Skip to content
Jun 30 / BARD CEP

Executive Director, New Jersey Work Environment Council

Organization: New Jersey Work Environment Council

Position Title: Executive Director

Location: Ewing, New Jersey

Application Deadline: July 15, 2015

Description: Serving as Executive Director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council (WEC) is an exciting and unusual opportunity for someone with the skills, experience, and commitment needed to help build a powerful movement for social change that unites labor, environmental, and community constituencies.

Founded in 1986, WEC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit alliance of 70 New Jersey labor, community, and environmental organizations working together for safe, secure jobs and a healthy, sustainable environment. Through organizing, coalition-building, public policy campaigns, education, training, and technical assistance, WEC promotes dialogue, collaboration, and joint action by workers, community members, and environmentalists.

While its programmatic efforts are focused in New Jersey, WEC has long served as a national model for labor-environmental collaboration.

WEC’s public voice is well-informed, creative, and bold. We take on powerful corporate and political interests to serve our mission. Current efforts include defending environmental and workplace safeguards from assault by corporations and their political allies; promoting healthy public schools for children, educators and other school staff; ensuring worker and neighborhood safety at industrial facilities that use hazardous chemicals and in communities endangered by highly flammable crude oil trains; and educating workers about their rights to safe and healthy workplaces.

In 2015, WEC’s two priority public campaigns are Healthy Schools Now and Stop Chemical Disasters: Respect Our Right to Know. The Board is also interested in expanding WEC’s future work to also focus on climate change, green energy, and a “just transition” for energy and chemical workers.

As a coalition, WEC develops and maintains close working relationships with labor unions, workers’ centers, and community and environmental organizations.

WEC is a state affiliate of the BlueGreen Alliance and the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health.

WEC has six staff and 10 key consultants. Our offices are in Ewing, NJ, outside Trenton, the state capitol. WEC is supported by foundations, government agencies, contributions from key partner organizations, membership dues, donations, other grassroots fundraising, and some fee-for-service activities. Non-supervisory staff are represented by United Steelworkers Local 4-149. For more information about WEC, please visit

Responsibilities: The Executive Director (ED) is WEC’s chief executive officer, reports to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the achievement of the organization’s mission and programmatic and financial objectives. The ED will work closely with the Assistant Director in assuming many of the responsibilities below. Responsibilities

Overall, the ED will:

1) Ensure that WEC has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission and toward which it makes consistent and timely progress.

2) Provide leadership to develop program, organizational and financial plans with the Board of Directors and staff, and carry out policies and plans authorized by the Board.

3) Promote active and broad participation by partner organizations and volunteers.

4) Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.

5) Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends, particularly concerning successful strategies to build effective coalitions and opportunities to increase engagement of workers and communities threatened by inadequate protection from toxic hazards and other environmental health threats.

6) Identify opportunities for WEC to expand or modify its programmatic focus.

7) Cultivate an organizational culture where there is ongoing and honest assessment of our work by the Board, other leaders, and staff. Ensure effective systems to track progress and regularly evaluate programs.

8) Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors and serve as an ex-officio member.

In communications, the ED will:

1) Ensure that the Board is kept fully informed on the condition of WEC and all important factors influencing it.

2) Publicize the goals and activities of WEC.

3) Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with member and partner organizations, including those representing labor, community, and environmental constituencies.

4) Represent WEC’s programs and point of view to agencies, organizations, and the general public. Serve, along with WEC’s President and Vice Presidents, as WEC’s principal public spokespersons.

5) Oversee communications, including written and electronic publications, web presence, etc. to create stronger WEC effectiveness and identity. Review and approve publications for the Board of Directors or a public audience. Write some content for these publications.

In relations with staff, the ED will:

1) Be responsible for the recruitment, employment, and release of all personnel, including paid staff, consultants, and volunteers. (According to WEC’s bylaws, the ED has authority to hire, supervise, and terminate staff.)

2) Ensure that job descriptions are developed, that there are ongoing performance evaluations, and that sound human resource practices are in place.

3) See that an effective management team, with provision for succession, is in place.

4) Encourage staff and volunteer development and education, and assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the total program of the organization.

5) Maintain a climate that attracts, keeps, and motivates a diverse staff of top quality people.

In budget and finance, the ED will:

1) Be responsible for developing and maintaining sound financial practices and controls.

2) Work with staff, the Finance Committee, and the Board in preparing annual budgets, and see that the organization operates within budget guidelines.

3) Ensure that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work. Maintain, develop and expand funding from foundations, government agencies, organizational and individual members, grassroots fundraising, etc.

Roughly, 40 to 50 percent of the Director’s time will be allocated to generating funds. (Other staff and designated consultants provide significant assistance in this effort.)

4) Jointly, with the President and officers, conduct official WEC correspondence and jointly, with designated officers, execute legal documents.

The job performance of the Executive Director may be reviewed by the Executive Committee, which consists of the five elected WEC officers.

Qualifications: The Executive Director must be committed to WEC’s mission and a broader vision of building a powerful movement for social change that unites labor, environmental, and community constituencies.

All candidates should have proven leadership, mentoring, relationship management, coalition-building, and fundraising experience.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate experience and qualifications that include: • A record of effectively leading or helping to lead a non-profit organization, with ability to point to examples of having taken an organization to the next stage of growth.

  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and forthright program evaluation. • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop teamwork, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget.
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing and new board member relationships. • Strong public relations and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a range of core stakeholders and cultures, including labor, environmental, and community organizations.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills.
  • Action-oriented, adaptable, and creative approach to planning.
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people.
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.
  • Ability to speak Spanish is a valuable asset.
  • Ability to travel, normally requiring a valid driver’s license.

How to Apply: Candidates for this position should send a resume, contact information for three professional references (including an email address and telephone number), and writing samples to [email protected].

Written materials, such as fundraising proposals, strategic organizational or campaign plans, and/or organizing materials intended for a lay audience could strengthen the application.

Leave a comment