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Circle of Service Foundation (“COSF”, and the “Foundation”)
Position: Senior Program Officer, Construction Trades Program
Reports to: COSF Vice President

Position Summary:

The Circle of Service Foundation makes grants in the areas of Community Services, Education, Jewish Community, Medical Research, Violence Reduction, Climate, Democracy and Construction Trades. The Foundation seeks a Senior Program Officer who will design and oversee the Foundation’s newest program, an initiative to advance diversity and expand access in the construction trades in Cook and Lake Counties, Illinois.

The construction trades provide pathways to family-sustaining wages and careers with longevity. Historically, this industry has largely opened to those connected to existing members of the construction trades, which has limited access to apprenticeships, training, and jobs, particularly for historically marginalized communities. The Senior Program Officer for the  Construction Trades Program will foster partnerships and lead grantmaking across  pathways aimed at increasing access to high-paying trades occupations.

The Senior Program Officer will work closely with other members of the Foundation’s staff and the Board of Directors. They will report to the Vice President, and their responsibilities will include:

Serve as local, regional, and national thought leader in conversations and collaborations related to diversity in the trades.
Research, evaluate, and identify opportunities to pursue this mission, including recommending grant funding, and providing follow-up on existing grants.
Participate in Foundation-wide projects and discussions.
You Should Apply for this Role if:

  • You have a passion for bringing racial and gender diversity to the construction trades industry.
  • You deeply believe that careers in the construction trades industry can put individuals on a path to economic mobility.
  • You are fluent in the construction trades landscape, understand the key players, and what the current barriers and opportunities are in the industry.
  • You enjoy charting a new course, learning and educating others along the way.
  • You are a strong relationships builder and enjoy meeting people, making connections, and fostering relationships across a network.
  • The idea of seeking out and funding innovative work in this space excites you.
  • You consider yourself a coach and can partner with individuals and organizations to support and scale their organizational practices.

Major Responsibilities:

Construction Trades Program Strategy Development and Implementation

  • Establish and steward strong relationships with diverse program partners, prospective, and current grant applicants.
  • Insightfully evaluate grant proposals – including analyzing organization and program goals, outcomes, financial data, sources of funding and other relevant information, and appropriately applying qualitative and quantitative analysis.
  • Prepare summary and analysis of grant proposals. Present these recommendations to the Board.
  • Monitor programmatic performance and progress; recommend adjustments, as applicable

Manage Grantmaking

  • Conduct research and draft proposals regarding strategy and projects for the Foundation’s Construction Trades program.
  • Lead the implementation of the Foundation’s Construction Trades strategies, with an orientation towards organizational learning and continuous improvement.
  • Organize thought-provoking meetings designed to educate Foundation Board and staff members about issues and trends, consider priorities and make decisions about grant recommendations.
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with peer funders, regularly exploring learning and joint funding opportunities for individual projects and larger initiatives.

Partnership and Learning

  • Steward relationships with a broad range of stakeholders and networks.
    Champion partnerships and collaborations to advance the Foundation’s Construction Trades strategies.
  • Stay up to date on developments in areas of interest to the Construction Trades work, including research trends and opportunities, attending applicable conferences and meetings, and fostering relationships with colleagues.
  • Represent the Foundation to funder groups and other networks.

Foundation-Wide Projects and Discussions

  • Work closely with colleagues to coordinate and delegate (if applicable) work to program team members.
  • Participate in team discussions with respect to Foundation strategic initiatives, and support implementation of certain strategic decisions as approved by the Foundation.
  • Participate in regular internal discussions to provide program-area updates with other team members to foster Foundation collaboration and learning.

Preferred Qualifications and Experience:

  • Significant (ideally, at least eight years’) professional experience working in and/or partnering with individuals or programs in the building and construction trades.
  • Demonstrated passion for economic equity and increasing opportunity access for historically marginalized communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively among a team – both with internal colleagues and external partners.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Attentive to detail; excellent capacity to handle multiple projects simultaneously;  strong time-management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a self-starter, not afraid to ask questions.
  • Excellent organizational skills and qualitative and quantitative analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.
  • A person described by their peers as humble, honest, hardworking, strategic, adaptable, and enthusiastic.

Additional Information:

  • The starting salary for this position is dependent on experience and qualifications.
    • The salary range for this position is $140,000 – $160,000.
  • Full-time position with at least two days/week expected in office in downtown Chicago. Additional in-office expectations may increase.
  • When appropriate, travel to locations throughout Cook and Lake counties will be required regularly for site visits and other meetings.
  • All Foundation coworkers are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a “booster shot,” or to have been approved for a legally required accommodation.

Available Benefits Include:

  • Medical, Dental and Vision
  • Life Insurance, Short and Long-Term Disability; Long-Term Care
  • 401(k) Plan with Employer Matching Contributions
  • Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts
  • Paid Time Off Benefits
  • Matching Gift Program
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Paid public transit for commuting expenses
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Wellness Initiatives

Commitment to a Diverse and Inclusive Team:

The Foundation is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion because we are committed to reducing inequities across all our program areas.  We actively invite applications from individuals who identify as a member of a traditionally marginalized and/or underrepresented community, especially as the Foundation’s work in the construction trades seeks to increase representation in the field.


Please contact if you have difficulty submitting your application via this JazzHR platform and/or have other technical concerns.  The application review process will start immediately and continue until the position is filled.

The information contained in this job description is intended to convey information about the essential functions and requirements of the position. It is not an exhaustive list of the skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities or working conditions associated with the opportunity.

Please note that we will conduct a criminal background check prior to finalizing an offer, but we will use it in compliance with Illinois law – primarily to assess whether a candidate has one or more criminal convictions that would have a substantial relationship with the position.

We will also require a pre-employment drug test after a conditional offer of employment has been extended, noting that we will only test for drugs that are not legal under Illinois law.

To apply for this job email your details to