Training and Safety Manager

Friends of the Forest Preserves

Chicago, Illinois

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $68,000-$70,000 per year
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Training and Safety Manager

Reports to: Program Director

Salary: $68,000 - $70,000

4-day work week, 32 hours per week (full-time)


Mission: We unite people to protect, promote, and care for the forest preserves in Cook County.

Our community advocates for the responsible management of the nearly 70,000 acres of forest preserves in Cook County through advocacy, engagement, and stewardship of the land. Some of the best natural areas in Illinois are right here in Cook County, right outside your urban backdoor. Join our team and help us ensure they are here for the next 100 years.

Friends is an organization that gets things done with our members, volunteers, staff, board, and partners. We believe in work-life balance and are here for the marathon, not the sprint (not that we don’t sprint on a regular basis).

Operating Budget: $3,750,000

Summary: Growth and development for staff lives at the core of Friends’ programs, purpose, and culture. For a staff of approximately 35 people,  Friends’ Training and Safety Manager leads, develops, and implements Friends’ staff training curriculum and safety protocols. The training curriculum includes technical skills such as chainsawing, herbicide treatment, local ecology, and public engagement,  as well as job skills such as communication, conflict resolution, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and leadership. 

A successful candidate has a commitment to work as a team and independently. They possess and develop a strong grasp of best practices in habitat restoration techniques, teaching and learning, and mentorship, as well as excellent organization, communication, and  collaboration skills. 


Training and career development 

  • Develop, oversee, and evaluate staff training curriculum and professional development (approximately 85% Conservation Corps, 20% other staff)
  • Provide professional development for all staff with group and one-on-one training that helps each individual reach their full potential
  • Identify and train potential leaders
  • Coordinate all logistics related to training sessions
  • Develop and maintain alumni tracking and engagement
  • Conduct relevant data tracking, budget management, and other administrative functions

Safety Program 

  • Facilitate safe and effective field operations by ensuring that all field staff  are well trained, well equipped, and operating in a way that minimizes risk
  • Update and execute Friends’ safety manual 
  • Procure, maintain inventory of,  and distribute all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all staff.
  • Ensure operational safety by conducting weekly safety training, sharing safety materials, documenting and investigating safety incidents, reviewing/inspecting PPE, vehicles, and equipment, and organizing safety meetings. 
  • Collaborate with the Associate Director of Human Resources to address injuries and workers compensation claims
  • Support all members of the program leadership team as needed
  • Serve as back up primary contact for crews as needed

Strategy, Collaboration, and Organizational Culture 

  • Seek out and develop contacts in partner organizations to further recruitment, training, safety, and diversity goals
  • Contribute to the growth and development of programs and organizational culture 
  • Work in partnership with Friends staff, board, and volunteers, contributing to organization-wide strategic initiatives, and supporting cross-program collaboration on projects and events 

Required qualifications:

  • At least 3.5 years practical experience working with crews to conduct habitat restoration 
  • Excellent working knowledge of habitat restoration best practices 
  • Strong commitment to creating a culture of inclusivity, safety, teamwork, and learning
  • Current S290 certification, Burn Boss certification, and Illinois Herbicide Applicator license, and 30-40 hour OSHA certification
  • Ability to lift and move heavy objects (50 lbs.) and work outside in inclement weather and extreme temperatures
  • A clean driving record and the confidence to drive a heavy-duty pickup truck (training provided)
  • Flexibility for schedule changes due to trainings, prescription burn season, and weather
  • Experience teaching in classroom and/or field setting 
  • Approximately 300 hours of chainsaw experience, 100 hours of brush cutter experience, 570 hours of herbicide experience
  • Excellent leadership, communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills


  • 100% coverage of health and dental insurance, short- and long-term disability insurance, and $100,000 of life insurance
  • 403b retirement account with 3% match starting at 1 year of employment
  • 4 weeks of vacation
  • 2 weeks of sick time
  • 11 paid holidays

To apply: Submit cover letter, resume, and two references via the Friends’ website at https://fotfp.org/who-we-are/jobs/. Incomplete applications may not be considered. Please NO calls, faxes, office visits, or emails.

Friends of the Forest Preserves strongly encourages people of all identities to apply. We strive to include people of every race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, and/or sexual orientation. Friends is an equal opportunity employer, in addition to observing all legal protections of special status, promoting diversity in the conservation community.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership , General / Stewardship