Executive Director, Center for Workforce Engagement

Executive Director, Center for Workforce Engagement


Durham Technical Community College
1637 Lawson Street
Durham, NC 27703
Phone: 919-536-7200

Job Location

Durham, North Carolina 


$90,000- $100,000 annually


Full-Time Benefits

Job Category

  • Executive/Administrative/Managerial

Application Period

Opens: Friday, September 24, 2021
Closes: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Target Start Date

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Expected Work Hours

A 40-hour work week is required to allow the employee to fulfill the assigned duties and responsibilities, including occasional evening and weekend hours. Summer schedules may vary to enable four-day or four-and-one-half-day work weeks.

Reports to

Chief of Staff

Employment Type

Full-Time position

Minimum Qualifications


An individual who holds a masters’ degree (preferred) or strong industry/workforce development experience.

Preferred Qualifications

An individual who holds a masters’ degree (preferred) or strong industry/workforce development experience.

Position Description

Executive Director, Center for Workforce Engagement Position Profile

Durham Technical Community College announces a national search for its founding Executive Director, Center for Workforce Engagement and invites nominations for and applications from those interested in leading this enterprise at Durham Tech.

This is a particularly exciting time at Durham Tech, with the recent appointment of President John (J.B.) Buxton and the opportunity to strategically transform the College’s involvement with employers and the workforce development community in the College’s service area, which includes Research Triangle Park. Durham Tech supports the socioeconomic mobility of its students and assists employers with filling current and future workforce needs by developing high-skill talent pipelines.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, Durham Tech partnered with leadership from Achieving the Dream, The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, and North Carolina State University’s Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research to develop the College’s 2021-2026 strategic plan. The collaborative summarized its outlook on Durham Tech’s future as follows: “President Buxton and the Board [of Trustees] see the current moment as a critical inflection point—and opportunity. In 2019, the Durham area was ranked the 23rd best place to live in the U.S. by Livability. The Triangle is one of the fastest growing regions in the nation; the potential for connecting local residents to good careers is huge. Yet, economic mobility among the region’s low-income residents, a large proportion of whom are people of color, is weaker than that in most U.S. metro areas. Of the nation’s 50 largest commuting zones, the Research Triangle area ranked 48th in absolute upward mobility for those born in 1980 through 1982, according to a 2014 study by Raj Chetty and his colleagues.

“The time is now, Durham Tech leaders feel, to accelerate the College’s efforts to help students succeed and the community rebound. The College is well-respected in the community and has a strong foundation to build upon. The new leadership of the College brings with it new opportunities and energy. Durham Tech is well-positioned to respond vigorously to the urgency of the moment: to be bold and pursue transformative solutions that put the College on the path to providing excellence and opportunity for all its students and the local community. This is the exciting opportunity, and challenge, facing the Executive Director, Center for Workforce Engagement.”

Challenges and Opportunities for Leadership

Durham Tech proposes to become the region’s higher education workforce engagement leader, serving North Carolina’s Durham and Orange counties and the Research Triangle Park. The College seeks an experienced, dynamic, entrepreneurial and creative professional, with a record of successful program development and leadership in workforce engagement. The Executive Director will bring a thorough understanding and commitment to the philosophy, mission, and purpose of the North Carolina Community College System, and possess the ability to build relationships and work collaboratively within the College and the broader community. The Executive Director will be expected to strengthen and expand existing programs, create new and innovative workforce development offerings, and elevate Durham Tech to be the preferred higher education workforce development program provider in the region.

The successful candidate will serve as the planning officer, spokesperson, and advocate for Workforce Engagement and will provide leadership and support for program development, relationship building with community agencies and businesses, and collaboration with other units and faculty and staff across the College. The Executive Director will prepare and manage the Workforce Engagement budget and strategically allocate resources among programs and new initiatives.

Core Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director leads and facilitates innovative employer partnerships to foster and support the development of new and relevant programming, student workplace experiences, student-employer matching, work-based learning, employer advisory committees for guided career pathways, and integrated career readiness programming. The Executive Director serves as the primary liaison for employer relations with the College. The Executive Director also directs the activities and provides supervision to the staff of the Center for Workforce Engagement.

The Executive Director’s specific charge will include the following key opportunities and challenges:

  1. Vision: The Executive Director will work closely with the College’s faculty and staff to define and articulate the vision for workforce engagement and implement strategies that assure excellence, promote innovation, and encourage greater integration of current and future programs. This will advantage Durham Tech’s position as a college with a strong commitment to workforce engagement and innovative program development, and, by so doing, will position the College as a leader in workforce development and corporate partnerships.
  2. Strategic Planning: The Executive Director will develop a strategic plan and will lead the College’s efforts in addressing its strategic priority to develop Pathways to Living Wages and Economic Mobility, meeting the region’s current and emerging workforce development needs, while capitalizing on Durham Tech’s strengths and capacity for new program development.
  3. New Programs: The Executive Director will inform the development of innovative and distinctive programs that maximize the reputation and resources of Durham Tech’s existing programs, while securing resources to develop new programs that meet the needs of the region and establish Durham Tech as a college known for its workforce engagement initiatives.
  4. Resource Development: Working in concert with the Executive Director of the Durham Tech Foundation, the Executive Director will provide leadership for the development of new resources and relationships. Such resources may result through initiating relationships with corporate and community leaders, as well as the pursuit of grants and collaborations with other educational institutions and government agencies.
  5. Advocacy: The Executive Director will serve as the chief advocate for Durham Tech’s workforce engagement efforts and will work collaboratively with the College’s administration, Board of Trustees, Foundation Board of Directors, faculty, staff, and students. The Executive Director will play an integral role in representing the Center for Workforce Engagement by ensuring that Durham Tech’s voice is heard throughout the region’s corporate community.

The College seeks: 

  • An individual with a proven ability to create strategic partnerships with employers, workforce development boards, economic developers, and faculty; and to generate resources to support new program development.
  • An individual who holds a masters’ degree (preferred) or strong industry/workforce development experience.
  • A results-oriented strategist, with at least five years of senior-level experience in workforce engagement.
  • An individual with an understanding of workforce engagement, talent development, and the role of community colleges in economic mobility.
  • An individual with significant experience in new program planning, development, marketing, and delivery.
  • An innovative, dynamic leader who can unite and inspire administrators, faculty, and staff to achieve Durham Tech’s mission and workforce engagement goals.
  • An individual capable of excellent internal advocacy, on behalf of the Center for Workforce Engagement, possessing negotiation and conflict management skills, while remaining committed to overall success.

How to Apply

Nominations and Applications

The Executive Director, Center for Workforce Engagement Search Committee will begin reviewing applications in October and will continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, applicant materials should be received by November 30, 2021.

Candidates should provide:

  • A letter of interest stating how the candidate’s experiences and qualifications relate to the required/preferred characteristics and priorities expressed in the position profile. The letter should also include a statement of the candidate’s contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
  • A curriculum vitae/resume;
  • Five professional references with emails, telephone numbers, and a description of the candidate’s professional relationship with each reference  (references will not be contacted without prior written authorization from the applicant).
  • Applications should be submitted electronically (PDF or MS Word) to: DurhamTechWorkforceEngagement@agbsearch.com.  

Nominations are encouraged and will be accepted through the application deadline.  An appointment is anticipated by early December with a start date to be determined based on the current commitments of the successful candidate.

All nominations and applications will be received and evaluated in full confidence; references will not be contacted without the candidate’s expressed permission.

Durham Tech Community College is being assisted by:

Dr. Thomas Kowalik, thomas.kowalik@agbsearch.com  /  607-759-5285
Dr. Wayne Wormley, wayne.wormley@agbsearch.com  /  215-432-7913

Durham Tech is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, ADA, Section 504 Institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, religion, national origin, or disability. In our classrooms and campus work areas, we believe in giving everyone the opportunity to succeed; we are committed to creating a climate that is safe and welcoming for all.

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