Product Director

Location: Remote

Application deadline: October 17, 2020

The Organization:

Our country's education and workforce systems are inequitable, and it is hurting our young people, employers, and economy. Despite increases in national high school graduation and college enrollment rates, college persistence continues to be low, and youth who start but do not complete college can find themselves in significant debt, beginning or continuing the cycle of financial insecurity. At the same time, many employers struggle to find and sustain entry-level talent, especially in middle-skill jobs requiring a postsecondary credential.


Propel believes a better system can exist—one that seamlessly connects education and employment. We do this by bringing together high schools, community colleges, and employers in a unified system of skill-building, job placement, and ongoing planning for young adults. The model includes a “core course” pursued during or directly after high school, in which students determine and begin to prepare for a job pathway. Propel then covers the cost of job training, pays a modest stipend, provides mentorship and support, and guarantees a job interview for every “Propel fellow” who successfully completes their training. This process empowers recent high school graduates with the skills, credentials, experiences, and social networks to attain a well-paying job within one year, with opportunities for advancement and higher education. 

Propel is currently operating in Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, leveraging extensive relationships and credibility with key philanthropic, government, industry, and education leaders. Our current pathways span healthcare, technology and engineering, automotive and manufacturing. Propel is also in the process of piloting a new blended model that provides both online and in-person supports, and shifting the long-term strategy to a blended model of credentialing, student support and job placement.  

The Opportunity:

We are seeking a Product Director or Manager to support Propel in the development of our technology platform to allow Propel to scale and reach more students. This consultant will oversee the implementation of Propel’s technology strategy. Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Manage the design and development of Propel’s student facing portal / website

  • Work with stakeholders (program team and external consultants/ vendors) to capture requirements, identify options and make recommendations related to the translation of Propel’s Core curriculum to a learning management system (LMS)

    • Recommend the selection of an LMS platform given Propel’s unique context and needs

    • Work with program team to redesign the curriculum for asynchronous and synchronous use

    • Support the development of a plan to train staff and teachers on the platform in conjunction with the program team 

    • Manage the overall the implementation of the LMS / Curriculum integration

  • Work with Program team to define and refine Propel’s business requirements (i.e., workflow, reporting, student support, and content delivery needs for the Propel model) and identify the additional technology requirements necessary to meet Propel’s business requirements as outlined in our technology strategy (e.g. CRM, website/ portal,etc)

  • Recruit and manage external vendors to design and implement the business and technical requirements necessary for Propel’s technology platform

  • Manage continuous improvement process with key stakeholders including students, staff, and teachers to identify the best technology tools 

  • Build prototypes for user testing as appropriate

  • Help identify the necessary resources, training and staffing to support the implementation of the product roadmap 

  • Develop recommendations and draft job descriptions to build Propel’s technology capacity 

  • Engage with executive team on vision and functionality for the above projects

  • Maintain and track budgets against the above projects, reporting to the executive team on progress and issues

  • This role reports to Chief Operating Officer  


  • Self-motivated with a passion for design

  • Great team player who is comfortable working in a fast-paced, highly collaborative environment

  • A good understanding of design process specific to software products

  • Experience managing technology vendors, designers, and engineers

  • Ability to translate education and business requirements into technology requirements 

  • Familiarity of user expectations and usage for mobile

  • Experience with design systems

  • Significant experience designing education software or websites  

  • Strong communication skills, focus on simplicity and clarity 

  • Strong communication skills and willing listener

  • Ability to create and maintain project plans, product vision/features, budgets, and implementation tracking tools and documents.

  • Preferred skills and experience:

    • Knowledge of current educational principles, best practices and theory related to high school and workforce training, including deep knowledge of research-based instructional strategies that post-secondary readiness 

    • Working with youth at the high school or college-level preferred 

    • Understanding of workforce development and professional skills training content

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience managing design projects

  • Education credentials highly valued by industry are preferred, including but not limited to a bachelor’s degree


To be negotiated based on 35-45 hours per week from September 2020-May 2021 with possibility of converting to a full time employee

Equal Opportunity

Propel America is an equal opportunity employer and encourages individuals of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities to apply. We are also particularly interested in individuals who have lived or worked in underserved communities.

Note: The application deadline for this position is October 19, 2020. After this date we do not guarantee review of submissions.