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Program Support Specialist

Merit America

Merit America

Customer Service
Posted on Friday, May 26, 2023

The Organization: Merit America

The American economy is broken. Today 53 million working adults–nearly half of the U.S. workforce–do not earn a living wage. And these talented workers have few options to advance: college is too long and expensive, full-time bootcamp programs don’t offer enough flexibility, and online courses don’t have the structure or support to translate learning into a new career. The result? Talented workers, disproportionately people of color and women, get stuck in low-wage roles with no way to build a better life for themselves and their families.
Merit America is a national nonprofit that creates pathways to family-sustaining careers for Americans without college degrees, stuck in low-wage work. Our fast, flexible solutions are built for working adults: we start by analyzing tens of millions of job postings to identify in-demand, high-paying tech careers, and then work with industry-recognized partners to train for these roles with part-time programs that combine flexible online learning with best-in-class coaching. Finally, we work with a broad constellation of local and national employers like JPMorgan Chase and Infosys to place learners into higher-earning, family-sustaining jobs, driving an average wage gain of $19k. Merit America is on a mission to build a scalable pathway for workers to join the middle class through merit, not money. We’re on track to generate $1B in wage gains by 2024.

Role Overview

The primary mission of the Program Support Specialist (PSS) is to provide as-needed coverage for full-time Program Success Managers or Job Success Specialists.

Program Support Specialist tasks can run the gamut across the entire end-to-end program experience. These responsibilities include providing career coaching, facilitating professional skill development workshops, leading cohort-wide and small-group programming, sourcing jobs for learners, reviewing resumes, and providing 1:1 interview prep, to name a few. Please note that hours may vary week to week in this role due to fluctuating coverage needs; it is an ideal fit for those seeking flexible remote work to make a meaningful direct impact on the lives of underserved members of our country and to help build a fast-growing nonprofit startup.

The PSS will report directly to the Manager, Communications & Operations and works primarily with the program team at Merit America.

What You'll be Doing:

As program needs vary weekly, the Program Support Specialist will shift focus based on cohort and Pod needs. The responsibilities of the Program Support Specialist will include, but are not limited to, the following

Learner Coaching:

  • Meet with assigned learners to provide personalized support: understand their post-program job and career goals, stay on track in their learning program, and graduate job-ready
  • Review learner assignments (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile) and provide coaching and feedback
  • Facilitate peer learning through small groups (squads) to develop and hone professional skills aligned with the field
  • Monitor learners’ progress in online courses through an online portal and proactively reach out to offer support when learners are struggling
  • Maintain comprehensive knowledge of available community resources and refer learners to appropriate resources

Job Search Support:

  • Source, share, and promote quality entry-level jobs across IT Support, Java Development, and Data Analytics fields
  • Identify and share job seeker support resources and tools including sourcing local and national events that help job seekers enhance their skills, networks, and job prospects
  • Manage cross-functional requests and organize systems to keep track of job-seekers in various interview processes and stages

Program Management:

  • Build a positive and supportive cohort culture through communications via Slack, e-mail, and live interactions, cultivating learners' social capital building
  • Continually improve the program and learner experience by documenting insights and observations

What Makes a Successful Candidate:

We know that women and people of color are often less likely to apply to a position if they don’t match 100% of the job qualifications. Don’t let that be the reason you miss out on this opportunity! We encourage you to apply if you can demonstrate many of these skills and competencies. Below are the skills that are relevant for thriving in this role:

Must haves:

  • Strong knowledge of professional skills such as resume & cover letter writing, interviewing, communicating professionally, etc., including interest and previous experience with career coaching, tutoring, education, counseling, youth development, non-profits, or other mission-driven work
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • A growth mindset
  • Able to provide personalized support to meet individual learner needs
  • Desire to work directly with underserved populations; outstanding ability to understand and empathize with people of diverse backgrounds
  • Able to step up and run autonomously in ambiguous, quickly changing environments
  • Exceptional operational and organizational skills, and the ability to manage your schedule and balance multiple demands

Nice to haves:

  • Experience with Salesforce or other CRM platforms
  • Proficient with Google workspace (Google sheets, docs, etc)
  • Commitment to lifelong learning and ongoing personal and professional development
  • Able to work collectively and independently while delivering pertinent feedback to colleagues and direct manager
  • Prior experience in workforce development, edTech, or equivalent training programs
  • Able to communicate effectively with peers and direct managers to improve processes and procedures.

Other Logistics:

  • This position is part-time, assignment-based (PRN)
  • Location: Remote
  • Salary : $30/hr
  • Schedule: Program Support Specialists maintain as-needed, flexible schedules to provide as-needed coverage for our coaching team that include some time during the traditional workday and possibly a few evenings to accommodate learner schedules.

Our goal is to have competitive and equitable compensation. We have a market-based compensation approach which means that we benchmark each role from reputable data sources. We compare our benchmarks against similarly sized non-profit organizations with comparable annual budgets and geographical areas. We pay the same rate for the same roles and adjust to comply with statutory mandates.

We take care of our employees by providing the following perks and benefits:

  • 4-day work week (Fridays are an operating day if there is a holiday closure during the week)
  • Medical, Dental and Vision insurance (100% Paid Employee Only Coverage)
  • Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account
  • Dependent care Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Reimbursement Account fully funded by Merit
  • Education reimbursement & personal development stipend
  • Short and long-term disability
  • Unlimited vacation (after a 90-day introductory period)
  • Paid Parental Leave and Adoption benefits (after 1 year of employment)
  • 10 federally recognized holidays
  • 1 week office closure in July (week of July 4th)
  • 2 week holiday office closure in December/January
  • 401(k) retirement plan with automatic Merit contribution
  • Employee Assistance Program | Talkspace | Sanvello
  • Discount perks at work program
  • Phone/technology stipend
  • Home office setup stipend

Remote Work & Sponsorship

Candidates must reside within the 50 states or District of Columbia and have full authorization to work in the 50 U.S. states & the District of Columbia (international work abroad, including the U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and other islands are excluded). In addition, Merit America doesn't offer employment visa sponsorship.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Building an inclusive, high-performing team that is diverse across lines of personal identity is integral to our success and we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

This means we do not discriminate against any job applicant or employee because of their race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This applies to all terms and conditions of employment.

We actively strive and evolve to develop and maintain workspaces that are fully inclusive. We encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

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

E-Verify Statement

This employer participates in E-Verify and will provide the federal government with your Form I-9 information to confirm that you are authorized to work in the U.S. If E-Verify cannot confirm that you are authorized to work, this employer is required to give you written instructions and an opportunity to contact Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) so you can begin to resolve the issue before the employer can take any action against you, including terminating your employment. Employers can only use E-Verify once you have accepted a job offer and completed the I-9 Form.