Advocacy Manager

· Chicago, Illinois
Employment Type Full-Time


Estimated Start Date:  October 1, 2020 

Position Scope: The Advocacy Manager is a full-time position, serving as the main representative of the Chicago Jobs Council on legislative advocacy in concert with Jobs Council Policy Team staff, member organizations, coalition partners, and job seekers. The Advocacy Manager position reports to the Director of Policy and is a member of the Policy Team. 


Chicago Jobs Council’s vision is that all people, regardless of where they start or where they’ve been, can access employment as a pathway out of poverty. The Jobs Council moves people out of poverty through employment using on-the-ground expertise, advocacy, and capacity-building. Since it was established in 1981, the Jobs Council’s membership has grown to include over 100 organizations and individuals who work together to influence the development and reform of public policies and programs designed to move people out of poverty, into the workforce and into better jobs. 

Key Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Monitoring and responding to policy change: Monitor and respond to local, state, and federal policy proposals related to employment, workforce development, and public  safety net policy, including legislative and regulatory proposals.
  • Legislative advocacy: Lead the Jobs Council’s federal and state-level legislative advocacy and education efforts, including through regular travel to Springfield during in-person legislative sessions and occasional national travel (when public health conditions permit.)  
  • Policy expertise: Develop necessary expertise in workforce issues for people experiencing systemic barriers to employment, apply it to the Jobs Council’s policy activities, and be an internal and external resource.
  • Coalition facilitation and management: Convene and manage the Transit Table advocacy coalition (and other CJC coalitions as needed) with support from the Policy team, facilitating and project managing all meetings and activities; Represent the Jobs Council at partner coalition meetings as needed.
  • Strategic Communications: In conjunction with the Communications Manager, develop strategic communications to: (1) support the Jobs Council’s advocacy goals; (2) educate the workforce development field about key policy changes; (3) inform organizational stakeholders about Jobs Council advocacy goals, process, and outcomes. 
  • Frontline engagement: In conjunction with the Policy team, develop advocacy and engagement opportunities for member organizations and job seekers to help build and advance the Job Council’s policy agenda and systems change efforts.
  • Policy development: Work with Jobs Council staff and partner organizations to develop our policy and advocacy platform and annual policy priorities and work plan.
  • Administration and management:  As needed, maintain contracts, manage consultants, complete grant reports and other written products, and participate in funder briefings and related meetings 

Requirements for Advocacy Manager Position

Personal Qualities

  • Commitment to the Jobs Council’s mission and vision, especially to racial equity.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, especially an ability to build relationships and work with diverse individuals with diverse work styles
  • Ability to build consensus among a group of diverse individuals with diverse work styles in order to successfully keep project activities and goals moving forward
  • Commitment to continuous improvement (i.e. generate or support new ideas to improve the Jobs Council’s efficiency and/or effectiveness) 
  • Possesses self-starting work habits (sees what needs to be done without being told) that demonstrate a clear understanding of the Jobs Council’s priorities and one’s own job responsibilities 
  • Coachable attitude--open to receiving and integrating feedback
  • Participates well in a team, including listening to and respecting team members’ ideas, willingness to provide backup on other team members’ projects, adaptability when a change is made, and openness to collaboration and feedback 
  • Willingness to do all tasks related to a project, no matter how seemingly “small” (e.g. make photocopies, make coffee for meetings, etc)
  • Willingness to travel to Springfield during legislative session


  • Excellent organizational and time management skills that allow for the handling of multiple and competing priorities while meeting short and long term deadlines
  • Clear, concise, and persuasive communication skills (written, verbal, listening)
  • Attention to detail and excellent follow through
  • Ability to think strategically, balance long term vision with daily tasks
  • Demonstrated project management skills and strategies (e.g. break a project down into smaller steps and incremental goals, create a timeline, track progress, etc)
  • Strong creative problem solving skills including ability to identify new strategies to achieve goals
  • Ability to collaborate and seek support when needed
  • Exceptional critical thinking and analytical ability
  • Ability to interpret complex data/information and explain it to multiple audiences
  • Ability to stay on top of emerging trends in the field
  • Proficiency with computer applications in Windows environment, especially Microsoft Office and G-Suite applications, web-based survey tools, online database and website management (or demonstrated ability to learn quickly)
  • Ability to conduct business travel throughout the state, especially to Springfield during the state legislative session


  • At least 5 years of work experience in policy at the local, state, or federal level strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of the political and policy landscape in Illinois, or similar experience in another state or local policymaking context
  • Experience and ease in communicating with high-level policy makers, including those in the legislative and executive branches, opinion leaders, and their staff; experience lobbying on the ground in Springfield preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze public policy proposals, including the drafting of legislation and regulatory language
  • Experience working with directly impacted people and communities, frontline services providers, and other diverse stakeholders
  • Minimum post-secondary credential; Degrees or certifications related to policy, political science, economics, or other social sciences preferred

Compensation for the Advocacy Manager position includes $60,000 annual salary and excellent benefits. To apply, submit cover letter and resume. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until position is filled.

THE CHICAGO JOBS COUNCIL IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.  The Jobs Council is committed to building an inclusive staff and strongly encourages applications from individuals of color, people with disabilities, individuals with diverse backgrounds, and those whose life experience is underrepresented in employment programs and policies.

The Jobs Council recognizes that systemic, institutional and individual racism creates disparities in the way people of color fare in the labor market. We are continuously working to review and update our practices, policies, and procedures using a racial equity lens in order to achieve more equitable outcomes for all.

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  • Location
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Employment Type