Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Youth Opportunities Unlimited

Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) serves youth 14-24 with a goal of helping them get onto a path to economic self-sufficiency. We offer programming to residents of Cuyahoga County with a focus on Cleveland and the inner-ring suburbs. Y.O.U. has doubled in size over the last five years. This substantial operational growth has been very positive, and we are the largest youth workforce provider in the region. We have reached critical mass, however, where a Chief Operating Officer (COO) is needed to oversee the organization’s operational and administrative functions. As Y.O.U. has grown to become an organization with 100 full-time staff with an annual operating budget of $14,000,000, we need a COO to oversee internal-facing functions such as finance & accounting, talent & human resources, office operations & IT, learning & evaluation, and compliance. We anticipate the addition of a COO to the team will lead to better data to enhance program outcomes, more organizational income, stronger government compliance, advancement of our infrastructure to better position ourselves for growth and strategic partnerships, and a notable advancement of the creation of a culture that reflects our primary values (DEI, Accountability, Excellence, Collaboration, Advocacy, Data-Informed). READ MORE HERE for the Y.O.U. Strategic Framework.


  • Medical, dental, vision benefits available with coverage beginning the first of the month following date of hire.
  • Company paid life insurance, AD&D, Short-Term Disability, Paternal Leave, Employee Assistance Program and Long-Term Disability
  • Retirement plans which includes a 403B plan and a company paid Pension Plan
  • Generous paid time off package including 16 paid holidays

Position Summary and Essential Functions

This position supports Y.O.U.’s and the CEO’s vision, complementing the CEO’s leadership role by providing management and operational expertise. The COO will work in partnership with the Chief Program Officer (CPO) to ensure all programs and day to day activities & functions are delivered with high quality and excellence. Primary responsibilities will include:

  • Coordinate with senior management team to develop organizational and department objectives.
  • Facilitate strategies to manage organizational resources as set forth by the CEO and board to create maximum value towards accomplishing Y.O.U.’s mission.
  • Make sound and timely business decisions, drive a culture of accountability and motivate performance per clearly defined expectations.
  • Explore opportunities to improve all areas of the business and define KPIs to track success/areas for improvement, anticipate and find solutions to organizational challenges.
  • Lead oversight of day-to-day execution of operating plans that support strategic plan and build Y.O.U. capacity.
  • Ensure there are appropriate protocols, systems processes and structures in place to guide day to day operations in the coordinated delivery of service to clients
  • In partnership with Director of Talent/HR, build and maintain a high performance, team-oriented culture through effective policies/practices, performance management and coaching, ensure the attraction, retention and development of talented staff. Implement appropriate rewards/recognition and coaching/corrective practices to align personnel with organizational goals.
  • Drive key performance measures to achieve objectives with an emphasis on client targets, financial performance goals, operating budget levels, compliance for related grants and client service/satisfaction levels. Regularly report on progress, accomplishments and where course corrections are needed.
  • Oversight of vendor relations and contract management, including establishing, building and maintaining positive working relationships with vendors and contractors; overseeing contract creation and adherence to reporting, creating resource development opportunities, leading negotiations with contractors on behalf of Y.O.U
  • In partnership with Controller, budget projects and complete required reporting for government and banking partners, lead team to cost reduction opportunities with existing and prospective new vendors. Provide strategic guidance and support to finance and accounting function.
  • Ensure open and consistent communication, effectively manage risks, control costs and provide resources and support to all contracts; maintain official records and ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
  • Oversight of Y.O.U. Learning, Evaluation and Data (LED) team, including ensure the evaluation and data team is fully supporting program and development of staff through the provision of structures and systems
  • Coordinate with CPO to ensure regular reporting and data dialogues occur to drive program improvements; enforce the continuous learning spirit of our values and support efforts to conduct regular evaluations
  • Other duties and projects as needed



  • Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources, Business Administration or other relevant field.
  • An additional 15 or more years of work experience as detailed below can be substituted in lieu of a bachelor’s degree. High School Diploma required.


  • Must pass a background BCI/FBI check as a condition of employment.
  • Ten to fifteen years relevant experience leading organizational functions in at least one of following areas: compliance, finance, human resources, operations, administration

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Belief in and commitment to Y.O.U.’s mission, vision, and values
  • Strong analytical and managerial skills
  • Effective interpersonal communications
  • Demonstrated leader and problem solver
  • Ability to work effectively with a team, to give and receive constructive feedback
  • High integrity
  • Big picture, forward-thinking and strategic
  • Business acumen

Work Environment

  • This position is primarily based in an office setting.
  • This position requires such physical abilities as sitting for computer and phone work for long periods of time, lifting up to 20lbs periodically and carrying office supplies, standing, and walking throughout the office building