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The Collective Blueprint: Director of Employment Initiatives

About Us

The Greater Memphis area has more than 45,000 young adults, aged 16-24, who are out of school and out of work. Nearly half of these young adults are in poverty, and only 1% will be on the path to a living wage by the time they are 28.

The young adult population represents the next generation of community, business, and political leaders. It is imperative that they are equipped with the skills and supports that they need today in order to guide Memphis forward tomorrow. The Collective Blueprint advances a community framework that reflects the personal and economic aspirations of the city’s young populace.

The Collective Blueprint was started in 2016 and is the only local organization that is specifically tailored to the needs of young adults. We provide relationships, resources, and a network of support to help young adults discover and develop their unique talents in order to advance their personal and professional objectives. Our Vision is all young adults have the power to live their best lives and the tools to make that a reality.

The Collective Blueprint Model

The Collective Blueprint is building the framework to reach economic equity for all young adults in the following ways:

  1. Programs: Establish career pathways for young adults that will put them on track toward a living wage
  2. Advocacy: Advocate for equitable policies and programs that meet the unique needs of young adults
  3. Systemic Change: Bring about systemic change that will enable young adults to identify, pursue and achieve their life goals

The Collective’s strategy relies on engaging and building strong partnerships with employers across Memphis. This new role will work with the CEO, who acts as a cross-functional, strategic lead for the organization, on employer partnership strategy development and will develop and oversee a number of important employer engagement initiatives.

Position Details

To achieve its mission, The Collective Blueprint builds partnerships with a multitude of employers across Memphis, large and small, for and non-profit. This position will work with leadership to develop strategies for employer engagement, manage relationships with employers for specific programming, and lead a variety of existing employer facing activities. The Director of Employment Initiatives will also design and develop large-scale initiatives, in partnership with post-secondary institutions and employers. They will also directly manage our Employment Coach and Business Development Associate who will provide direct coaching to young adults who are on the job.

This is a new position; the core responsibilities of the role are outlined below but depending on The Collective Blueprint’s strategic priorities and the person in this role’s skills and interests, there may be opportunities to work on additional projects in the future. The main areas of responsibilities for this position include:

Plan Our Strategy: The Collective Blueprint is growing its employment initiatives to include work experiences /internship program and larger scale citywide initiatives. This position is responsible for developing these initiatives and ensuring sustainable impact. The Director of employment initiatives will work with both the CEO and VP of programs to plan the trajectory of the organization through the lens of working with employers. This work includes but is not limited to:

  • Create a 3 year strategic plan to develop and grow employer opportunities
  • Research the trends of the Memphis economy and develop insight from the findings
  • Coordinate with local employers to establish future plans and pipelines of success
  • Plan for maintaining relationships and communication with young adults after they are hired
  • Forecast financial costs associated with Work Experience, WIOA, hiring, young adult stipends, etc.

Conduct Business Development: The Collective Blueprint aims to build out a network of engaged employment partners across the city, including partners for internships, full-time hires and exposure opportunities. Furthermore, The Collective Blueprint seeks to build out revenue streams through employment sponsorship of our work. This work includes:

  • Drum up leads, source potential partners, develop relationships and maintain a presence in our industries
  • Understand employer needs and tailor presentations and materials towards them
  • Develop a model for revenue generation, which could include staffing, placement fees or sponsorships
  • Drive towards agreed upon revenue targets
  • Collect feedback, maintain relationships and support our continuous improvement processes

Manage Our Work Experiences Program: The Collective Blueprint plans to run an 8 week Work Experience program for young adults. It will be one of The Collective Blueprint’s largest programs and it requires strong coordination across the organization. The Programs Team runs the young adult side of the program, but this role will manage all of the employer-facing activities and will work closely with their team to ensure strong communication and collaboration. This work includes but is not limited to:

  • Overseeing employer recruitment for placement sites
  • Organizing the collection of employer documentation to ensure all program requirements are met
  • Coordinating employer onboarding – working with the Programs Team to organize employer orientation sessions, updating the current presentation, and managing the logistics and content communication to employers
  • Managing employer relationships throughout pre-hiring and during the work experience program, dealing with issues as they arise and regular employer engagement touch points (e.g. regular emails, social media posts, check-in calls etc.)
  • Organizing the employer-facing events before the young adults placement with the employer, such as the Meet & Greet and Employer Orientation.
  • Supporting, Sarah, the CEO, in developing and executing a strategy for keeping employers engaged from the time The Collective Blueprint is over through the start of employer recruitment for the next year (June – November)

Build Alumni Employment Supports: The Collective Blueprint is in the early stages of building out a Direct Hire program, which would connect graduates of The Collective Blueprint’s programs with full-time employment opportunities. The Director of Employment Initiatives will support the CEO in the development of the overall Direct Hire strategy and may lead aspects of this work in the future.

This is an exciting role for anyone who:

  • Enjoys a balance of high-level strategic planning and daily, in the weeds, detailed execution work
  • Wants to build from the ground up and likes creating systems and structures that make things more efficient and effective
  • Is highly skilled at building relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including industry partners and participants of The Collective Blueprint’s programming, in a professional, authentic, and collaborative manner
  • Understands working with young adults and providing advising for our Leaders

Skills to Succeed This is an outstanding opportunity to play a critical role in ensuring Memphis’s opportunity youth are better positioned for educational, career, and life success. Therefore, the Director of Employment Strategies must be committed to the vision and mission of The Collective Blueprint and have an unwavering belief that all young people have the potential to achieve academic, professional, and personal success.

Additionally, the successful candidate must demonstrate:

  • Project management skills and experience: the ability to manage large projects with multiple stakeholders by effectively communicating and managing “up” and “across” the organization
  • A high degree of conscientiousness leading to excellent work products, strong attention to detail, and the ability to meet internal and external deadlines
  • Ability to identify and implement solutions independently in a fast-paced, highly entrepreneurial environment
  • Exceptional communication skills: the ability to write, speak, and give presentations clearly and persuasively, particularly with the business community
  • Sophisticated relationship-building skills: the ability to build trust and adapt communication styles to work effectively with a variety of stakeholders
  • Structured thinking skills: the ability to organize, analyze, and synthesize disparate pieces of information
  • Adult management experience with skill and desire to develop others
  • Proficiency with all G-Suite Applications; specifically, a high degree of comfort with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
  • Willingness to occasionally work outside of the Mon-Fri, 9-5 structure when project deadlines, events, or travel require it

Preferred Experience

  • Experience working in industry and/or a professional business environment strongly preferred; experience and existing relationships with employers in IT, healthcare and Skilled Trades is critical
  • Experience developing a vision, creating strategic plans and managing implementation plans
  • Experience managing and developing staff
  • 10+ years of professional experience
  • A background in industry human resources/recruitment, business development and employer partnership engagement

Application Instructions

Please submit a resume and cover letter to

This is an outstanding opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a fast-growing organization. We are seeking an individual of outstanding quality, with a proven track record and a passion for young adults. The Collective Blueprint is prepared to offer an attractive compensation package, including a competitive base salary, bonus structure, as well as health, 401(k), and vacation benefits. We also provide relocation assistance for applicants 100+ miles from Memphis.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, though, as we’ll move individuals through the interview process as they apply.

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