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Executive Director – Bidwell Training Center


BIDWELL TRAINING CENTER (BTC) is a nationally accredited and state licensed adult career training institution. For 50 years, BTC has been teaching adults career skills that have enabled graduates to become gainfully employed throughout the Pittsburgh region. “We change lives” is more than just a saying; it is at the heart of BTC’s mission: to change lives by providing career training and academic enrichment to adults who are unemployed, underemployed, or in transition.

BTC seeks to hire its next Executive Director (ED) who will succeed Valerie Njie, whose tenure has spanned over 35 years with almost 20 serving as ED. Under Valerie’s leadership, BTC gained national recognition in 2012 and 2017 by receiving the School of Excellence Award from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Only 15 of approximately 600 fellow career institutions received this distinction during both cycles.

The bar of excellence has been set high. Having attracted national recognition for its innovative and career-oriented training, the role of the ED is nothing short of high-profile. BTC seeks an extremely ambitious, proven innovator who will present with strength and confidence as an ambassador for BTC across varied audiences.



Originally founded in 1968 with an initial focus on training in the construction trades, BTC’s vocational training and employment programs have grown tremendously over the years, training and placing thousands of graduates in meaningful jobs. This unique learning environment seeks to serve the needs of the community and provide educational opportunities to anyone who aspires to achieve their dreams and goals by becoming productive citizens who are gainfully employed.

BTC is one of three affiliate organizations operating under the umbrella organization of Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC). The other affiliates include Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, with nationally recognized programs in Jazz and youth arts, and the National Center for Arts and Technology. The ED works collaboratively with the other affiliate leaders to promote the mission of MBC.

BTC has an operating budget of approximately $6M and supports a full-time student body of approximately 200. Programs are offered at no cost to students who are eligible, and currently include the following career tracts: Pharmacy Technician, Culinary Arts, Laboratory Technician, Horticulture Technician, Medical Assistant, Medical Coder and Medical Claims Processor

To learn more, please visit:



The ED reports to the President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation. The ED will help ensure success for BTC students through working with industry partners to design and maintain training programs that equip students with marketable skills necessary to become gainfully employed.

Overseeing a staff of 52 full and part-time employees, the ED must establish an environment of respect and collaboration that will ensure staff and faculty feel valued and eager to contribute to the school’s mission.

The ED is primarily responsible for the following:

Leadership and Program Administration

  • Assures BTC effectively achieves its mission by providing leadership and programmatic innovation. This includes day-to-day operations, mandated staff development and onboarding processes, fiscal management, and program design and development.
  • Per regulations, designs 5-year strategic plan to be reviewed annually.
  • Works with management team members to guide the successful execution of short and long-term strategies for the advancement of the school and continuation of School of Excellence status. Stays current forecast data and employment trends and recommends programmatic changes and new concepts as indicated by current market conditions.
  • Takes an analytical approach to new student outreach and recruitment. Develops and implements innovative strategies as needed in order to stay competitive.
  • Manages the staff with respect, creating a workplace that is professional and positive.
  • Understands and supports the important work of BTC as it relates to the overarching, strategic vision of Manchester Bidwell Corporation.

Community Relations

  • Identifies and cultivates partnerships with community organizations, corporate and community leaders, alumni, and other constituent groups in order to increase the impact and reach of the school.
  • Advances BTC’s public brand by acting as an ambassador throughout the region and over social media platforms.
  • Actively engages in community activities and collaborations.
  • Represents BTC on advisory and boards of directors.

Compliance and Reporting

  • Ensures compliance on all matters pertaining to accreditation and state licensure.
  • Represents BTC in all matters related to ACCSC accreditation and state licensure.



The ED will lead with an appreciation of the remarkable impact Bidwell Training Center makes in the community. This is an ideal role for an exceptional manager, motivating leader, and strong external spokesperson, who has demonstrated breakthrough outcomes in a career school or similarly mission-aligned organization, or non-profit. The new leader must understand or be quick-to-learn the challenges and opportunities within the adult education sector. This person must be thorough and articulate in evaluating and updating current program offerings, all while considering the prospect of growth.

All candidates must possess the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Education, Business/Public Administration, Social Work or related along with 10 years of progressive mid- and senior-level management experience in career school administration, adult vocational programming or related; or Master’s degree in Education, Business/Public Administration, Social Work or related along with a minimum of 5 years of progressive mid- and senior-level management experience in career school administration, adult vocational programming or related.
  • Knowledge of State Department of Education licensing requirements and ACCSC requirements for accreditation of career schools, or knowledge of some other national, regional or program accreditation.
  • Must be capable of interacting with a diverse constituency of community members, foundation representatives, business and government leaders, and various other professionals.

All candidates should possess a combination of the following attributes:

  • Ability to lead and inspire others to deliver high performance. Working style that is transparent, encouraging, and collaborative.
  • Extensive management experience with a track record of success in leading and sustaining a high-performing organization.
  • Strong strategic thinking and planning skills, with the ability to leverage qualitative and quantitative information in decision-making.
  • Ambitious and innovative mindset with a track record of translating strategy into action and delivering results.
  • Experience cultivating partnerships with individuals and institutions across the public, private, and philanthropic sectors.
  • Exceptional communicator; adept at sharing information both written and verbally in a way that resonates with a variety of audiences, both internally and externally.
  • A sense of entrepreneurial opportunism with the ability to learn quickly and adapt with changing conditions.
  • Interpersonal skills including the ability to advocate, negotiate, and persuade stakeholders into a course of action in a community context.



In the near term, the ED will be expected to continue and improve upon outstanding outcomes while successfully addressing and meeting the following:

  • Be an active and visible partner in strengthening BTC’s branding efforts.
  • Evaluate sector trends and best practices, as well as current student enrollment data. Begin generating creative ideas and an initial plan for programming as well as new student outreach and recruitment.
  • Ensures BTC is up to date and in compliance with all regulatory and ACCSC accreditation requirements.



Salary and benefits will be commensurate with level of skill and experience, and competitive with other organizations similar in size and scope.



Bidwell Training Center has retained Nonprofit Talent to assist with this important organizational change process. Specific questions related to the position may be emailed to Michelle Pagano Heck, President, at Applications are not accepted at this email address. Please direct all inquiries related to this position to Nonprofit Talent, and do not contact Bidwell Training Center.

Resume, position specific cover letter, and salary expectations may be uploaded here:

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY 5pm on August 20, 2018.

Bidwell Training Center is an equal opportunity employer. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.