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Monday, July 1, 2013

Young Adults Retention Specialist, Grace Institute, New York, NY

Young Adults Retention Specialist

Posted on: July 1, 2013
Application deadline: July 17, 2013
Posted by: Grace Institute


Grace Institute provides tuition-free, practical job training in a supportive learning community for underserved New York area women of all ages and from many different backgrounds. In the tradition of its founding family, Grace Institute is dedicated to the development of the personal and business skills necessary for self-sufficiency, employability and an improved quality of life.

The Young Adults Retention Specialistis responsible for counseling and coaching Grace students, women age 18-24, so that they are able to meet educational/training and employment goals. The Retention Specialist will work closely with students, meet with them individually, conduct regular workshops and support groups, coach participants on career-development and job-readiness skills and follow them throughout the Grace program and into their first year of employment.The Retention Specialist should be aware of the challenges at-risk young adults face and be passionate and committed to direct-service work. Grace Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values and encourages diversity within the workplace.

  • Reaches out to newly admitted students before they start program; identifies and discusses challenges and potential persistence issues. Assists incoming students, where necessary, in establishing time-management or project-management plans so they can persist in program.
  • Builds professional relationships with participants in order to ensure program persistence and long-term job retention. Participates and supports job-readiness activities including interview-coaching, resume-writing, building appropriate workplace dress and behaviors, and other activities as necessary.
  • Develops and leads workshops and support groups dealing with topics such as: time-management, conflict resolution, critical thinking, workplace readiness, and social and emotional intelligence. Researches alternative best-practice methods for leading group-based support activities for disenfranchised young adults. Recommends practices to staff.
  • Participates and supports job-readiness activities including interview coaching, resume-writing. Offers advice on appropriate workplace dress and behaviors, and other activities as necessary. Coordinates approach with Career Services and Training and Education depts. Liaisons with instructors and social work team for background information on students.
  • Holds crisis-counseling sessions with young adults. Assists selected participants in developing individualized action plans suited to their educational/training and employment needs. Assists students in accessing government or community support to address need.
  • Provides employment and post-employment career counseling. Liaisons with partner organizations and Career Service and Alumnae Departments to support students in job-placement and retention. Assists young adult graduates and alumnae in taking advantage of targeted support services and professional development opportunities
  • Creates organizational and program materials as necessary, coordinates and regularly updates existing materials. Researches applicable city, state and federal social resources for low-income young adults.
  • Helps to ensure that outcome-based performance standards (below) are met:
Increase percentage of young adult population served from 14% to 30% annually. 70% of young adult participants will graduate from the program, an average increase of 15%. 80% of young adult graduates will be placed in a job within one year, an average increase of 10%. 60% of those young adult participants who were placed in a job will retain it for at least one year. 50% of young adult graduates and alumnae will take advantage of targeted support services and professional development opportunities. Grace Institute will create linkages with five new employer partners who are committed to interviewing Grace's young adult population and working with Grace to continually improve outcomes. Reach out to grads on a monthly basis to provide incentives for job retention and to support them in their jobs.

  • Consistently exhibits Grace core values during the performance of job.
  • Attends staff training and meetings as required.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
All responsibilities reflect the young adult population at Grace (approximately 30% of total student body, or 40 students per six-month cohort).


BA required, Master's degree preferred, in social work, retention services, education or related field. Preferably three-to-five years of direct-service work
  • Understands and has experience working with smart, capable, diverse young people, many of whom are part of at-risk populations
  • Has strong oral and written communication skills
  • Exhibits capacity to think and act strategically to help young people succeed
  • Displays capacity for critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and conflict resolution
  • Has strong time and project-management ability
  • Has ability to use an online database as well as standard computer programs
  • Displays an ability to develop and maintain accurate case notes, reports, and other organizational records
  • Has knowledge of city, state and federal social resources and case-management skills and processes
  • Is able to maintain discretion regarding sensitive issues and confidential information

To apply, please send your resume to, along with a cover letter that concisely and sufficiently addresses 1) why you would like to join Grace Institute and 2) how your experience has prepared you for the challenge of this role. Please include Young Adults Retention Specialist in your subject heading. The application deadline is July 17, 2013. No phone calls please.

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