Graduate Research Assistant Opportunity at the Center for the Future of Arizona

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Graduate Research Assistant Opportunity at the Center for the Future of Arizona
Program Area: RetailWorks AZ

The Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) seeks an ASU Graduate Research Assistant for the 2018-2019 academic year (.50 FTE, 20 hours per week). The Research Assistant will work with the CFA leadership in support of the RetailWorks AZ initiative. RetailWorks AZ is an initiative focused on the development and management of a Phoenix area career pathways strategy for front-line, entry level retail workers to make it make it easier and faster for retail workers to move up the career ladder within retail and build a pipeline of talent for adjacent sectors such as hospitality, healthcare, and business services.

The RetailWorks AZ initiative for the 2018-2019 academic year will primarily focus on:
• Completing research and analysis of policies, practices, legislation and trends affecting human resources practices for hourly workforce management, retail industry changes affecting employment and public workforce development strategies
• Completing research and analysis of available literature or purchased research on human capital management strategies related to career development, employee retention, and engagement
• Summarizing and documenting research learnings to inform the RetailWorks AZ initiative and share with retailers and partners involved in the initiative
• Conducting focus groups, administering surveys and documenting interviews to conduct original research in support of the initiative objectives
• Developing metrics and scorecards to assess impact of employer-based pilots
• General project management support for CFA Education & Workforce initiatives
• Developing communication tools and resources about the initiative

This position is ideal for graduate students with a keen interest in Human Resources, Organizational Development, Retail or Business Management, Communications/PR and possess strong research and analysis, verbal and written communications and project management skills.

Duties and Responsibilities
The Graduate Research Assistant provides professional-level support to the Director and Project Manager roles with the Retail Sector Initiative by assisting with research and analysis, planning, and general administration and coordination of tasks associated with the RetailWorks AZ initiative. Work activities include, but are not limited to, conducting background research; providing research and analysis of ideas; surveying employers, employees and partners, documenting learnings, making recommendations; writing proposals, reports, and memos, developing communications tools and resources, and planning meetings and events. The position may require some travel throughout the Greater Phoenix area. Participates as a member of the CFA Education & Workforce team and coordinates with other CFA Education & Workforce initiatives.

General Expectations
Candidates must be enrolled (for a minimum of six hours) in a graduate degree program at ASU (preferably in a relevant field). Candidates must be willing to work at the ASU downtown campus.

Candidates must be dedicated, reliable, and able to manage projects independently. Critical thinking and strong writing skills are essential. Candidates must be able to manage concurrent projects and meet deadlines while working in a team environment.

Desired Qualifications
• Experience researching and analyzing data and summarizing key findings.
• Experience establishing and maintaining effective working relationships.
• Experience planning, organizing and/or coordinating activities.
• Experience writing/developing professional communications (letters, reports, proposals, and presentations).
• Demonstrated knowledge of basic project management.
• General competency in computer platforms and websites.
• Demonstrated knowledge of Microsoft Office applications.
• Strong verbal and written communication skills.
• Experience in developing communication tools and resources

Preferred Qualifications
• Candidates who have an interest in both the Summer 2018 Management Intern and 2018-2019 Graduate Research Assistant roles. The 2018 Management Intern role is not yet posted on the ASU jobs portal – please check this link for updates or indicate your interest to be notified when it is available.

Organization Statement:
The Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) is helping define and shape Arizona’s future through an action-oriented agenda that focuses on issues critical to the state. CFA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit “Do tank” that combines research with collaborative partnerships and initiatives that drive the state’s economic prosperity, quality of life and civic health, and create a better future for all Arizonans.For more information about CFA and our current efforts, please visit

Through the RetailWorks AZ initiative, CFA brings education and employee development together in support of front-line, entry level workers to make it easier and faster for retail workers to move up the career ladder within retail and build a pipeline of skilled talent for adjacent sectors such as hospitality, healthcare and business services. For more information on the initiative, please visit

To Apply
A compensatory stipend, tuition remission and health insurance benefits will be offered in accordance with the department in which the student is registered. Applications will be considered immediately and the position filled when a suitable candidate is identified.

Please use the subject line “Retail RA,” and email cover letter and resume/CV to:

Holly Kurtz
Director, Retail Sector Initiative
Center for the Future of Arizona

The priority deadline is April 15, 2018, and applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.