CA Opportunity Youth Network (COYN) Statewide Coordinator

Location: United States

Type: Part Time

Min. Experience: Mid Level

 

Background

The California Opportunity Youth Network (COYN) seeks a highly driven and dynamic individual to help coordinate the activities and provide support to the Steering Committee of COYN – a network of six California Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund communities working to improve outcomes for disconnected youth.

The Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF) is an initiative of The Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions and includes 21 communities nationwide, including six OYIF communities in California.  To maximize and leverage the strength of their collaborative work on behalf of the 850,000 California youth disconnected from school and work, these six California OYIF communities have come together to form COYN.  

The founding members of COYN include the following current Aspen OYIF grantee partners, backbone organizations, and local collaborative partners in California:

Oakland, CA | Urban Strategies Council | Oakland-Alameda County Opportunity Youth Initiative
San Diego, CA | San Diego Youth Development Office | San Diego Youth Opportunity Pathways Initiative (PATHWAYS)
Santa Clara County, CA | Kids in Common, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte | Santa Clara County Opportunity Youth Partnership
San Francisco, CA | Bay Area Community Resources | 100K Opportunities Initiative | San Francisco Bay Area
Los Angeles, CA | Alliance for Children’s Rights | Los Angeles Opportunity Youth Collaborative
Del Norte County, CA | Wild Rivers Community Foundation | Del Norte County and the Adjacent Tribal Lands

 

Goals

Adopting a collective impact approach to social change, the COYN seeks to dramatically improve life outcomes for California’s opportunity youth – defined as youth between the ages of 16-24 who are disconnected from education and employment – while simultaneously providing communities with the knowledge and tools necessary for success.  To this end, COYN seeks to develop a state-wide learning community, policy and advocacy agenda, communications strategy, and youth engagement strategy. This state-level work in California will be developed and co-created with the COYN sites and in close partnership with existing initiatives, foundations, organizations, and leaders across California.

The first step towards supporting a state-wide learning community and policy agenda is to strengthen and support the COYN Steering Committee and existing CA OYIF learning community, responding to consistent requests from OYIF CA sites for more connectivity and coordination between and among the sites.  An additional future step in the development of a robust state-wide learning community and policy agenda could be to connect more intentionally with other CA communities and collaborative initiatives that are actively working on pathways for opportunity youth.  It will be incumbent upon this network to work with other policy and advocacy efforts already underway in the state.  COYN’s goal is to participate in the local/state opportunity youth ecology and to learn from, follow, and leverage local/CA partners wherever and whenever possible.

 

Position Overview

To lead this important work, COYN seeks dynamic and organized individual to coordinate the statewide effort; staff the COYN Steering Committee; serve as a project manager for COYN initiatives; build relationships with COYN partners; and, to steer the network in furtherance of COYN’s overarching goals. Ideally, this position will be based at the Urban Strategies Council (in Oakland); however, it may be located at any of the other COYN OYIF sites (Del Norte County, Los Angeles, Santa Clara County, San Diego, or San Francisco). The employment status for this position may be as a regular part-time employee (with benefits), or as a contracted consultant (without benefits). This position will require approximately 20-25 hours work per week. Funds for this position are committed through August, 2018. This position will require moderate travel (mainly in-state).

 

Responsibilities

The COYN Manager will coordinate and support the state-wide efforts of the COYN, including:

Supporting the COYN Steering Committee and individual COYN sites with opportunities, resources, and communications to advance positive outcomes for opportunity youth and CA OYIF communities.

Provide both leadership and project management support to the COYN Steering Committee, carrying and spreading the vision COYN has for Opportunity Youth throughout the state of California.
Coordinating the development of a strategic planning process for COYN (including active engagement of the COYN Steering Committee and key Network stakeholders), and managing implementation of the completed plan.

Developing and implementing a resource development plan for COYN and assisting individual sites’ fund development planning/activities.
Play a liaison role with the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions staff and team – helping to connect opportunities, resources, and the work of Aspen with the COYN sites and vice-versa.
Connect sites with promising and emerging youth engagement and leadership strategies to support the integration of youth voice in the emerging COYN learning and advocacy agenda.
Assist sites in obtaining the necessary tools, technology, and supports to track data, measure and report outcomes at the youth, programmatic, and systems level, and effectively deliver messaging to advance the cause and improve outcomes for opportunity youth.

 

Fostering Policy Connections and Opportunities for COYN

Facilitate and sequence policy and advocacy connections, contracts, and partnerships, in order to maximize policy and advocacy opportunities for CA opportunity youth and COYN sites.
Identify key partners across California, including partners with expertise in advocacy; youth engagement; or workforce development/opportunity pipeline in order to advance COYN’s state goals and bolster COYN’s state strategy.


Leverage and connect OYIF sites with state and federal policy and other opportunities.  For example, working to leverage new policies around local funding formulas for K-12 systems; new juvenile justice reform and child welfare reform opportunities in the state; greater opportunities for Boys and Men of Color; opportunities to strengthen WIAO implementation on behalf of opportunity youth; grant and funding opportunities such as Performance Partnership Pilots (P3), etc.  Identify other policy priorities and leverage other state opportunities that may bolster the COYN advocacy agenda.
Partner to help connect COYN with system leaders across the state of CA, to support and bolster a state level strategy to reconnect opportunity youth (i.e. mayors, superintendents, community college presidents, etc.).

 

Developing the COYN Community of Learning

Develop the design and content for, and facilitate monthly calls and bi-annual in-person convenings.
Organize and support site-to-site consultancies and other exchanges/deeper learning opportunities amongst the COYN sites, and occasionally with the national OYIF sites.

Play a knowledge management function for COYN – connecting and sharing resources, tools, opportunities, and other knowledge across the network.
Connect COYN to the OYIF Communications Advisory Group to ensure lessons are transmitted and shared across the broader OYIF grantee portfolio.
Work with the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions staff and team to design content specific for COYN communities as a component of the broader OYIF in-person convening agenda. Share lessons from COYN with other OYIF communities during in-person convenings.

 

Supporting Pathways Development for COYN’s Opportunity Youth

Work with COYN Members, the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions, and other partners to leverage and connect new resources to COYN sites in order to better support and scale pathways in California.  For example, working with Aspen/Jobs for the Future (JFF) to ensure that JFF/Aspen White House Social Innovation Fund resources are invested in California communities, and working with Aspen to leverage pending and future national initiatives on the ground in CA.
Identify communications and other potential partners or contractors to document and lift up stories of success and examples of effective and promising practice at the site levels, in developing, implementing, financing, and scaling effective pathways to postsecondary completion and/or with labor market payoff for California’s opportunity youth.

 

Requisite Qualifications

The COYN Manager must be passionate about the population of opportunity youth, and committed to the mission and overarching goals of OYIF and the COYN.  Additionally, the successful candidate or agency will be able to demonstrate:

At least five (5) years of relevant work experience, including a preference for experience working closely with collaborative initiatives in California
The presence to inspire confidence and passion in varied audiences
Strategy and planning skills, including an ability to think strategically on both organizational and systemic levels over multiyear horizons
Outstanding project management, communication, and interpersonal skills
Excellent writing ability, and the ability to develop proposals and pitches
Strong data acumen and ability to understand shared-measurement systems

 

Aspen and Additional Support for COYN

Over the 5 year life of the OYIF, the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions will work to support successful pathway development in California for Opportunity Youth in the following ways:

 

Invest over $2M in the backbone coordinating role and in the collaboratives in the above six communities.
Assist the local communities in leveraging a 1:1 local match of philanthropic resources to bolster the Aspen OYIF national investment.

Convene all California collaboratives in a national learning community – twice a year in-person at national conferences – designed and led by the Aspen/JFF OYIF and participate in quarterly convenings through virtual methods.

Leverage the learnings from the California sites and share and transmit what works (i.e. policy agenda, braiding and blending public dollars, youth engagement strategy, communications agenda, etc. at local and state level) with broader audiences.
Support the COYN learning community with frequent opportunities for sharing and learning across the five CA sites, and help to fundraise for the full-time COYN staffing needs

 

Current funders of Aspen OYIF efforts in CA include:

The California Endowment
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Hewlett Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation

JP Morgan Chase Foundation

 

Over the long-term, COYN will work collaboratively with other California stakeholders, funders, and key national partners and communities to support the reconnection to postsecondary success and jobs for thousands of California’s opportunity youth.  In partnership with other key stakeholders throughout the state, COYN will work to communicate outcomes, share successes, and promote the increased adoption of strategies and pathways that work in California.  

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