Senior Policy Associate APPLY NOW

Los Angeles, CA
65000 - 85000 usd / year
Full time

Reporting to the Senior Policy Advisor and Senior Director, Policy & Workforce Development, this Team Member is responsible for working with our team, board members, volunteers, advisors, and partners to achieve the policy and workforce development goals outlined in RespectAbility’s strategic plan. The person in this position will play a critical leadership role of RespectAbility’s Building Better Futures Initiative (BBFI). This project is an innovative collaboration between employers and labor, nonprofit and government, educators, and Vocational Rehabilitation to pilot innovative employment pipelines for entry-level people with disabilities in High Road jobs, as defined by the State of California.

The Senior Policy Associate will support the policy team to promote the widespread use of RespectAbility’s recommendations on all our Workforce Development efforts, including, but not limited to job seeker supports, employer adoption of best practices, school-to-workforce transitions, disability entrepreneurship, and more. They will work with all members of RespectAbility’s Policy and Workforce Development Department to implement strategies and opportunities to educate any impact decision-makers at the federal, state, and local levels.

This position will hold the responsibility of being the primary project lead on the Building Better Futures Initiative and contribute to advocacy and education efforts both informally through relationship building and through the legislative/regulatory process.

Core Responsibilities

All employees of RespectAbility will conduct themselves in accordance with its Core Tenets:

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility


Commitment to Performance Metrics

Key Responsibilities


  • Advise and train workforce development boards on regional plans to plant the seeds for progress
  • Ensure knowledgeable partners through training of people with disabilities, allies, coalition partners, and sector experts to equip them to educate and advocate decision-makers and others
  • Build and participate in coalitions of labor, management, government, and/or nonprofits to build solutions to workforce challenges
  • Lead optimization of pipelines to employment for people with disabilities by removing barriers through cooperation between workforce development boards, employers, labor, vocational rehabilitation, and educational institutions
  • Collaborate with partners, including state and local government, disability and service organizations, businesses serving not-for-profit organizations, and employers to implement key systemic solutions to barriers to success
  • Professionally represent the organization by attending virtual and/or in-person events, developing content for publication, and supporting civic engagement
  • Attend all regularly scheduled meetings: 1:1 with supervisor, team meetings, partner meetings, coalition meetings, advisory council meetings, and others as needed and identified
  • Work with and support our Policy Associates and Apprentices in their assignments.
  • Plan, assist with, and deliver training and presentations
  • Other duties as assigned

Resource Development: 

  • Support the policy team in communication with funders and donors.
  • Assist the development team to articulate the successes and value proposition of our workforce development efforts to pique the interest of additional funders
  • Record key data touch points on programmatic efforts and support overall departmental grant reporting requirements.


At all levels, the Team Member will be responsible for maintaining the professional and timely communication required by the role and by the level. This requirement will evolve, but will include certain specifics:

  • Regular communication with team members and staff
  • Maintain regular communications with existing partners to facilitate timely progress
  • Reaching out to people at all levels of industry, labor, nonprofit, and government to recruit their participation in our workforce development efforts
  • Working with the communication department to craft external messaging regarding BBFI and our broader workforce initiatives
  • When appropriate, publicly represent RespectAbility to promote BBFI and our broader workforce initiatives


Complete all general responsibilities of RespectAbility employees, including but not limited to:

  • Maintaining a work and meeting schedule that promotes collaboration across the many areas and time zones of the organization
  • Submitting time sheets and other administrative paperwork in a timely manner
  • Attending regularly scheduled meetings


  • Must reside in Los Angeles or within a reasonable proximity. Will also consider candidates who are willing to relocate and have considerable experience in California.
  • At least three years of full-time professional work experience
  • Minimum of two years of combined experience in workforce development and/or public policy, job development and job coaching, or systems change/advocacy experience.
  • Strong existing network in the workforce policy space with the ability to expand that network by building connections to promote meaningful partnerships with diverse external stakeholders preferred.
  • Strong track record in building networks and relationships among diverse populations
  • Strong commitment to the mission and vision of the organization, including diversity, equity, and opportunity for people of all backgrounds and abilities.
  • Commitment to people with disabilities/disability issues as well as a strong interest in issues of intersectionality and other marginalized communities.
  • Able to meet all deliverables and outcomes on tight and critical timelines as outlined for projects.
  • Collaborative, detail-oriented, initiative-taking, and honest professional with a sense of humor and a proven track record of success.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills, including grammar and spelling.
  • Ability and willingness to work flexibly and remotely in a fast-paced, fast-growing, dynamic, nonprofit environment.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and willingness to learn other systems and tools.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience (as described in the cover letter)
  • Experience doing administrative work

Salary range: $65k to $85k. To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to Please make sure that the subject line includes the words “Senior Policy Associate.” Resumes without cover letters may not be considered. 

RespectAbility is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. We value a diverse workforce and strive to be a fully inclusive and equitable workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, record of arrest or conviction, or other legally protected characteristics. Black people, Indigenous people, people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex people, people of marginalized genders; people with disabilities; protected veterans; and formerly incarcerated individuals are all strongly encouraged to apply.

When an applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to compete for a job, they may request it orally or in writing. Please contact Human Resources by email or phone: Tonya Koslo at or 202-517-6272.

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