The Policy Advocate is a key member of JOTF’s policy team and is responsible for working with the Senior Policy Advocate to research and advocate for JOTF policy priorities that seek to advance employment and livable wages for low-wage workers and job seekers in Maryland at the state and local levels.
This position focuses on workplace benefits and workforce development policy; work supports and economic security issues; adult education and access to post-secondary education; and job quality and workplace fairness. The Policy Advocate has a strong understanding of the various political layers of social welfare, family and economics that impact low-income communities in Maryland. As part of a dedicated, hard-working, collaborative team, the Policy Advocate also performs cross-sectional work to achieve JOTF’s advocacy, program, public education and research, and fundraising goals.
During the state’s legislative session from January through April, JOTF’s Policy Team promotes the legislative agenda, reviews and tracks legislation, prepares and delivers testimony, and organizes bill hearings for JOTF policy priorities.
Major Responsibilities include but may not be limited to the following:
During the legislative session (January - April):
● Aggressively support JOTF’s policy agenda at the state and local level (particularly in Annapolis)
● Lead effort on JOTF policy priorities related to access to education and public benefits
● Coordinate potential opportunities for policy engagement and leadership based on JOTF’s organizational mission and priorities with the Senior Policy Advocate
● Identify and track all legislation before the Maryland General Assembly that either directly and/or indirectly affects low-skill, low-wage workers and jobseekers in Maryland
● Maintain bill tracking database and hearing schedule
● Assist with drafting testimony, fact sheets, and memos that accurately compliment and communicate JOTF policy values and agenda
● Attend hearings and deliver written and verbal testimony before the Maryland General Assembly and local jurisdictions, as needed
● Prepare weekly informational materials to partners and funders via weekly email updates on relevant legislation that affects low-wage workers and job seekers in Maryland
● Partner with JOTF’s leadership staff to design effective administrative, legislative and community based strategies to advance JOTF’s policy agenda;
● Provide key support to the Senior Policy Advocate and Executive Director in the planning and coordination of organizational efforts to educate key policymakers on JOTF’s mission and policy agenda;
● Work with the senior policy and research staff to develop strategies to translate policy reform activities to external audiences, particularly funders;
● Represent JOTF at relevant coalition, program meetings and events
● Assist with development, maintenance, and support of key coalitions
● Coordinate supervision of policy interns and volunteers with the Senior Policy Advocate
● Provide staff support to the Board Policy Committee
● Perform other duties as assigned by the Executive Director and/or Senior Policy Advocate
During the Interim (May - December):
● Monitor implementation of JOTF priorities; provide training and technical assistance to community partners or policymakers on implementation efforts
● Develop organizational material such as reports, policy briefs or fact sheets
● Conduct outreach to organizational partners and community based organizations
● Assist with strategic advocacy efforts at the administrative, state, and local government levels
● Develop and maintain alliances, coalitions, and partnerships to further the mission with particular emphasis on relationships in: adult education, higher education, and public benefits
● Develop and maintain robust partnerships with key stakeholders, including coalition partners and elected officials
● Coordinate with the Senior Research Analyst and Senior Policy Advocate on research and analysis with a focus on workplace leave policies, workforce development, adult education, and barriers to employment
● Collaborate with the Senior Policy Advocate and JOTF’s leadership team on advocacy strategies for the upcoming session
● Write and edit policy memos and other advocacy material including blog posts for diverse audiences
● Maintain up-to-date knowledge of issues within the JOTF portfolio and related policy trends
● Identify and attend national and state policy conferences as appropriate
● Represent JOTF at meetings to further the organization’s mission
● Organize and present at public forums to promote JOTF’s research and policy priorities
Other duties as assigned
This is a full-time, permanent position. The Policy Advocate reports to JOTF’s Senior Policy Advocate, and works closely with other policy, research, and program staff. Work will be based out of our downtown Baltimore office during regular business hours, with some off-site meetings around the state and occasional after-hours or weekend events. The ideal candidate will be able to provide his/her own transportation for travel to meetings around the state, community events and to Annapolis during the legislative session. Downtown parking and reimbursement for business travel are included.
This is a full-time position. Salary is competitive based on experience and includes a generous benefits package including health insurance, matched 403(b) and paid leave.
Position open until filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
JOTF strongly values diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. JOTF is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, religious or political affiliation or any other classification considered discriminatory under applicable law. Individuals with a criminal background are encouraged to apply.
Level of Language Proficiency
● A strong understanding of policy-making processes in the legislative and executive branches of government
● A strong understanding/interest in the following key policy topic areas: adult education, higher education, and public benefits
● Strong community and grassroot ties, including organizational abilities
● General understanding of policy trends on issues facing disadvantaged Marylanders, especially
employment-related challenges of low-skill men and women and the workforce needs of employers
● Strong writing, speaking and analytical skills
● Ability to research and analyze problems and propose policy solutions
● Organized, detail oriented and can work effectively in both a team and individually
● Good interpersonal skills and ability to relate effectively with diverse populations
● Demonstrated ability to handle multiple priorities simultaneously and meet deadlines
● Experience with fact checking and quick turnaround research of tasks
● Ability to work collaboratively with diverse communities and people
● Bachelor’s degree or at least three years’ experience in workforce development, public policy, economic development or related fields.
● Sense of humor is a must
Minimum Education Required