Workforce & Operations Coordinator

Posted: 08/08/2023

Polaris MEP is seeking a Coordinator with experience coordinating projects with multiple stakeholders/responsibilities to support (life-changing) manufacturing workforce training programs AND a (cool) defense ecosystem initiative. Are you eager to help more Rhode Islanders find their way into good-paying jobs in a position that is dynamic, with a team that is respectful and FUN?

Polaris MEP functions as a Manufacturing Sector Workforce Intermediary with the State of Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. In this capacity we respond to the sector needs for current and future workforce, by facilitating the creation of new hire and incumbent worker training to best support the Manufacturing Sector in Rhode Island.

Examples of the Polaris MEP workforce programs include the Fast Track to Advanced Manufacturing, The Incumbent Worker Training grant program, and JARC RI.

We believe that jobs in the sector should produce a livable wage, competitive benefits, and offer room for professional growth and upward mobility.

Polaris MEP is a division of the non-profit URI Research Foundation and an affiliate of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, guiding RI Manfuacturers to sustainable growth, technology strategies and cost-efficient operations.

Polaris MEP is running the Rhode Island Manufacturing to Accelerate the Defense Ecosystem (RI MADE) initiative. RI MADE was created to train and engage college students while providing support to strengthen the defense manufacturing industrial ecosystem.

In this role, you will work primarily with the Workforce Manager and the RI-MADE Program Manager along with a small team of professionals, and independently, to

  • help maintain operations of established and developing workforce programs,
  • comply with grant reporting requirements,
  • update systems to match potential candidates to high demand career vacancies,
  • organize and run RI MADE trainings and assessments, and
  • coordinate the day-to-day back-end operations of existing programs, including the new hire pipeline and incumbent worker training program.

At Polaris MEP, we have a clear vision: to be the place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come, to stay and do their best work, and we recognize that our organization runs on the hard work and dedication of our passionate and dedicated team members.

The ideal candidate has a proven track record of successful project coordination with multiple stakeholders and juggling multiple responsibilities in a fast-paced environment. The candidate must be highly organized, self-motivated, possess sound judgment, and have creative problem-solving skills. The ideal candidate works effectively in a team-dependent environment but is self-reliant, results oriented, energetic, flexible, and proactive.

Job Type:

This is a full-time position, averaging 40 hours per week. This position requires the ability to work a flexible schedule that includes some nights and weekends. We currently leverage a hybrid approach, with some days remote from home and others in person at the office or a client/event location.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of Salesforce and Microsoft productivity tools or similar products and technology
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • A college degree or equivalent professional or lived experience
  • Experience working with diverse populations
  • Minimum of one year of program or administrative experience or relevant demonstrated skill sets, preferably with experience in economic development, community development, corrections, technology, advanced manufacturing, equity or academia
  • Demonstrated interest in workforce, equity, innovation, manufacturing, or technology
  • Coordination, scheduling, managing to a budget, and tracking results
  • Spanish language ability a plus

Principal Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with staff and stakeholders in manufacturing, community-based organizations and government to create a robust pipeline of skilled employees and improved employment opportunities
    • Field inbound requests for job placement, case management & hand-off to employers, training programs, or other referral sources, present training to community partners
    • Support communication and events for STEM youth pipeline development
    • Ensure timely completion of grant reporting, requiring regular check ins with training partners
    • Liaise with employers on grant opportunities and processes for Incumbent Worker Training
    • Update Job Seeker, Referrals and Employer Services Cases (Update Salesforce databases to facilitate the connection of vacancies with skilled talent)
    • Provide weekly matches between employers and trainees to WFM and send referrals to companies, schedule interviews and update records
    • Seek out new community partners and maintain communications with existing partners; share information on training programs and direct referral opportunities
  • Supporting the RI MADE program associated with small and medium sized defense related manufacturers and University of Rhode Island students to ensure the success
    • Maintain regular contact between selected manufacturers, innovation institutes and student consultants
    • Assist in training and assessment scheduling, where necessary
    • Assist in organizing and overseeing training and assessment execution, where necessary
    • Assist in participant recruitment and onboarding, where necessary
  • Establish work plans and execute action plans to ensure achievement of program goals for 5-10 RJRI workforce programs
    • Send out timely communications to participants for the GWB portal enrollments and outcomes for designated programs, follow up until complete
    • Solicit partners quarterly reporting data to inform quarterly reporting completed by Workforce Manager
    • Create grant reports, project impact statements, and case studies
    • Fast Track/JARC/IWT
      • Recruitment assistance
      • GWB Enrollment
      • Attendance/Wage tracking/Outcome reporting
      • Placement Surveys

Reports To: Workforce Manager & RI-MADE Program Manager (50% – 50%)

Salary $55,000-$70,000

Competitive pay based on qualifications and experience and a top-rated benefits package with health, dental, retirement, and paid time off.  The URI Research Foundation follows safe COVID-19 practices and is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to [email protected].


Polaris MEP, a business unit of URI Research Foundation, recognizes that the field of manufacturing needs to be strengthened by contributions from a broad range of perspectives. The URI Research Foundation is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and seeks to serve as a representative inspiration for the next generations.

As such, we particularly welcome candidates from groups that are underrepresented, marginalized, and/or excluded in manufacturing who will support the mission of both URI and the URI Research Foundation to expose manufacturing to different perspectives. Candidates will demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and will enhance a sense of belonging and success.

We are Equal Opportunity Employers. No persons will be discriminated against in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic.

Every employee is expected to carry out and support these policies.

Our Vision

Polaris MEP, 401 Tech Bridge and the URI Research Foundation together have a clear vision: to be a community in which a diverse mix of talented people come together to make a lasting difference. Our success comes only through the dedication of our employees and thoughtful, creative collaboration. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer.