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Employment Specialist

Employment Specialist at Youth Opportunities Unlimited

  • Reports to: Program Manager
  • Start Date: August 2017
  • Type: Full-time, exempt. Work outside normal business hours may be required at times to meet client needs.

Since 1982, over 150,000 youth have been helped with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) programs. Y.O.U. helps teens and young adults, ages 14-24 living in economically distressed communities succeed by providing educational and workforce opportunities, skills development, and access to career pathways. We offer school-based and community-based programs designed to meet the needs of Northeast Ohio employers, with a focus on those industry sectors that provide the most opportunities for career success. At Y.O.U., we are dedicated to excellence and continuous improvement of the quality of our services to youth, employers, and the community. 

We are deeply committed to providing services in Northeast Ohio through:

  • Equal Access to Opportunities – Teens and young adults living in economically distressed communities deserve support in confronting barriers to success.
  • Collaboration – We can accomplish more when we form mutually beneficial partnerships across sectors to deliver an effective continuum of services.
  • Excellence & Continuous Improvement – Evidence-based practices guide our actions and delivery of quality services to youth and employers.                                               

Position Description

We are currently looking for an Employment Specialist who is passionate about Y.O.U.’s mission and vision! This program works to match high school students with internship and work experience opportunities at prospective employers. Employment Specialists act as a bridge between meeting the needs of employers and placing youth in available positions. The Employment Specialist is responsible for cultivating relationships with new and current employers to provide and develop meaningful internships experiences for youth participants. They also work to ensure that Y.O.U. youth possess the attitude and abilities that employers expect of an entry-level worker.


  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Communications, Education, Social Work, or other relevant field.
  • Requirements:
    • Minimum 1-3 years of experience in sales prospecting, networking, and recruiting strategies.
    • Experience in recruitment of employers and work opportunity development a plus.
    • Must have reliable transportation to drive to various work sites.
    • Must pass a criminal background check as a condition of employment. 
  • Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
    • Belief and commitment to Y.O.U’s mission, vision, and values.
    • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills.
    • Ability to build relationships with the area’s private and public sector businesses.
    • Understanding of modern job search, recruitment, and retention strategies.
    • Knowledgeable of principles and practices of youth development.
    • Strong coordination and organizational skills.
    • Comfortable using computer programs and relationship management systems for record keeping.
    • Solution-oriented, adaptable, and flexible.
    • Ability to juggle multiple tasks and initiatives at once.
    • Ability to work independently and as part of team under minimal supervision.


  • Build relationships with targeted prospective employers interested in providing internship and work experience opportunities for teens and young adults.
  • Provide training, structure, and guidance for employers as needed to ensure the work opportunity/experience is beneficial to both the employer and youth participant.
  • Document all communication and interaction with employers, especially as youth are placed at work sites.
  • Review initial intake information and assessment of youth, including their application, interview notes, orientation, and other information.
  • Provide career development and employability skills training as needed. Monitor weekly blog posts and provide feedback to youth.
  • Liaison between employer and youth participant to schedule interviews and other pre-employment activities. Track employer satisfaction at regular intervals.
  • Maintain accurate records of all meetings, events, and employer information. Provide reports as needed as requested.
  • Engage in evaluation of clients, employers, and community partnerships to determine if programs are successful and participation should continue.
  • Other duties as assigned and required.


  • Competitive salary for the industry.
  • Engaged staff centered on Y.O.U. mission and vision.
  • Medical, dental, vision, retirement, and long and short term disability benefits.
  • Generous paid time off policy.
  • Office is located in the heart of Cleveland’s Playhouse Square district. Monthly parking pass provided.

All applicants are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.

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