WERC - Worker Education & Resource Center

Worker Education & Resource Center

Executive Director

Based in Los Angeles, CA

The Executive Director of WERC will be a key leader in building and deploying high-quality workforce development programming in Los Angeles, and set its strategic direction. The Executive Director will operationalize the day-to-day leadership, management, and planning necessary to WERC’s continued growth and impact. The Executive Director will develop and implement innovative strategies to advance the organization’s mission.

The Worker Education and Resource Center (WERC) is a non-profit organization that for 20 years has provided quality workforce development programs in partnership with public service and safety net employers in Los Angeles County.

WERC is a labor-management partnership with the Service Employees International Union Local 721, committed to high road programs that address equity, excellent public service, and career paths to stable permanent employment.

WERC conducts research and planning, develops curriculum, and provides dynamic, cutting-edge training programs and intensive case management.

Reporting to the WERC Board of Directors, the Executive Director’s primary responsibilities include the following:

  • Develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including labor organizations, public sector entities, educational entities, foundations and other funders;
  • Design and implement high-road training partnerships and workforce development initiatives focused on working adults and adult learners who experience high barriers to employment and other factors;
  • Inspire, motivate and lead a team of committed colleagues united by a common mission and vision;
  • Attract, recruit, and retain an innovative and high-performing team;
  • Foster an inclusive environment, instilling a culture of teamwork, ensuring organizational cohesion, and offering opportunities for professional growth;
  • Listen actively with respect to all opinions, including dissent, and make difficult decisions when necessary;
  • Lead the development of short-term and long-range strategic plans and budgets that advance organizational goals and objectives;
  • Oversee the effective and efficient management of the organization’s financial resources ensuring its fiscal stability and long-term viability.

An ideal candidate will be a visionary and respected leader in workforce development, labor-management relations, and/or non-profit management. They will have commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and cultural competency. They will also be a transparent and collaborative leader, possess entrepreneurial acumen, and a track record in building high-impact programs.

The new Executive Director will bring the following:

  • Demonstrated success building strong and effective teams, supported by a track record of leading by example to create cultures defined by excellence, professionalism, trust and respect;
  • Prior management experience in terms of working with a board of directors, funders, and partner entities;
  • Program development experience, including a history of forging durable relationships with key stakeholders, partners and funders;
  • Organizational and staff development expertise, with the ability to effectively communicate and manage change;
  • Understanding of non-profit fiscal structures and funding streams, combined with strong business acumen;
  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (such as, social sciences, business, etc.) is required; a graduate degree is desired.

To attract a new Executive Director, WERC is offering a competitive compensation package with full benefits that includes dependents.

Interested, qualified persons are invited to submit a résumé and cover letter to:
Joe Ralston, jralston@we-rc.org.

The Los Angeles County and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU Local 721) establish a partnership to address the crisis in healthcare services reform and obtain a US DOL grant to develop a restructuring and re-training program.

LA County Department of Health Services (LA DHS) and SEIU 721 establish the Worker Education & Resource Center, Inc. (WERC) as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit to create and implement the health Care Workforce Development Program (HCWDP).

2002 – 2007
LA DHS and SEIU 721 obtain 40 million dollars in workforce development funds from the State and Local Workforce Investment Act to prepare workers for demand occupations in healthcare, particularly Registered Nurses to address the dire shortage in the County. WERC expands to also provide pathways into Allied Health Careers such as medical Record Coders, Patient Financial Resource Workers, Psychiatric Technicians, MRI Technicians, etc. Over 1,000 workers are trained and credentialed.

2008 – 2010
WERC pilots innovative programs with ARRA grants during the recession with “Green” programs: education custodial workers to reduce waste, use safer chemicals, and improve infection control in County hospitals, water conservation training programs, and community health worker programs.

2010 – 2016
WERC and LA DHS partner to prepare for healthcare reform after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. WERC develops and implements workshops for over 15,000 eligibility workers and healthcare workers on the new benefits affecting close to one million newly covered residents of LA County and how to ensure a positive patient experience. WERC also prepares 130 Certified Medical Assistants for jobs in out-patient care.

2012 – 2017
WERC launches several Community Health Worker Programs with LA DHS, LA Department of Mental Health, Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center, and federally qualified community health centers, to prepare over 230 workers with cultural affinity to the patients they serve.

2015 – 2018
WERC registers a Community Health Worker Apprenticeship Program with the US DOL Office of Apprenticeship and the CA Division of Apprenticeship Standards, and conducts the first program with ten apprentices and five community health centers, known as the Care Navigator Apprenticeship Program.

2016 – 2018
WERC creates the LA EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) Program as a partnership with the LA County Fire Department, McCormick Ambulance, and the LA County Second Supervisorial District to address equity issues in the industry. Three cohorts have completed the five-month long LA EMT Program located in South Los Angeles.

2016 – Present
LA DHS and SEIU 721 create the Labor Management Transformation Council and direct WERC to develop several workshops for hundreds of workers regarding Labor-Management Committees, Just Culture Training – an anti-bullying campaign, and other internal initiatives to improve the work environment.

WERC creates PLACE – (Preparing Los Angeles for County Employment) as a high road training partnership with the LA County Chief Executive’s Office to prepare people with high barriers to employment for permanent jobs and career pathways.

WERC is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, sex, age, condition of physical or mental handicap, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

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