Community Director, NYC

COOP is seeking a passionate, empathetic leader to grow and deepen our New York City community through internal and external engagement. The Community Director will be primarily responsible for the social-emotional wellbeing of local staff, alumni, and apprentices—plus the continued development of COOP’s “soft skills” curriculum.

We’re eager to meet experienced candidates from all backgrounds, and we’re particularly interested in candidates with direct personal connections to our mission of diversity and upward mobility. Interested? Please send a recent resume and brief cover letter to Leora Sallis: (Leora is our Community Director in California and previously held this position in NYC).

Our mission

Building a movement of diverse, upwardly mobile college grads overcoming underemployment through digital skills and peer connections.

Our challenge

Every college grad deserves a fair shot at a meaningful, upwardly mobile career. That’s the promise of higher education in America, and every year, millions of young people enroll, persist, and graduate on this premise, often with great sacrifice.

Yet nationwide, half of college grads (ages 21-27) are unemployed or underemployed, including more than two thirds of black college grads. (St. Louis Fed.)

Even in the digital economy, a bachelor’s degree is not enough. We need social capital—connections, casual favors, timely referrals—as much as we need skills. These favors travel quickly and organically across strong and weak social ties, but rarely across racial or economic lines.

Ultimately, a labor market powered by relationships will only reinforce the status quo, amplifying residential and school segregation in the professional sphere.

Our approach

COOP closes the social capital gap by recruiting and investing deeply in diverse, low-income, and first-generation grads from the City University of New York, San Francisco State, and other urban public colleges.

COOP’s flagship program is the Digital Apprenticeship. Peer cohorts of 16 motivated, underemployed grads meet nightly for 16 weeks (200 hours) to learn technical skills, build community, and jumpstart careers in digital marketing and data analytics.

Each cohort is led by a team of four captains, “near-peer” COOP alumni who serve as coaches, mentors, and guides on top of busy day jobs at local ad agencies and tech companies. In parallel, COOP helps these same employers meet, interview, and hire more and more diverse candidates.

Since 2014, COOP has run 40 cohorts with over 550 apprentices, en route to 10,000 by 2025.

Four-in-five alumni work full-time, earning an average of $45,000 after 12 months (3x pre-program average) and almost $70,000 after three years (2x peer baseline).

Long-term, COOP aims to double lifetime income of alumni—fueling upward mobility and fulfilling our collective promise of higher education.


We’ve spent the last six months defining a bold but achievable three-year strategic vision. The entire team and all our activities will be pointing in this direction, and the Community Director will play an essential role in making this vision a reality in NYC:

  • GET BETTER: Create unique and transformative value through hyper-relevant curriculum, vibrant community, and an excellent data practice.

  • GET PAID: Reduce philanthropic lift of each apprenticeship to 50%, complemented by funding from corporations, public sector/colleges, and alumni giving.

  • WALK THE WALK: Become a model employer by creating mature talent systems, operational processes, and board governance.

  • GROW THE MISSION: Help 3,000 diverse, low-income, first-gen college grads achieve upward mobility—by growing to a total of 3-5 cities and 3-5 career tracks by the end of 2021.

Specifically, the COO will have the following responsibilities:

  • Grow and deepen local community via internal and external workshops

  • Lead Cohort Captain selection, training, and ongoing professional development

  • Ensure social-emotional wellbeing of local staff, alumni, and apprentices via one-on-one coaching and proactive referrals

  • Oversee “soft skills” curriculum design


  • Social (emotional) work: Deep experience in (clinical) social work and/or extensive professional experience with social-emotional education and human development

  • Pedagogy: Significant teaching and/or coaching experience, especially for adult learners

  • Program design: Proven track record designing/implementing excellent curriculum

  • Results: Obsessive focus on outcomes—with evidence to prove it!

  • Evening availability: COOP’s flagship program runs M-Th, 6:30-9:30pm; the Community Director can expect to spend at least two evenings per week at program. Given these untraditional hours, daytime schedules are highly flexible.

  • Location and Travel: The Community Director position will be based in New York City, with occasional travel to partner offices and other program locations (San Francisco and Los Angeles, likely Miami and Chicago in the future).


This is an outstanding opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a fast-growing, highly respected organization. We are seeking an individual of outstanding quality with a respected track record. COOP is prepared to offer a very attractive compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as health, 401(k), and vacation benefits.

EEO statement

COOP provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. We seek to build a diverse staff representative of the communities we serve. All qualified applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.