Overview of Responsibilities:
The Assistant to the President for Community Engagement plays a key role in carrying out the AFL-CIO's mission of building a broad and inclusive labor movement. To that end, the position oversees the development of the AFL-CIO's strategies and program for building effective labor community partnerships at all levels of the labor movement. The Assistant to the President for Community Engagement serves as the AFL-CIO's primary point of relationship with worker centers, national progressive community organizations, interfaith social justice networks and other key community partners.
The Assistant to the President for Community Engagement will develop strategies to build enduring relationships with community partners. The focus of this work is around issue, legislative, organizing, and political campaigns and other efforts that highlight working family issues and help advance a shared agenda around good jobs, access to quality health care, quality public education, affordable housing, racial justice, immigrants' rights, environmental stewardship and other social justice concerns. The position will advise AFL-CIO field staff, state federations, and local and area labor councils' efforts to create coalitions and partnerships by engaging community-based and civil rights groups, faith-based, youth and student organizations, worker centers, and other progressive organizations and linking them with local labor movements. It will also work with various AFL-CIO Departments to ensure that the AFL-CIO's work with progressive organizations outside the labor movement is coordinated and furthers the AFL-CIO's mission.
The Assistant to the President for Community Engagement is responsible for the development, implementation and coordination of strategies to develop closer relationships between worker centers and the labor movement, as well as campaigns and projects of mutual interest among the worker centers, the AFL-CIO, its affiliated unions, state federations and central labor councils and their affiliated unions.
Description of Duties:
• Serve as the primary point of relationship with national progressive community organizations, interfaith social justice networks and other key community partners.
• Manage the Worker Center Partnership including the implementation of AFL-CIO National Partnerships with NDLON, Domestic Workers Alliance, Interfaith Worker Justice, Enlace, NGA, and future partnerships.
• In collaboration with various AFL-CIO Departments, ensure that the AFL-CIO's work with progressive organizations outside the labor movement is coordinated and furthers the AFL-CIO's mission.
• Advise AFL-CIO field staff, state federations, and local and area labor councils' efforts to create coalitions and partnerships by engaging community-based and civil rights groups, faith-based, youth and student organizations, worker centers, and other progressive organizations and linking them with local labor movements.
• Assist affiliates' efforts to build enduring labor community partnerships.
• Oversee the process of worker center affiliations to central labor councils and state federations;
• Oversee the Worker Center Advisory Council, including its annual convening, regional meetings, and other matters.
• Conceptualize, develop and implement programs to build strategic relationships among progressive organizations, including worker centers, the communities they serve and the labor movement.
• Identify and anticipate opportunities and challenges and develop and direct effective strategies to capture opportunities and address challenges.
• Provide technical assistance to unions and community partners, including worker centers on various issues related to issues of mutual interest.
• In collaboration with relevant AFL-CIO Departments, develop and implement methods for ensuring effective communication among the labor movement and community partners, including worker centers.
• Act as lead representative of the Federation in coalitions that involve worker centers and other immigrant community allies.
• Represent the AFL-CIO on the Labor Innovation for the Twenty First Century (LIFT) Fund steering committee, as appropriate.
• Represent the AFL-CIO at conferences and other venues, as appropriate.
• In collaboration with other appropriate AFL-CIO Departments, develop and implement mechanisms for implementation of relevant Convention resolutions.
Education and Experience:
• At least ten years of leadership experience in campaigns, issue advocacy, labor, grassroots or community organizing preferably in a union, political or issue-driven environment;
• Eight years' experience working with a broad array of organizations in a coalitional or alliance formation on issues of social and economic justice at the local level;
• Demonstrated extensive knowledge of worker centers and their role within their respective communities;
• Deep understanding of, and strong relationships with leaders in the work center movement;
• Culturally competent and able to communicate effectively with people representing diverse interests, styles and backgrounds;
• Experience with low income, immigration or other historically marginalized communities;
• Ability to promote and communicate the philosophy, mission and values to external and internal stakeholders;
• Extensive knowledge of the AFL-CIO and its mission;
• Demonstrated experience managing staff;
• Extensive knowledge of the work and structure of state federations and central labor councils, AFL-CIO affiliates and allied organizations;
• Experience working with the labor movement and its leadership at the national, state and local levels, or equivalent;
• Proven ability to develop strategy and implement programs by capturing the resources and capacity of a broad array of partners;
• Knowledge and understanding of basic principles and skills involved in internal organizing, leadership development, campaign planning and implementation;
• Demonstrated ability to lead teams and workgroups in developing and implementing work plans;
• Proven ability to lead by example and foster mentoring relationships;
• Fluency in oral and written Spanish preferred;
• Demonstrated experience with public speaking events including the ability to adjust tone and argument for various audiences;
• Excellent written, oral and presentation skills;
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to manage relationships in complex political and sensitive organizational situations;
• High level of individual motivation and a proven self-starter;
• Ability to travel and perform weekend and evening work;
• Based in Washington, DC.
Additional Background Information:
One major subset of this work will involve continuing to develop organized labor's relationships with the growing worker center movement. In 2006, the AFL-CIO entered into a historic partnership with worker centers and worker center networks, which, among other things, allows worker centers (and their networks) a seat in central labor councils and/or state federations. The goal of the AFL-CIO National Worker Center partnership is to strengthen the ability of the labor movement and worker centers to promote and enforce the workplace rights of immigrant and other low-wage workers, as well as building and construction trade workers, high-tech workers and others by building connections among these organizations, especially at the local level.
Since then, the relationship between the labor movement and worker centers has grown substantially. Eighteen worker centers have affiliated with central labor councils and state federations, across the country. In addition, tens of worker centers have developed working relationships with unions, central labor councils and state federations around issues of mutual interest including worker organizing and issue campaigns, including immigration reform, domestic worker rights, wage theft, living wage, and other issues that impact low wage workers. In 2011, the AFL-CIO and several foundations created the LIFT Fund, which provides grants to foster union-worker center collaboration. More than 20 grants have been awarded to date. In 2013, the AFL-CIO established the Worker Center Advisory Council, which consists of union leaders, worker center leaders and academics, who come together to envision deeper relationships among worker centers and unions and develop strategies for making those visions real, as well as to address other issues of mutual concern.