Employment Program Officer

Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
June 18, 2024
Chicago, Illinois
Job Type


About Lloyd A. Fry Foundation
The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of the people of Chicago faced with challenges rooted in the systems of inequity. We partner with effective nonprofit organizations that share our commitment to building a community in which all individuals and families have the opportunity to thrive. Each year, we award $8 million in grants across three main program areas: Arts Learning, Education, and Employment. Across all of our funding areas, our focus is on helping organizations: Build capacity to enhance the quality of services and better assess the impact of programs; Develop successful program innovations that other organizations in the field can learn from or adopt; and Share knowledge so that information which can help low-income communities and individuals is widely and readily available.

Position Summary
The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation seeks an Employment Program Officer to develop and lead the Foundation’s Employment grantmaking. Based in Chicago, our Employment Program addresses our commitment to helping families and individuals move out of poverty. We support comprehensive job training programs that help individuals access living-wage jobs and careers. To accomplish these goals, the Employment Program supports:

  • Vocational training programs that help low-income job seekers acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to compete for jobs in industries that are important to the region’s economy.
  • Pre-employment training programs that help job seekers with significant barriers to employment (e.g., history of homelessness, justice involvement) gain employment in entry-level jobs.
  • Policy advocacy efforts that lend a collective voice to the concerns of job seekers, workers, and the organizations that serve them.

The Foundation seeks to support innovative approaches and knowledge which can help to advance practice in the field. To achieve this, we seek a candidate who is able to: identify trends and common challenges across organizations; investigate new topics quickly; synthesize a wide range of information; and adapt and apply ideas across new contexts.


  • Oversee the Employment grant portfolio, work with colleagues and the board of directors to identify programmatic goals and strategies and manage and plan the program grant budget ($1.66M).
  • Proactively identify challenges that can be addressed through the Foundation’s grantmaking and opportunities that have the potential to advance program goals.
  • Solicit and review proposals and letters of inquiry, arrange and manage site visits, prepare proposals for board review, and present written and verbal recommendations to the board of directors. Prepare decline letters and work to communicate clearly with grantee partners as well as with organizations that do not receive support from the Fry Foundation.
  • Partner with grantee partners to support collaborative work; help organizations advance knowledge and practice in the field; and provide guidance and assistance on program strategy, assessments, and other aspects of building capacity and program development.

Qualifications & Experience
The Foundation supports innovative approaches and strategies that advance practice in the field of workforce development. To achieve this, we seek a candidate who is able to: identify trends and common challenges among grantee organizations; investigate new topics quickly; synthesize a wide range of information; and apply ideas across new contexts.

The ideal candidate should have:

  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in workforce development.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; Advanced degree is preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills along with strong analytic and research abilities.
  • An aptitude to actively contribute to intellectual give and take, to ask thoughtful questions, be open-minded, and be comfortable challenging ideas and being challenged.
  • Experience in the nonprofit sector is preferred.

Work Environment
The Foundation embraces a culture of collaboration and professional curiosity. Located in Chicago, Illinois, our work is performed in a hybrid work environment (a combination of in-office and remote). The Employment Program Officer is expected to travel regularly to conduct local site visits with grantees and community partners. This position will report directly to the Foundation’s President.

The salary range is $115,000 - $145,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications. Excellent employee benefits include three weeks of vacation, one-week paid office closure during winter holidays, paid sick days, employer-paid health insurance (85% of the premium), and after one-year of employment, contributions to a 403(b)-retirement plan.  


If interested, please apply at the following link: https://lloydafryfoundation.applytojob.com/apply/MpACu4DNGA/Employment-Program-Officer