Syracuse Surge Workforce Partnerships - Manager Work Train

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Position Description

The Syracuse Surge Workforce Partnerships Manager (Manager) will be a key staff member on the Work Train team within the Economic Inclusion portfolio at CenterState CEO.  The Manager will play a critical role in advancing inclusive workforce strategies within the Syracuse Surge initiative – a collaborative effort to drive inclusive growth in the New Economy within the Syracuse and Central New York. The Manager will play a major role in a soon-to-formed Syracuse Surge Talent Task Force, where a table of key stakeholders will develop strategies and manage key investments that align with the Syracuse Surge initiative.

The Manager will primarily be working directly with employers in tech-related industries to identify current and emerging workforce needs and challenges – and then will collaborate with employers and community partners to design, implement and scale workforce strategies that meet industry demand and also create career opportunities for un-and-underemployed residents.  Over a twelve-month period, the Manager will work with employers in four or more industry clusters to design and launch program partnerships. This work will entail creating profiles that define the aptitudes, competencies, skills, and certifications necessary for successful candidates within different job categories; overseeing program and curriculum design with colleagues, consultants and partners; managing program partner contracts with an eye to quality training and continuous improvement; and partnering with community organizations to recruit, refer and coach job candidates and on-the-job workers. The Manager will also work with a range of partners to ensure workers’ retention and career advancement. The Manager will also support ongoing data collection and evaluation related to these efforts.


The successful candidate for this role brings an entrepreneurial and agile mindset and strong execution and organizational skills. S/he has a deep interest in working to make change at the individual and system levels, in identifying challenges and related opportunities for progress, and demonstrated ability to build and grow partnerships with various stakeholders. In this role it is critical to build strong, professional and respectful relationships with both the employers and with our program partners delivering  training and wrap-around services to unemployed and underemployed individuals seeking work and career opportunities. Additional duties will be assigned as needed by the Director of Work Train.


  • Industry and Employer Partner Engagement (50%)
    • Engaging employers within the tech ecosystem to understand their hiring needs and strategies, work environment, and approach to talent development - ensuring Work Train-sponsored programming addresses these needs and realities, all within the context of Syracuse Surge (see below for description);
    • Working with employers to develop and deepen their engagement with industry network partnerships and Work Train-sponsored partnerships;
    • Staying current with industry trends - locally, regionally, nationally - to best inform trajectory of current and future program efforts, including market trends and cutting-edge initiatives.


  • Program Partner Engagement (30%)
    • Building strong relationships with program partners to accomplish goals in a collaborative and efficient manner.
    • Working with the Director of Work Train, local government partners, Syracuse Surge Talent Task Force members, and program partners to jointly design and refine Work Train-sponsored programs based on input and feedback from various stakeholders, including employers, partners, program participants, and instructors. This includes training classes and program participant-centered initiatives addressing systemic barriers to employment (e.g., financial literacy support, transportation solutions).


  • Knowledge and Financial Management (15%)
    • Ensuring the collection of quantitative and qualitative data for program improvement, funder reporting, and communication materials. This includes developing metrics on overall workforce program performance and outcomes, reporting these metrics to funders, and using data to evaluate programming and partnerships with an eye towards continuous improvement.
    • Developing budget and tracking expenses against multiple funding streams.
    • Contributing to strategic planning and to funding proposals, financial and donor reporting, and strategic planning.


  • Other (5%)
    • Perform administrative, and other, tasks as needed.


Job Requirements

Candidates must demonstrate the following:

  • A commitment to the mission of CenterState CEO and the values of the Economic Inclusion division;
  • Experience managing collaborative projects involving diverse stakeholders, including multiple funders, and incorporating feedback and learning loops;
  • Experience working in/with socioeconomically diverse communities;
  • Comfort and fluency with data analysis and application;
  • Strong process management and facilitation experience;
  • A “team-oriented” approach, in which s/he is motivated by the success of the organization and the accomplishments of her or his colleagues.
  • Ability to perform to a high standard while working independently offsite and to communicate effectively and efficiently back to the team.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to navigate ambiguity and different work and cultural styles with agility.


Candidates ideally demonstrate the following:

  • Experience in the field of workforce development and private industry, including experience in tech.



  • Position start date is ASAP.
  • The position is full time with benefits.
  • The Syracuse Surge Workforce Partnerships - Manager will report directly to the Director of Work Train.


Application Instructions

  • Interested applicants should submit a résumé and cover letter to CenterState CEO’s Vice President of Human Resources, Nancy Premo:


Syracuse Surge & the Tech Ecosystem

Syracuse Surge is a newly formed initiative dedicated to driving inclusive growth in the New Economy. At the heart of Surge is an unprecedented series of investments in tech infrastructure that will position Syracuse as one of America’s ‘smartest’ cities and a global leader in the New Economy. Surge was initiated by The City of Syracuse, who in collaboration with Onondaga County and leading local institutions, is working with New York State to advance Surge to translate imminent economic growth related into shared prosperity among all residents. CenterState CEO is a critical partner in the Surge initiative, particularly in developing workforce solutions for a on a wide range of tech related jobs, that require a range of aptitudes and skills, across a wide swath of industries (e.g. software development, financial services, manufacturing, etc.).


CenterState CEO and Its Economic Inclusion Division

CenterState CEO is an independent and forward-thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce, dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. CenterState CEO’s work occurs across four major divisions: Business and Economic Development; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Research Policy and Planning; and Economic Inclusion.

The Economic Inclusion (Inclusion) division at CenterState CEO, formed in 2015, is dedicated to creating thriving communities through increased prosperity for all Central New York residents. To do this work, the Inclusion team convenes and supports partnerships that bring together business and community leadership to address issues of poverty and economic disparity in the region. The work ultimately seeks to translate economic growth into economic opportunity, increased wealth, and improved quality of life within low-income communities.



Work Train Initiative

Work Train is a community workforce initiative, fiscally sponsored by the United Way of Central New York and staffed by CenterState CEO’s Economic Inclusion portfolio. Work Train is guided by a Collaborative of leaders from philanthropy, business, government and the community. Work Train is dedicated to providing career opportunities for individuals who are unemployed and underemployed, while helping companies build stronger workforces. Work Train achieves these results not as a training provider, community-based organization, or a workforce agency. Rather, Work Train serves as a workforce intermediary and strategist – convening businesses, public organizations, and nonprofit entities to forge partnerships to deliver effective and non-duplicative workforce solutions.  Work Train has the flexibility to identify workforce challenges, use a design process to develop innovative strategies, and assemble the right teams that are necessary to execute them.