550 Forest Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, ME 04101 info@uwsme.org 207-874-1000

We’re Hiring! Business Liaison, Greater Portland Workforce

Job Posting

Business Liaison, Greater Portland Workforce

Be a part of the change!

Join a team of committed, results-oriented, and successful professionals who work to support and advance United Way of Southern Maine’s (UWSM’s) mission to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community.

General Summary:

Working closely with the Senior Project Manager, Greater Portland Workforce Initiative, the Business Liaison supports and advances United Way of Southern Maine’s (UWSM’s) mission by identifying, developing, and maintaining high-quality relationships with organizations and individuals. The Business Liaison position is a two-year, grant-funded position that will lead a pilot project supporting efforts in Southern Maine to improve employment outcomes for recent immigrants and foreign-trained professionals. The project will develop a system for employers to become better equipped and more confident in hiring, promoting, and retaining more immigrants and refugees, including appropriate placement or pathways for foreign-trained individuals to mitigate “brain waste,” i.e., employment that disregards their previous training and expertise.

The Greater Portland Workforce Initiative (GPWI) is a collective impact initiative of 21 partners in our community, including representatives from education and training providers, funders, federal, state, and local government, non-profit organizations, community/economic development organizations, and businesses.  GPWI’s work is centered around systems change — working differently, together.  When the partners’ expertise, programming, and influence are combined, the results are far more effective than individually.

The Greater Portland Workforce Initiative supports businesses in recruiting and training potential employees and serves five target populations who face significant obstacles to steady and sustainable employment: immigrants and refugees, single heads of household, older youth not connected to school or work, individuals experiencing homelessness, and those re-entering the workforce from incarceration. GPWI’s overarching goal is to help these individuals eliminate barriers to entering or remaining in the workforce and help employers find the right match for their job openings.

This is an excellent opportunity for a results-oriented self-starter to engage with key partners within large and small businesses to serve local employers and job seekers and engage the community in GPWI’s work. This outward-facing role requires the Business Liaison to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships and achieve prescribed grant deliverables. The ideal candidate will have a dynamic and high-energy approach to achieving results and a strong interest in workforce development, immigrant/refugee workforce, community integration, and helping individuals and families achieve financial stability.

Essential Functions:

  • Develops and grows meaningful year-round relationships with key company leaders, company influencers, and other individuals within assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Supports employers in navigating the workforce development system.
  • Connects employers and jobseekers with essential support to mitigate barriers impacting employees (child/elder care, transportation, etc.) through GPWI partners.
  • Gathers information to understand job seekers, incumbent employees, and employers (root causes and immediate needs).
  • Creates ongoing learning opportunities for employers (through individual team support, group training, and engagement in community-based opportunities).
  • Conducts annual Employer Practices Summit in collaboration with GPWI partners.
  • Works effectively with other teams at UWSM to provide appropriate support and value to partners.
  • Conducts regular in-person and virtual meetings, as appropriate, with partners and prospects to expand relationships and business engagement.
  • Serves as a connector for job seekers – as new pipelines emerge with employers; partners can support getting qualified candidates into the channels (through traditional avenues and inactivating a new online interface that will go live during this initiative)
  • Establishes and supports an employer advisory group to ensure employer informed ongoing activities.
  • Establishes and supports an immigrant job seeker group, including a diverse mix of highly skilled internationally trained professionals, to ensure that this initiative aims to help have a voice in the process and inform strategy development.
  • Supports the development of a tool for employers to assess “brain waste” among incumbent workers.
  • Creates custom tools to support hiring, retention, and advancement of this workforce, focusing on matching prior professional/academic experience with current career aspirations.
  • Utilizes an online interface for communication and data sharing among agencies and employers to alert job seekers of opportunities and allow employers to search for applicants.
  • Reviews feedback from employers, job seekers, and incumbent employees to establish baseline metrics (to measure progress) and inform/design employer supports and tools.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Expertise and experience in working directly with employers and job seekers
  • Demonstrated success working independently and with a team.
  • Focused experience in customer relationship building.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a portfolio of assigned relationships to achieve results.
  • Superb English-language communications skills (written and verbal) with an ability to effectively relate with a diverse group of individuals or organizations. Practical listening skills are a must.
  • Proven ability to successfully execute a plan utilizing strategic thinking.
  • Commitment to excellence and proactive problem solver.
  • Solid computer skills (familiarity with customer relationship management systems preferred).
  • Significant experience and comfort in Excel are a requirement.
  • High-energy, outcome-focused individual with a cheerful “can-do” outlook who can manage ambiguity and change.
  • Significant account management skills.

Preferred Education: 

Bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent, or equivalent in relevant work-related experience.

Supervisory Responsibility:

None

Work Environment:

This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, filing cabinets, and fax machines.  UWSM’s COVID-19 Policy requires employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (or receive a reasonable accommodation) before starting. We currently operate in a hybrid work environment, mostly remote (work-from-home) with limited in-person activities.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:

This is a full-time position. Days and work hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. This position may require long hours, including early morning meetings, evening events, and weekend work during peak times.

Travel:

Travel is primarily local during the business day, although some out-of-area and overnight travel may be expected.

Why choose United Way of Southern Maine?

Advancing the common good is about helping one person at a time and creating community change that benefits every community member. We are all connected and interdependent; we all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, and when people are healthy.

We have a staff of 45 dedicated employees to help us achieve our goals and fulfill our mission: To improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community. To support the great work of our employees, we offer a competitive salary and a robust benefits package, including health and dental insurance, a 403 (b) plan, life insurance, generous paid vacation, holiday, and sick time off.

Additionally, United Way of Southern Maine offers:

  • Convenient and central Portland and Kennebunk locations with free parking
  • Tuition assistance and opportunities for professional development
  • Wellness resources and Employee Assistance Program access
  • Personal and floating holidays
  • Paid volunteer time off
  • An excellent team of top-notch professionals that share your passion for strengthening our community

United Way of Southern Maine is committed to seeking and sustaining a culturally and ethnically diverse environment and to the principles that promote inclusive practices. We are dedicated to building a diverse staff with expertise and interest in serving our communities and encouraging persons of all diversity types to apply.

United Way of Southern Maine has identified a set of Core Values as our essential tenets. These define and describe who United Way of Southern Maine will endeavor to be in internal and external situations.

 At United Way of Southern Maine, we are:

  • Community Centered
  • Results Focused
  • Intentionally Collaborative
  • Committed to Excellence
  • Leading with Integrity

Applications are accepted through May 6, 2022.  Please submit a cover letter and resume to Cameron Peden at hr@uwsme.org.

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