After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high quality, after-school and summer opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Since 1991, more than 350,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Programs take place at locations throughout the city including Chicago public high schools, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations, community organizations, downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, in Belmont Cragin at our Michael and Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters, and in the Pullman community at the new Gately Center for After School Matters. For more information, visit www.afterschoolmatters.org.
Summary of Position:
The Policy & Government Relations Specialist is responsible for coordinating and implementing the... organization’s government relations and advocacy efforts. As a thought leader for the organization, the Policy & Government Relations Specialist will also support development and prioritization of the organization’s policy agenda, integrating both teen voice and current youth development research. Reporting to the Senior Director of Research & Policy, the Policy & Government Relations Specialist will also be directly involved in identifying and pursuing relevant government grant opportunities that align with policy initiatives and the organization’s strategic priorities, collaborating directly with key internal partners and stakeholders.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
- Manage ongoing advocacy and governmental relations activities, including preparing memos and testimonies as needed, coordinating correspondence, conducting outreach campaigns and program visits for government agency staff, elected officials, and external partners
- Lead the development and writing of key policy issue papers and briefs as relevant
- Lead the planning, promotion and execution of key advocacy initiatives including the annual Teen Letter Campaign
- Provide critical support to developing and implementing the public policy agenda and government relations strategy for the organization
- Manage database for advocate contacts and log metrics; coordinate staff lobbyist registration, trainings, and reporting throughout the year for the City and State
- Develop advocacy communications for internal and external partners including executive leadership and board members, such as policy webinars, advocacy action alerts, meeting presentations, elected official newsletters, and legislative updates
- Support development of an expanded advocacy network in sectors and communities that align with ASM’s advocacy
- Support large-scale, strategic collaborations with other ASM departments and/or provide strategic input on work within the Impact department, and across the organization
- Collaborate with the Advancement department and Research & Policy leadership to cultivate new public and private funding opportunities for innovative youth development and experiential learning initiatives to directly integrate teen voice into ASM’s advocacy work.
- Represent After School Matters Public Policy and Government Relations in key external partnerships and coalitions. Present at key learning conferences, policy forums and similar events on After School Matters advocacy.
- Support department leadership with organizational processes such as budget preparation, action planning, progress reporting, cross-departmental collaboration, and communication about ASM policy priorities and advocacy.
- Other duties as assigned.
The physical demands listed below 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 for long periods of time in front of a computer.
The work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
- While performing the duties of this job, the employee is not exposed to weather conditions.
- The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
- 2+ years’ experience advocacy, community organizing, political campaign, or government relations work required; a minimum of one year experience in youth development or related field preferred (e.g. Education, Afterschool, Out-of-school-time, etc.)
- Candidate must meet one of these criteria: (1) Master’s degree in a related field (e.g., Public Policy, Political Science, Communications, Public Service/Administration, Education, Social Work); or (2)bachelor’s degree and 3 additional years of relevant experience
- Committed to the organizational mission to provide Chicago public high school teens opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion –Committed to a workplace that values different backgrounds and life experiences and allows everyone to bring their authentic self to work. Builds equity into structure, systems, and processes for our employees and the teens we serve.
- Bilingual (English and Spanish) language skills preferred, but not required.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Proficient knowledge of local, state, and federal legislative and policy-making processes; experience managing and fostering relations with local, state and/or federal legislators preferred
- Excellent interpersonal skills; strong collaborator with experience in building and managing effective relationships and partnerships
- Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write clearly, respond effectively to inquiries from external stakeholders, staff, and colleagues including high-ranking officials and board members, and work in political environments requiring a high degree of tact and discretion.
- Exceptional attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills.
- Ability to effectively manage complex projects and work with minimal supervision.
- Professional working proficiency in Microsoft Office applications.
- Professional working proficiency in statistical concepts, experience with analytical software (SPSS, STATA, R, Tableau, and/or SAS)and database systems preferred.
- Ability to develop new procedures and to learn and apply new technologies as needed.
- Proficient knowledge of policy solutions and evidence-based practices in youth development, youth employment, education, afterschool programs, and/or related issues of child development or poverty preferred.
- Ability to maintain an independent perspective while collaborating closely with a wide variety of personnel.
- Capacity to work collaboratively and proactively within a team environment, as well as independently.
- Experience in using Cityspan database a plus.
How to Apply:
Submit a cover letter and resume at http://afterschoolmatters.applytojob.com/apply
After School Matters is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, military discharge status, age, marital status, parental status, or source of income