In November 2020, National Louis University launched a new initiative called Accelerate U focused on workforce training for local, upwardly-mobile jobs and careers. Our work connects learners and employers, linking economic stability for participants with the diverse talent pipeline needs of employers. Accelerate U works closely with employer partners to build affordable academic and training pathways that 1) lead to an industry-recognized credential in three to six months, 2) bridge to an in-demand job and include a 4-8 week externship, 3) focus on technical, career readiness, and “durable”/behavioral skill development, 4) are 100% online and include a cohort experience, coaching, and wraparound supports, and 5) provide college credit for associate or bachelor degrees with little to no debt. The #1 outcome we care about is the number of people who start our programs and find sustainable employment within three months of completing it. Accelerate U plans to build eight certification pathways across multiple sectors (i.e. healthcare, technology, business) by 2025, eventually serving more than 3,000 learners each year.
The Director of Employer Engagement will create, implement, and grow the Accelerate U employer partnership strategy to eventually open up hundreds of new job opportunities for Accelerate U learners. This is an entrepreneurial endeavor - an opportunity to work closely with Accelerate U to 1) identify and understand employer hiring needs and hiring cycles 2) to create learning experiences aligned to specific jobs and careers that increase economic mobility for our learners and 3) ensure our employer partners are prepared to work with Accelerate U to build new pipelines of exceptional talent year after year. This role will report to the Vice President of Workforce Pathways, Thackston Lundy, to create and eventually scale our employer engagement strategy.
- Lead the employer partner relationship work from beginning to end including initial engagement, partnership management, ongoing feedback and improvement processes, hiring coordination for program completer's, and partnership expansion and growth.
- Design and implement a business development strategy, working with practitioners and industry experts, the VP of Workforce Development, and the NLU team to identify and secure new employer partnerships to meet our enrollment goals.
- Collaborate with the VP of Workforce Development on a long term employer strategy that includes building workforce pathways and regional and national partnerships that meet specific needs and improve the lives of our learners.
- Define and scale learner placement processes including aligning hiring timelines and creating, in partnership with the Director of Career Coaching, Career Coaches and other Accelerate U staff, thoughtful on ramps for learners into their new jobs including hiring and networking events, systems for matching program completer's to jobs, tools for collecting and sharing learner feedback, and other engagement strategies.
- Collect employer partner feedback on the skills they need in new hires as well as overall program design and logistics, and work cross-functionally with the Accelerate U team to incorporate that feedback into the learning journey.
- Build strong relationships with all staff at all levels of the employer partner including in the C-Suite, HR/Talent leadership, and hiring managers who will ultimately hire our program completer's.
- Monitor ongoing micro and macro trends in the regional and national labor markets as well as the emerging needs of employers (via publications, research, conferences, convenings) to inform Accelerate U’s employer engagement strategy.
- Oversee all logistics of formalizing employer partnerships including affiliate agreement, MOU, and contract management.
- Troubleshoot any and all issues that arise as we build new programs for employers and ensure we continue to meet their hiring and talent development needs.
This is the right role for you if:
- You are committed to equity, access, and building economic mobility. You know the power of a great education – one that catapults a learner into new, choice-filled opportunities. You also know that too many talented, high-potential people get left out, overlooked, or skipped over when it comes to opportunities. You want to break down those barriers, destroy those misconceptions, and work with mission-aligned employers to construct creative pathways to work and college degrees.
- You are driven to succeed in an entrepreneurial environment. You are passionate about opening doors for others. You want to take everything you know about business development, partnership building, and working with a variety of stakeholders to achieve a goal and use it to help establish an employer engagement strategy at Accelerate U. You love start-up and making a path when there isn’t one. You’re agile, flexible, and ready to work hard.
- You are relentless. We’re creating something that doesn’t exist. This is sales, customer service, and creative partnership design wrapped into one job. You embrace the “and,” working with those around you to figure out a path forward. You have high expectations for yourself and others. And you never, ever give up.
- You think like an employer partner. Our employer partners will work with us to refine and improve every element of the Accelerate U training experience including our selection model, program design, field-based experiences, and hiring processes and timelines. You are constantly on the hunt for ways to create value for them. You use performance data and employer feedback to build better partnerships. Your goal is to keep and grow our best employer relationships by expanding the number of learners they hire.
- Demonstrated experience launching and managing complex projects and processes.
- Exceptional relationship-building skills, including active listening, empathy, compassion, and clear communication.
- Experience negotiating contracts, pitching new products, and building processes with partners.
- Dedication to driving diversity, equity, and inclusion in every employer partnership.
- Ability to perform well under pressure while maintaining a positive attitude and building effective relationships with multiple stakeholders.
- Excellent presentation skills with audiences of all sizes.
- Proven skills as a problem solver and analytical thinker – someone who can turn inputs from lots of different sources into action and the ability to see opportunity in challenges.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced, start-up environment.
At National Louis University we offer our employees an innovative environment to work together and inspire the ideas that will make an impact. As our external environment changes, our employees are provided the opportunities and tools needed to grow both personally and professionally to remain successful. NLU employees and dependents are offered a wide range of benefits, including but not limited to, Health Insurance benefits, Retirement benefits, Paid Time Off and Educational Benefits
Please visit National Louis University website (https://nl.edu/jobs/) and search for the Director of Employer Engagement position by name.
Proceed to apply.
NLU Inclusion Statement:
National Louis University is deeply committed to serving its community, advancing access and equity, and ensuring that all individuals are welcomed and valued. We are dedicated to fostering a culture where diversity, equity, and inclusion remain at the core of who we are. These are more than just words to us: they are truly a way of life for the NLU community. We recognize that differences in abilities, age, ethnicity, gender (identity and expression), race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and background bring richness to our work environment. We affirm diverse perspectives, innovative contributions, and authentic presentations of self from every member within the NLU community. We believe inclusion is grounded in the actions we intentionally take each day. Our goal is to inspire and empower NLU employees and community members to cultivate an environment where we collectively focus on uplifting and advancing our institutional culture.