Program Director, Care of the Park

Program Director, Care of the Park
Organization Jersey Cares
Location Newark, New Jersey, United States
Job Type Full Time
Application Deadline Mar 20, 2020

Jersey Cares is seeking a highly energetic Program Director for Care of the Park at Essex County Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ. The successful candidate will have a commitment to the environment, public parks, volunteerism, youth, and workforce development.

The Program Director is responsible for the operational success of Care of the Park, the conservancy for Essex County Branch Brook Park. The individual will ensure seamless team cohesion, providing leadership, program delivery, quality control, evaluation, staff development, and grants management. In this newly established role, the Program Director will manage a growing staff, interns to build a pipeline for next-generation employees, agency relations and the outcomes for program participants in our workforce development programs.

Each year as the funding changes so will the primary focus of this position. In the 2020 program year this person will successfully implement a series of year-round volunteer programs that will benefit the park, the people who visit, and the wildlife that make this historical landscape their home.

About Jersey Cares

Jersey Cares is a grassroots organization committed to creating systemic improvements in local communities by encouraging civic engagement. As a leader in volunteerism in New Jersey, Jersey Cares increases the level of meaningful volunteer engagement by creating and managing efficient, impactful projects that address critical community-identified needs. Jersey Cares works directly with nonprofits to assess these opportunities, develop projects to address their needs, then recruit and manage volunteers to support the programs.

Care of the Park is the conservancy for Essex County Branch Brook Park and is a small but growing division of the nonprofit agency, Jersey Cares.



  • Cultivate existing relationships with community partners with the goal of ensuring sufficient resources, access to services and a pipeline of program participants.
  • Represent and be an ambassador of Care of the Park, powered by Jersey Cares to organizations and the public. Care of the Park is the conservancy for Essex County Branch Brook Park in Newark, NJ.
  • Design, develop and implement strategies that will maximize the synergies among program areas.
  • Continually explore possibilities for new and innovative programming that develops a pipeline of employees equipped with 21st-century employability skills.
  • As a member of senior staff, you will manage employee policy and procedures.
  • Develop and monitor the program budget, maintaining accurate financial records and ensuring compliance with funding policies, terms, and conditions.
  • Be the key marketer and storyteller for the work being done through the organization’s communication channels (internal and external). This requires developing a regularly recurring process to collect stories and share through social media, blogs, newsletters, press releases, and funder reports.

Team Management and Development

  • Develop and implement a system to evaluate the skill, experience, and professional development needs of staff.
  • Implement a professional development program to address employee experience and skill gaps.
  • Work with staff to develop objective performance measurements to ensure consistent, high-quality evaluation and goal setting for all employees.
  • Instill a sense of accountability among team members by modeling tight oversight of individual and organization performance standards.
  • Recruit, hire and oversee orientation and training of staff members.

Program Management

  • Develop, set goals, and design a program dashboard; establish consistent, objective program performance standards of accountability.
  • Develop and implement planning and project management processes to ensure the effectiveness of the program(s).
  • Supervise and ensure database tracking and reporting of each program participants progress toward measurable outcomes.
  • Supervise and ensure that the outreach and recruitment of program participants are performed in a manner to maximize the success of participants and the program.
  • Develop, lead, and manage the implementation of workforce development training directly related to our field of work with an emphasis on gardening, horticultural and people management.
  • Supervise and ensure that all program participants in our workforce development programs receive connections to a job.
  • Supervise and ensure all program curricula consisting of lesson plans, schedules, tests, etc. for career planning, life skills, and service is identified, continuously updated, and implemented.
  • Ensure the safety, care, and supervision of all program participants.
  • Collaborate with partner service providers to foster relationships among local schools, universities, businesses, and other community youth and education programs to enhance the program and ensure a common mission, mutual goals, and shared decision making for maximum benefit to program participants.

General Operations

  • Oversee the grants management process.
  • On occasion, this position will have a role in executing annual events and from time-to-time assist in the engagement of our corporate partners in addressing community-identified needs.


This is an extraordinary opportunity for an individual with team management experience to grow and further develop new and existing programs. The successful candidate will lead programs, partner with the Gardener Foreman and work collaboratively with a high-performance management team.

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience.
  • A solid understanding and experience with gardening and horticultural work is preferred.
  • Highly positive and enthusiastic style capable of motivating others.
  • Demonstrated success developing and evaluating program models, and selecting and successfully operationalizing innovative programs
  • Strong project management skills managing complex, multifaceted projects resulting in measurable successes and program growth.
  • Experience having worked with a high-performance, collaborative, constructive peer group.
  • Strength in hiring, recruiting, managing, developing, coaching, and retaining individuals and teams, empowering them to elevate their levels of responsibility, span-of-control, and performance.
  • Deep understanding of human resources, employee performance improvement plans, and corrective action policies.
  • Demonstrated results in managing through complex systems and proven experience negotiating win-win agreements.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to the mission Care of the Park, a division of and powered by Jersey Cares.
  • Ability to thrive in a busy, fast-paced environment and be adept at juggling many projects at once with enthusiasm.
  • Experience in converting nascent ideas into working programs.
  • Strong computer skills (Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite, Salesforce or other CRM systems, Outlook 365, and Project Management Tools).
  • Proficient in using technology as a management reporting tool and experience working with information technology to develop and implement program evaluation systems.
  • Record of accomplishment in leadership, managing staff, and exceptional interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to articulate strategy and provide ongoing direction to implement that strategy.
  • Strong written, oral communications and presentation skills, including the ability to deploy tact and diplomacy in pursuit of results.
  • Experience engaging and strong interest in working to develop relationships with underserved populations.
  • Availability during select weekends and evenings is required.
  • Flexible, fun, and collaborative personality.
  • Ability to look at the big picture and search for insightful, creative solutions; the flexibility to say, “yes” instead of “no”.
  • Appreciates and relentlessly pursues the high level of excellence required in all aspects of the operation.
  • Nimble with the unexpected and with meeting aggressive deadlines.

Salary: $50,000 Base Salary

Benefits: Health, Dental, and Life Insurance Options Available; 10 Days Paid Vacation; 401K (non-matching)

To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume to the Chief Operating Officer for Care of the Park (no calls).


Thomas B. Dougherty, Jr.

Chief Operating Officer, Care of the Park

Email Subject Line:

Program Director, Care of the Park

(Please only write “Program Director, Care of the Park” in the subject line of the email)

Via Email: [email protected]

Equal Opportunity Employer