About One Million Degrees:


Although half of Illinois’ public college students attend community college, only one in four of them will graduate with a degree within three years. One Million Degrees (OMD) changes that by providing comprehensive supports to community college students, accelerating their progress on career pathways to economic mobility.


OMD’s model, which combines academic, personal, professional, and financial supports, is changing the education landscape. OMD’s community college scholars are 47% more likely than their counterparts to continue from one semester to the next as a full-time student. 


After more than a decade of programming, OMD continues to expand the number of scholars it supports to be a catalyst for change in Chicago. OMD partners with 10 Chicago-area community colleges, serving over 800 scholars and apprentices across the region in the 2018-2019 academic year.


Position Summary: 


To help support our continued growth, One Million Degrees is seeking an energetic, creative, and collaborative Director of People and Culture with exceptional judgment, interpersonal skills and a desire to develop and grow a talented team, from attracting the best applicants to engaging employee alumni.   


Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Director of People and Culture is a critical position that will provide guidance and leadership, play a key role in driving the next phase of growth at One Million Degrees, and develop an environment where our team can thrive. This is an exceptional opportunity to design and lead strategies to recruit, develop, and retain top talent for an innovative and transformative model for supporting and accelerating community college students. 


The ideal candidate will be a confident leader with demonstrated experience collecting and synthesizing input from stakeholders, identifying opportunities for improvement, proposing creative and pragmatic solutions, and thoughtfully designing process rollouts through a change management lens.  The successful candidate will also need to be experienced in employment law, compliance, and labor relations.


Specific duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to: 


Attract and Recruit Diverse Candidates


·        Build on OMD’s current recruitment and hiring processes to attract quality diverse employees at every level


·        Develop talent pipelines with higher education and community partners


·        Define, create and execute the communications strategy and branding for recruitment and talent acquisition, providing an exciting and accurate preview to candidates who are considering working at OMD


·        Build and maintain systems to track and communicate with candidates


Onboard and Train Employees


·        Implement and continually improve OMD’s onboarding and new hire training process, making sure that employees feel welcomed, informed about their benefits, and prepared to excel in their roles


Lead Culture-Building


·        Help define and create strategies for OMD’s organizational culture goals, working to make OMD an employer of choice


·        Help ensure that OMD is an equitable and inclusive workplace where all employees feel valued and can thrive through trainings, coaching, and overall strategy and practice


Develop Talent and Drive Performance


·        Continue to build and evolve OMD’s talent development processes including organizational core competencies, goal-setting, performance metrics, 360 degree feedback, coaching, and semi-annual reviews 


·        Manage OMD’s professional development programming, identifying and implementing training and development opportunities for individuals and teams


Transition and Engage Employee Alumni


·        Serve as a guide and connector for OMD staff who are considering transitioning to a next step outside the organization 


·        Build OMD’s processes to seamlessly offboard employees 


·        Develop strategies to successfully and efficiently engage employee alumni as part of the broader OMD community


Build Strong Labor Relations


·        Manage the implementation of OMD’s first collective bargaining agreement and provide ongoing interpretation and administration of the final contract 


·        Advise leadership and supervisors of unionized employees on policy and practice to ensure compliance with the contract


·        Manage and continuously build OMD’s relationship with Union representatives


Administer Benefits and Ensure Compliance

·        Manage all benefits at OMD


·        Stay abreast of benefit and policy trends and best-practices


·        Manage OMD’s compliance with all labor and employment laws keeping current on changes in local, state, and federal law


·        Maintain required information such as labor posters and employee data


Qualifications and Requirements:  


Education – bachelor’s degree required; MBA or related Master’s degree and/or HR certification is preferred but not required 




  • 5-7 years Human Capital or Human Resources experience , non profit, civic sector or school district experience a plus
  • Job experience or coursework relating to legal compliance
  • Experience in a unionized environment is a plus 




  • Highly skilled communicator; exceptional interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • Highly skilled at project management; proven success working in a fast-paced environment and delivering against multiple work streams
  • Fluent in change management strategies and best practice; proven success in implementing change across an organization
  • Data-driven and results-oriented; proven ability to manage data/metrics and make data-informed decisions




  • People person who takes pride and pleasure in developing talent and creating engaging workplace cultures and environments for staff at all levels and from varied backgrounds
  • Team player who enjoys building and creating and executing new strategies
  • Trustworthy in managing sensitive situations and information; you are discrete, professional, and possess excellent judgment
  • Collaborative ; you enjoy gathering stakeholder input to create innovative shared solutions that meet the needs of the organization
  • Detail-oriented and compliance-minded; you enjoy dotting i’s and crossing t’s
  • Comfort with the uncertain; you are motivated to move forward, make decisions and finalize details quickly once information is available
  • Committed to equitable and inclusive practices in all phases of your work
  • You believe in the talent and potential of community college students to change the world 


Compensation and Benefits: 


One Million Degrees is a fast-paced, entrepreneurial organization with remote work sites and unionized employees. We are a diverse office with like-minded professionals who work towards ambitious goals and possess a relentless drive to achieve them. We also offer a comprehensive benefits package including:


  • Competitive Salary – Commensurate with experience.
  • Full Health Benefits –Provided for all full-time employees, including medical, dental, and vision.
  • Retirement Benefits with a 3% employee match –
  • Professional Learning Opportunities – OMD supports employees’ continued learning in areas relevant to his or her professional growth and organizational goals and will pay for training such as workshops and conferences, up to $500/year or as agreed to by employee and supervisor.
  • Generous Paid Time Off Policy– OMD has 9 paid holidays and offers up to 15 days PTO.


Join our dynamic team of talented, hard-working individuals who believe that a single degree can change the world

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