Education, Labor, and Worker Justice Team Director

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The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty organization advancing policy solutions that work for people with low incomes and people of color. We advocate for public policies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels that reduce poverty, improve the lives of people with low incomes, and advance racial and economic justice. 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 through our trusted expertise on policy and strategy, deeply knowledgeable and committed staff, partnerships with directly impacted people and grassroots leaders, and approaches to economic and racial justice that are bold, innovative, and inclusive. 

At this extraordinarily important moment for the United States, CLASP is uniquely positioned to advance a powerful agenda through a mix of Congressional advocacy built on our vision, relationships, and deep knowledge; administrative advocacy with the Biden-Harris administration, including reversing harmful actions and regulations from the previous administration and taking positive actions; state-level change, by generating powerful ideas in collaboration with state officials and advocates; and a powerful vision advanced collaboratively with on-the-ground leaders. 

 About the Education, Labor, and Worker Justice Team 

For years, CLASP has filled a unique niche within the broader policy world by focusing on the intersections and alignment among jobs, postsecondary education, workforce development, adult education, and public benefits—and by placing workers and students with low incomes and communities of color at the center of our work. Our ability to toggle between federal and state policy and implementation, our core commitment to the workers with the lowest incomes—often women of color—and our trusted relationships with public officials, advocates, and grassroots organizers are key to our effectiveness. 

To fully seize this moment, CLASP is reorganizing work that was formerly spread across two policy teams: namely, our work on job quality and on postsecondary education and workforce development. The new Education, Labor, and Worker Justice team will place a strong focus on ensuring that all jobs are good jobs and all workers—and would-be workers—have ongoing access to education and training opportunities with a focus on those engaged in work paying low wages. The team will also focus on dismantling and reforming systemic and institutional failures in the labor market and workforce system that have widened the racial wealth gap, denied opportunity and access to workers of color, and perpetuated inequity. 

The Education, Labor, and Worker Justice team will bring together CLASP’s deep expertise on worker benefits, worker protections, worker voice, worker rights advocacy, labor standards enforcement, and racial equity with our crucial role in advancing job creation, workforce development, and postsecondary education policies that uplift Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and people with low incomes. The team director will lead 8-10 policy advocates when fully staffed (including seasoned experts and talented early-career staff) and have an opportunity to recruit to fill at least one vacancy. 

CLASP has a long-standing commitment to workforce development, foundational skills development, and postsecondary education as key strategies to advance economic mobility, increase credential attainment, advance skills, and provide work experience to individuals who face structural barriers to employment. Staff play a leadership role in advancing crucial policies for BIPOC workers and students and those in industries that pay low wages. Working closely with coalition partners, CLASP has been central to shaping the national conversation on addressing the changing nature of low-wage work and addressing systemic barriers to quality employment and education. 

The Education, Labor, and Worker Justice team will 

  • advocate for policies that support workers with low incomes, including paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, and subsidized jobs, to name a few; 
  • increase investment in workers by dismantling the systemic barriers that both create and reinforce racial and class inequities; and 
  • expand access to high-quality postsecondary education for people with low incomes, individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, immigrants, adult learners, and more. 

Our work prioritizes a deliberate focus on equity for people with low incomes, BIPOC, and immigrants. We also work across CLASP policy teams to address the intersections between economic justice and criminal justice reform. 

Position Summary 

Our ideal candidate 

  • is passionate about paving pathways to accessible, high-quality education and good jobs, including the role both of these play in bringing about economic justice for workers earning low wages and with a particular awareness of the issues and hurdles impacting BIPOC; 
  • brings significant leadership experience; 
  • has demonstrated the capacity for creative and grassroots or community-based advocacy; and, 
  • is a collaborative leader who enjoys working closely with other leaders and experts as part of a tight-knit team. 

The ideal candidate also brings experience with national advocacy before Congress and the executive branch and a demonstrated commitment to partnering with and elevating the voices of workers and students with low incomes and communities of color. 

The ideal candidate will also bring a commitment to economic justice and deep policy expertise and vision in at least one of the major areas that the team covers and a familiarity with the other areas. Because of the immediate agenda at a time of pandemic and recession, we strongly prefer candidates with depth of experience in labor and job quality policies. We expect the team leader to have the opportunity to recruit staff to complement their own expertise and fill out the team’s capacity. 

The ideal candidate will also be a terrific communicator both orally and in writing, a supportive and effective supervisor, 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, with news media covering these issues, 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, in close partnership with CLASP’s Executive Director and development team and will participate as part of CLASP’s Leadership Team in setting CLASP’s overall vision and shaping the management of the organization. 

The position offers an extraordinary opportunity for a passionate, creative, and effective advocate and leader to build on CLASP’s history and this extraordinary moment in time to get major new policies enacted and implemented. The position will report to the Deputy ED for Policy, with significant involvement with the ED and COO as well as the rest of the Leadership Team. 

Qualifications 

  • Substantial experience at a leadership level as an advocate for postsecondary education, workforce development, good jobs, and/or job quality policies that center BIPOC and people with low incomes, whether in an advocacy organization, as a legislative staffer, through leadership on these issues within government or with an employer, through lived experience, or several of the above. 
  • Deep policy knowledge and recognized expertise on paid family leave/paid sick days, subsidized jobs, expanding worker power and ownership, worker protections, and related policies strongly preferred. 
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively recruit, supervise, and lead a diverse team that includes both senior and early-career members. 
  • Proven ability to identify and develop advocacy strategies; creative; entrepreneurial. 
  • Demonstrated experience in effective writing and speaking to a variety of audiences. 
  • Successful record of initiating and cultivating relationships with partners. Existing relationships with job quality advocates, labor unions and other worker and education advocates, Hill staff, legal advocates, civil and immigrant rights leaders, journalists, and public officials working on job 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 people with low incomes, to racial justice, and to CLASP's vision, mission, and values. 
  • Demonstrated commitment to addressing racial discrimination and immigration policies that limit access by BIPOC to quality jobs and economic advancement. 
  • Bachelor’s degree required and a minimum of 9 years of related experience or a master’s degree or other advanced degree and 7 years of related experience. 

Compensation 

Salary Range: $120,000 - $145,000 

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

Application Process 

Applicants, please apply here:

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Resumes will be accepted until the position is filled. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE. 

The Center for Law and Social Policy is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age.