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Program Supports Specialist

at After School Matters in CHICAGO, Illinois, United States

Job Description

After School Matters is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that annually offers after-school and summer programs to nearly 19,000 Chicago high school teens to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills that will set them up for success in college and beyond.

Founded more than 30 years ago, After School Matters has engaged more than 400,000 Chicago teens and is the nation’s largest and most successful provider of after-school and summer programs for high school teens. No other organization offers programs to high school students at the scale and quality that we do.

We offer paid apprenticeships led by professionals in the fields of arts, communications and leadership, sports, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Our nationally respected youth development model has been replicated in cities across the country and earned us the City Livability Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Programs take place at community locations throughout the city, including three ASM buildings: downtown at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, the Michael and Karyn Lutz Center in Belmont Cragin, and the Pullman community at Gately Park.

Currently, After School Matters’ annual operating budget is approximately $35M and employs approximately 500 staff across the organization.

For more information, visit www.afterschoolmatters.org.

Summary of Position:

Reporting to the Manager of Program Supports, the Program Specialist will be responsible for a variety of logistical and project management supports for special projects that are critical for the growth of After School Matters’ Program Department. These projects fall into three large categories:

+ Outreach and Exposure: planning the varied requests and events of outside entities for After School Matters teens to perform and participate in high-profile exposure opportunities.

+ Program Implementation: Research and implementation of various pilot programs.

+ Program Enhancements: working with resident artists and instructors to plan for performances and improve instructional practices in programs.

The Program Specialist’s primary responsibility is to facilitate and monitor the day-to-day logistics of After School Matters programs across the city of Chicago. The Program Specialist will conduct program observations and provide recommendations for high profile showcase opportunities for teens and instructors. Acting as the liaison between After School Matters and the program providers and community partners, the Program Specialist will communicate requirements, policy changes and other relevant information to ensure successful implementation of the program, payment to teens and instructors. Based upon observations, the Program Supports Specialist will provide coaching to ensure teen and instructor readiness for high profile opportunities.

To complete these projects, the Program Supports Specialist will interface with a variety of stakeholders (teens, instructors, funders, and partners). The ideal candidate must be flexible enough to support both large-scale initiatives and small, discrete projects, and will have a passion for improving the lives of Chicago’s teens.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Day-to-Day Management:

+ Provide key supports for the Program Supports team special initiatives and events:

+ Pull and synthesize data;

+ Create agendas;

+ Organize room set up with internal parties;

+ Order food;

+ Prepare materials.

+ Produce accurate, grammatically correct and properly formatted documents under normal and tight time constraints;

+ Prepare and send formal correspondences for the Program Supports team

+ Visit programs and assist instructors with admin questions and tasks

+ Develop and maintain relationships with program partners and instructors;

+ In partnership with the Program Supports team, recruit and select Instructors and program providers;

+ Act as a trouble shooter in the areas of program implementation, logistics, and data collection;

+ Enter data into CitySpan;

+ Assist in developing, and implementing, effective teen recruitment and retention strategies for regional programs to meet funder requirements;

+ Identify program needs, considering budgetary constraints and make recommendations and submit to Director of Program Supports for approval;

+ Secure the appropriate tools and supplies for each program and work with the warehouse department to ensure delivery;

+ Trouble shoot teen application and other systems errors;

+ Ensure that all required data, i.e. attendance, enrollment, program verifications, surveys, etc. are entered into the database system;

+ Work with the Program Quality and Compliance team to ensure that all assigned programs are in compliance with After School Matters policies and procedures;

+ Attend program closings and demonstrations of learning;

+ Working with the Program Manager, approve instructor and liaison timesheets and trouble shoot systems errors with instructors and liaisons;

+ Conduct one on one meetings with partners, instructors and liaisons when needed;

Project Management:

+ Several strategic initiatives fall under the oversight of the Director of Program Supports. The Program Supports Specialist will be critical in ensuring that these initiatives move forward within the organization:

+ Attend meetings to take notes and organize next steps;

+ Manage the follow up steps and monitor their progression to completion;

+ Pull data from the organization’s internal Cityspan system to report back to committees and to prepare for upcoming committees;

+ Able to update internal constituents on initiatives and their progress;

+ Create project plans to implement large initiatives in the programs department (i.e. planning for events and professional development, etc.);

+ Maintain databases for key initiatives.

Support and Liaise with Internal Departments:

+ Keep the all departments updated on calendar and schedules;

+ Understand key dates and initiatives for all branches and answer questions for parents or teens;

+ Collaborate with the Programs team members and Development department to track and monitor the multiple events and key program dates;

+ Support special events for the Programs team, Executive Office and/or Development Department (i.e. Gala support, Advisory Board support, etc.).

+ Coordinate logistics for professional development and teen participation requests, anticipating challenges and developing solutions;

+ Design an organization system to track instructor and teen information in order to complete projects related to special requests with ongoing process improvements;

+ Document and complete reports for all assigned projects including lessons learned and recommendations;

+ Assist in developing and maintaining a master list of programs, instructors, and program providers to participate in special requests;

+ When requested, provide quality control over multiple projects from beginning to end and ensure timely completion with support from the Program teams as needed;

+ Assist with managing organization tours for donors with the Director of Program Supports; and

+ Other duties required.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

+ Excellent organizational skills; strong process orientation, problem solving and trouble-shooting skills; a firm commitment to quality

+ Skilled in developing and facilitating collaborative relationships and interacting with people at all levels

+ Demonstrate experience in managing multiple projects at one time, able to respond to requests quickly, willingness to be flexible, and able to work in a fast paced, high energy environment

+ Strong orientation to customer service (i.e., ASM staff and teens, corporate executives, community and government leaders, etc.)

+ Detail oriented and capable of meeting deadlines

+ Proficiency in MS

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Job Posting: JC251616732

Posted On: Nov 27, 2023

Updated On: Mar 02, 2024

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