University City District currently has two open positions:

  • Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
  • Manager, Training & Evaluation with the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative



Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Communications


University City District (UCD) seeks an experienced, creative and entrepreneurial professional to elevate and amplify our mission of changing places and changing lives.  The Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Communications will shape and lead our approach to resource development, strategic communications and marketing.  This new position – formed by combining two prior leadership roles - reports to the UCD President and serves as a key member of the UCD senior management team. 


About University City District

Since 1997, University City District (UCD) has invested in the vitality of a 2.4 square mile area of West Philadelphia. While we were founded to provide the clean, safe, and welcoming streets that are the necessary foundation of every healthy com­munity, our portfolio has grown throughout our history. As a partnership of world-renowned anchor institutions, small busi­nesses, and residents, we create premier public spaces, address crime and public safety, bring life to commercial corridors, run signature events and connect residents and businesses to the opportunity created by University City’s burgeoning economy. Every day, we work to change places and change lives.


As a neighborhood organization with local impact, we have achieved national recognition for:

  • our approach to public space development, including the creation and stewardship of The Porch at 30th Street Station;
  • our West Philadelphia Skills Initiative workforce intermediary, which connects unemployed and underemployed residents seeking job opportunities with major employers seeking talent; and
  • our partnership of anchor institutions, community members and business leaders that, over more than 20 years, has helped to shape and steward economic growth, inclusion and vitality in a neighborhood that is, at once, critical to regional prosperity, and beloved for its diversity, eclectic retail and beautiful Victorian-lined streets.


Key Responsibilities

  • Provide overall leadership to the creation and execution of UCD’s strategic approach to philanthropic and business partnerships, fund development, marketing, advertising, communications and events programming. 
  • Implement a comprehensive fundraising strategy against ambitious goals, developing and sustaining relationships with foundations, individuals, corporate and small business sponsors, and public sector agencies.
  • Shape and execute a strategic communications plan that engages and informs community, business and institutional stakeholder groups on a wide variety of programs and activities.
  • Work with key partners outside of the organization to shape and share the story of University City as a place of growth, opportunity and community.
  • Provide overall leadership and management of the creative assets of the organization, including branding, publications, events, policy papers, websites, social media feeds.
  • Actively participate in external meetings and speaking events, including engagements with community members, institutional and business leaders, public sector partners and current and prospective funding partners.
  • Work as a key member of the UCD leadership team across organizational departments and functions to promote and advance the organization’s mission, and to shape partnership development and communications strategies that elevate organizational reach and impact.
  • Play a leadership role in drawing lessons from UCD’s community work to inform public policy, and to share with peers across the broader fields of placemaking, workforce development, place stewardship, and economic development.
  • Serve as a liaison to the UCD Board of Directors, providing regular updates and reports on communications and fundraising strategies, goals, and successes.
  • Manage team of four experienced, creative and impactful professionals, with the opportunity to add another high-performing colleague within the department.


We believe that compelling and immediate opportunities exist to:

  • Form and lead new partnerships with small and mid-sized foundations, individual donors, emerging University City real estate investors and corporate programming/events sponsors;
  • Elevate UCD’s presence in local and national policy discussions through white paper publications, partnerships with national affiliate/industry organizations, and events and panel discussions;
  • Work with the entire team to rethink and contemporize various creative assets, beginning with our web presence;
  • Re-organize relationship management activities by leading an internal team and external database vendor on the development of customized Contact Management Software;
  • Restructure how UCD communicates about distinct programs with disparate stakeholders into a cohesive strategic approach.



  • Passionate about UCD’s mission of changing places and changing lives, and able to shape effective storytelling narratives to amplify our work in placemaking, economic development, economic opportunity and community engagement.
  • Strategic thinker, self-directed leader and collaborative team member.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience at a senior level, with responsibilities that include revenue development, strategic communications, media relations and marketing.
  • Successful track record securing corporate and foundation support through donor engagement, grant writing and grant management.
  • Strong negotiation and multi-stakeholder consensus-building skills are required, along with exceptional written and oral communications skills.
  • Proven success with staff management and enthusiasm for partnering with and mentoring colleagues.


To apply, please send a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position to [email protected].

Manager, Training & Evaluation with the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative 

West Philadelphia is exploding with opportunity, with some of the city’s biggest and most prestigious employers located in this part of town. At the same time, many members of the community have a hard time accessing the opportunity that is right in their back yard due to challenges associated with unemployment, limited networks, or trouble navigating the modern job market.

University City District (UCD) established the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative (WPSI) to provide innovative solutions to the challenges faced by both employers and jobseekers. The Skills Initiative designs programs that help employers address their talent management challenges, like turnover, while preparing job seekers to serve as West Philadelphia’s talented workforce. We help our participants by enhancing their own power, shifting their career perspective, and engaging in real life problem-solving.

Since 2011, we have helped over 90% of our graduates connect to employment. Our team is here to help talented people access opportunity, help employers find the workforce they need, and address economic inequities in our community. To advance this work, we are looking for a team member that is onboard with our shared values. 


WPSI defines those values as follows:

  • We have an unwavering commitment to our stakeholders, whether they be employers or participants.
  • We’re always innovating, which means that no project is ever actually “done” here at the Skills Initiative. Instead, we intentionally allow aspects of our program to continuously evolve.
  • Understands contract specifications and ensures that they are met
  • We provide a high quality, seamless, and holistic experience to our participants when we work collaboratively. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all about accountability and ownership, but we know that complex problems are best addressed when a diverse team is building a solution.
  • We are intrinsically motivated to do this work. WPSI staff brings an above-average level of energy and drive.


Working in partnership with the Senior Manager of Learning & Development, the Manager, Training & Evaluation will be directly responsible for the classroom and participant evaluation portions of the program experience. The Manager plays a key role in the daily operations of our training program and will work to continuously improve service delivery. 


Key duties and responsibilities include the following:


  • Plan, implement and supervise key aspects of WPSI’s nationally-recognized job training program. This involves daily check-ins/check-outs with the cohort, consistent teaching and actively fostering a positive, productive working environment for staff and participants.
  • Model, practice and reinforce WPSI’s high standards. WPSI believes in providing participants with regular and consistent feedback on performance. Evaluations with participants will be conducted weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the cohort’s schedule.
  • Communicate results of participant evaluations with the full staff. Share participant action plans to allow staff to support each participant in their ongoing progress.
  • Select, coordinate and evaluate any contracted trainers that come in to the WPSI classroom.
  • Serve as an expert on instructional design methodologies. Continuously monitor the latest innovations, best practices and industry trends to share with the staff and bring into the classroom.
  • Maintain and foster relationships with public and nonprofit agencies, civic associations, and the faith community in order to support recruitment and overall community engagement efforts.
  • Work on special projects both with the team and independently. Examples of potential projects include revamping our closing focus group, career pathway development, credential and certification research and the alumni program redesign.
  • Other duties as assigned. 


Successful candidates for this role will have the following skills and experiences:

  • At least 2 years of direct experience in the design of courses and engaging educational experiences. Candidates should have expertise in adult learning and all aspects of instructional design, including instructor-led and various other types of performance support.
  • Excellent organizational, communications, relationship and project management skills with the ability to meet tight deadlines and prioritize tasks.
  • High levels of personal drive and accountability.
  • Ability to work collaboratively – each team member is very engaged in most aspects of the program.
  • High level of comfort with a fast-paced environment where priorities can shift very quickly.
  • Experience working in West Philadelphia communities would be ideal but is not required.
  • Strong MS Office skills.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.


A little more about the right fit for the role…

The ideal candidate will be a lifelong learner with a strong focus on continued growth and improvement on a personal and professional level. WPSI holds exceptionally high standards for program participants and staff alike.  We are looking for someone who is inspired by these high standards, not afraid of them. The ideal candidate will also strive for excellence across all work products and relationships, show up with humility, be deeply interested in uncovering the “why”, and respect the way things have been done, but openly and optimistically challenge boundaries to find what is possible.

If you're interested, please email Sarah at [email protected]