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ProgramMilwaukee, WI

Program Director


ABOUT PLAYWORKS, at Playworks we believe in the power of play to bring out the best in every kid. We are changing the school climate by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills by partnering with schools, districts, and after-school programs through services including digital engagement, on-site coaches, professional training for school staff who support play, and consultative partnerships.

ABOUT THE POSITION, as the Program Director of Playworks Wisconsin, you will report to the Regional Director and lead the planning and implementation of Playworks’ comprehensive school-based play and youth development programming. In this position, you are responsible for managing the recruitment, staffing, performance, training and development of all program staff and/or AmeriCorps Members, partnerships with schools and districts, grant compliance and evaluation, and initiatives that drive regional scaling and sustainability. You will be part of the regional leadership team, providing leadership that focuses on Playworks' three pillars of regional success: sustainable financials, sustainable impact and sustainable teams.

Specifically you will:

  • Lead regional impact strategy that aligns with organizational goals of increasing schools’ ownership over safe and healthy play and ultimately creating long-term systems change in public education;
  • Direct all elements of Playworks programming and consultation services, including planning, implementation, training, evaluation and program quality, with a lens for moving schools to independence from Playworks;
  • Jointly develop and implement a strategic sustainability plan as a member of the regional Leadership Team;
  • Provide ongoing leadership, support and coaching to program team to ensure high program quality and strong school partnerships;
  • Working independently (or, as applicable, with your regional sales lead), recruit, retain and grow school partnerships at both the school and district level. 
  • Manage regional volunteer strategy and funder/grant compliance, including oversight of AmeriCorps programming (when applicable) and support for regional fundraising events;
  • Monitor program budget and accounting for program expenditures in collaboration with the Regional Director;
  • Develop and manage a robust recruitment, hiring and retention plan for all regional program positions with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion; 
  • Oversee all aspects of program staff performance management, learning and development;
  • Represent Playworks at regional events, district meetings and local partnership coalitions;
  • Work closely with the headquarters team and other regional Program Directors throughout the country to share best practices and promote learning.
  • Draft service contracts and RFP responses that meet both Playworks and partner requirements.

If you're a good fit for this position, you already know most of what this job entails. However, to be sure we're providing a complete picture, here are some additional details:

  • Success in this position will require strong leadership skills with a background that includes demonstrated excellence in managing a complex program.
  • Your prior leadership experiences and references should reflect a leadership style that is inclusive, adaptable, and brings out the best in a team.
  • You will be successful if you possess excellent organizational and analytical skills and the ability to multitask and meet aggressive deadlines with a track record as an entrepreneurial self-starter.
  • You will have a deep knowledge of the public school system and nonprofit landscape in the region, and a strong connection to Playworks’ mission and values.
  • Successful candidates will possess versatility, flexibility, and a willingness to work within constantly changing priorities with enthusiasm. 
  • The strongest candidate will have the demonstrated ability to maintain poise and demeanor appropriate to portray an image of professionalism as defined by Playworks and possess a documented history of successfully delivering compelling and effective presentations.

Required Skills & Experience

  • 3 – 5 years of successful supervisory and management experience. 
  • 2 - 3 years of experience working directly with K-8 students in an educational setting.
  • Proven ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships internally and externally with strong interpersonal skills and cross-cultural proficiencies. 
  • Strong computer skills, ability to use existing technology to achieve desired results and proficiency in Google applications and Salesforce.
  • Ability to thrive working both independently and within team settings. 
  • High professional standards and strong leadership skills, with the ability to both drive strategies and manage practical details.
  • Knowledge of the cultural and educational landscape of the region.
  • Experience working with or within public schools and/or education sector programs.
  • Staff and volunteer support and training experience.
  • This position may require travel to various regional locations.
  • You must have outstanding communication skills-in addition to maintaining an open line of communication, you'll demonstrate excellent communication skills, including good phone and email etiquette and the ability to facilitate small and large group presentations.
  • Requires flexibility to readily adapt to a changing environment.

Compensation & Benefits:

Playworks offers the full package - great benefits, a fun place to work and an opportunity to grow professionally. We offer:

  • This is a full-time, exempt position.
  • A comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental, vision, disability, 401(k), life insurance, employee funded pre-tax health, and child care spending accounts.
  • Generous flexible paid time off policy with paid sick and holiday leave

This is a hands-on, creative, playful and fun-loving place to work, all while contributing to the success of our nation’s youth. So if you're ready to immerse yourself in the education sector, working on a rewarding set of challenges and if you've got the skills, experience, passion, and a team spirit, apply!

Please include:

  • A cover letter describing your interest in Playworks and how your experience has prepared you for this role.
  • Resume.
  • References will be requested.

Playworks is changing the way children experience school every day by leveraging the power of safe and healthy play. We create a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills. Our ambitions demand that we invest in recruiting, developing and managing a team that reflects the broad diversity of our communities. 

Our core values of inclusion, respect, healthy community and healthy play are the foundation of our organization and are infused in all aspects of our work, including recruiting and retaining the best talent we can. While diversity is often used in reference to visual characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, sex and physical appearance, we embrace a broader definition of diversity that also includes less visible factors,  We also recognize that individuals can affiliate with multiple identities.

As an equal opportunity program, Playworks encourages applications from all individuals regardless of national origin, religion, gender, differing abilities (physical, mental, learning), sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, political affiliation, military experience, and any other legally protected basis. Playworks evaluates all candidates on a merit basis.

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