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Program Associate, Center for Benefits Access - National Council on Aging (NCOA)

Program Associate, Center for Benefits Access - National Council on Aging (NCOA)

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Program Associate, Center for Benefits Access - NCOA


NCOA is working to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020, especially those who are struggling.  The Program Associate plays a central role in the development and coordination of programmatic activities within the Center for Benefits Access. The Program Associate works independently and collaboratively with team members to plan and implement training and technical assistance for grantees and consultants.


Working as the Program Associate for the Center for Benefits Access, you will keep up-to-date regarding the progress of grantees and other delivery partners across the country; highlight exemplary practices; and provide information, support, and resources to strengthen and expand an integrated, sustainable service system for consultants and grantees.


In this role, you will report to the Associate Director, Economic Security. You will work collaboratively with the NCOA staff, external grantees, consultants, and other partners. You will work across diverse audiences of service providers, community leaders, funders, and the public. Activities will center on technical assistance to grantees.  It is critical to your success that you communicate openly, listen well, learn from others, be flexible, and lead through collaboration.


Responsibilities of the Program Associate


  • Provide technical assistance and support to grantees to build capacity toward an expansive, sustainable infrastructure for the programs. Technical assistance includes monitoring partner activities; researching and providing prompt and thoughtful responses to requests for information or assistance; resource development (tip sheets, issue briefs, fact sheets, toolkits, etc.); ongoing communication with partners via various channels to support their activities and goals; and documenting and sharing learnings and exemplary practices from the field. 
  • Track, identify, and foster use of promising practices related to comprehensive, person-centered approaches to benefits access and economic assistance.
  • Participate in national and regional meetings and other events to increase knowledge about economic security, access to public benefits for older adults aging, and the work of NCOA. Communicate learnings about the Center’s work through conference presentations, webinars, reports, publications, and other venues.
  • Foster a spirit of collaboration, coordination, and communication in carrying out responsibilities, and work closely with NCOA staff to accomplish goals. Participate in team meetings, contribute to the agenda, and support creative solutions to issues that are discussed. Participate in work plan discussions, performance monitoring reviews, and continuous quality improvement activities to contribute to the success of the team. 
  • Monitor program activities to ensure quality and accuracy of work outcomes of contractual and grant commitments. Manage relationships with, and provide oversight of, partners and grantees.  Oversee and track contracts with partners, assist with reporting and invoicing requirements. 
  • Conduct other duties as required in an environment that is flexible, fast-paced, and changing.

Qualifications of the Program Associate


  • A Master’s degree is preferred, Bachelors’ degree required.
  • A minimum of one year of relevant experience is required. Prefer two or more years of applicable experience.
  • Exceptional project management skills. 
  • Attention to detail is critical. 
  • Exceptional verbal, written, and online communication skills are required. (Much of the work is done via email or over the phone). 
  • Demonstrated skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with diverse audiences.
  • Understanding and knowledge of public benefits, aging issues and impact of economic insecurity of older adults preferred.
  • Basic understanding of grant-funded initiatives and associated reporting requirements a plus. 
  • Proficient with MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Experience using databases and online tools strongly preferred. Familiarity with webinar technology is also a plus.
  • Occasional travel is required.

Attributes of the Program Associate


  • Mission driven. You understand the big picture and can easily translate our objectives into social impact. 
  • Customer oriented. Internal and external stakeholders respect you for your knowledge and abilities, and find you both approachable and responsive. 
  • Autonomous and collaborative. While we work closely together, we trust you to exercise independent judgment, do your job well, and know when to seek guidance from senior staff. 
  • Commitment to cultural competency. You have a personal approach that understands and values the individual and respects differences. 
  • Highly organized. You have excellent organizational skills. You efficiently track the necessary details and effectively disseminate information. 
  • Organization agility. You understand how organizations work, where to build relationships, and how to get results through other people.
  • Adaptable. You are able to anticipate and respond to change in a fast-paced environment on a daily basis and demonstrate a willingness to learn new ways of approaching your work to achieve better results. 
  • Inquisitive. You enjoy learning new things and like to collect and share information. You don’t wait for things to happen—you initiate action and make things happen.


What’s attractive to the right Program Associate candidate?


  • Your work will be highly visible and critical to promotion of NCOA’s programs and resources. 
  • The work you do today will have an impact for decades to come. 
  • Your work provides a direct and immediate service: supporting community-based organizations to strengthen programs and services that increase the quality and years of life for millions of older Americans. 
  • This is an intellectually stimulating environment and an organization that works passionately and enthusiastically to fulfill the goals of our programs and our overarching mission. 
  • Your experience, opinions, and expertise are valued—what you bring to the table is vital to our success. 
  • We offer a competitive compensation plan including incentive and bonus programs based on achieving performance objectives; 3 weeks’ vacation; sick leave; holidays; flexible scheduling/telework after meeting the employment and performance requirements; maternity/paternity leave, health insurance; contributions to a 403(b) plan; short- and long-term disability; and life insurance. 
  • NCOA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is dedicated to these principles. We value and welcome diversity in the workplace and encourage all minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities to apply.


To apply for the Program Associate position with NCOA:


Use the "apply" button on this page, or simply email your resume to Aileen Hedden at with “NCOA – Program Associate / 2018-2296 SA” as the subject of the email.


Alternative titles:  program coordinator, program manager, project manager, project coordinator, program specialist, program administrator.


Staffing Advisors is committed to helping our clients create a diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Some positions may require pre-employment screening potentially including a criminal background check, verification of academic credentials, licenses, certifications, and/or verification of work history.