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Martha O'Bryan Center

Employment Specialist

Martha O'Bryan Center


Job Summary


Martha O’Bryan Center (MOBC) is an anti-poverty non-profit organization with longstanding history and deep community roots, grounded in tradition and strengthened by innovation.  Founded in 1894 when Miss O’Bryan organized the Gleaners Society at First Presbyterian Church to support impoverished North Nashville residents, Martha O’Bryan Center has operated from the heart of Cayce Place – Nashville’s most distressed community – since 1948.  This is where we continue in service, partnering with Cayce Place families to open doors of hope and possibility, create a culture of attainment, and positively shape future generations.  Martha O’Bryan Center serves 12,000 people annually with its programs in early learning, parent empowerment, youth development, adult education, food security, crisis counseling and public charter schools East End Prep and Explore! Community School.


Beginning in 2017, MOBC conducted a Human-Centered Design Process with Cayce residents to incorporate lessons learned from its Academic Student Unions and recast its early childhood education programming as two-generational, whole-family programming. Our goal was to create an accessible and inclusive third space where community members would belong, to develop a two-gen framework that provides families with the tools, opportunities, and networks necessary for educational success, economic security, and holistic wellbeing, and to surround families with a team of support that would empower and uplift families to their individual goals.  The resulting Family Success Network combines MOBC and partner services in a single setting, serving the child and parent together with coordinated hours. Offerings include early learning interventions, parent education, high school equivalency prep, college/career coaching, health and wellness supports (developmental screenings, nutrition workshops, health advocacy), family and couples counseling, crisis supports, and recreation and fellowship opportunities. Together, these services address key indicators surrounding education, employment, health/wellbeing, and social capital. Family-Centered Coaching lies at the heart of this new framework, with families served as an interconnected unit with coexistent goals. Based on assessment of strengths, needs, and wellness, families will be assigned a Family Success Coach and a tiered level of support. This includes regular one-on-one coaching and trauma-informed care coordination.

Mission Statement:  On a foundation of Christian faith, Martha O’Bryan Center empowers children, youth, and adults in poverty to transform their lives through work, education, employment, and fellowship.

Critical features of this job are described under the headings below. They may be subject to change due to changes in our business processes or other business-related reasons.


As part of MOBC’s Family Success Network, Employment Specialists work directly with individuals 25 and older in a collaborative process to help each reach their individual employment goals.  Using Family Centered Coaching, Employment Specialists strive to keep participants in the driver’s seat, viewing the young adult as the expert of their own strengths and perceived challenges ahead.  Employment Specialists provide direct foundational skills instruction, employment coaching, and professional growth training, while regularly taking part in MOBC’s trauma-informed care coordination as they engage with MOBC support systems as well as community partners to help client excel.  Additionally, MOBC’s Employment Specialist helps recruit MOBC’s employment partners and build its career pathways.

Job Responsibilities


Essential duties and responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Creates Individual Employment Action Plans based on participants needs and preferences and implements an individually and developmentally appropriate program of activities in line with this plan, the mission of MOBC, and the goals of the Family Success Network.
  • Directly connects and refers participants to employment, educational and supportive services that will help the client reach their individual goals. 
  • Regularly facilitates one on one employment and professional growth coaching sessions.
  • Prepares and facilitates employment training sessions in work readiness and professional growth, integrating core educational supports and cognitive skills development, as well as critical skills in communication, attitude, self-management, teamwork, resilience, and conflict management.
  • Recruits and works with employers to help build career pathways where training and professional development is aligned, and opportunities for professional growth is clearly defined.
  • Recruits and helps supervise MOBC’s partners employment programming (financial coaching, entrepreneurship, etc.)
  • Works with Program Director to engage with business, government, and non-profit community and develops work opportunities and/or work experiences (shadowing, internships, apprenticeships, etc.) for participants.
  • Hosts weekly workshops introducing FSN participants to employers in the community
  • Recruits and works with employers to help build career pathways where training and professional development is aligned, and opportunities for professional growth is clearly defined.
  • Participates in MOBC’s Trauma Informed Care Coordination, helping build a team of support that surrounds each client and guides them towards their self-identified goals. 
  • Regularly hosts job and employment fairs.  Recruits partners and participants.
  • Monitors participants and maintains clear documentation of the progress of each participant.
  • Implements regular outreach as necessary when participants appear to disengage from services and provide timely interventions.
  • Conducts home visits as needed.
  • Actively makes effort to seek out and to maintain meaningful relationships with partnering agencies and community partners.
  • Contacts employers regularly in effort to create trusting and collaborative relationships with goal of job placement for participants.
  • Utilizes data systems and analysis to improve and adapt programming.
  • Helps administer FSN assessments and work toward FSN goals.
  • Prepares and disseminates all related grant and contract reports. Ensures all guidelines are followed, and milestones are met and properly documented.
  • Regularly participates in marketing and recruitment efforts including partner referrals, door-to-door canvassing, recruitment fairs, employment fairs, and community recreation events.
  • Participates in structured family time activities.
  • Participates in community groups that build social capital.



The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Services, Mental Health, Management, Public Administration, Project Management, or related field.
  • Two or more years of related experience.
  • Background in social work, mental health and/or therapeutic settings preferred.

The above qualifications express the minimum standards of education and/or experience for this position. Other combinations of education and experience, if evaluated as equivalent, may be taken into consideration.

Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Passion for working with adults.
  • Knowledge of inner-city human service needs and methods of service delivery.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; excellent customer service skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Maintains credibility through sincerity, honesty, and discretion.
  • Builds and maintains positive relationships with internal and external constituents.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Strong time management skills; uses time effectively; consistently meets deadlines.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Maintains a high level of confidentiality regarding sensitive information.
  • Documents regularly, thoroughly, accurately, and completely.
  • High level of detail and accuracy.
  • Exercises good and consistently fair judgment, courtesy, and tact in dealing with the staff and public in giving and obtaining information.
  • Ability to look at numbers, trends, and data, and come to conclusions based on findings.
  • Ability to find, manipulate, and interpret data effectively to inform programming decisions.
  • Ability to translate data into understandable documents/presentations.
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas.
  • Computer literate including familiarity with word processing, spreadsheet, database, desk top publishing software, email and the internet. Knowledge of Google Suite and Microsoft Office.

Special Demands:

The special demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a staff member to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  • Regular local travel (50%).
  • Current, valid driver’s license.


Additional Information


This is a benefits eligible position

How to Apply

Apply online at


  • Date Posted: March 12, 2020
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Programs and Service Delivery
  • Service Area: Social / Human Services