Program Manager, Entrepreneurship and Workforce

Job Locations US-AR-Bentonville
Posted Date 3 weeks ago(5/6/2024 2:24 PM)
Requisition ID
# of Openings
Category (Portal Searching)


Heartland Forward is seeking a programmatic, policy and/or economic development professional that will support collaboration with multiple stakeholders to advance programs, advocacy and public policy activities with a focus on entrepreneurship, human capital and workforce development as we work to build the talent pipeline. The program manager will support Heartland Forward’s work for its program activation and public policy activities in two of four program areas 1) Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 2) Human Capital and Workforce Development, 3) Health and Wellness and 4) Regional Competitiveness.The program manager will report to the program director of entrepreneurship, human capital and workforce development and will work closely with the Heartland Forward team to help in establishing the agenda for innovative approaches in these focus areas.This position will play a role in helping turn our research into action by increasing brand awareness, supporting new partnerships that will position Heartland Forward as a leader in entrepreneurship, human capital and workforce initiatives, policy solutions and a resource to help strengthen Heartland communities. Much of the work will be directed toward state-level initiatives to support efforts for Heartland Forward’s focus areas. Broader work will support initiatives at the federal, state, regional and local levels. The manager will assist Heartland Forward and its leadership team as they engage leaders, philanthropy, policymakers, investors, education institutions and our broader heartland network.The manager must be effective in working alongside other team members in developing, communicating and pitching a strategy that creates opportunities for Heartland Forward to be a resource on effective programs, public policy and practices consistent with Heartland Forward’s research and our overall mission/vision.      

About the Position

Heartland Forward is a think-and-do tank dedicated to being a resource for states and local communities in the middle of the country. We do this by studying broad economic trends and building data-driven and community-tested partnerships, programs and policies to address the needs of the heartland - all while helping to change the narrative about the middle of the country and kick-starting economic growth.Heartland Forward is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building and maintaining a culturally diverse workplace. We encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status of protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability.


Support program specific strategies that develop and promote entrepreneurship, human capital and workforce development by researching trends/ activities and sharing insights with a simplified/accelerated approach on how Heartland Forward can serve as a resource to strengthen communities.
Support ongoing programmatic efforts in entrepreneurship and the healthcare workforce. Duties include supporting in reporting on grants, supporting programmatic partners on delivery and working with communications team to highlight efforts.
Research best practices on workforce development programs-including career pathways, apprenticeship programs, advanced manufacturing, re-engaging disconnected workers, health care workforce, broadband and the future of work.
Research best practices on entrepreneurship programs-including small business development, capital deployment, technical assistance for entrepreneurs and small businesses and high tech/high growth programs.
Support evaluation development and implementation across program efforts.
In coordination with the communications and research teams - develop and manage presentations, one-pagers/white papers, collateral and written/digital communication to support program focus area.
Support program director and leadership team as we maintain relationships with officials at a local, state, and national level and with other key stakeholders.
Coordinate with broader programs team to develop community toolkits and resources. Support cohesive coordination/collaboration between program workstreams and the broader ecosystem.
Effectively communicate with program director and heartland team by providing ongoing updates and relevant content to ensure full alignment with overall team.
Support Heartland Forward’s flagship event the Heartland Summit.


Basic qualifications required for the role:
• Bachelor’s degree
• 2-3 years of experience in programs, nonprofit and/or economic development related field.
• Experience in support programs, projects and working in education, entrepreneurship, workforce development and other related industries.
• Experience in developing PowerPoint presentations and managing data with Excel spreadsheets.
• Outstanding written and oral communication skills.
Additional preferred qualifications and helpful experience includes:
• Master’s degree in related field.
• Experience working in small to medium sized companies or a start-up environment.
• Experience in working on economic development issues.
Characteristics that support success:
• Unquestionable ethics and integrity.
• Demonstrated ability to protect privacy and maintain discretion in dealing with highly confidential information.
• Strong people skills, professional demeanor, and ability to maintain grace under pressure when adapting to a rapidly changing environment, including reprioritization or reassignment of responsibilities.
• Must be a self-starter who takes initiative.
• Ability to meet deadlines, prioritize assignments, and juggle multiple tasks simultaneously.
• Team-player, solution-oriented, intellectual agility and the ability to analyze and think critically.
• Effective independently and in a semi-remote environment.
• Remain accessible and responsive beyond business hours.


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