Director of Staff & Volunteer Operations

East Palo Alto, California
Apr 24, 2019
May 24, 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Experience Level





Organizational Overview

EPACENTER increases opportunities for East Palo Alto youth to amplify their talents, realize their potential, and impact their world through art and design. As a creative youth development organization, EPACENTER engages youth, ages 12-25, in a range of creative programs to develop their intrinsic voices, and the creative, critical thinking and socio-emotional skills they need to succeed. EPACENTER offers free, culturally-responsive instruction in the digital, visual, literary and performing arts during the school day, after-school and during the summer, engages youth in organizational decision-making and key leadership roles, and links youth to meaningful summer employment opportunities, college and careers. EPACENTER also furthers community development in East Palo Alto (EPA) by engaging in creative placemaking, and by partnering with local community organizations to expand each organization’s capacity. The organization is currently in its operational start-up phase and is creating a new curriculum of classes in partnership with local youth-serving organizations while building a 25,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that will open in East Palo Alto in 2020, which will serve up to 1500 youth per year.

Position Overview

EPACENTER’s mission is to amplify the creative potential of every young person. Achieving this mission is highly dependent on an effective organizational work culture, and the constructive contributions and collective impact of many people – staff and instructors, as well as community volunteers.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Staff and Volunteer Operations (DSVO) position is a foundational role. The DSVO develops the vision, priorities, plans and systems that create a positive organizational work culture, an effective workforce, and an engaged cohort of youth, parent, and community volunteers.

Key Responsibilities

The DSVO oversees the people operations and human resources functions of the organization, including youth and adult staff recruitment, training, retention, coaching, development, engagement, and performance management. The DSVO builds the systems that power the organization’s work culture and volunteer engagement strategies to ensure these systems are centered on performance, inclusivity, collaboration, and impact. The DSVO also maximizes staff and volunteer contributions, deepens their effectiveness, mobilizes their progress towards shared goals, and integrates their activities to generate impactful outcomes for EPACENTER students. The DSVO helps create a positive working environment for staff and instructors that recognizes their valuable contributions, empowers their continued success within the organization, and helps them perform at their full potential. In addition, the DSVO supports the day-to-day needs of managers throughout the organization through coaching, professional development, planning, support, and goal setting. Lastly, the DSVO engages community volunteers from East Palo Alto in organizational decision-making, builds trust and rapport, raises their awareness of the importance of arts education, and enlists them as advocates for EPACENTER.

This work specifically includes (but is not limited to) the following:

Organizational Work Culture & People Operations

  • Serving as a high-level strategic thought partner to the Executive Director
  • Building and maintaining an effective work culture by centering fairness, respect, professionalism, and clear communication
  • Ensuring all employees perform at their full potential so that EPACENTER’s programs and operations help youth develop their creative capacities
  • Establishing a culture of achievement and continuous learning by identifying and addressing staff and instructor training needs, and determining short-term and long-term goals
  • Creating a work culture dedicated to trauma reduction, recovery and wellness for adult and youth staff utilizing trauma-informed and culturally-responsive approaches to HR policies, procedures and practices
  • Creating processes that effectively develop, motivate, and coach youth and adult staff, value their physical and emotional safety, and build trustworthiness by making tasks and responsibilities clear
  • Developing a performance management system that holds adult and youth staff accountable to performance measures, focuses on building capacities, prioritizes each individual’s assets, development and growth, identifies and addresses performance-related concerns quickly, engages adult and youth staff in organizational performance management processes, and provides ongoing feedback
  • Directing the organization’s employee relations efforts

Human Resources

  • Overseeing the administration, coordination and evaluation of all Human Resources functions within EPACENTER
  • Working with a full-service HR firm on employee recruiting, onboarding and offboarding, benefits administration and compliance, employer liability management, employee training and development, performance management, and employee services
  • Ensuring staff adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, professional standards, and organizational codes of conduct, including FERPA, COPPA, and CANRA, as well as federal and state labor laws and regulations regarding employment, payroll, and benefits administration
  • Creating HR policies and procedures, as well as handbooks, manuals, procedural letters, and HR policy bulletins
  • Overseeing the resolution of complaints and grievance procedures
  • Advising executive staff on ways to hire locally in accordance with the city's First Source Hiring Ordinance, when possible

Volunteer Management & Engagement

  • Recruiting youth and adult volunteers, and maintaining their participation in EPACENTER’s activities
  • Establishing a network of youth and adult volunteers who serve as champions of the organization
  • Convening volunteer task force groups to discuss youth needs and ensuring that perspectives from organizational volunteers inform organizational goals
  • Coordinating volunteer engagement events including forums, charrettes, community town hall meetings, stakeholder meetings, presentations, workshops, and fairs
  • Planning, coordinating, and implementing volunteer engagement activities and programs
  • Maintaining organizational knowledge of best practices for family, parent, and volunteer engagement


Successful applicants for the position will have experience with a rapidly growing organization, will possess exceptional human resources, coaching and mentoring skills, and will share and demonstrate a commitment to educational equity. Key qualifications include:


  • 8+ years of relevant experience in people operations or human resources in a nonprofit setting
  • Experience working with volunteers and managing volunteer programs
  • Minimum 5 years of experience managing personnel
  • Proven knowledge of effective recruitment, retention and management strategies for staff, teachers and students, especially from underrepresented communities
  • Knowledge of trauma-informed and culturally-relevant HR practices
  • Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with constituents of various social, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious, economic and educational backgrounds
  • Demonstrated experience in arts education, social change, civic engagement, community engagement, or youth development initiatives