Open Position

Labor Liaison

Department: Labor Partnerships

Reports To: Director, Labor Partnerships

FSLA: Exempt


United Way of Metro Chicago (UWMC) is expanding Access United, a career pathways program for the union construction industry. The project expansion involves multiple partners working toward a shared goal to increase access into careers in the union building and construction trades, primarily targeting African-Americans, women and opportunity youth across a multi-county region.

The Labor Liaison supports the work of the Labor Department, primarily by serving as a program officer for the Access United program. The Liaison is responsible for training community partners on opportunities in the union trades and being a resource to them as they support candidates through career exploration. The Liaison will serve as a centralized access point for partners to gain information on union apprenticeships by maintaining Access United’s current relationships and forging new ones.

The role requires a highly resourceful individual with strong conversational skills, self-motivation, public speaking and organizational skills. It also requires significant travel, primarily within the Chicago area, but also to other parts of Illinois. The Labor Liaison must be willing to work a flexible schedule, which may sometimes include evening hours and weekends.


  • Develops and maintains relationships with labor unions and apprenticeship programs throughout the Chicagoland, Aurora, Waukegan and Rockford regions, developing a strong knowledge of each trade union’s apprenticeship programs requirements and assessment methods
  • Develops strong relationships with Access United lead partners (Chicago Federation of Labor, the Construction Industry Service Corporation, Chicago Building Trades and the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership) and utilizes partners to advance work
  • Develops relationships with workforce development partners and conducts trainings to educate workforce partners on the construction industry, including how to screen candidates and work with Access United for placement.
  • Serves as a centralized access point for workforce partners to obtain information and guidance on entering unionized building trades careers, including fielding calls and requests from partners to help them further support their clients
  • Support workforce partners by organizing meaningful engagement opportunities
  • Cultivates relationships with pre-apprenticeship programs, construction companies and other entities that can provide additional opportunities for Access United candidates.
  • Develops strong knowledge of current trends in construction and related industries by consulting with unions, conducting independent research when necessary
  • Develops strong understanding of workforce development and best practices for supporting clients into construction careers
  • Maintains and expands Access United’s online platform of resources that workforce partners can use to recruit, assess and support candidates; works with partners to assess the barriers they are facing and develops tools to address these barriers
  • Helps ensure delivery of Access United’s Barrier Reduction Fund, assisting partners in requesting reimbursements for candidate expenses
  • Leads the collection and maintenance of program data and reporting
  • Works with CFL-affiliated unions to coordinate community services and other volunteer structures and opportunities
  • Engage union members at corporate fundraising campaigns, including speaking at campaigns events and workplaces to increase labor participation and cultivate support for UW in Chicago
  • Attends, participates and assists in the implementation of national, state and local AFL-CIO Community Services conferences
  • Assists in Labor Department’s annual giving campaign efforts by soliciting prospective UW donors
  • Manages and/or supports other Labor Department projects and initiatives that arise


  • Bachelor’s Degree and/or combination of equivalent employment and education experience.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, priorities and personalities simultaneously with careful attention to details in a fast-paced environment
  • Cultivates relationships and ability to elicit cooperation across sectors and varying viewpoints
  • Excellent communication skills, including public speaking and ability to make substantive contributions to discussions and communicate data findings to a variety of audiences
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office products and database management systems
  • Must own car or have reliable vehicle access


  • Experience in the construction industry or in workforce development a plus
  • Familiarity with development and application of training curriculum and materials
  • Knowledge of US Department of Labor registered apprenticeship programs and best practices for successful placement.

To view the full position description, including requirements and core responsibilities, and to apply for this role please click here.