Rapid Response Cooperative (RRC) Development Project Director

Job Posting: Rapid Response Cooperative (RRC) Development Project Director

Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) seeks an experienced, self-directed and collaborative person to join the staff of our dynamic national organization. Our core work is supporting the expansion of democratic employee ownership of business as a strategy for racial, gender and economic equity.

DAWI’s Rapid Response Cooperative (RRC) Development Project creates replicable, out-of-the-box worker-owned businesses that provide a pathway to work for people with barriers to employment. DAWI partners with organizations to develop cooperatives for their constituents who seek to work as consultants through an LLC cooperative entity. This professional staffing agency, named “Radiate Consulting™ Cooperative,” creates a vehicle for talented professionals to find steady work in the field of their choice, market their services, negotiate contracts, and access back-office services. DAWI has developed and vetted the intellectual property and processes to create multiple RRCs around the country. We are currently replicating this model with several partners across the country, including community-based organizations, educational institutions and city governments.

About the role

The role ensures that the RRC model expands to various partners and regions in an effort to scale and replicate widely. The Project Director will lead the RRC team, and collaborate with our institutional partners, to assure that we work towards our campaign goals and vision. They will play a leadership role on the team, by leading project visioning, planning, and implementation. DAWI is a high-functioning organization with close-knit staff and contractors who are driven by our values, and we want to work with a skilled and reliable colleague.

The RRC Project Director oversees the SEED CA Rapid Response Cooperative (RRC) Development Project, a yearlong, $1m, 6-organization state grant, the Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) Initiative, to pilot a common cooperative model for low-wage workers in Southern California.

This is a 1-year contract, with the option (but no requirement) for a longer term relationship, pending funding availability. This role has potential to grow as the organization grows.

Job Duties

The major duties and responsibilities of the role are as follows:

1. Project Leadership and Management - 25%

  • Co-create project vision, scaling, and strategy with Sr. Managing Director and RRC team.

  • Develop project annual goals and workplan.

  • Co-lead the development and management of RRC’s strategic partnerships with DAWI’s Strategic Partnership Director.

  • Manage a team of 3-5 people, track and assess each RRC development project, problem-solve, conduct periodic assessments and analysis/report back to the team and organization.

2. Project Management (CA SEED RRC) - 30%

  • Lead on the Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) Initiative, a $1m, 6-organization state grant, to pilot a common cooperative model for low-wage workers in Southern California. 

  • Lead project design implementation, coordination of partner organizations and DAWI team, and tracking and assessment of progress.

  • Plan and lead partner monthly meetings.

  • Plan and co-lead periodic cohort meetings and trainings for workers and cooperative developers and member-administrators.

  • Provide technical assistance to worker cooperatives developed by partners to integrate the RRC Toolkit (management, governance, legal entity setup, operations, etc)

  • Collaborate with the Data and Metrics Analyst to assess the project, analyze findings and report to the partners, the State of CA and the field

3. Technical Assistance - 15%

  • Supervise and coach member-administrators during the startup phase of each RRC. 

  • Collaborate with members and member-administrators on creating and managing each RRC’s budget and financials.

4. Training - 15%

  • Support the cooperative developer leading the Radiate Network professional development and training calendar. Assure goals are met and quality in content and delivery is high.

  • Co-facilitate and co-present trainings, when appropriate, on various topics (i.e. meeting facilitation, consulting skills, customer service, negotiation, etc)

Administration - 15%   

  • Meet bi-weekly for 1:1 check-ins with each team member.

  • Attend/lead monthly team meetings

  • Attend & support Radiate Coop member meetings

  • Attend/co-lead partner check-in meetings

  • Project management and admin tasks

Required Experience

  • Worker cooperative business development: Experience developing and supporting worker cooperatives and/or other democratic employee ownership structures. You must be fluent in the basics of cooperative business development (business planning and feasibility, sales and marketing, business financial management, equity and capital structures, governance and management functions, organizational development and group process) and be able to communicate about this process knowledgeable to a variety of audiences. 

  • Program development: Experience with program design and management, planning, assessment, and creating/managing the program budget. Ability to manage deliverables and project goals.

  • Team management: Experience supervision of people and ability to manage a team of 3-5 cooperative developers. Understanding of project management systems, such as Asana.

  • Familiarity with immigrants rights organizing, first-generation college student and Dreamer communities, recent graduates.

Required Knowledge and Skills

  • Communication and training: Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required, including presentation and training skills, and familiarity with participatory and popular education. Strong phone skills and ability to build relationships remotely are key to success in this position. 

  • Diplomacy and discretion: Strong diplomatic skills and judgment are required in this position. You need to be able to both see possibilities and ask hard questions with respect and discretion. 

  • Equity lens and cultural competency: You must be able to communicate with a broad range of people and institutions confidently and effectively, with a critical analysis of power, privilege, race, class and gender.  

  • Bilingual: The ability to speak both English and Spanish proficiently is required. 

  • Self-management: Our staff is highly autonomous. You should be a self-starter, comfortable taking initiative, scoping projects, managing priorities and time, and holding yourself accountable to realistic goals, with the support of co-workers committed to your success. 

  • Strong organizational skills, task-tracking and 100% follow-through on deadlines: you are able to set priorities, manage time well, establish realistic deadlines and meet them consistently.  Stay organized, communicate effectively with the team, and be accountable to the team and partners for deliverables and hold others accountable.

  • Full competence with basic office tools: Microsoft Office Suite, GSuite, online project management systems, remote file systems, online/remote meeting tools. We use Slack and Zoom for most communication.

  • Remote work: you like to work independently and can prioritize and execute day to day tasks, with self-management systems in place. We also are highly collaborative and use Slack, Zoom and phones for online coordination.

  • We value emotional intelligence, kindness, and sense of humor. Diplomacy, judgment and discretion are important in this position.  

  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant professional experience.


  • B.A. in Business, Public Administration, Social Work, Community Development, or other related field, or equivalent experience of 5 years in business development, workforce development, or other related area of work, or equivalent experience. Advanced degree is a plus.

About DAWI
DAWI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit movement-based think-and-do tank that expands the promise of cooperative business ownership to communities most directly affected by economic, social, and racial inequality. We do research and advocacy; we develop tools and new models; we train worker-owners and developers; and we convene communities of practice to ensure that further growth in the worker cooperative movement reaches low-income people, BIPOC communities and recent immigrants. We are affiliated with the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, the national grassroots membership organization.

  • Values: In all our work, as well as internal operations, DAWI strives to embody our organizational values of Excellence, Equity, Entrepreneurialism, Collaboration, and Human-Centeredness. 
  • Flexible, remote work: Having staff and contractors all over the country requires and allows us to create flexible working hours and locations. All staff and contractors are expected to be able and willing to learn and help improve the technological tools for remote working. 
  • Strong team: We are a high-functioning, close-knit staff, and we want to work with a skilled and reliable colleague. 
  • Professional development: We invest in professional development for staff through training, coaching, and relationship-building. Our goal is that staff contribute their talents to DAWI for a long time, and that when they leave they are well-positioned to take the next step in their career. 
  • Growth potential: This is a position in a maturing organization and is key to our growth. The position has potential to grow as the organization grows.
  • Member voice: DAWI is a membership nonprofit organization, which means that staff members have representation on the Board of Directors, electing two of nine seats. Staff also lead on setting organizational policies, developing the budget, and informing strategic priorities. Within a relatively traditional management structure, we use participatory management best practices, including open book management, 360 evaluations, and a coaching approach to supervision.
  • Stable organization: DAWI has a diversified revenue stream, multi-year funding, and a commitment to building an annual reserve that creates stability for our growing organization. Our annual budget for 2021 is just over $3 million, and our average staff tenure is more than 5 years. 

Schedule and Location
This is a full-time position. We are a remote organization with offices in San Francisco and New York. This allows us to have staff all over the country, and to create flexible working hours and locations. All staff and contractors are expected to be able and willing to learn and help improve the technological tools for remote working. We are particularly interested in working with someone located in Southern California but will consider all applicants.
Compensation and Benefits

This contract is for $65,000-$80,000 annually depending on experience.  

How to Apply
Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three professional references hereApplications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Notice of Non­discrimination
Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) is committed to a multi-racial and class-diverse staff that reflects the future of worker cooperatives. We are an anti-racist organization that centers racial equity in our values, programs, and vision. Women, people of color and others who may be underrepresented at senior levels of the nonprofit workforce are strongly encouraged to apply. DAWI is committed to equal opportunity for all persons without regard to sex, age, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under state or federal law. It is the policy of DAWI to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding equal opportunity. In keeping with that policy, DAWI is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Accordingly, DAWI will not tolerate unlawful discrimination against or harassment of any of our employees or others present at our facilities by anyone, including any supervisor, co­worker, vendor, client, or customer of DAWI.