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Employer Engagement Manager

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Posted: 05/02/2023

Job Title: Employer Engagement Manager

FLSA Status: Exempt - Full Time

Employer: The Employer Engagement Manager will be an employee of the Community Education Coalition and will work collaboratively with and in support of the three AirPark Campus post-secondary institutions (Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue Polytechnic, and IUPUC)

Location: AirPark Columbus College Campus in Columbus, Indiana (4555 Central Ave., Columbus, IN 47203)

Reports To: Veronica Franzese, Director of Program & Outreach

Position Summary

The Community Education Coalition’s (CEC) Employer Engagement work focuses on connecting AirPark Campus students with local employers to help ensure that they have high-quality job opportunities in their field of study. The CEC collaborates with employers in the campus’s eight-county region to raise awareness about the benefits of hiring AirPark Campus students and works to develop strategies for how the campus can support these employers. The role of Employer Engagement Manager is critical as they will act as a process facilitator bringing together employers with education partners. The manager will be responsible for executing two distinct phases of work, with a goal of increasing employer awareness and engagement with the AirPark campus and increasing student access to jobs and internships in the region.

In the first phase, the Employer Engagement Manager will focus on gathering data and information to understand the education and skills needed by regional employers. The Manager will create a current state picture by gathering publicly available data and by conducting stakeholder input gathering interviews and sessions with employers across all eight counties in the campus service region (see below for more information on counties). Through these, the Manager will build strong relationships with regional employers, while gaining insights into their workforce needs and trends--both current and future. In addition, the manager will gather input from students and faculty members to understand how students currently connect with employers by area of study on campus, while also researching and benchmarking best practices.

The second phase will use these learnings to work collaboratively with campus partners and career services teams to create shared goals and strategies that support the needs of employers, students, and campus partners. The Manager will play a vital role in helping stakeholders strike a balance between the immediate needs of the workforce and long-term aspirations. By incorporating future trends into their work, the Manager will aid stakeholders in identifying growth opportunities and development possibilities while ensuring that the current workforce's needs are met. Along with the CEC team and campus stakeholders, the Employer Engagement Manager will have the flexibility to shape this work and foster relationships with employers across the eight county region, catering to their needs, promoting awareness of the AirPark Campus, and connecting them with students.

The CEC pays special attention to equity across all its work, and the Employer Engagement Manager position is expected to do the same. The CEC recognizes that equity involves more than just ensuring equal access to opportunities; it also requires acknowledging and addressing systemic barriers that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. The successful candidate will be expected to think critically and creatively about how to identify and remove employment barriers for underrepresented groups. We encourage diverse applicants to apply and bring their unique perspectives and experiences to this role. The Employer Engagement Manager's role offers a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of students and employers in the AirPark Campus region while operating from an equity lens.

Responsibilities: The Employer Engagement Manager will be responsible for designing and planning a body of work for the AirPark Campus Employer Engagement initiative that is organized into two phases, executing the following tasks:

Phase 1 - Input gathering to understand the current state
- Form a Guiding Team composed of career services leads, employers, and community partners to guide and support the work.
- Conduct copious stakeholder interviews with employers throughout the AirPark Campus eight county region and across all industry sectors to understand their needs and build relationships (e.g., what are employers' current pain points, how can the campus support them, what are the jobs that they foresee they will be hiring for in the near future, etc.)
- Conduct copious stakeholder interviews and surveys with students, faculty, and staff in all areas of study across the AirPark Campus to understand the current state as it relates to careers and employer connections (e.g., how many students currently work while in school, would they like to continue working with the same employer once they graduate, what do they hope to get out of their education on the campus, etc.)
- Collect and analyze data on workforce trends and demographics by race, ethnicity, gender, and other factors to ensure that all voices are represented in the input gathering process
- Research and gather publicly available data on current and future workforce trends by industry sector
- Research and benchmark best practices in employer engagement and higher education, and identify current trends connecting student learning and employer needs in the short and intermediate term ? Efficiently organize and maintain field data in collaboration with team members to support accurate analysis and decision-making

Phase 2 - Design and implement a body of work
- Analyze data and insights gathered from interviews and surveys to inform the development of a body of work that aligns with the needs of employers, students, and campus partners, and pays special attention to equity
- Continue acting as process facilitator for the Guiding Team to co-create collaborative strategies that are responsive to the voices of employers, students, and campus partners
- Foster relationships with employers throughout the eight county region to help meet their needs, raise awareness of the AirPark Campus, and connect them with students on the campus
- Develop and maintain a network of contacts in the business and education communities
- Proactively seek out and engage with diverse employers and students to ensure that the program is inclusive and equitable in its design and implementation
- Identify hot jobs and future trends, while incorporating transferable skills across multiple industries, to help stakeholders balance the immediate needs of the workforce with long-term aspirational goals
- Use data to track progress and evaluate the effectiveness of the program, making adjustments as needed to achieve desired outcomes and continuous improvement 

- Act as the main point of contact and neutral third party to connect employers with The Bridge (see below for more information), working with campus career services leads to organize and facilitate events, shadowing opportunities, and tabling events on campus, while serving as the central point person for information
- Communicate regularly with campus leadership and other stakeholders to keep them informed of program progress and solicit feedback
- Collaborate with other departments and stakeholders across the three AirPark Campus post-secondary institutions to achieve shared goals and maximize impact
- Continuously learn and develop new skills and knowledge to stay current with industry trends and best practices ? Support the Community Education Coalition’s Program & Outreach team in identifying and supporting employer connections as they relate to each specific initiative
- Support ongoing work regarding the future of campus and other grant-funded initiatives
- Regularly evaluate the program's effectiveness in promoting equity and making progress towards equitable employment outcomes for all stakeholders
- Other duties as assigned

Qualifications: Successful candidates must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions of the position.
- Bachelor’s degree in related field required
- Minimum of 5 years of corporate experience with a strong understanding of the employer perspective on talent recruiting
- Experience with the education system and/or familiarity with the AirPark Columbus College Campus a bonus
- Excellent relationship-building skills, including the ability to network, create new relationships with partners, and leverage existing ones
- Ability to confidently promote the features and benefits of the campus to build interest and excitement among employers
- Proven track record of entrepreneurial thinking, with the ability to turn ideas into actionable plans and execute them with success
- Comfortable communicating with individuals and businesses across different industries, including manufacturing and healthcare, and well-versed in discussing workforce skills and related topics
- Demonstrated ability to facilitate collaboration among diverse stakeholders, fostering productive and positive relationships to achieve shared objectives
- Possesses strong diplomacy skills, able to navigate complex situations with tact and professionalism, and thinks before speaking, carefully considering their words to ensure clear communication and avoid misunderstanding
- Demonstrated experience working with diverse backgrounds and demonstrated commitment to promoting access and diversity
- Ability to work independently and as part of a small team environment
- Methodical and systematic approach to planning and executing work
- Strong data analysis skills and the ability to use data to inform decision-making and communicate insights to various partners
- Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
- Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
- Ability to adapt to and incorporate feedback from different viewpoints
- Willingness to learn and develop new skills and knowledge to stay current with industry trends and best practices
- High level of computer literacy and proficiency in Microsoft Office

In addition to the skills and strengths that would make a candidate effective at the duties described above, a successful candidate has aligned values of servant leadership, systems thinking, and equity first.

Position Highlights:
Enjoy a servant leadership culture that prioritizes the needs of stakeholders, while also embracing the Stakeholder Engagement Process to ensure a collaborative and inclusive approach to decision-making
- Join a team that is dedicated to making a positive impact in the community by contributing to the mission of the Community Education Coalition, which seeks to create a vibrant regional economy through education and workforce development
- Experience a flexible work environment that prioritizes work-life balance, with opportunities for remote work and flexible schedules
- Work alongside talented and dedicated professionals who are committed to innovation, collaboration, and continuous learning and development
- Benefit from a culture of respect, inclusion, and diversity, where all employees are valued for their unique perspectives and contributions
- Engage in meaningful work that makes a difference in the lives of individuals and families in the region, and contribute to a brighter future for the community as a whole 

Work Schedule and Location:
CEC offices are located at 4555 Central Ave. in Columbus, Indiana. The Employer Engagement Manager will spend a significant amount of time out of the office meeting with stakeholders and building relationships across the eight county region. As such, regional travel will often be required for daytime meetings.

We offer some flexibility with respect to daily hours. While the standard work schedule will be during regular business hours, occasional evening and weekend work may be required to accommodate stakeholder schedules. We also offer some ability to work remotely, using technology and teleconferencing tools to facilitate communication and collaboration.

Salary Range: The position offers a competitive salary and benefit package commensurate with experience. The salary range for this position will be provided upon request.

Other Information: The Community Education Coalition is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer dedicated to diversity in the workplace. Our policy is to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified persons without regard to race, gender, color, disability, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, gender identity and/or expression, or other status protected by law.

How to Apply:
Please email a resume to Veronica Franzese at Interviews will start immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Community Education Coalition: The Community Education Coalition (CEC) is a partnership of business, education, and community leaders whose goal is to increase education outcomes connected to high-demand, well-paying careers with special emphasis on Columbus and Southeast Indiana, while also supporting state and national work. The CEC’s mission is to promote initiatives that will increase our population’s access to education, increase the overall educational attainment of the region and align the regional learning system with economic opportunity in the places we call home.

At the CEC, we think at the systems level and embrace the Stakeholder Engagement Process across all of our work. We have a servant-leader mindset and seek to advance equity in all our work, paying special attention to racial and income inequality, to ensure that each person thrives educationally, financially, and civically.

The CEC’s Program & Outreach initiatives are:

- Early Learning Coalition - The mission of this coalition is to ensure that all families have access to high-quality early learning programs, providing local children with a path to academic success and lifetime social-emotional wellness. The coalition is working with families, early learning professionals, and community partners to build a sustainable system that addresses affordability, quality, and accessibility of childcare and early learning. It also focuses on addressing early learning workforce challenges and determining sustainable funding options to bridge the gap between what it costs to provide high-quality programs and what families can afford.
- Black & Biracial Youth Education & Outreach - This work focuses on ensuring that local Black and Biracial youth have what they need to achieve their full potential in life. Key strategies include working directly with students and their families and educators to build trusting relationships, improve the achievement gap, provide resources, listen and advocate, increase access to pre-existing opportunities, help improve a sense of belongingness, and mentor students.
- Latino Education Outreach - The Latino Education Outreach Program TuFuturo (Your Future) is a cross-sector collaboration providing a full suite of services to Latinos and their families. TuFuturo works to identify and close educational gaps facing the Latino population through Latino College and Career Coaches, Mentors, and a calendar of outreach events and workshops. See
- AirPark Columbus College Campus - The CEC facilitates collaboration among three post-secondary institutions on a shared campus, The AirPark Columbus College Campus. The CEC manages two shared buildings on the AirPark Campus:

EC manages two shared buildings on the AirPark Campus:
- Columbus Learning Center - A publicly owned, shared-use facility, the Columbus Learning Center (CLC) is a catalytic project that has led to increased collaboration and opportunity to build a college/university campus with associated programs vital to the community’s economic future. The CLC provides classroom space and student services facilities for the AirPark Campus institutions. Experts view this building as a model for how higher education partners can collaborate to serve the needs of students, businesses, and communities. The CEC coordinates building operations and partnerships. The CLC is a uniquely innovative arc-shaped building designed by Kevin Kennon of Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects. It opened in 2005.
¦ The Bridge - The Bridge is a connection hub for services shared by all three AirPark Campus institutions that is located in the CLC. It supports prospective and current students throughout their student journey on campus in alignment with employment opportunities. At The Bridge, a navigator assists these visitors by connecting them to resources across campus and within the community via a warm hand-off.

- Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence - The Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AMCE) is an education and workforce training center that serves students and industry in southeastern Indiana. The three AirPark Campus institutions share this building. Designed for a science, technology, engineering, and math curriculum, the AMCE contains integrated technology labs, classrooms, faculty offices, conference rooms, and student/faculty common areas. The administrative offices of Purdue Polytechnic Institute Columbus are located in the AMCE. Building operations and partnerships are coordinated by the CEC, which also owns the building. The AMCE was designed by Cesar Pelli and opened in 2009. 

AirPark Columbus College Campus: The AirPark Columbus College Campus is home to three of Indiana’s leading educational institutions: Ivy Tech Community College, Purdue Polytechnic Columbus, and Indiana University Purdue University Columbus. They reside on a shared campus called the AirPark Columbus College Campus on the north side of Columbus. Serving students across the Southeast Indiana region, an average of 4,000 students are enrolled at the campus institutions per semester.

The campus serves the following eight counties:
- Bartholomew County
- Brown County
- Decatur County
- Jackson County
- Jennings County
- Johnson County
- Ripley County
- Shelby County

The curriculum offered across the three AirPark Campus institutions is vast and has been designed alongside regional employers to ensure alignment with regional workforce needs. Students are often able to take courses at more than one institution. Furthermore, transfer pathways have been deliberately developed to make it easy for students to transfer across institutions. 

The AirPark Campus student body is a mix of traditional-age students and adult learners. About one in ten students speak a language other than English. In recent years, the number of Latino students has increased dramatically. The campus contains a large share of first-generation college students. About a third of students commute over 30 minutes each way, and many have full-time jobs and families.

The campus aspires to be the most equitable and first choice for students in the region to pursue and achieve post-secondary education credentials, linking directly to high-quality regional employment opportunities. For more information, please visit the campus website at 

Ivy Tech Community College Columbus:
We are Ivy Tech, Indiana’s Community College. We serve the people of our state through accessible and affordable world-class education and adaptive learning. We empower our students to achieve their career and transfer aspirations. We embrace our vision of economic transformation inspired by the education and earnings attainment of our citizens, the vitality of our workforce, and the prosperity of our unique and diverse communities. Ivy Tech Community College was founded in 1963. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s most extensive singly accredited statewide community college system. Ivy Tech has over 40 locations throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association. It offers Associates Degrees, Nursing, Technology, Business, General Studies, Remediation, Adult Learning, Workforce Training, and Customized Training. It provides the facility of more than 1,000 online classes. It ensures complete attention to the students with an average class size of 22 students. Its primary focus is on providing the state’s most advanced technologies and training facilities to the students.

Purdue Polytechnic Columbus:
Purdue University is a land grant university dedicated to learning, discovery, and engagement. The Purdue Polytechnic statewide program delivers Purdue programs around the state of Indiana. Headquartered in the Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AMCE), Purdue Polytechnic Columbus offers four undergraduate majors plus certificates. Our facilities include the Purdue Polytechnic Measurement Center, an environmentally-controlled laboratory. Majors include Mechanical Engineering Technology, Computer and Information Technology, Industrial Engineering Technology, and Engineering Technology, and are identical to those located on Purdue’s main campus. Students can earn a respected Purdue diploma right here in Southeastern Indiana.

Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus:
IUPUC—Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus—continues to deliver high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs aligned with and responsive to regional educational needs since 1970. IUPUC is located in Columbus, Indiana, and enrolls between 1,500 and 1,800 students annually. We seek greater diversity in our faculty and staff to broaden students’ academic experience and enrich our campus community. Candidates must be sensitive to the needs of and possess an interest in working in an academic community that is diverse with regard to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or identity, disability status, and protected veteran status.

Attributes of a Successful Process Facilitator.
The following lists the attributes of a strong process facilitator. A successful candidate will possess all or most of these attributes:
- Familiarity with and knowledge of organizational and stakeholder leadership attributes
- Ability to establish trust within the group
- Ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds
- Ability and willingness to remain objective
- Ability to be flexible and adaptable to changes in direction by a group
- Ability to engage a group and keep the group moving through an agreed-upon process while remaining flexible if the group wishes to move in a different direction
- Possessing excellent relationship-building ability, energy, and enthusiasm
- Ability to help groups reach a consensus
- Ability to coach individuals and groups
- Ability to keep the big picture in mind while working through details with a group
- Communication and facilitation tools knowledge, skills, and abilities
- Ability to organize, present, and produce information in a clear, understandable manner (oral and written)
- Ability to create and or use tools to assist groups in making decisions (exercises, simulations, diagnostic tools, pictures, diagrams, models)
- Ability to organize, design and conduct meetings
- Strong/expert user skills in Mac software tools such as Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, or PC software such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (or ability to become an expert user)
- Designing activities to create a level of comfort within the group so that it can operate effectively while eliciting information, moving the group forward through the agreed-upon process, and leading to data-based decisions to organize projects that are measurable and that will move the group toward improving the grand challenge being addressed
- Exhibiting active listening skills; listening carefully to what is being said, recording thoughts, and helping the group move to closure during a particular meeting; understanding the next steps and conveying those next steps to the group
- Exhibiting respect for the group and the feelings of individuals within the group
- Ability to track discussions and record information that is important to meeting the mission of the group, and to keep the group focused
- Know how to allow people to be heard, and when it is appropriate to steer a person or the group back on course ? Exhibiting “shuttle diplomacy” knowledge and skills, working with the convening group and individual representatives within the group to achieve the desired outcome of all stakeholders 

(May 2023)