• Director of Workforce Development Strategy & Operations

    Location US-IL-Chicago
    Job ID
    # Positions
    Programs & Services - Culinary & Hospitality Management
  • Overview

    The Director of Workforce Development leads the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s strategy to leverage employment and training as a pathway out of poverty and food insecurity.  Focused on career paths in the food and operations sector, the Director develops the strategies, programs and partnerships that empower adults and opportunity youth to succeed.  This includes stewardship of our existing Chicago’s Community Kitchens 14-week culinary training program and developing structured programming to support roles in operations.   Responsibilities include program strategy, development and implementation as well as supervision of staff, administration, and organizational development.   


    This individual will be the Workforce Development subject matter expert in the context of food and operations industry training programs.  This position will support empowering adults and opportunity youth who may have experienced discouragement and trauma with the skills and confidence needed to secure meaningful employment.   This position will also cultivate unparalleled partnerships with community organizations, government and corporations with a shared value on connecting individuals to workforce training.  Overall, the leader of this program will strive to unleash the potential and discover the talents of program participants through powerful experiences at the Food Depository.


    Develop the strategies, programs and partnerships necessary to evolve the Food Depository’s portfolio of workforce development programs (culinary training and operations).


    Transform the existing Community Kitchen’s culinary training program with a keen focus on increasing enrollment through innovative strategies and tactics.  Specifically, the Director will be responsible for all aspects of student recruitment, instruction and employment placement including:

    • Building unparalleled relationships with partner recruitment and employment partner organizations across a variety of sectors including but not limited to hospitality, food service, health care, criminal justice, youth development, etc.
    • Direct recruitment process and collaborate with marketing to support successful recruitment strategies, community outreach, and messaging.
    • Supervise the CCK team which includes, the student services team, chef instructors and food production.  Be generally aware of food preparation skills and techniques. This includes basic knife skills, safe food handling techniques, setup, operation, and cleanup of standard commercial foodservice equipment.
    • Support the team in strategic updates course curriculum, programmatic changes.
    • Engage in selection of internship sites for students.

    Provide oversight over a food production team responsible for direct ordering, receiving, inventory and facility management for the CCK Training Program.

    • Ensure execution of appropriate processes, procedures and documentation to meet applicable city, state, and federal guidelines governing meal production.
    • Direct CCK meal production to meet the needs of all GCFD internal and external programs.

    Demonstrate both program outputs and outcomes in the overall in a variety of ways:

    • Ability to assume responsibility for the collection and analysis of data, as well as preparing and presenting various reports to key stakeholders (Boards of Trustees, advisory councils, and external constituencies).
    • Evolve existing client data and tracking methods.

    Direct the development and execution of the operating plan, budget, and management control reports for the program and prepare monthly variance reports; maintain CCK records.


    Serve as spokesperson and ambassador for the Food Depository’s portfolio of workforce development programs.



    • Bachelor’s degree and relevant experience in social service, workforce development or culinary/hospitality management
    • Experience in the development of continuing education programs, including curriculum development, outreach, scheduling, marketing, and revenue strategies 
    • Minimum of 10+ years direct experience with community engagement and a strong understanding of Chicago community based assets (community organizations, faith based institutions and local government) and infrastructure.   
    • Established contacts in the Workforce Development & Training Industry
    • Cultural competency and sensitivity to diverse cultures, backgrounds, and communication styles
    • Commercial kitchen operation and ability to complete food sanitation certification is a plus
    • Proficiency in MS Office--Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook.
    • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, including relevant training experience.
    • Must be organized and detail oriented.
    • Supervisory experience and ability to manage multiples projects simultaneously.
    • Capacity to instill confidence and inspire students to succeed.


    • Typical commercial kitchen and warehouse environment; some evening and weekend work may be required, depending on events. 
    • Interacts with GCFD staff, volunteers, donors, students and external employers/partners.


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