Employment Opportunities | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Employment Opportunities

About the Mechanics’ Institute

The Mechanics' Institute (Institute), was founded in 1854 and is one of San Francisco's enduring arts and culture institutions, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as a "vibrant cultural oasis." Located in a historic building in downtown San Francisco, the Institute offers a vibrant full-service library, a world-renowned chess club providing expert instruction and opportunities for competition for youth and adults, and a robust calendar of cultural events, programs, and classes. The Institute engages local, national, and international audiences with our in-person and virtual programs and services.  

Current Openings:

Senior Director of Programs and Outreach | Senior Director of Finance & Administration | Chess Program Manager | Administrative Assistant (Part-time) | AV Technician (Part-time) | Chess Instructor

 


Senior Director of Programs & Outreach

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Senior Director of Programs and Outreach oversees educational and cultural classes and activities, creation of strategic partnerships, and data collection and evaluation for programs and services. The position leads, trains, and supervises staff working on programs throughout Mechanics’ Institute, including author talks, book groups, chess classes and tournaments, historical and writing programs, and special events. The Senior Director of Programs and Outreach works collaboratively to develop marketing and outreach materials and represents the Institute at cultural and educational industry groups and functions. The position establishes and implements quality control protocols for programs and ensures best practices and standards are maintained. The Senior Director of Programs and Outreach is responsible for tracking program outcomes and conducting evaluation to support member engagement, benchmarking, and impact analysis for fund development initiatives. As a member of the leadership team, the Senior Director of Programs and Outreach collaborates and updates staff and board on projects, as well as serves as an Institute representative in the community in partnership with the CEO.

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

  • Supervises personnel and builds a collaborative team across program areas, including chess, events, and library programming. Determines staff development needs and recommends training and support initiatives.
  • Creates program standards and protocols to ensure consistent and effective programming that meets the Institute’s mission and strategic goals. Ensures training of staff and compliance of standards.
  • Works collaboratively with operations and administration to ensure staffing, infrastructure, and logistics are aligned for successful in-person, virtual, and hybrid (blended live and virtual) events. Provides strategic and hands-on support for programming and day-of logistics support as needed.
  • Institutionalizes current relationships and explores new connections with similar organizations with the intent that the Institute’s programs compliment other offerings in the community, adopting a collaborative community approach to programming.
  • Creates and implements tracking protocols and measurement tools to support sophisticated benchmarking of program outcomes and impact. Conducts program evaluation with industry-accepted practices and provides measurement outcomes to development to support institutional funding and engagement opportunities.
  • Develops, manages, and oversees an operational and capital budget on an annual, quarterly, and monthly basis.
  • Works collaboratively with the leadership team to develop, maintain, and improve staff professional development and policies to cultivate and support a culture of transparency, accountability, inclusion, and equity.
  • Collaborates with the leadership team in the execution of strategic initiatives, planning, and special projects. Works with the Board of Trustees and committees to ensure strategic goals and objectives are aligned with the mission and values of the Institute.
  • Builds relationships and creates a network of collaboration with industry colleagues while promoting the brand, mission, and vision of the Institute.

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the Senior Director of Programs and Outreach. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change or new ones may be assigned at any time, with or without notice.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job function satisfactorily. The qualifications listed in this job description are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Bachelor’s degree required with at least five (5) years of team supervision, particularly with cross-functional teams. A master’s degree and experience in program evaluation and reporting preferred.
  • A background in building collaboration across different program areas and supporting professional staff development, as well as thorough understanding of the importance of emotional intelligence and diversity, equity, and inclusion values.
  • Significant experience in curating and implementing innovative programming and technologies. Demonstrated success in collaborating with professional colleagues and partners in creating, implementing, and managing events and projects.
  • A background in benchmarking program outcomes, tracking key data, and evaluating program effectiveness based on industry best practices and standards. Experience utilizing data and outcomes for both program development and reporting for funding support.
  • Strong relationship-building and community development, outreach, and public relations experience a plus. Excellent customer service skills required, with the ability to communicate effectively with members, donors, staff, and the public in a friendly and professional manner.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, set priorities, and meet deadlines. Strong organizational, problem solving, and time management skills. The ability to maintain strategic thinking while not losing sight of the details needed to ensure successful cultivation of relationships and partnerships.
  • Technology savvy, with experience in Microsoft Office required and database management preferred. Experience with hybrid (blended in-person and virtual) events and AV skills a plus.
  • Availability to work occasional evenings or weekends as needed.

 

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

  • This is a full-time, exempt position.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits include generous health-dental-vision insurance, paid vacation, holidays, and a 403b plan. Membership to Mechanics’ Institute is also provided.

 

TO APPLY

  • Send cover letter and resume to [email protected] and include “Senior Director of Programs & Outreach” in the subject line.
  • Include salary requirement (a range is fine).
  • Position will remain open until filled.
  • No phone calls please.

 


Senior Director of Finance & Administration

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Senior Director of Finance & Administration leads the accounting, information technology (IT), and human resources (HR) functions for the Mechanics’ Institute (Institute). The position manages staffing and consultants, as well as works with auditors and other third-party vendors to ensure reporting requirements and internal controls are in place. In addition, the Senior Director of Finance & Administration oversees grants management and reporting for large and complex grants, as well as reviews fundraising and planned giving tools to ensure compliance with IRS standards and nonprofit best practices. The position also works collaboratively with Operations and Programs to ensure IT and A/V infrastructure, administrative oversight, and human resources support for all staff and teams at the Institute. As a member of the leadership team, the Senior Director of Finance & Administration collaborates on Institute-wide initiatives and updates the staff and board on legal, financial, and administrative projects in partnership with the CEO.

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

  • Supervises accounting, IT, HR, and other administrative personnel and consultants, including auditors. Leads the team with integrity and emotional intelligence, with an emphasis on supporting staff professional development.
  • Oversees financial reporting, reviews P&Ls, quarterly variance reports, and forecasting, along with annual financial planning.
  • Reviews and revises financial policies and practices, making recommendations for stronger internal controls as needed. Ensures compliance with internal controls and protocols.
  • Directs IT and ensures that in-house and consultant services are meeting the technology needs of the Institute staff, members, and visitors. Develops and implements a long-term plan to ensure a stable and proactive IT function.
  • Works collaboratively with Operations to vet and negotiate vendor contracts for building and other services.
  • Ensures security of administrative information and protection of intellectual property and legally-protected information.
  • Assists in the development and review of operational and capital budgets on an annual, quarterly, and monthly basis.
  • Collaborates with the leadership team to develop, maintain, and improve staff professional development and policies to cultivate and support a culture of transparency, accountability, inclusion, and equity, as well as execution of strategic initiatives. Works with the Board of Trustees and committees to ensure strategic goals and objectives are aligned with the mission and values of the Institute.
  • Builds relationships and creates a network of collaboration with industry colleagues while promoting the brand, mission, and vision of the Institute.

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the Senior Director of Finance & Administration. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change or new ones may be assigned at any time, with or without notice.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job function satisfactorily. The qualifications listed in this job description are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Bachelor’s degree required with at least five (5) years of supervisory and/or administrative experience. A master’s degree in information technology or finance, and/or certification as an accountant or as an HR professional preferred.
  • A background in building effective teams, staff development, and a thorough understanding of the importance of emotional intelligence and diversity, equity, and inclusion values.
  • Understanding of IT functions and systems, cyber security, and protection of intellectual property.
  • Excellent customer service skills and the ability to communicate with members, donors, staff, and the public in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person. Strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively throughout all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, set priorities, and meet deadlines. High attention to detail. Strong organizational, problem solving, and time management skills.
  • Capacity to maintain strategic thinking while not losing sight of the details needed to ensure successful operation of the physical space and internal infrastructure of the organization.
  • Availability to work occasional evenings or weekends as needed.

 

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

  • This is a full-time, exempt position.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits include generous health-dental-vision insurance, paid vacation, holidays, and a 403b plan. Membership to Mechanics’ Institute is also provided.

 

TO APPLY

  • Send cover letter and resume to [email protected] and include “Senior Director of Finance & Administration” in the subject line.
  • Include salary requirement (a range is fine).
  • Position will remain open until filled.
  • No phone calls please.

 


Chess Program Manager

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Mechanics’ Institute Chess Program Manager oversees chess tournaments, classes, and scholastic programs. The position manages onsite, community, and virtual evening and weekend events, classes, and youth camps, as well as helps support other areas of growth and opportunities for programming. The Chess Program Manager also helps market and promote the events by assisting with social media, newsletters, and other communications. The Chess Program Manager is a key position on a team focused on strategizing for growth in programming and building a strong community around chess play and competition.

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

  • Organize chess events, classes, and activities for the Institute, both inside the historic Mechanics’ Institute Chess Room and in the community.
  • Represent the Institute at chess events, committees, and industry groups, including US Chess and FIDE.
  • Act as Tournament Director (TD) and/or manage external contract TDs for tournaments.
  • Develop and oversee virtual, school-based, and in-person chess instruction for youth and adults at all levels.
  • Manage and grow relationships with schools and youth centers for free and fee-based programs at local elementary and middle schools.
  • Develop and implement a curriculum and training program for chess coaches, using metric tools to measure performance and success of programs.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise part-time chess coaches.
  • Explore ways to expand scholastic and adult chess programming, such as creating offsite chess clubs and other activities.
  • Support the administrative and operations of the Mechanics’ Institute Chess Room.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the Chess Program Manager. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change or new ones may be assigned at any time, with or without notice.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job function satisfactorily. The qualifications listed in this job description are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • At least four (4) years of experience with a chess organization or education related field. At least two (2) years in staff supervision and/or training.
  • Certification as a USCF Tournament Director or willingness to obtain certification preferred. FIDE National Arbiter or higher license a plus.
  • Experience in organizing events and availability to work some evenings and weekend days.
  • Excellent research, organizational, and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Technology savvy, with experience in Microsoft Office required. Familiarity with chess software a strong plus.
  • A thorough understanding of the importance of emotional intelligence and diversity, equity, and inclusion values.
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Strong problem solving and time management skills. Ability to work well independently and collaboratively with a team.

 

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

  • This is a full-time, exempt position.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits include generous health-dental-vision insurance, paid vacation, holidays, and a 403b plan. Membership to Mechanics’ Institute is also provided.

 

TO APPLY

  • Submit your cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “Chess Program Manager” in the subject line.
  • Include your salary requirements (a range is fine).
  • Position will remain open until filled.
  • No phone calls please.

 


Administrative Assistant (Part-time)

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Part-time Administrative Assistant provides general support to the CEO and the Institute as a whole. The ideal candidate helps support the administrative office, programming, and membership activities. The position requires strong customer service, technology, and organizational skills.

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

  • Reports to and provides administrative and generalist support to the CEO, as well as assists other Institute leaders as needed, including helping set up meetings, preparing materials for the board, and supporting Institute communications.
  • Maintains a high level of customer service with members, staff, and board of trustees. Responds to inquiries via phone, email, and in person.
  • Assists with programs and events, including website posts, marketing, set-up, and general support.
  • Manages conference room rentals, answers general inquiries, and updates the scheduling of rooms and meetings.
  • Oversees mailings and assists with development and distribution of communications, including newsletters, annual reports, and other internal and external publications.
  • Manages supply inventory and purchases.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the Administrative Assistant. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change or new ones may be assigned at any time, with or without notice.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job function satisfactorily. The qualifications listed in this job description are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Excellent customer service skills – ability to communicate with members, donors, staff, and the public in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person.
  • Technology savvy, with experience in Microsoft Office required. Database management and social media experience a plus.
  • Strong organizational, problem solving, and time management skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects, set priorities, and meet deadlines with high attention to detail.
  • Capacity to work well independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • One (1) year of non-profit experience preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required.

 

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

  • This is an hourly, non-exempt position.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Membership to Mechanics’ Institute.

 

TO APPLY

  • To be considered for this position, please submit your cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “Administrative Assistant” in the subject line.
  • Please include your hourly rate requirement (a range is fine).
  • Position will remain open until filled.
  • No phone calls please.

 


AV Technician (Part-time)

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

The AV Technician is responsible for providing customer service, technical support, event assistance, and general support and maintenance related to audio and visual equipment, and programs and events onsite and online. The AV Technician will maintain equipment and assist with programs and events. The AV Technician collaborates with a small group that works in providing excellence in programs, events, and end user experience.

 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS

  • Keeps an inventory of computer and audio/visual equipment and peripherals. Maintains calendar of programs and events.
  • Assists with Institute programming in-house and online, including streaming services, and special events.
  • Responsible for set up and breakdown, operation of, and maintenance of a broad range of AV equipment including microphones, portable sound systems, cameras, and other devices.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job function satisfactorily. The qualifications listed in this job description are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with qualified disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • Experience working with a range of microphones, sound systems, video projection, lighting, cameras, and computer based presentation programs.
  • Excellent customer service skills – ability to communicate with staff, guests, and members in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, set priorities, and meet deadlines. High attention to detail.
  • Strong organizational, problem solving, and time management skills.
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team.
  • Keeps current with developing technology, best practices, and emerging trends.

 

REQUIREMENTS

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively throughout all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to perform effectively within a fast-paced working environment.
  • Must be highly organized and detail oriented.
  • Proficient in standard business software, including Outlook, Excel, Word, Google.

 

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

  • This is an hourly, non-exempt position.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Membership to Mechanics’ Institute.

 

TO APPLY

To be considered for this position, please submit your cover letter and resume to [email protected] with “AV Tech” in the subject line. Please include your salary requirements (a range is fine). No phone calls please.

 


Chess Instructor

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

Reporting to the General Manager of Youth Outreach and Events, the Chess Instructor will teach regular classes and assist Lead Chess Instructors for large classes for scholastic chess programs. Scholastic chess includes classes held at Mechanics’ Institute, on school campuses during or after school hours, online classes, seasonal camps, and weekend classes. Qualified candidates should have a foundational knowledge of chess and be familiar or be willing to be trained in chess instructional techniques. Candidates should also have a basic foundation in classroom management and conflict resolution strategies, particularly working with children. The Chess Instructor will be part of the Mechanics’ Institute team, working on building a culture of unity and quality that reflects outward to the community.

 

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Assist in delivering dynamic lessons for students of varying levels of experience.
  • Help manage larger classes and support the Lead Chess Instructor in teaching students.
  • Promote of chess tournaments, classes, camps, and other MI chess events to scholastic participants.
  • Communicate effectively and professionally with school administrators and parents when needed and as directed by the Lead Chess Instructor.
  • Attend professional development and staff meetings when scheduled and as needed.

 

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Basic knowledge of chess principals (pieces, checkmate, basic pins/ forks/ tactics/ strategies).
  • Prior experience working with children, with preference to specific experience in teaching or assisting with scholastic chess.
  • Familiarity with classroom management strategies.
  • Can follow lesson plan supplied by the institute and/or lead coach.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Computer proficient with experience with MS Office.
  • Ability to maintain privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Strong problem-solving and time management skills.
  • Ability to work well independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – ability to communicate with members, donors, staff, and the public in a friendly and professional manner by phone, email, and in person.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to travel from one class location to another and lift up to 20lbs.

 

Compensation and Benefits

  • This is a part-time position. Compensation is based on available and assigned classes, and instructors are paid for classes taught per week. Compensation is $45 per hour for class and preparation time. Classroom preparation allocation time will be determined in collaboration with the supervisor based on the needs of the class. Any travel time between classes, aside from unpaid break times, will be compensated at the San Francisco or local worksite minimum wage, whichever is higher. 
  • Membership to the Mechanics’ Institute.

 

To Apply

  • Send cover letter and resume to [email protected] and include “Lead Chess Instructor” in the subject line.
  • Position will remain open until filled.
  • No phone calls please.

 


 

Mechanics' Institute promotes a culture of inclusion and seeks talented staff from diverse backgrounds. The Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex (including the actual gender or perception of sex identity, appearance or behavior), sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristics legally protected by federal, state, or local laws and regulations.