Aug 27, 2020

Chief Program Officer

$170,000 - $230,000 yearly
  • Promise54
  • Remote
Full-time Executive Leadership

Job Description

The Organization:


Our country's education and workforce systems are inequitable, and it is hurting our young people, employers, and economy. Despite increases in national high school graduation and college enrollment rates, college persistence continues to be low, and youth who start but do not complete college can find themselves in significant debt, beginning or continuing the cycle of financial insecurity. At the same time, many employers struggle to find and sustain entry-level talent, especially in middle-skill jobs requiring a postsecondary credential.


Propel believes a better system can exist—one that seamlessly connects education and employment. We do this by bringing together high schools, community colleges, and employers in a unified system of skill-building, job placement, and ongoing planning for young adults. The model includes a “core course” pursued during or directly after high school, in which students determine and begin to prepare for a job pathway. Propel then covers the cost of job training, pays a modest stipend, provides mentorship and support, and guarantees a job interview for every “Propel fellow” who successfully completes their training. This process empowers recent high school graduates with the skills, credentials, experiences, and social networks to attain a well-paying job within one year, with opportunities for advancement and higher education.


Propel is currently operating in Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, leveraging extensive relationships and credibility with key philanthropic, government, industry, and education leaders. Our current pathways span healthcare, technology and engineering, automotive and manufacturing. Propel is also in the process of piloting a new blended model that provides both online and in-person supports, and shifting the long-term strategy to a blended model of credentialing, student support and job placement. 


The Opportunity:


We are seeking a Chief Program Officer (CPO) to lead the development of a best-in-class model to support young people in obtaining an upwardly mobile first job. The CPO will oversee the implementation of the current program and drive the design of a blended, credential-first post-secondary program that can scale rapidly. Our CPO will be a critical member of the Propel executive team and a key carrier of organizational culture. They will hold the vision for the program and a strategy for scale, assess program impact, contribute to the development of a technology platform strategy, and partner with Propel’s CEO and COO to create a plan for Propel’s sustainability and growth over time. Responsibilities will include:


  • Building a best-in-class model
    • Design and develop a best-in-class-model to support young people in getting and retaining family-sustaining jobs
    • Drive the development of a “blended” delivery model in partnership with an institution of higher education
  • Implementation and Scaling
    • Design and build a national program staffing structure
    • Manage a national program team that works in close collaboration with Propel’s regional staff
    • Ensure delivery of a cohesive programmatic model for Core and Specialization content
    • Develop feedback loops through which teams can continually improve and update curriculum and content
    • Manage the national training and support strategy for Propel staff, teachers, coaches and facilitators
  • Strategy
    • In collaboration with Propel’s CEO, COO, central and regional teams, establish and drive short- and long-term strategies for scale and sustainability of the program within and outside of existing regions
    • Establish goals and management systems to support broader organizational strategy
  • Innovation/Research
    • Define excellence and ensure that it persists; Drive and track impact through Propel’s program success measures
    • Build and implement pilots and other mechanisms that support innovation and continuous improvement of the programmatic model
    • Develop a vision for Propel’s research agenda and oversee its implementation (including running the innovation strategies, codifying learning, and implementing that learning at scale)
  • Technology
    • Support the design of the transition of Propel content and training to an online platform
    • Coordinate the development of a technology platform that will support and enable better student support functions





  • Deep experience in designing, developing and implementing an organization-wide programmatic vision across multiple locations 
  • Entrepreneurial mindset and commitment to the achievement of stated goals and outcomes
  • Influential leadership skills that support the cultivation and stewardship of deep relationships with a diverse set of constituents across multiple sectors (K-12, for-profit, higher education, and non-profit)
  • Strategic thinking skills that support the capacity to understand and lead in a complex environment
  • Strong communication skills and propensity for listening
  • Thorough knowledge of current educational principles, best practices and theory related to high school and workforce training, including deep knowledge of research-based instructional strategies that promote post-secondary readiness
  • Willingness to travel up to 20% of the time


Preferred Qualifications:


  • Experience with and knowledge of workforce development and professional skills training content
  • Seven to ten years’ experience in K-12 or other non-profit programmatic leadership
  • Education credentials that support preparedness for this role are preferred, including but not limited to a bachelor’s degree



Propel offers a competitive total rewards package, including unlimited vacation, a flexible work environment and 90% employer-paid health insurance premiums. The salary range for this position is $170K-$231K.


To Apply

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Please submit a short cover letter and resume to [email protected]

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