Manager of Demand-Driven Workforce Development, Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs

The Manager of Demand-Driven Workforce Development works to elevate private-sector engagement to improve the workforce development climate within the Chicago area.

WBC supports demand-driven workforce development by engaging area corporate, civic, and local government leaders in identifying key workforce and human capital challenges for area firms and facilitating the development and innovation of projects, programs, and initiatives to improve the pipeline of the Chicagoland workforce to meet the needs of area employers. The Manager of Demand-Driven Workforce Development is a full-time position that reports to the Executive Director of the Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs.

A major strategy of WBC’s Demand Driven Workforce Development agenda is its Industry Workforce Partnership (IWP) program. IWPs are collaborations between employers/stakeholder of a specific industry that collectively identify challenges and opportunities for improving workforce system outcomes. WBC serves as a neutral intermediary (backbone organization) to these employer led collaborations by: 1) facilitating conversations and identifying common industry themes; 2) providing recommendations on best-practices to address the challenges and bringing in relevant public sector stakeholders, and; 3) helping to design and implement the agreed upon solutions. Aside from leading the IWPs, the Manager of Demand-Driven Workforce Development will also be responsible for creating and implementing additional strategic programs, projects, initiatives, and events to drive demand-driven workforce development.


Program Development and Implementation

  • Lead the development and implementation of a Strategic Action Plan for Demand-Driven Workforce Development
  • Develop and execute an annual Demand-Driven Workforce Development work program
  • Work with Plan leadership, Research staff, Business Development staff, and external economic partners in identifying gaps, barriers, and opportunities in demand-driven workforce development ecosystem, including ways to close gaps and promote growth through tactical projects, programs, or aiding external partners
  • Convene industry workforce leaders and lead executive-level industry leaders in setting and executing near and long-term agendas (projects, programs, events, initiatives) for specific demand-driven workforce development goals
  • Guide deployment of demand-driven workforce development projects not developed from IWPs, ensure connections of these projects to IWPs where applicable
  • Serve as central point of contact and facilitator of the work with Industry Workforce Partnership committees
  • Grow Industry Workforce Partnership (IWP) program to have permanent residence at WBC
  • Work with Plan staff to identify workforce development strategies for specific clusters
  • Assist Plan Leadership in defining and operationalizing a demand-driven workforce approach that encompasses equitable, inclusive, and innovative workforce growth

External Stewardship

  • Serve as an expert, thought-leader and resource for WBC and partners on a demand-driven workforce development within the region via external communications, meetings, panels, etc.
  • Work closely with external partners (including City Cook Workforce Partnership, the Workforce Funders Alliance, CPS, City Colleges and more) on developing specific demand-driven workforce development strategies
  • Develop new regional partnerships within demand-driven workforce development as it supports equitable, inclusive, and innovative growth
  • Assist Business Development staff in supporting the City of Chicago’s business attraction, expansion, and retention as it pertains to workforce development
  • Align demand-driven workforce development work with Intersect Illinois, the State of Illinois’ public-private economic development agency

Research, Data and Evaluation

  • Compile and maintain detailed profiles on demand-driven workforce development trends by reviewing quantitative data, amassing and compiling qualitative information, and extrapolating trends
  • Interview companies to identify workforce trends in Chicago – identify barriers and opportunities to demand-driven workforce development and hone in on strategic projects that can improve upon these findings
  • Leverage data, trends and program impact to raise the profile of WBC and the Plan’s demand-driven workforce

Skills & Experience

  • Familiarity with utilizing group applications and activities such as: Action Planning, Brainstorming, Cost Benefit Analysis, SWOT Analysis, Group Voting Techniques, Consolidation
  • Advanced project management – including ability to support corporate executives and technical assistance providers in ongoing engagement of projects to produce deliverables
  • Demonstrated experience building effective private, public, civic and philanthropic partnerships
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills to address all levels of management
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to prioritize workload to meet changing or tight deadlines
  • Experience working in a start-up environment with evolving priorities and processes preferred
  • A good sense of diplomacy in dealing with confidential information
  • Advanced experience working with corporate executives on various projects in a supporting role
  • Solid understanding of Chicago’s workforce development ecosystem
  • Advanced training in group facilitation and development skills; including ability to advise group on technical concepts to consider, assisting group to navigate through difficult topics, and leading group to identifiable activity/outcomes/projects


The ideal candidate has a minimum of 5-8 years of experience in a leadership role related to demand-driven workforce development strategies within the field of economic development and has distinctive project management and analytical skills. Relevant graduate degree or equivalent work experience preferred. IEDC CEcD certification strongly preferred. The candidate should also have extensive experience working with senior (C-suite) leadership. Must have solid computer skills with the capability to master new software applications and technologies in database management including and have advanced expertise required in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Access.

To Apply

If interested, please send a cover letter and resume to:

Carrie Simmons
World Business Chicago
177 N. State St., Ste. 500
Chicago, Illinois, 60601

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