Program Officer, Workforce Development and Economic Mobility

Website United Way of Rhode Island

Job Title: Program Officer, Workforce Development and Economic Mobility

Salary Range: $57,000.00 – $62,000.00


At a Glance:

Business Unit:
Community Impact and Equity
Home Department:
Community Impact
Worker Category:
Full Time
FLSA Code:
EEOC Job Classification:
First/Mid Level Officials and Managers
Standard Hours:
75 (bi-weekly)
Pay Grade:
Granted Funded Date:

Summary: The Program Officer, Workforce Development and Economic Mobility leads United Way’s strategies related to workforce development, adult education, and economic mobility work.  This position represents United Way to external public and private organizations such as the Governor’s Workforce Board, Workforce Alliance, and Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island.  The program officer collaborates with other department staff to advance high school career pathways opportunities for youth, as well to promote and advocate for policies which promote the economic stability of Rhode Island households.  Finally, the program officer works with other staff to develop new strategies that improve opportunities for low and middle income Rhode Islanders to grow their skills and education and secure higher-paying employment.  As a member of United Way’s grantmaking team, the program officer invests in opportunities which set the groundwork for equitable opportunities for Rhode Island families, consistent with the Lift United pillar of our LIVE UNITED 2025 strategic plan.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Grantee/Program Management

·        Serve as the lead staff for United Way’s work in the areas of adult education, workforce development, and economic mobility.

·        Manage a portfolio of workforce development, adult education, and economic mobility related grantees.

·        Manage the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program workflow and grant portfolio, including coordinating technical assistance and training in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service.

·        Convene grantees regularly for program updates, resource sharing and disseminating information on important and timely policy recommendations and action items.

·        Conduct at least one site visit per grantee per year (either in person or virtual) and document key points and recommendations from the visit.

·        Read grantee half yearly and yearly reports and provide feedback.

·        Practice the philosophies of trust based philanthropy and provide appropriate support to partners through relevant trainings, DEI conversations, connecting grantees to resources etc.

Internal Team Collaboration

·        Collaborate with other Program Officers regularly to identify intersectionality’s of portfolios and create opportunities for collective impact work as appropriate.

·        Engage with the Data Analytics and Research team to evaluate data, measure impact and implement common data systems and outcomes measurement tools for programs funded by United Way.

·        Collaborate with Public Policy and other United Way staff to advocate for policies and resources which support economic mobility, including for the VITA program, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and Child Tax Credit (CTC).

·        Work with United Way’s Public Policy staff to identify and advance necessary public policy priorities that will improve workforce development and adult education systems, along with the incorporation of these priorities into United Way’s policy agenda.

·        Apprise Community Impact and Equity department staff and volunteer committees of important information related to policies and programming in these areas of work.

·        Work with other members of the Community Impact & Equity Team staff to develop the collection and review of data as needed.

·        Work with the Resource Development department and grant seeking staff to identify potential funding opportunities for this work.

·        Connect with other staff in the department to determine and collaborate on linkages between workforce development, adult education, economic mobility, and other areas of United Way’s work.

·        Attend/participate in all team, department and organization wide meetings, staff retreats, trainings and professional development opportunities.

·        Assist with reviewing grant proposals, provide meaningful feedback and provide input in funding process.

·        Attend regular one-on-one check-ins with supervisor.

·        Identify and share emergent or emergency needs in the community for funding consideration.

·        From time to time provide programmatic updates at All Staff meetings.

·        Assist with managing special project as needed and appropriate.

·        Other duties as assigned.

External Stakeholder/Partner Relationship Management

•     Work with community stakeholders and experts as well as the community investment department to develop

operational plans for the work related to workforce development, adult education, and economic mobility, and report to those groups periodically about progress toward goals in the plans.

·        Represent United Way to the Governor’s Workforce Board, the Workforce Alliance, and other groups related to our work on expanded learning opportunities.

·        Educate key stakeholders on the role that workforce development, adult education, and expanded learning opportunities plays in helping Rhode Islanders to improve their skills and seek higher-paying employment.

·        Attend regular VITA coalition meetings and provide all necessary support to all VITA sites in preparation and during the tax season.

·        Foster innovation through piloting and sharing of potential best practices.

·        Share and present the United Way Strategic Plan 2025 to relevant external groups and affirm United Way’s commitment to racial equity and community building.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:


·        Bachelor’s degree required from an accredited university

·        Knowledge of the field of adult education and/or workforce development.

·        A minimum of 3-5 years of experience in the non-profit or adult education/workforce development field.

·        Demonstrated experience in relationship building, problem solving, negotiation and facilitation skills.

·        Demonstrated experience in community development, organizing and engagement strategies.

·        Excellent organizational skills

·        Effective listening and strong verbal and written communications skills, including public speaking skills

·        Strong people skills and an ability to relate to diverse groups and individuals.

·        Flexible and self-directed.

·        Ability to move projects forward in a timely and responsive manner.

·        Aptitude for facilitation and negotiation.

·        Comfortable with ambiguity and can embrace change that drives toward results.

·        Experience working with a board of directors and/or steering committees.

·        Ability to work both independently and collaboratively, with a talent for building strong and productive relationships across constituencies.


Core Values:


·        demonstrate integrity by being accountable for actions, keeping commitments, and speaking honestly and truthfully with others

·        demonstrate an enthusiasm for professional development acquiring new skills and knowledge to enhance role

·        demonstrate a commitment to individual and team-based assignments

·        demonstrate quality assurance by producing accurate and thorough work

·        demonstrate interpersonal skills in dealing with others

·        demonstrate valuing the diversity of others’ opinions and experiences

·        demonstrate sound reasoning and good common sense

·        demonstrate the ability to meet and exceed customer expectations

·        demonstrate active participation in departmental, team, and full-staff meetings



·        This job description is intended to convey the essential functions of this position and it is not intended to be an exhaustive list of skills, duties, responsibilities or working conditions associated with the position.

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