Director of Promise Zone, Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity

Posted by City of Philadelphia on April 28, 2020

The Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) provides leadership on issues of economic justice by advancing racial equity and inclusive growth to ensure that all Philadelphians share in the city’s prosperous future and by alleviating the immediate impact of poverty on individuals, families and communities. CEO is Philadelphia’s Community Action Agency (CAA); CAAs are private or public agencies created by the 1964 Economic Opportunity Act and federally designated to receive Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding.

Job Description

The Director of Promise Zone position is an integral part of the City’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity, an agency within the Health and Human Services Cabinet of the Managing Directors Office of the City of Philadelphia. Its mission is to advance economic justice through racial equity, in order to increase mobility out of poverty and ensure that all Philadelphians are able to share in the benefits of economic growth. CEO also distributes federal Community Services Block Grant funding and other resources to support this work. Mitchell Little is the Executive Director of CEO and oversees the development and implementation of CEOs economic inclusion and racial equity agenda.

Using a Collective Impact Model, Which Organizes The Expertise And Resources Of More Than 100 Partners, CEO Serves As The Lead Agency Using a Committee Structure To Address Six Interrelated Program Areas

One of the key placed-based initiatives taken on by CEO is the West Philadelphia Promise Zone. In 2014, the West Philadelphia Promise Zone received a 10-year federal designation aimed at creating jobs, improving education, reducing crime and empowering the community.

  • Economic Opportunity
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Health and Wellness
  • Public Safety
  • Workforce

CEOs partners represent public, nonprofit, private, academic, and community-based organizations and institutions. Together they have spearheaded a number of initiatives and invested financial and in-kind resources aimed at creating and sustaining a vibrant and thriving community. In addition, the Promise Zone designation helps local organizations enhance their competitiveness when applying for federal grants to support neighborhood revitalization projects and programs in the zone.

Essential Functions

The Director of Promise Zone is responsible for three main areas to help advance the required work elements under the Promise Zone program as designated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. The main areas of work and associated tasks are as outlined below:

  • Strategic Alignment
    • Convene or participate in all pertinent meetings, including but not limited to Promise Zone Committee meetings and Promise Neighborhood Project Management Team.
    • Support other City departments and CEO initiatives in the Promise Zone, i.e. the BenePhilly Initiative, Financial Empowerment Centers, and City as Model Employer.
    • Convene a series of strategic visioning sessions with principals of partner organizations using logic models to create a set of cross-institutional goals.
  • Program Management
    • Serve as primary contact to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Corporation for
    • National and Community Services (CNCS) on behalf of CEO.
    • Fulfill all HUD and CNCS data reporting requirements.
    • Support the ongoing progress of Promise Zone Committees and their work plans for six (6) Promise Zone program issue areas.
    • Ensure strong engagement and representation from stakeholders to participate in subcommittees and contribute in other ways across the Promise Zone area.
    • Support the work of Promise Neighborhoods by working with Drexel University and partner entities to identify and increase the capacity, develop systems and identify resources, and review overall program impact and student outcomes.
    • Support the Promise Neighborhoods Project Management Team (PMT) to identify and implement ongoing service provision for each school year.
  • Supervision
    • Support AmeriCorps VISTAs who manage the day-to-day work of the subcommittees, including the facilitation of communication between meetings; working with committee co-chairs in preparing agendas; developing action plans and identifying roles for partners; and leading research efforts and the development of materials to advance work of the group.
    • Support AmeriCorps VISTAs in maintaining consistent community engagement via regular contact with leaders of community-based organizations and civic associations; overseeing the development and execution of Promise Zone community events, such as resource fairs.
    • Support AmeriCorps VISTAs in attending community meetings and events, managing social media accounts, and producing a monthly newsletter to update residents on the activities of the Promise Zone.

Learn more and apply:

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