Program Manager: SDA Stimulus & Business Partnership Program

Posted by
Southland Development Authority
East Hazel Crest, IL

Southland Development Authority

Published 13 days ago

April 1, 2021
March 2, 2021

Position Overview

The Southland Development Authority (SDA) is seeking a Program Manager to lead its Stimulus & Business Partnership Program for a period of six months with the opportunity to transition to a full time role at the SDA. 

Background: the SDA and the Stimulus & Business Partnership Program

The Southland Development Authority (SDA) is a new economic development institution that is charged with driving comprehensive, transformative and inclusive economic growth in the Cook County, Illinois South Suburbs (the “Southland”). See for more detail.

 The Southland is home to nearly 700,000 people, 35,000 businesses and produces over $42B in economic output. It is also an area that has experienced severe disinvestment and declines in jobs and household incomes in the last several decades and that is being hit disproportionally hard by the pandemic. The SDA’s long-term inclusive economic growth initiatives are more important than ever to assure the Southland comes through the current economic crisis towards sustainable economic recovery and growth. At the same time, the SDA has re-prioritized and adjusted its work underway to deliver short- and medium-term programs to address the immediate and devastating effects of the pandemic through its Stimulus & Business Partnership Program. Launched in mid-2020, program provides targeted, industry-specific technical and financial assistance to businesses in the Southland – prioritizing businesses that will have the most impact on inclusive economic growth and vital communities, including:

  • Firms owned by people of color
  • Firms in key sectors (food manufacturing, MME, TD&L)
  • COVID-19 impacted firms
  • High-growth potential firms
  • Key neighborhood amenities (e.g., restaurants, health centers)

The program has been executed through a sophisticated system of outreach, business engagement, and assignment of industry-specific expert mentors supported by specialists (e.g., architects, e-commerce consultants) and financial partners to work with targeted businesses on securing emergency funding, re-opening plans and longer term business growth plans and financial support.

Moving forward, this program is transitioning its focus to the long-term goal of supporting businesses that will drive inclusive economic growth in the Southland – through continued one-on-one mentorship for businesses, identification of common obstacles faced by Southland businesses and developing new programs to address them (e.g., bankability and access to capital), and linking the business support programming to the SDA’s other economic growth initiatives.

The SDA is looking to hire a Program Manager who will guide the Stimulus & Business Partnership Program’s transition from a shorter-term emergency response program into a core, long-term program of the SDA.

The Role: Program Manager

 The Program Manager will oversee, lead, and grow the Stimulus & Business Partnership Program – aiming to save and grow as many existing businesses as possible, in ways designed to drive immediate recovery and long-term inclusive economic growth in the region. The Program Manager will oversee and expand the existing network of staff and consultants who are working to execute this program.

Primary Responsibilities

Program Management

  • Manage and refine the Stimulus & Business Partnership Program for optimum effectiveness (including determining additional staffing needs and compensation of all personnel)
  • Execute contracts for all personnel (the mentors, specialists and partners that will be assisting businesses at various levels of intensity and within various industries), and design new contracts as needed
  • Refine existing business intake and program reporting process
  • Develop and maintain performance tracking dashboards to monitor program performance
  • Manage internal and external communication of program performance (e.g., success stories), hurdles, and coordination
  • Collaborate with other SDA staff to design additional Stimulus & Business Partnership Program services to support Southland businesses, and link to and align with other SDA initiatives

Planning and Strategy

  • Conduct ongoing market research and make incremental adjustments to the business plan, strategy, and key performance indicators, as necessary

Marketing and Outreach

  • Refine and execute the program’s outreach and communications strategy, in order to reach the program’s target firms
  • Organize and execute activities such as presentations, webinars, etc.
  • Identify and engage key industry stakeholders that could either supply businesses for the program or provide advisory/mentoring services
  • Present the program to diverse groups – ranging from civic organizations to political constituents

Program Execution

  • Communicate program strategy to team and coordinate roles/responsibilities to execute the program
  • Manage / improve team workflows; build and strengthen team relationships
  • Oversee mentor/specialist program to include identifying, recruiting, onboarding, and managing mentors and specialists

Quality Control

  • Develop and manage a QC program to monitor quality and fit of delivery to the market
  • Develop and manage mentor/specialist QC program to tie compensation and utilization to quality of delivery

Fiscal Management

  • Overall responsibility for budgeting, fundraising, managing, and investing financial resources in the program
  • Maintain an up to date list of various sources of funding that the program can utilize for business relief


  • Deep knowledge of business development needs and strategies across multiple industries (e.g., retail, manufacturing, TD&L) and stages of growth (e.g., startups to mature firms)
  • Understanding of inclusive economic growth, particularly how growth of existing businesses and increased participation of communities of color grows the broader economy
  • Proven experience in program design and management, and stakeholder engagement
  • Experience working with a senior-level group or Board of Directors
  • Ability to communicate and interact well with a diverse set of partners and stakeholders
  • Able to work collaboratively and be a team player
  • Proactive, self-motivated and strong work ethic
  • Well-organized and able to manage multiple staff in executing on tight deadlines

Position Type:

Full-Time; 6 month contract (with opportunity to extend)

Additional Notes:

The SDA has an 18-member Board of Directors. In its start-up year, in addition to the SDA’s two inaugural staff (CEO and Outreach Manager), work is carried out through a services agreement with RW Ventures, LLC, as well as through other independent contractors.


Flexible; preferably living in the Chicagoland region (and having deep familiarity with the Southland)


Salary and benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience.

To Apply:

Email us a cover letter, resume and names of 3 references no later than March 1, 2021.

Position Overview

The Southland Development Authority (SDA) is seeking a Program Manager to lead its Stimulus & Business Partnership Program for a period of six months with the opportunity to transition to a full time role at the SDA…

Details at a glance

  • Full Time Schedule
  • Contract


Temporarily Remote
Work may be performed anywhere in United States
Associated Location
1904 W. 174th Street, East Hazel Crest, IL 60429

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Submit cover letter, resume and names of 3 references no later than March 1, 2021.

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