The National Job Corps Association (NJCA) is a Washington, DC based coalition of for-profit and non-profit companies with a vested interest in the United States Department of Labor’s Job Corps program. The Association has close to 100 members and an annual budget of roughly $1M. A large part of the NJCA’s mission is simply to support the federal Job Corps program through policy advocacy and appropriations lobbying, i.e. assuring Job Corps is well funded.
In February 2013, the NJCA reached out to Grau & Associates (G&A) to help transition the Association from its long-time executive director who was planning her retirement.
The NJCA was (and is) well established and successful. Taking over as its executive director meant maintaining its success; managing the association, its staff, its policy initiatives, its day-to-day routines, and perhaps finding a way to build on the organization’s accomplishments.
G&A stepped into the role and immediately divided its management work into two categories: operations, including human resources and budgeting, and membership services, including the Association’s major lobbying program. G&A became versed in the Association’s operations and concurrently evaluated the group’s services including its membership communications protocols and its lobbying strategies.
Among the many systems and initiatives that were operating very well, G&A identified two critical areas that needed immediate attention. First, operationally one of the Association’s largest members was considering unsubscribing, a major threat to revenue. Second, the Association’s membership services did not include a political action committee, a major asset for the type of lobbying the NJCA undertakes.
To manage these issues, G&A made a personal visit to the member (Golden, CO) and assured its leadership the Association would be strengthening key efforts important to the member’s continued involvement. G&A helped the NJCA do so and the member (and its dues) remained with the association.
Concurrently, G&A helped establish and grow the NJCA’s first political action committee (PAC); raising money for the PAC’s coffers and successfully guiding the Association and its new PAC to make its first political contribution.