehensive benefits package, including medical and dental coverage, paid parental leave, participation in a retirement plan, sick and vacation leave, paid holidays and more.  We're a workplace that promotes continuous learning and teamwork, offering lunch and learns, team outings, holiday gatherings and more for our staff.

More About Us

We welcome diversity and highly encourage applications from people of color and people with convictions. We are an equal employment opportunity for all regardless of race, color, citizenship, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, veteran or reservist status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

Please click here for the job description.