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Associate Program Director

Merit America Washington, DC

  • Expired: over a month ago. Applications are no longer accepted.
Job Description


In the past several months, more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. Today’s challenge is about more than getting Americans back to work: it is about creating pathways to higher-paying, more resilient careers in order to build a more equitable future as the economy recovers. Now, more than ever, we must rally behind the tens of millions of American adults who are unemployed or stuck in low-wage jobs in pursuit of family-sustaining, recession-resilient careers.

To that end, Merit America is looking for a Associate Program Director.

Merit America overview

Merit America is a non-profit that has been named by the New York Times as “a glimpse of the hybrid future of training programs for the disadvantaged.” Our fast and flexible programs are designed to work for underemployed and unemployed adults - who can learn while they balance work, family, and in current times, social distancing. We combine on-demand online learning with coaching and peer support (delivered in-person or virtually) to create the most effective, scalable model in the field. Our goal is to build the most effective, large-scale education-to-employment program in the country, and​ we have the ambitious goal of reaching ​10,000 learners annually and driving $1B in aggregate wage gains by 2024.

You can learn more about our work in this video we made with our founding partner, Google.

Role Overview

The Associate Program Director will be responsible for overseeing the success of Merit America’s learning programs in one of three designated regions*, preparing hundreds of learners for transformative careers in the near-term and helping strengthen the Merit America model to effectively serve tens of thousands of learners in the long-term.

This is an ideal role for those seeking to make a meaningful direct impact on the lives of underserved members of our country and to help build a fast-growing nonprofit startup. Ideal candidates will be those who excel at people management and operational excellence, with a proven track record of using data to optimize an end-to-end user experience.

*NOTE: Merit America currently operates all programs virtually; as such, regions reflect a set of cohorts with learners across a range of priority locations, rather than a contiguous geography.

Key Responsibilities:

Operational Excellence (50%)

  • Continuously improve an end-to-end program experience that delights and fulfills our learners
    • Use multiple data sources to understand program strengths and weaknesses, and conceive of and test program refinements based on data insights
    • Develop and deliver programming that engages and delights learners as they participate in Merit programs (post-COVID this may have an in-person element, during the pandemic all programming will remain remote)
    • Identify and pursue opportunities to make the Merit America program best-in-class in terms of diversity, equity and inclusivity
    • Connect with businesses, community organizations, and other institutions to strengthen the Merit America program experience, through volunteer mentorship, events, and other program-related partnerships
  • Oversee cohort-wide operations
    • Set the cohort calendar, coach schedules, and key milestones
    • Manage all communications to learners, including communications regarding program updates, requirements and opportunities
    • Review learner and overall cohort progress to identify those who are falling behind and oversee tiered support strategies
    • Resolve learner issues that cannot be solved by learners’ coaches
  • Collaborate across Merit functions
    • Work with other Merit Program leaders to identify effective practices to improve pedagogy, support, and curriculum, in service of driving quality at scale, with a focus on hypothesis-driven experimentation
    • Identify learner-facing UX/UI improvements in collaboration with the Product team
    • Partner closely with the Placement team to ensure program completers are job-seeking and career-ready

People Leadership (30%)

  • Supervise a program team staff of 5-8 direct reports (5-7 Program Success Managers/Career Coaches and 1-2 Operations Associates)
  • Lead the hiring process to recruit and build out a talented, diverse team
  • Lead team onboarding and ongoing professional development
  • Set individual and team goals, and evaluate team members’ individual and collective effectiveness - including by regularly observing coaching sessions
  • Establish experience sharing sessions and opportunities for peer learning, with a focus on creating an inclusive environment for ongoing team learning

Program Admissions (20%)

  • Manage and continuously improve the last phase of the learner selection process, ensuring selection of diverse learners with the potential to succeed in Merit America and providing an engaging applicant experience, with the goal of enrolling hundreds of learners in 2021
  • Support overall learner selection criteria and admissions process as needed in coordination with the Growth Marketing team
  • Serve as a regional brand ambassador and oversee community outreach to facilitate recruiting and admissions in a set of priority locations

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Merit America


Washington, DC
20001 USA



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