Program Manager

Location: Chicago (Hybrid)

Reports to: Program Director

FLSA Status: Exempt

Work Hours: Flexible, but generally you will be in the office (3) Days and Remote/Virtual (2) Days per week. With our organization being rooted in Business, Leadership and Technology, we ask that any candidate applying be open to attending Events and Engagements.

*Some of these Events and Engagements may take place on days that are “Off-Peak” or scheduled as “Remote/Virtual”.

Date Prepared: 1/4/23

About Inner-City Computer Stars (i.c.stars):

Since 1998, i.c.stars has been running an intensive 16-week technology and leadership transformational learning program to break the cycle of oppression for inner-city adults. Our experiential and project based learning approach - rooted in systems thinking and problem solving - is core to how we develop Technology and Community Leaders. Over the past 25 years, our programs have transformed lives and strengthened communities, and we are committed to continuing to build upon that legacy. On average, our graduates’ earnings increase by 300%, with an 83% placement rate and a 90% industry retention rate after one year. Furthermore, many of our graduates go on to become homeowners, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and advocates for change. One of our 1,000+ alumni summed up the impact in this quote: “i.c.stars allows space for CREATORS to architect their career, their lifestyle, and even more deeply consider generational wealth…”

Our Mission

i.c.stars works to activate a technology community of change agents to power social and economic freedom. Working with low-income young adults, providing them with employment opportunities and preparing them for community-based advocacy allows us to achieve our social purpose.

Our Core Values

S= Stewards. We are committed to creating opportunities for others.

T= Teachers. We know that to learn and lead is the greatest form of justice.

A= Agents of Change. We invest in change and innovation, not charity.

R= Resilient. We’re strong, courageous, and capable of overcoming adversity.

S= Solution Finders. We shape our future by solving problems in and with the community.

Position Summary:

i.c.stars is hiring a Program Manager to join our organization at an exciting time of organizational growth. Reporting to the Chicago Program Director, the Program Manager is core to the planning, delivery, and success of our 16-week program. This position is responsible for leading and managing program cycles of 20 participants (interns) through a transformative experience in service to their placement into technology related jobs after graduation. Our experiential program focuses explicitly on developing skills in business, leadership, and technology. Successful outcomes for this role include intern transformation, skills development , post-cycle net promoter scores, program retention, and job retention post graduation.

Ideal candidates will bring excellent leadership, communication, relationship-building, and organization skills as well as the ability to develop community with interns, regional and national staff, and external stakeholders as we work to achieve our mission. The Program Manager will support and mentor interns according to our core values and leadership vision of “creating opportunities for others”. As an adaptive and learning facilitator, and a transformation coach, the Program Manager will sustain a transformative learning environment and build trust among interns, staff, and external stakeholders.


Coordinate the Program Curriculum, Team, and Projects

  • Coordinate with Program Director and Technology Training Manager to identify and bring external subject matter experts in as instructors of Business, Leadership and/or Technology workshops/workshop series
  • In partnership with the Technology Training Manager, work with the Project Sponsor (Client) to identify an appropriate project concept/scope and associated learning objectives and outcomes
  • Conduct client business reviews and plan, monitor and execute client action plans
  • Lead client project meetings and debrief sessions with interns
  • Manage and own the program schedule for intern learning experiences
  • Ensure all intern program learning experiences are planned, organized, and executed in a high quality and core values-aligned manner
  • Provide superior communication with and management of corporate partner and client relationships
  • Resolve problems, questions and issues in a timely manner to ensure the cycle project stays on target
  • Support the recruitment and selection process by engaging in panel interviews
  • Engage in program continuous improvement cycles using program data and continuous improvement processes to sharpen program impact

Develop a Powerful Learning Community

  • Daily program lead and manager of 20 interns for each program cycle
  • Create a transformative learning environment that adheres to the i.c.stars’ program model, guidelines, and expectations
  • Maintain a productive group dynamic focused on learning, reflection, growth, and transformation among interns
  • Raise awareness and coach skill on navigating productive conflict
  • Develop strengthened cohesiveness and “authentic community” among interns
  • Model and develop the ethos of reciprocity and “give to get” i.c.stars ethos as it pertains to community leadership
  • Nurture the development and expansion of career and life aspirations that go beyond “self” and also focus on “community”

Lead Transformational Adult Learning Experiences

  • Serve as a model of leadership and our organization’s core values
  • Facilitate leadership and business development workshops (including core program workshops and “just in time” learning) for interns
  • Provide guidance for self-directed learning and provide one-on-one coaching as needed
  • Provide constructive feedback on learning assignments
  • Support the coordination of high-impact career readiness training
  • Administer common assessments and track data that capture knowledge and skill development in business, leadership, technology, and readiness for job placement
  • Analyze data trends and be responsive to intern experience and learning data.

Foster Learning and Collaboration in Service to Our Mission

  • Work collaboratively with a variety of national and regional staff Executive Director and other i.c.stars offices, as needed, to ensure alignment, awareness, and consistency across functional program areas
  • Report on the challenges and successes of the cycle’s project work to internal and external stakeholders and collaborators
  • Develop trust, productive working relationships, and collaboration with a variety of internal and external stakeholders who are critical to program success.
  • Participate and actively engage in staff meetings and other meetings
  • Engage in ongoing professional learning in service to continued development and impact
  • Other duties as assigned


  • 3+ years of team leadership and/or management experience preferred
  • 3+ years of teaching/facilitation experience and/or developing adult learners
  • 3+ years of experience in managing multiple projects and developing strong client relationships
  • A track record of that demonstrates a strong results-orientation and positive impact in prior roles Experience developing people (ideally entry-level talent) with a demonstrated ability to differentiate support, inspire, motivate, and coach
  • Demonstrated ability to lead or manage towards a goal Experience working in a fast-paced, dynamic, complex and/or entrepreneurial environment

  • Proven ability to make thoughtful and strategic decisions in potentially emotionally charged situations and/or in the presence of ambiguity;


  • Strong learning orientation and desire for growth
  • Strong ownership of work, sense of responsibility, and integrity
  • Confidence and courage
  • Ability to hold complexity and ambiguity
  • Exemplary adaptability and resilience when faced with challenges
  • Strategic communication with various stakeholders
  • Ability to drive towards a goal in alignment with i.c. stars’ core values
  • Exemplary skill at collaborating with others and developing strong connections between people
  • Ability to productively navigate conflict and use it as a tool for learning and growth
  • Strong analytical skills and experience interpreting a strategic vision operationally
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills
  • Superior management and organization skills including anand ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines; prioritizing and delegating as needed and priorities
  • Sound judgment, maturity and the ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with discretion
  • Strong work ethic and professionalism


We believe our staff is the heart and soul of the organization. Our workplace culture is challenging, supportive, collaborative and mission-driven. Working at i.c.stars means working somewhere full of engaging, savvy, diverse people who care deeply about our mission and are committed to learning and continuous improvement. If you want to work in a progressive organization, where you can be part of an amazing legacy, critically important work, and have fun while doing it, we would love to hear from you.

i.c.stars’ strives to deliver an equitable compensation and benefits package to support the financial, mental and physical wellness of our staff. This includes a competitive compensation and benefits package including medical, dental, and vision coverage to employees and dependents; FSA plan; a 401(k) plan; company-paid life and accidental insurance, short and long-term disability, a generous paid time off policy and holidays. We also prioritize and invest in the learning and development of our staff and offer a wide range of opportunities for staff to develop their professional networks.


Health Insurance (i.c.stars covers >90% of premium) Dental insurance

Vision insurance

Flexible spending account

Life insurance

Short/Long-term disability


Professional development and networking opportunities