Program Director

Job Description

Our programs are awesome. We’re looking for a dynamic leader to make them even better.

The largest Wooden Boat festival in North America, The Race to Alaska, a state of the art ship skills simulator, the only maritime themed school district in the country, a broad and vibrant body of youth and adult programming both on and off the water- there is a lot of great stuff going on here at the Northwest Maritime Center. We’re a 501 c-3non-profit education and community organization, and our programs are the core of what we do: summer camps, US Sailing certified instruction, international flotillas, boat rentals, boatshop classes, sailing team, Girls Boatbuilding, USCG certified training, in school programs. We’re looking for a skilled and motivated individual to join our growing team and take our programs to the next level.

This is a great job for a driven and creative leader who wants to play a big role as part of a motivated and functional team.

Duties and Responsibilities                                                                                                                                                                                   

Program leadership

  • Work with Executive Director and program staff to establish long term programmatic vision.
  • Create cohesion within existing and emerging programs to improve alignment to that vision.
  • Create new programs that serve to further that long term vision
  • Seek out new programming opportunities with program partners, both at our campus and throughout the region.
  • Be a part of the leadership team that is constantly thinking about how to embed programmatic outcomes into all parts of the organization
  • Help determine how to best use technology/web to achieve programmatic goals for delivery and outreach.
  • Continue to improve the financial performance and mission deliverables of our portfolio of programs.
  • Be the steward of the student continuum; from their initial interactions with our organization, program experience, to keeping in touch and inspired through follow on communications. Youth to adults, people enrolling for fun all the way to professionals.
  • Ensure delivery of safe and effective programs through evaluations, peer reviews, risk assessments, etc, without being so risk adverse that the character building elements are compromised. Lawyers exist, but we have to let people stub their toe once in awhile.
  • Position manages staff of 3-4 year round, with seasonal and temporary hires increasing department to 20-25 staff during peak program dates.

Adult sailing/ recreational maritime skills programs

  • Create and manage seasonal schedule of US Sailing certified sailing instruction.
  • Create and manage year round schedule of navigational/vessel operation classes for recreational boaters (radar, night navigation, etc).

Youth programs (summer/school)

  • Work with school program staff to both deliver and grow  ongoing programs (Girls Boatbuilding, Bravo Team, Maritime Discovery Program, etc) with contract work with regional and local schools.
  • Hire seasonal leadership and instructional staff for summer youth program delivery.
  • Work with Executive Director and lead staff to develop and deliver first two years of youth vocational learning.

Vocational training programs

  • Work with program partners and individual clients to utilize simulation suite for professional mariner training.
  • Lead and oversee planning efforts related to remote delivery of these programs in 2020 to rural communities statewide.

Fleet management/boatshop programs

  • Work with Boatshop Manager to ensure functionality of instructional fleet.
  • Work with Boatshop Manager and program staff to prioritize maintenance and improvement projects based on fleet condition and available budget.
  • Work with Development staff to prioritize projects and fleet acquisition as part of ongoing fundraising efforts.

Drop-in/casual visitor programs:

Work with Executive Director and lead staff to develop new exterior and interior exhibits, interpretation, and self directed experiential opportunities to better tell the story of our programs and engage people in our mission. This is a new grant funded project to widen the “Wide part of the funnel” in terms of engaging potential students. We want to make sure that they have the same feel and outcomes as our programs.

Other duties as assigned

While this position’s chief responsibility is in the outlined above, this position will work as part of the NWMC team. We’re a small non-profit so while everyone has their own area of responsibility we all do a little bit of filling in now and then and all pitch in for the heavy lifting- sometimes this is a metaphor, and occasionally we all have to actually help lift something heavy.

Desired skills

Education delivery/program management

  • Experience working with schools delivering enrichment education, out of school time programming, and for credit classes.
  • Experience training and managing staff
  • Experience crafting and program evaluations
  • Risk assessment / Emergency planning
  • Teaching experience, with preference for experiential, maritime instruction.  

Management and leadership

  • Experience creating and managing budgets
  • Experience managing managers - empowering, holding accountable, etc
  • Experience hiring and managing staff (performance evaluations, etc)
  • Ability to work proactively to anticipate and resolve issues; find the blanks and fill them in
  • Ability to work in leadership position as part of a well established team balancing self-direction and interdependence
  • Flexibility and a sense of humor- we’re a growing non-profit, goes a long way to smooth out the bumps.

Technical knowledge and experience

  • Sailing/motor vessel operation
  • USCG certified captain (nice to have)
  • Background in boat building/maintenance (nice to have)
  • Knowledge of maritime industry, career paths (nice to have)

Organizational Background                                                                                                                                                        

The headwaters of the Northwest Maritime Center stem back to the wooden boat renaissance that took place in Port Townsend, Washington in the 1970s. Drawn in by the charm of the town and its location as a jumping off spot for open ocean or inland cruising, a group of traditional craft revivalists sailed into town and created a Mecca for wooden boat enthusiasts. Nationally known maritime legends are among the shipwrights and riggers, sail makers and sailors that came to call Port Townsend home. The first Wooden Boat Festival was started as a party amongst this group of throwback romantics.

Forty-one wooden boat festivals later (and counting) our focus has grown to encompass both the traditional and contemporary, community leadership, a broad range of programs and nationally significant events.. Our 27,000-square-foot waterfront campus marries the romance of the sea with state of the art technology.

Our Theory of Change: Through powerful maritime experiences people gain competency and become more confident in their own abilities. That confidence leads to greater engagement in the world, and that ability to engage coupled with increased confidence leads to increased ability and willingness to explore, try new things, embrace the unknown, be of service to their communities and the world.

Our world needs explorers and innovators; the answers to the problems of tomorrow won’t be on a standardized test. There are many ways to instill the confidence needed for exploration—the sea is simply the best teacher we know.

Other details                                                                                                                                                                                                               

This is a full time, permanent, year round position with the NWMC with benefits.

To Apply                                                                                                                                                                                             

To apply please submit your resume, cover letter, and sailing/woodworking resume via email: [email protected].


To Apply

Please submit your resume, cover letter, and sailing/woodworking resume via email: [email protected]

Application Closing Date: 
Not Specified
Application Contact Email: 
Employment Type: 
Job Region: 
Job Location: 
Port Townsend, WA

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