Job Quality Team Director

About CLASP

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization advancing policy solutions that work for low-income people. We advocate for public policies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels that reduce poverty, improve the lives of poor people, and create ladders to economic security for all. Our solutions directly address the barriers that individuals and families face because of race, ethnicity, low income, and immigration status.

Over nearly 50 years we have kept our vision alive—throughout a wide range of political and policy contexts—by providing trusted expertise, a deeply knowledgeable staff, and a commitment to practical yet forward-looking approaches to opportunity for all and a racial equity framework. We lift up the voices of poor and low-income children, families, and individuals, equip advocates with strategies that work, and help public officials put good ideas into practice.

Within this broad anti-poverty mission, CLASP is organized around five policy teams: Child Care and Early Education, Youth Policy, Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, Income and Work Supports, and Job Quality.

About the Job Quality Team

The Job Quality Team at CLASP has a long history of leadership on key economic justice issues that affect low-wage workers, particularly paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, and fair job schedules. We are often at the forefront of policy advocacy in our issue areas—for example, CLASP was part of a small team working on the initial legislation that eventually became the Healthy Families Act and on the family leave legislation that pre-dated today’s FAMILY Act, and we worked closely with Congressional staff drafting the Schedules that Work Act. This early work helped spark the extraordinary momentum of the last several years at the state and local level, which includes the enactment of dozens of local and state laws (40 sick days, 4 state family leave, and 3 fair job scheduling) that, in turn, are building energy for national legislation in the future. In keeping with CLASP’s overall mission, we bring to the job quality and work-family agenda a sense of urgency grounded in the experiences of poor and near-poor workers and their families, particularly workers of color.

Today, the team plays many different roles in taking this nationwide movement to the next level in the states and nationally, as well as in opposing public policies that would harm low-income workers. We engage in policy analysis, research, and outreach to support local, state, and national campaigns to pass job quality laws across the country, including a particular focus on mobilizing employer support for public policy. We offer creative ideas and strategic thinking to strengthen the paid leave and fair scheduling movements and support advocacy with research-based evidence and policy solutions—for example, with our recent briefs highlighting data showing how job quality is a racial justice issue, holding back Black and Latino workers in particular. We frequently testify before legislative bodies, advise legislators, respond to media queries, and provide support to advocates on job quality issues.

One major area of recent leadership is our work to facilitate the effective implementation and enforcement of recently adopted job quality policies, which is necessary for these policies and laws to truly make a difference, and also for them to serve as models of success for future campaigns. To achieve these goals, we provide technical assistance to local and state government agencies; link jurisdictions together into a broad peer learning network focused on paid sick days enforcement; and develop policy briefs on topics related to implementation and enforcement. The team has organized two successful national convenings of government agency officials, advocates, and researchers focused on enforcement of paid sick days laws.

Given the rapid changes in the job quality field over the past few years, as well as the complex policy and political landscape today, a new Director will have the opportunity to review the overall scope of CLASP’s work in this area and consider the best way to build on past success. This might include identifying additional areas where the team could make a significant contribution and/or identifying existing areas that might no longer be a top priority. In making this strategic assessment, the new Director will have strong partners at CLASP, including the team’s Senior Policy Analyst, a leader in the field, and nationally known policy experts on the other CLASP teams who bring deep knowledge of related topics (for example, the relationship of fair scheduling to child care access and community college completion, and the current debate on the future of work) and of the circumstances of key groups of workers (such as low-income youth and young adults and  immigrant workers and their families).

Position Summary

Our ideal candidate is passionate about job quality issues and their role in economic justice for low-wage workers and people of color, brings significant leadership experience and a broad knowledge of job quality policy, has demonstrated the capacity for creative and entrepreneurial advocacy, and is a collaborative leader who enjoys working closely with other leaders and experts as part of a small, tight-knit team. S/he will succeed the founding director of this work at CLASP, Jodie Levin-Epstein, who has made an extraordinarily positive impact on the field. As a result, the new Director will have the unusual opportunity to build on a strong and successful portfolio of work while also rethinking it strategically in the new context of dramatic momentum at the state and local level coupled with an uncertain and challenging federal environment. Moreover, the Director will collaborate closely with the team’s nationally recognized Senior Policy Analyst, who currently provides major leadership in all of these areas, particularly in overseeing the implementation activities.

The ideal candidate will also be a recognized policy leader, a terrific communicator both orally and in writing, and a high-energy advocate who brings strong relationships with key partners—potentially including relationships on Capitol Hill, with unions and worker advocacy organizations, with national and state job quality advocates, and with organizations advocating particularly for racial justice and for immigrant workers. In addition, the candidate must be able to lead the team’s fundraising efforts, taking full advantage of the urgency, timeliness, and momentum that surrounds job quality and related economic justice organizing, in close partnership with CLASP’s Executive Director and development team. The successful candidate will have the ability to strategically leverage the Job Quality team members as well as creatively partner with CLASP experts in public benefits, youth and early childhood programs, workforce development, and postsecondary education from other CLASP teams. S/he will play a leadership role in setting CLASP’s overall vision as part of CLASP’s Management Team and participate on cross-CLASP teams, such as our racial equity and technical assistance teams.

Qualifications

  • Substantial experience as an advocate for improvements in job quality or related policies/practices, whether in a nonprofit advocacy organization, as a legislative staffer, through leadership on these issues within government or with an employer, or several of the above. Ideally, this experience will include knowledge of both policy and practice spanning multiple levels of government (federal, state, and local), as well as an understanding of the policy, operational, and political context for the issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team, including by developing, articulating, and executing a vision and providing collaborative leadership to senior advocacy/policy staff (whether within one organization or across a coalition).
  • Broad knowledge of a range of job quality/work-family/labor standards or related policies and practices, with deep and recognized expertise in one or more issue areas, preferably paid leave, fair scheduling, and/or labor standards enforcement.
  • Proven ability to identify and develop “game changing” policies and/or practices; creative; entrepreneurial.
  • Demonstrated experience in effective writing and speaking to a variety of audiences.
  • Successful record of initiating and cultivating relationships with partners; ability to collaborate with advocates on the ground in states and cities, as well as at national organizations. Existing relationships with job quality advocates, labor unions and other worker advocates, Hill staff, legal advocates, civil and immigrant rights leaders, and public officials working on job quality issues are a plus.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising and managing relationships with funders strongly preferred but not required.
  • Demonstrated commitment to improving the lives of low-income people, to racial justice, and to CLASP's vision, mission, and values.
  • Demonstrated commitment to addressing racial discrimination and immigration policies that limit access by people of colors to quality jobs.
  • Advanced degree in relevant field, such as Master’s or J.D., is strongly preferred.

SALARY: 

Salary is commensurate with experience. CLASP offers exceptional benefits, including health insurance, dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, long-term care insurance, a 403(b) retirement program, flexible spending accounts, and generous vacation, sick and family leave, and holiday schedules.

APPLICATION: 

Please send a resume and a cover letter by email with Job Quality Team Director in the subject field to jobs@clasp.org  

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Due to the high volume of applications, we cannot respond to every applicant. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE.

The Center for Law and Social Policy is an equal opportunity employer and people of color are particularly encouraged to apply.

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