Wade Witherspoon
08/21/23 9 Hits

Executive Director: The Columbia Future Forge
“Life Ready. Job Ready.”

The Columbia Future Forge is a non-profit seeking to build and sustain social enterprises that allow young adults from a variety of backgrounds the ability to be prepared for the next stage of life. We do so by providing direct employment, character development, life skills, job skills, and adult mentorship.

In 2015, the Forge began as a teenage landscaping company, Mowtown Teen Lawncare. Since then, the Forge has grown to include various life and job skills trainings and a mentoring program that focuses on young adults from Clark County, WA. We have a landscape operation, an on-campus character development program, and a weight training program.  We hope to expand to a shed building operation in the summer of 2024 that will also offer academic credit to local high school students.

Today we work with 150 students each year in a variety of capacities. The Forge has always focused on creating enterprises/ministries that are revenue generating and focused on sustainability and long-term outcomes. Our goal is to not be dependent on donor support and grant funding. The Forge is an independent 501c3, but it is housed in a local church, and sees itself as an extension of the congregation’s life. For all intents and purposes, the Forge is a Christian ministry, but it functions in a variety of secular settings.

The Forge has won awards from Duke Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary, McCormick Theological Seminary, and the Murdock Trust. Most of these awards relate to innovation in the context of a local congregation.

Recently our founder became the lead pastor at the church which serves as a hub for the work of the Forge. We are looking to hire an Executive Director who is willing to take the Forge to new levels of funding and perhaps start new enterprises in the future. We are looking for a leader who is capable of working with diverse students and adults, starting new and innovative expressions of our mission, and growing our donor base. Our ideal person is someone who has some experiences leading student-based ministries and knows how to balance ministry/non-profit work and the marketplace.

While this position is initially expected to be part-time, we have a variety of supplemental employment options within our network.  We are willing to utilize those options to create a full-time position and salary. The Forge has incredible opportunity and capacity for growth in the coming years under the direction of a capable leader who feels called to do this work.

Forge Executive Director
Job Description

The role of Executive Director of the Columbia Future Forge is designed to oversee all aspects of the non-profit’s mission, vision, and values. It includes all areas of operations, fund raising, recruitment of staff and volunteers, and coordination of activities approved by its Board of Directors. This position is a part time 20 hours per week, but may be adaptable to 30 hour per week, should the candidate require it. We hope to expand it to full time in the next 2 years. It reports to the Founding Director and the Board of Directors of which the Executive Director is a member.

• College Degree or higher required.
• High social and emotional intelligence and adaptability.
• Experience working with teenagers/young adults in a ministry context.
• Executive Director experience preferred but not required.
• 3+ years of demonstrated leadership experience in another organization(s).
• Capable of demonstrating deep care for every diverse corner of our community.
• Experienced or willing to grow in trauma informed care for teens/young adults.
• Desire to take a midsized non-profit over the $500k threshold.
• Willingness to engage in the startup/launch phase of social enterprises.
• Proficiency in Microsoft 365, presentation platforms, and virtual meeting platforms.
• Deep personal Christian faith that is warm and intellectually open.
• Must have a valid driver’s license and pass a criminal background check.
• Able to engage in the physical work of our various programs, including landscaping, athletics, and classrooms.

• $35k-45k - depending on experience and based on 20 hours/week.
• Health care stipend provided.
• Paid vacation proportional to ½ time or ¾ time work and 10 paid holidays.
• Cell phone allowance provided.
• Possible moving expenses for relocation.
• Flexible hours
• Significant opportunities for pay increases as enterprise revenues/donor contributions increase. They are also welcome to raise personal support from previous donor networks.

Operations  -
• Oversee and manage all Forge operations.
• Coordinate with support staff and volunteers to trouble shoot and resolve operational issues.
• Responsible for refining the life skills training model, curriculum development and training delivery.

Recruitment -
• Find and support adult mentors, volunteers, and young adult participants.
• Develop a group of volunteers to solve various operational needs.

Ministry  -
• Train and equip staff, volunteers, and mentors to effectively support the mission, vision, and values of The Forge.
• Be able to articulate (and effectively translate as needed) the Kingdom values that undergird our goal of helping youth become “Life ready. Job ready.” 
• Integrate the meaning of a Christ-centered foundation into every aspect of The Forge.   

Innovation -
• Explore opportunities for new enterprises and community partnerships.
• Develop relationships with other non-profits, Clark County agencies, and educational institutions. 
• Offer Forge life skills training in new or adapted settings and/or partner with others seeking to offer similar life and job skills to youth. 

Development -
• Fund raising from donors, businesses, and organizations to support the mission of the Forge.
• Establish and oversee donor support and communications.

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