Career Development Counselor for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Pathway

Title: Career Development Counselor for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Pathway
Organization: Karen Organization of Minnesota
Location: Hybrid between office, training sites in the Metro Area, and virtually from home
Status: Full-time (32hours per week) with benefits
Salary: $22.00 to $25.00 per hour depending on qualifications
Benefits: Health insurance (100% of premium covered for employee), life insurance, short-term disability insurance; approx.
Hours: 32 hours/week; Monday-Friday typically 8:30AM-5:00PM; evening hours as needed
Reports to: Lisa Gibson, Program Manager


Position Description: Career Development Counselors are part of our caring and skilled direct services team serving immigrants and refugees. The CDC’s role is twofold:

  1. Recruit and develop relationships with participants to develop individualized goal plans and support navigation into high-demand CDL careers. Your work will span the continuum of the program, from recruiting clients, screening for eligibility, supporting during the training process of earning permit, license, and completing a paid work experience, and post-training ensuring quality permanent job placement.
  2. With support from a CDL Job Developer and Employment Coach, conduct employer outreach and develop relationships with warehouse, highway-heavy, bus and public transit, and manufacturing employers to increase access to short-term work experiences and permanent, stable jobs for participants seeking employment.

Responsibilities include:

Enrollment, Training, and License Navigation (55% of time):

  • Recruit and enroll eligible participants into KOM’s CDL entry level driver training and paid work experience program. Entry in multiple data systems is expected, requiring a nimble and methodical approach.
  • In partnership with participants, create individualized employment plans designed to support goals and job placement needs, continually updating the plan to track and celebrate progress
  • Support participation in a paid work experience opportunity at one of KOM’s CDL partner employer sites, including conducting outreach to expand employer partnerships.
  • Help participants navigate permit testing and enrolling into CDL behind the wheel classes at DCTC to obtain their Class A license.
  • Serve as primary point person throughout enrollment, checking in with participants, employer partners, and training instructors to track participant progress and identify areas where added support from the CDC may be needed.
  • Establish trust and rapport to identify barriers, then connect participants with appropriate resources, including issuing client support in the form of gas/bus cards, interview/work clothing, car repairs, etc.

Job search and Retention: (30% of time):

  • Support participants in finding meaningful employment, which may include but is not limited to sharing relevant job leads, introducing participants to employers, assisting with job applications and resume writing, and helping jobseekers prepare for interviews.
  • Coach participants to develop soft skills in one-on-one and in group settings.
  • Stay up-to-date on local employment trends, employer needs, and job counseling best practices
  • Build relationships with CDL employers to increase access to job opportunities for participants.
  • Regularly connect with participants after placement to support retention and problem-solve where there are challenges to new employment.
  • Collaborate with Communications, Development, and other Employment & Financial Services colleagues on tactical outreach plans to engage area employers.

General Support and Documentation of Work (15% of time):

  • Attend regular partner meetings to develop programming, plan activities, and monitor outcomes.
  • Maintain accurate and organized client records in compliance with KOM policies and contract guidelines, entering data into multiple systems (Apricot, Salesforce, and Workforce One). Includes documenting all contact and attempted contact with a KOM participant in detailed and timely case notes.
  • Attend weekly KOM staff meetings.
  • Provide walk-in services for refugees to address needs including translation/interpreting, completing paperwork, and contacting other agencies for referrals and follow-up
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Proven ability to effectively connect to diverse immigrant communities and build strong coaching relationships with others
  • Strong written and verbal English skills, with multilingual abilities strongly preferred
  • Well organized with the ability to juggle competing priorities and meet deadlines
  • Strong computer skills including Microsoft Office, internet searching, and data entry
  • Highly approachable and collaborative work style with the ability to work with partners and colleagues in diverse sectors
  • 2 years of (full-time equivalent) experience in any of the following: employment or workforce development/career pathways work, CDL driving, academic services, social services/case management, community outreach work, or other roles requiring high levels of organization and communication
    • Assoicates degree may substitute for 1 year of experience; bachelor’s or advanced degree may substitute 2 years of experience
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • This position requires travel to training and employer sites. Must have a valid driver’s license, a vehicle for work and active insurance coverage.

Preferred Qualifications (Any applicant demonstrating the skills needed to do the work outlined above will be considered for this position):

  • Proficiency in Sgaw Karen, Pwo Karen, Karenni, or Burmese highly desired but not required.
  • Knowledgeable about CDL license requirements/types and employment pathways
  • Individuals from immigrant and refugee communities highly encouraged to apply!

To Apply:

Email a resume, cover letter, and three professional references to Sara Johnson, Program Director–

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