Job Description: Solutions Lab Program Manager, KC Digital Drive

Reports to: Managing Director

Position Overview

The Solutions Lab Program Manager will work with the Managing Director to sustain and grow programs and projects within the KC Digital Drive Solutions Lab, which addresses pressing public sector problems by using new and emerging technology in creative ways. Programs within the Solutions Lab portfolio include

  • Code for KC: a local volunteer network of developers, designers, strategists and other tech-skilled or tech-interested civic activists to deliver projects
  • MetroLab: helps to align university resources with local government partners for grant opportunities, practicum classes, capstone projects, and independent research
  • US Ignite: supports public-private partnerships and corporate innovation by bringing corporate resources and expertise into the digital transformation of the public and non-profit sector

Each of these programs has a local, Kansas City metro footprint for projects and community building, and also is part of a national community of practice. The program manager will have an opportunity to participate in both networks.

Ideal candidates for this work will have an entrepreneurial mindset, a commitment to public service, an action-oriented project-based mode of working, a keen interest in emerging technology, and the ability to work in a fluid, dynamic, multistakeholder environment. The program growth part of the job requires account service and relationship building skills, the ability to talk and connect with senior organizational leaders in a board room setting and grass roots organizers tackling community projects, and the ability to understand the goals and motivations of network partners and align with our own program goals. The project management part of the job requires an ability to set clear goals and timelines, allocate and assign resources, and a good measure of herding cats. We provide management support for collaborative teams and workgroups, more than our own staff. Fundraising for programs and projects is also part of the job, including grant-based philanthropic support and more specific deliverable-based membership and project work.

Tech, coding, or development skills are a bonus but by no means a requirement. Comfort working with the unique requirements and expectations of local government and university partners is a key component of the job. This is a new position and will evolve with the unique abilities of the person who takes the job. We are a very small organization with an all-hands-on-deck mentality. Candidates should expect to participate in high level strategic meetings with key local government staff and make sure we have peanut butter pretzels from Costco on hand for hack night. Like everyone else, the Covid-19 has changed the game a bit, and we are still adapting how we deliver our programming in a largely virtual environment.

Responsibilities include

  • Coordinating design workshops and outreach with public sector and philanthropic partners to identify important problems and opportunities for projects
  • Streamlining workflow to organize resources and capabilities in the Code for KC volunteer network, the MetroLab university resource partnerships, and US Ignite corporate sponsors
  • Oversee a volunteer management and engagement system
  • Fill in on specific projects with task work (research, writing, coordination, outreach) on an as needed basis
  • Event coordination for weekly hack nights (6-8 pm on Monday evenings, 40+ nights a year), including managing Meetup and EventBrite, attendance tracking, and growth
  • Event coordination for larger design and hack events—two regional one-day MetroLab Symposiums in the spring and fall, an annual Hack KC two-day weekend hackathon, and a one-day Design Workshop in preparation for Hack KC (TBD per Covid-19)
  • Maintain a project schedule and deliverables for discrete projects
  • Track the project progress, identify resources and additional network synergies to help
  • Help to manage relationships with sponsors, stakeholders, city and university partners
  • Engage with peers who manage similar networks in other cites
  • Attend national events MetroLab, Code for KC Brigade Congress, US Ignite Application Summit, etc (TBD per Covid-19)
  • Manage both impact metrics and activity metrics
  • Coordinate the storytelling, documentation and PR tracking for projects
  • Help to design and manage process for resource alignment with other parts of our network
  • Coordinate with program leadership teams (Core Team for Code for KC, University/City Leadership Team for MetroLab, US Ignite Steering Committee) to ensure community alignment of the work

Contact info@kcdigitaldrive.org to submit for consideration.

Further Reading