Employment at the Garden

Harvest Corps Coordinator, Windy City Harvest (Chicago, IL)

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Windy City Harvest
Reports to:
Harvest Corps Manager
The Chicago Botanic Garden's Windy City Harvest is looking for a dedicated Harvest Corps Coordinator to our work with our transitional jobs and workforce development program. The Harvest Corps Coordinator will be part of a collaborative team environment working closely with all members of our Windy City Harvest program and operations team. The Windy City Harvest Corps program employs 30 to 40 justice-involved individuals and veterans per year in closely mentored, full-time, paid transitional jobs. Our goal is to supports our graduates in finding full-time, long-term employment.

The coordinator will assist with program evaluation and data collection, developing
individual employment plans, career assessment and planning, and making evidence-based recommendations
for program activities. They will also support in recruiting, hiring, and onboarding Harvest Corps

The coordinator will lead job development classes and support participants in developing employability and transferrable skills (i.e., attendance, communication, teamwork, and work place safety). They will also support participants with Individual Employment Plan goals and connect our work at Windy City Harvest to their future employment goals.
This position is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in social justice, civic service, nonprofit sector and management, or workforce education and development. The ideal candidate for this position has experience working with individuals involved in the justice system and is motivated to find creative ways to empower Harvest Corps member to find meaningful and worthy employment.

For more information on the Corps program, please visit our website: chicagobotanic.org/urban_agriculture_windy_city_harvest_corps.

Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role, you will be responsible for the following:
•     Support Harvest Corps Manager in following the Department of Family and Support Services grant criteria and meet performance goals
•     Support Harvest Corps Manager in collecting and filling all grant compliance paperwork
•     Assist with the recruitment of program participants from partner organizations
•     Assist with hiring and onboarding 30 to 40 participants per year for three 13-week cohorts
•     Maintain consistent working relationship with employment partners
•     Assist participants in gaining full-time employment
•     Track participants for 30, 90, and 180 days after Harvest Corps with unsubsidized employer
•     Support and provide professional development opportunities for three seasonal Harvest Corps Crew Leaders and provide feedback
•     Develop Individual Employment Plans (IEP) for all Harvest Corps participants
•     Complete regular check-in and support in meeting participants employment goals
•     Ensure all Harvest Corps participants are held to the Windy City Harvest standards agreement
•     Provide supportive follow-up services with participants after they have been placed in full-time jobs
•     Teach job development classes:

  • Provide support for job development and job search activities, including assisting participants with writing resumes and cover letters, completing job applications, and preparing for interviews
  • Lead Roots of Success classes, an environmental literacy and job readiness curriculum

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired:

•     Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
•     Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
•     Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
•     Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
•     Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
•     Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
•     Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
•     Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
•     Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
•     Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
•     Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
•     Is welcoming of new hires.
•     Is capable of training individuals with varying levels of work experience.
•     Thrives in high communication environments and is capable of public speaking, presentations and providing tours.


Our ideal candidate will have the following:
•     Experience working with adults returning to or entering the workforce.
•     Understanding and commitment to the model of job readiness program
•     Demonstrated experience in leading others and enforcing workplace standards.
•     Experience giving constructive verbal and written feedback to staff and participants to prepare them for their next employment opportunities
•     Demonstrated experience building successful relationships with program participants, employment partners, and recruitment partners
•     Experience tracking programmatic data accurately
•     A valid driver’s license with a good driving record
•     Commitment to being a supportive resource for program participants, community residents, and project partners
•     Familiarity with creative methods of community organizing and engagement
•     A detail-oriented personality with the capacity to multi-task and problem solve
•     Experience working with Microsoft Office (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Google suite
•     Excellent communications skills: email, phone, and in person
•     Dependable and punctual

*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*



Apply for Harvest Corps Coordinator, Windy City Harvest (Chicago, IL) using the link below:

Click here to Apply



Physical Demands:
This is an urban farm setting. Staff must be able to work on their feet all day in all weather conditions performing manual labor. This will involve frequent lifting, standing, walking, bending, farm tool usage, machinery operation, and speaking to public, staff, and program participants. Staff is also required to lift, push, and pull items up to 50 pounds. Staff is expected to work in multiple locations.
Why Apply?:

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.