Policy Director | Net Impact

Policy Director

UTEC, Inc.

Job Summary
UTEC is looking for a committed, innovative, and creative leader to lead all policy efforts aimed at making lasting impact for young adults that we serve, as well as those most disconnected across the Commonwealth and country. Building off the strong advocacy accomplishments over the past several years, we are excited to have a leader help us further advance our collective work. Reporting to the CEO, this position directs the creation and execution of UTEC’s statewide and federal policy and budget efforts. Responsible for building and managing all local, state and federal relations, the Director will advance current initiatives while developing new campaigns moving forward. The Director will lead visionary change through relational and strategic organizing, a relentless dedication to chipping away, helping build varied partnership and coalitions, and ensuring the integration and elevation of youth voices in our work (not only within UTEC but also through our statewide coalition, Teens Leading The Way, and other collaborations through UTEC's Training Center for Excellence). Policy and budget efforts will be focused on advancing racial, social and economic justice through the pursuit of campaigns that advance areas such as criminal justice reform and varied other areas. For a couple of highlights on our recent policy achievements (expungement, civics, and a two-generational approach, among other areas), click on the prior hyperlinks or check out the articles below:
https://www.lowellsun.com/2020/12/07/utec-leads-the-way-on-proposed-expungement-legislation
https://kresge.org/news-views/utec-teens-lead-the-way-to-create-lasting-change-through-policymaking/
Duties/Responsibilities
• Manage UTEC’s local, state, and federal policy and budget platform;
• Research and identify winnable administrative, legislative and/or budget campaigns for the organization, emphasizing new opportunities to lead with innovation and creativity;
• Track and analyze key legislative bills that could represent opportunities for best advancing new policy initiatives, including regularly scanning policy innovations across the country for possible application by UTEC;
• Cultivate and maintain strategic relationships with elected, administrative, and appointed government officials, as well as all media contacts;
• Create and support opportunities for authentic young adult involvement in the creation and advancement of campaigns. Policy campaigns should align with the lived experiences of those young adults most impacted by the criminal justice system;
• Turn ideas into persuasive and data-driven policy statements and proposals to help advance new initiatives around racial, social, and economic justice issues, including;
• Manage coalitions to support UTEC’s campaigns, and actively seek out new opportunities for meaningful partnerships. Work closely with UTEC's Training Center For Excellence in leveraging the varied collaborations already in place through our role as a convenor and trainer for other community organizations.
• With support from UTEC’s Communications Manager, prepare background materials for targeted legislative audiences, including leading legislative briefings, preparing testimony, press releases, action alerts and talking points;
• Represent UTEC at varied external meetings and national conferences.

Required Skills/Abilities
• Commitment to UTEC core values and culture: See https://utecinc.org/who-we-are/mission/
• Commitment to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

• Campaign management, and familiarity of the Massachusetts political landscape and state politics is a plus
• Embody UTEC’s value of chipping away in creatively building partnerships/coalitions and advancing projects
• Ability to think strategically and relationally, including strong facilitation skills
• Excellent management and supervisory skills
• Excellent written and verbal communication skill (turning ideas into a policy pitch is a big strength)
• Exemplify our commitment to follow-through (strong project management skills, ensuring systems for all key tasks to be completed on time, even in the midst of varied distractions and possible disorganization);
• Embracing the independence of this role, willingness to work within the grey areas, and handle the varied curveballs that may come about!
• Willingness to acknowledge mistakes is a must, and capacity to laugh at oneself is a BIG plus.

Education and Experience
• Bachelor’s degree, Masters preferred, and/or five years experience in related work
• Advocacy, policy, or legislative experience
• Passion and commitment for advancing equity and justice for young adults a must.

Salary/Benefits: Salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include 401K retirement plan, health and dental (heavily subsidized), 3 weeks paid vacation to start (and an additional week off during the last week of the calendar year), plus paid holidays and additional sick/personal time, opportunity for a paid sabbatical after 3 years, first-time homebuyers funding for those buying in the Merrimack Valley, free counseling for all staff, and unlimited free coffee courtesy of Cafe UTEC and more! Please see www.utecinc.org/jobs for more details.
To apply: All candidates should apply online at: https://secure4.entertimeonline.com/ta/6127734.careers?rnd=DMN&ShowJob=386141507
The application portal allows for only one document upload - in addition to applying through the portal, please send a thoughtful cover letter to hiring@utecinc.org. Please indicate where you first learned about this job opportunity. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. No application will be considered if there is not a cover letter attached.
BACKGROUND ON UTEC, INC.: UTEC’s promise is to ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disengaged youth to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success. We serve young adults, ages 17-25, with serious criminal and gang involvement in the Merrimack Valley area (Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill). UTEC’s outcomes-focused model begins with intensive street outreach and in-reach within correctional facilities, specifically targeting proven high-risk youth “where they’re at.” UTEC engages youth in workforce development (running our own social enterprises in mattress recycling, food services, and woodworking), while also integrating educational programs (high school equivalency preparation and other core competencies). We provide intensive transitional coaching and counseling services, all within a two-generational approach (providing on-site child care, parenting and a whole family approach for our young parents and their kids). Our model prioritizes embedding social justice and civic engagement in all programming, including the opportunity for young adults to lead policy campaigns on issue areas that directly impact them (e.g. criminal justice reform). As part of UTEC’s scaling plan to provide a teaching and learning center, we were awarded funding to become the state’s first and only Training Center for Excellence (TC4E) around gun and youth violence prevention. For more info, please visit: www.utecinc.org