Employment Opportunities

Senior Community Engagement Associate

Organization Overview

Advance Illinois is a not-for-profit policy and advocacy organization that works toward a healthy public education system that prepares students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. We are committed to an aligned education system that strives for equity, stresses college and career readiness and completion, and supports the whole child from the earliest years through adulthood. We believe every child should have access to a high-quality education regardless of geography, income or race.

To help improve the state’s public education system, Advance Illinois develops and forwards a comprehensive policy agenda that calls for systemic reforms that:

  • create rigorous learning environments with high expectations;
  • hire, develop, and retain great diverse teachers and leaders;
  • provide schools the resources they need;
  • engage families and provide necessary student supports; and
  • promote continuous improvement and innovation.

Advance Illinois’ Community Engagement team works to advance educational equity for students by bridging education policy and research with stakeholders on the ground. The team works to leverage relationships with state-level groups, policy makers, grasstops and grassroots organizations, faith-based and civil rights organizations to ensure diverse perspectives are considered in the policy making process. Through our work we build powerful coalitions, and grow the grassroots to achieve meaningful outcomes for students. Our theory of action is based on our conviction that when education policy and action plans are based on high-quality data and community involvement, change will lead to further racial and socioeconomic equity, improvements in learning conditions, increased student access and achievement, and sound decision making around resources particularly in these times of tight budgets and great need.

Position Summary

The Senior Community Engagement Associate works collaboratively with the Director of Community Engagement to execute advocacy and outreach strategies to cultivate relationships with diverse stakeholders across Illinois, build coalitions around key priorities, and ensure the perspectives of diverse stakeholders are considered in the policy making process. The Community Engagement team works in close collaboration with policy, government relations, and communications team members to help inform complex issues and execute on advocacy campaigns.

Advance Illinois has offices in both Chicago and Springfield. However, 40 percent of the job will require time on the road traveling around the state of Illinois.

The senior community engagement associate reports to the Director of Community Engagement.

Competencies (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA))

  • Strong commitment to and alignment with Advance Illinois’ mission of improving our state’s public education system 
  • Bachelor’s Degree  
  • Minimum of 4-6 years of experience in a community outreach, organizing, or engagement role  
  • Extensive knowledge of public education issues and/or experience creating high-impact advocacy campaigns 
  • Ability to grasp and effectively communicate complex, detailed information in a clear, concise manner for a variety of audiences 
  • Experience in a fast-paced environment and comfortable working in an ever-shifting political environment, familiarity with state political and legislative environment highly preferred 
  • A tremendous drive and strong ability to achieve outcomes. Ability to set and adhere to strict deadlines. Excellent planning and organizational skills as well as an exceptional attention to detail 
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, and other supporters from all backgrounds and cultures 
  • Comfort pivoting between high-level, strategic work and smaller tasks. No job is too big or too small 
  • Spanish fluency, both written and conversational, preferred but not required.

Essential Functions:

  • Represent Advance Illinois with stakeholders and partners across Illinois 
  • Develop effective ways to elevate the voices of communities most impacted by education policy  
  • Develop and execute on advocacy strategy and tactics in collaboration with other team members  
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with key stakeholders in early childhood, K-12, and higher education 
  • Mobilize leaders that will advocate for key education issues aligned to organizational priorities (including but not limited to Identify and support key stakeholders to testify, engage in meetings with decision makers, submit op-eds and letters to the editor) 
  • Support coalitions, networks, and campaigns by drafting plans, managing logistics, and co-leading meetings 
  • Serve as the project manager for Educator Advisory Council experience by maintaining relationships, and coordinating/facilitating ongoing meetings  
  • Support the collective impact efforts, and policy engagement with the Illinois 60 by 25 Network 
  • Maintain an engagement database tracking system to track qualitative data for the organization 

Working Environment

Due to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, this position is temporarily remote. This arrangement is expected to be short term, and Advance Illinois will continue to monitor guidance from health officials and the need for remote work arrangements.

Compensation

Competitive salary commensurate with experience along with excellent benefits such as: health/dental insurance; short-term/long-term disability plans; 401K with a company match plan; flexible spending  account; holidays and vacation accrual.

To Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter to engagement@advanceillinois.org. All submissions will be acknowledged, and you will be contacted if you are selected for an interview. No phone calls please. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Advance Illinois is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, low-income persons, LGBTQ+ persons, differently abled people, and other people from diverse backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, political affiliation, mental or physical disability, age, marital status, family status, or veteran status. People from these and other historically marginalized backgrounds and communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Policy Associate

Organization Overview

Advance Illinois is a not-for-profit policy and advocacy organization that works toward a healthy public education system that prepares students to achieve success in college, career and civic life. We are committed to an aligned education system that strives for equity, stresses college and career readiness and completion, and supports the whole child from the earliest years through adulthood. We believe every child should have access to a high-quality education regardless of geography, income or race.

Spanning the early childhood through higher education continuum, the Advance Illinois Policy team analyzes qualitative and quantitative data; reviews research and local and national practices; and stays abreast of federal requirements to inform the development and continuous improvement of state education policies and actions. We then work collaboratively with the full Advance Illinois team to advance them. We are seeking a passionate individual who is committed to public education, looking to grow in the not-for-profit sector, and able to thrive in a fast-paced and high-energy workplace.

Position Summary

Advance Illinois seeks an outstanding Policy Associate to work on issues related to state education policy. The ideal candidate will have strong analytical, research, writing and communication skills, and the demonstrated ability to go above and beyond to support multiple projects.

The Policy Associate will report to the Director of Policy and will support the policy needs of the organization. We are looking for a self-starter who is comfortable working in a small team environment and partnering not only with staff members, but with diverse outside partners.

Competencies (Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSA))

  • Demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment
  • Excellent research and analytic skills, including the ability to quickly synthesize large amounts of information
  • Excellent communication skills – writing, speaking, listening, advising – and political savvy
  • Knowledge of government policy, programs, and cross‐system strategies at the state and national levels that support children and youth
  • Ability to extract, clean, analyze, and interpret trends from complex data sets
  • Demonstrated ability to take independent action and assume responsibility
  • Ability to identify and track key issues of concern to leaders and develop promising initiatives to address these concerns
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to work effectively with a variety of colleagues and stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate project activities
  • Proficiency in using software such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power Point, including demonstrated ability to design the layout of document text, tables, and graphs

Essential Functions:

  • Writes issue briefs, articles and memoranda on policy issues and best practices for Advance Illinois staff.
  • Manages the collection, analysis and dissemination of information and data necessary for successful project completion and provides technical assistance to partners, the state, and districts. This includes analyzing
  • Provides information and technical assistance to staff and other external policymakers. Occasionally provides policy analysis to committees, task forces, work groups that Advance Illinois participates in.
  • Organizes, participates in, and conducts workshops, conferences, and seminars. Creates presentations and develop talking points, support state strategy sessions, and other meetings.
  • Contributes to project strategy to deliver relevant and timely expertise to Advance Illinois staff.
  • Updates and maintains relevant websites and electronic portals related to issue areas.

Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree plus relevant quantitative analytic and writing skills required. 

Working Environment

Due to the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, this position is temporarily remote. This arrangement is expected to be short term, and Advance Illinois will continue to monitor guidance from health officials and the need for remote work arrangements.

Compensation

Competitive salary commensurate with experience along with excellent benefits such as: health/dental insurance; short-term/long-term disability plans; 401K with a company match plan; flexible spending  account; holidays and vacation accrual.

To Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter to: policy@advanceillinois.org. All submissions will be acknowledged.  Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Please do not call Advance Illinois. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Advance Illinois is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, low-income persons, LGBTQ+ persons, differently abled people, and other people from diverse backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, political affiliation, mental or physical disability, age, marital status, family status, or veteran status. People from these and other historically marginalized backgrounds and communities are strongly encouraged to apply.