Policy Specialist

National Conference of State Legislatures
Job Description
JOB TITLE:                             Policy Specialist
PROGRAM:                           Education
LOCATION:                           Denver, CO
SALARY:                                $4428+/month depending on experience
 
ABOUT NCSL: 
The National Conference of State Legislatures is a nonpartisan organization that serves the legislators and legislative staff of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues.  Our mission is to serve state legislatures by providing support, promoting fresh ideas, connecting legislators and staff with experts and each other, and provide a strong, cohesive voice in the federal system.   
 
Since its founding in 1975, NCSL's staff has grown from 15 employees to over 150 employees in its offices in Denver, CO and Washington, D.C. Our growth has been due to the increasing activity and responsibility of the nation's state legislatures and the complexity and diversity of issues that legislators face.  Employees work in a challenging, often fast-paced environment where they assist legislators and legislative staff in their work to promote the common good of the citizens of the states.  We look forward to your contributions to our mission in the Education program.
 
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: 
This individual will assist the Education Program on issues and activities related to state policy on K-12 career pathways, vocational/career technical education and apprenticeships. This includes tracking the status of legislative proposals in the states and summarizing/analyzing that legislation; following research, trends and best practices; developing web-based materials; preparing written materials; and making presentations and facilitating discussion with  legislatures and other state and local legislators and stakeholders on the assigned topics. In addition, this individual will respond to requests for information from legislators, staff, media, and others and assist with details and logistics for meetings and state-based work that are a part of the Program's K-12 work. This individual will organize and attend site visits. The ideal candidate will have background/experience with implemementation of vocational/career technical education, understand the state legislative policy process, possess strong writing and public speaking skills, and be able to assist state legislatures with complex education policy issues.
 
This position is grant-funded and is subject to reduction in percentage of time covered or elimination if grant funding becomes unavailable.          
 
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES:
1.      Take a lead role on policy work related to K-12 career pathways, vocational/career technical education and apprenticeships for the NCSL Education Program.
2.      Handle technical assistance requests, information requests, written reports, and general collaboration with national organizations.
3.      Collect information, analyze data, interpret and identify legislative policy implications, describe policy options, and draft recommendations for state legislative response.
4.      Develop and maintain networks with researchers, other public interest groups, the private sector, and state, federal or other governmental officials, thus helping to promote NCSL opportunites, activities or programs.
5.      Convey detailed and complex information determining the most effective format and using a variety of methods, e.g. verbal presentations, publications, technical assistance workshops, videotapes, letters, memos, newsletters, and articles.
6.      Write clearly and concisely for a variety of publications including blogs, policy briefs, longer policy reports, and magazine articles.
7.      Plan programs using varied strategies, formats, and approaches for a variety of audiences and constituencies.
8.      Represent NCSL services and activities before other groups and attend meetings related to project and funder activities.
9.      Assist with current development projects in this and other areas, and identifies new prospects for support. 
10.   Develops concept papers and writes grant applications.
 
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES:
This position has no direct supervisory responsibilities, but does serve as a coach and mentor for other positions in the department.
 
WORK ENVIRONMENT: 
This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as laptop computers, copy machines, scanners and smartphones.
 
PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
 
This is largely a sedentary position that requires the ability to speak, hear, see, lift small objects up to 50 lbs., open filing cabinets and bend, stoop, or stand on a stool as necessary.  Requires the ability to travel locally, regionally and nationally, including overnight and weekends.
 
OTHER DUTIES:
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 
 
QUALIFICATIONS:
Experience and Education
·        Bachelor's degree plus five years of relevant and progressive work experience or three years of experience and post-baccalaureate / graduate degree (i.e. masters degree, advanced professional degree or doctoral degree). 
·        The following work experience or some equivalent combination is preferred: at least one year of professional experience with NCSL or with a state legislature or government, two years of professional public policy experience. 
 
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
·        Excellent public speaking and presentation skills.
·        Skill and competence in a range of research skills and tasks.
·        Excellent writing skills.
·        Skill and competence to work effectively with legislators and legislative staff.
·        Able to maintain confidentiality and handle politically sensitive work.
·        Skill and competence to work independently and to handle a variety of tasks and assignments concurrently.
 
BENEFITS:
NCSL offers an outstanding benefits package including low cost health, dental and vision coverage, a 401(a)-retirement plan with 10% contribution after 6 months and full vesting, life & disability insurance, 3-weeks paid vacation with 5+ years of paid full-time work experience, paid leave, telework, in-office dry cleaning pick up, pet insurance, access to 24-hour fitness memberships, discounted bus / train passes, and more!
 
TO APPLY:
Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume highlighting skills and qualifications to: https://ncsl.applicantpro.com/jobs no later than Monday, July 16, 2018.
 
NCSL IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.
Contact Information