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Community Jobs Employment Specialist

LOCATION: Opportunity Place, Seattle

REPORTS TO: WorkFirst Program Director

DEPARTMENT: Community Jobs/Job Connections, Economic Empowerment Services


The YWCA Community Jobs program works in partnership with DSHS to provide paid work experience to help people on TANF transition from state assistance to full time employment. TheEmployment Specialist works with parents on TANF referred by DSHS to acquire workplace readiness skills, remove barriers to employment, obtain needed training and support services, and find unsubsidized employment that will enable self-sufficiency within a 3-6 month timeframe. The Employment Specialist also works closely with non-profit, government and Tribal worksites, and worksite supervisors to ensure a valuable subsidized work experience for each participant. In addition, the Employment Specialist maintains extensive records of clients’ progress and reports on achievement of program outcomes using the E-Jas operating system and must following strict timelines and meet report deadlines. Additional services provided by the Employment Specialist will include working with for-profit employers to develop jobs for participants.

This position has a social justice component that will require critical thinking around how external systems impact the work that we are doing through the lens of racism and intersections with poverty. Knowing the core principals of antiracism and grounding those principles in everyday work, as well as working well in non-white environments and championing anti-racism policy, are required job skills and core values. As an equal opportunity employer, we highly encourage people of color to apply.


  • Recruit, interview, screen, determine eligibility, stabilize, enroll, and orient program participants
  • Network and maintain contact with representatives of other social service providers to exchange referrals
  • Administer, score and/or interpret skills and interest assessments for clients
  • Determine clients’ job readiness, training, placement and support service needs
  • Work with clients to develop career and employment objectives and individual development action plans
  • Provide clients with support services and/or makes referrals to other community agencies to resolve barriers to employment
  • Work as a member of a case management team or advocates with other community service providers to deliver support services and ensure follow-through
  • Provide individual and group job search preparation and training to clarify and develop the habits and attitudes needed to be successful in the workplace
  • Coach clients in developing resumes, cover letters and other job search materials
  • Provide clients with appropriate employer referrals and job search information
  • Make job placements
  • Maintain complete and accurate client files
  • Collect and compile statistics                                          
  • Initiate and develop relationships with local employers for the purpose of developing job and internship opportunities and placing clients
  • Identify employer needs for skills and training
  • Make appropriate job and internship placements, matching participant and employer needs and program requirements
  • Work directly with employers to find out what their hiring needs are, market qualified candidates to those positions, and follow up accordingly
  • Develop and maintain mutually beneficial relationships between the YWCA and employers
  • Act as the bridge between job seekers and employers to ensure that each placement is appropriate, set up for success, and meets the specific needs of the employer as well as the career interests of the job seeker
  • Monitor work site experiences and maintain on-going communication with employers and supervisors to ensure success of each customer placement, which may include conflict mediation if necessary
  • Network with local Chambers of Commerce, industry associations, HR groups, diversity networks and other collaborations to learn about business needs
  • Maintain regular contact with Interns and Worksite supervisors to get feedback on Intern performance, resolve problems, and provide additional training as needed
  • Plan and lead classes and support groups for clients during Internship
  • Work with Program Director to provide Worksite coaching on diversity, accommodation, and training issues
  • Work with Program Director to develop and use performance evaluations and feedback mechanisms to ensure Internship outcomes are met and Worksites are satisfied with services
  • Implement all work by incorporating the YWCA’s Social Justice Initiative by understanding how racism, sexism, classism and other oppressions intersect and are embedded in all institutions and systems. Recognize that solving racism is the root of how we understand and heal from these –isms.
  • Show demonstrated ability to interact with people of different cultures.
  • Continue search for understanding of racial, gender and class equity.
  • Adhere to all Volunteer Services protocol relative to volunteer usage, recognition and monitoring. Work alongside volunteers, where applicable. Understand where internalized oppressions (superiority and inferiority) play a role in volunteer and client interaction and know ways to address these oppressions from a solutions-based perspective.
  • Assure that volunteers are treated with respect and dignity regardless of race, ethnic background, gender or socioeconomic background. Understand how racism has played a role in defining what respect and dignity is and use racial equity and multiracial perspectives when teaming with volunteers.
  • Perform other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree in social services, social work, education, or related field desired. An equivalent combination of experience and education will be considered.
  • One to two years of demonstrated experience required performing work related to client recruitment and enrollment, career assessment and planning, support services, occupational training, workplace readiness, job placement, records maintenance and outcomes reporting
  • Additional experience in job and Work-site development, internship placement, and retention services may be required
  • Knowledge of the local labor market  and target client population(s)
  • Knowledge of career assessment methods
  • Knowledge of local occupational training program and resources
  • Strong customer service orientation
  • Sensitivity to the needs of YWCA clients who are homeless, low income, limited English speaking, or impacted by domestic violence, substance abuse or other barriers to employment
  • Commitment to diversity and ability to work well with diverse family styles and multi-ethnic populations
  • Oral, written, and interpersonal communications skills
  • Creativity in problem-solving, decision making and negotiating solutions
  • Working independently and as a member of a team
  • Prioritizing, and organizing workload and managing time to meet deadlines
  • Computer familiarity with Windows 95, Word., Excel, and E-mail
  • Candidate must be able to travel independently between multiple work sites within a day
  • Bi-lingual language skills highly desired
  • Experience working with communities of color
  • Demonstrated understanding of the intersection of racism and poverty
  • Core Competencies: collaboration, discernment/judgment, fostering diversity, planning and organizing, problem solving, race & social justice advocacy, technical expertise, coaching

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS POSITION: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an individual to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  • Continuously exchanges information through listening and talking with clients, agency staff, employers, representatives of community organizations and other individuals in the community
  • Frequently stands, walks, sits, and climbs in performing duties in the office and in traveling to off-site meetings
  • Frequently reaches and grasps in using telephones, computers, fax machines and other office equipment and supplies
  • Frequently lifts and carries up to 5 lbs. of paperwork, files, and training materials, occasionally up to 40 lbs.
  • Frequently to occasionally performs close work while updating files, reading program information, and using computer
  • Occasionally kneels, bends, pushes and pulls in obtaining files in drawers
  • Occasionally stands for long periods of time while conducting training programs or attending job fair

*Constantly requires this activity or exposure 66+% of the time, frequently: 33%-66%, occasionally: up to 33%.


  • Full time, 32-40 hours per week
  • $16.35/hour
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Classification: Non-exempt
  • Frequently involves local travel to multiple locations for off-site meetings
  • Occasionally involves overtime and night meetings
  • Grant-funded position reviewed regularly for funding availability
  • Excellent benefits package including medical insurance, retirement plan, plus generous vacation, holiday and sick leave plans
  • At the time of hire, employees may choose to voluntarily enroll in the Fidelity 403b Plan.  Typically after two years of employment, employees are eligible to participate in the YWCA Retirement Fund.

TO APPLY: Please send your resume and cover letter along with the job title included in the subject line to Please include where you found this post.

CLOSING DATE: This position will remain open until filled.

The YWCA of Seattle • King County • Snohomish County is an equal opportunity employee