Manager of Special Projects

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.

Thirty years later, now known as After School Matters, our program 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.

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Summary of Position: The Manager of Special Projects will facilitate strategic planning, spearhead special projects, coordinate communications for the Programs team, and streamline processes to ensure effectiveness. The Manager of Special Projects will lead cross-functional projects from inception to completion, for the Programs Leadership team , and key partners and stakeholders under the direction of the Deputy of Programs and Operations and Chief Program Officer. The Manager of Special Projects will bring strong project management experience and strategic thinking skills, as well as an ability to communicate effectively across departments. This role requires excellent writing skills and the ability to use limited information to create detailed reports and succinct communications. The Manager of Special Projects will be flexible and able to work with other departments and external partners with ease. This is a full-time position. Major Duties and Responsibilities Project Management

+ Lead the planning and execution of special initiatives and projects under the direction of the Deputy of Programs and Operations and Chief Program Officer.

+ Provide effective supervision and guidance to seasonal and part-time staff who will support the implementation of special initiatives and projects.

+ Offer tailored coaching and support for the professional development and performance improvement of program staff responsible for supporting the successful execution of special initiatives and projects.

+ Monitor the implementation of organizational program processes, i ncluding tracking that projects are on track by monitoring the progress and performance of initiatives to ensure they align with predetermined timelines, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Will also actively participate in continuous process improvement cycles.

+ Take a leadership role or actively participate in various interdepartmental committees aimed at resolving issues, enhancing processes, and implementing improvements that directly influence the successful execution of projects.

+ Compile and disseminate pertinent details, deadlines, and critical information regarding special programs effectively.

+ Analyze data to identify programming trends and gaps, presenting reports and recommendations to the Deputy of Programs and Operations and Chief Program Officer.

+ A ct as a liaison between program staff, the Deputy of Programs and Operations, and the Chief Program Officer, to facilitate clear and concise communication of project updates, proposals, and planning information.

+ Participate in meetings and events with funders, community partners, government agencies, and other external stakeholders and supporters

Onboarding and Training

+ In collaboration with the Programs Project Manager, develop and implement an onboarding and training plan for new programs staff, including but not limited to Program Specialists, Program Managers, and Campus Liaisons

+ Conduct ongoing informational interviews with prospective CBO partners and Employee Instructors to develop a pool of potential instructors

Teen Recruitment and Enrollment

+ Lead organization-wide recruitment and enrollment strategy and efforts

+ Coordinate and help facilitate recruitment opportunities for the Programs Team


+ Working collaboratively with the Programs Leadership Team, manage internal and external communications

+ Coordinate and lead execution of meetings, including material development, logistics and presentations

+ Lead planning and content creation process to prepare for Programs Strategy meetings and assist with meeting preparation

+ Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities :

+ Seasonal Program Staff

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

+ Demonstrated project management experience: Proven ability to plan, execute, and oversee projects to successful completion, particularly around articulating project goals, deliverables, and deadline

+ Exceptional organizational and problem-solving abilities: Proficient in efficiently organizing tasks and adept at resolving challenges.

+ Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write clearly, speak in public forums to diverse audiences, listen and communicate effectively with stakeholders, staff and colleagues

+ Exceptional attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills

+ Strong multitasking skills: Ability to efficiently manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines.

+ Thrives in a fast-paced, high-energy environment: Adaptable and comfortable working in dynamic settings.

+ Expertise in developing and nurturing collaborative partnerships: Skilled at cultivating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships.

+ Demonstrates respect for all levels of the organization and external partners: Exhibits professionalism and consideration in interactions.

+ Proven track record in team leadership and development: Demonstrated ability to lead and empower teams to achieve objectives.

+ Collaborative team player with high energy: Engages positively in team environments and contributes effectively to group efforts.

+ Customer service orientation: Committed to delivering exceptional service to internal and external stakeholders.

+ Proficient in Microsoft Office, particularly Excel: Skilled in data analysis, including creating pivot tables and data visualizations.


+ Bachelor’s degree with at least 7 years’ experience in project management, communications, education and/or nonprofits, or related field required

+ Commitment to the youth of Chicago

+ Valid Driver’s License, insured transportation, and driving record that satisfies our Motor Vehicle Policy required 1 (\_ftn1)

Physical Demands: The physical demands here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

+ Must be able to sit and work at a computer for long periods of time.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable indiv To view full details and how to apply, please login or create a Job Seeker account
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Job Posting: JC259104340

Posted On: May 15, 2024

Updated On: Jun 14, 2024

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