Harbor Freight Tools for Schools

Communications Manager

Employment type
Full Time
3 months ago
Los Angeles

About Harbor Freight Tools for Schools 

Harbor Freight Tools for Schools (HFTFS) is a program of The Smidt Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools Founder Eric Smidt, to support the advancement of skilled trades education in America. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, HFTFS was created to foster and shine a light on excellence in skilled trades education in American public high schools. Believing that access to quality skilled trades education gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs and a workforce our country needs, HFTFS aims to stimulate greater understanding, support and investment by public entities and others in skilled trades education. To learn more about HFTFS, please visit 

Position Overview 

The Communications Manager will be responsible for working collaboratively with a small entrepreneurial team to build and implement a communications plan that shines a positive light on skilled trades education in American high schools. The HFTFS team operates in a highly-collaborative fashion. Team members are expected to share meaningful input and accept insightful feedback in ways that enhance our organizational effectiveness and enrich our team culture. 

The Communications Manager position will magnify the programs operated by HFTFS - including the Prize for Teaching Excellence - and creatively address the stigma that faces skilled trades education across the country. This is a unique role and opportunity to utilize effective communications to tell the stories of inspiring students and teachers, and play a pivotal role in shifting public opinion about skilled trades education and careers. HFTFS believes our mission has the power to be transformative for our country’s public education systems, the teachers we support, the students they serve, and the workforce we hope to strengthen. The Communications Manager must reflect this passionate belief through HFTFS communications. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities 


  • Collaborate with HFTFS team on program strategy, implementation and evaluation with an eye towards excellence and continuous improvement 
  • Lead the development and implementation of a communications strategy for HFTFS that reinforces our purpose, vision and core principles 
  • Develop strategies and messaging that communicates effectively with our key audiences, including teachers, school administrators, school board members, policymakers, newsmakers and the public at large 
  • Collaborate with Harbor Freight Tools senior director of communications on major events, media outreach and overall communications strategy 
  • Establish relationships with key media that cover education, and deepen media coverage of skilled trades education, HFTFS and its grantees 



  • Work with the HFTFS team to design and implement outreach materials on core programs and research collected on the state of skilled trades education across the U.S. 
  • Develop and execute media outreach strategies; write press releases and media advisories 
  • Write and oversee the production of all print and electronic collateral, including website copy, email newsletters, email updates and program reports 
  • Edit written materials developed by team members to ensure consistent messaging and style 
  • Manage social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter 
  • Develop plans for special events, including concept, budget, vendor interaction, visual elements and printed materials 
  • Oversee video production, working with outside vendors to produce video content for widespread dissemination 
  • Stay current on content and trends related to career and technical education and the skilled trades workforce 


Impact: Make HFTFS a go-to, respected source for high-quality skilled trades data, resources and stories 


Job Qualifications 

Mission-driven passion: 

  • Dedication to HFTFS purpose, vision and core principles 
  • Commitment to working in a fast-paced, dynamic, optimistic, results-oriented team environment 
  • Entrepreneurial zeal and leadership drive 
  • Self-starter, highly motivated, hands-on professional 


Strong communications skills: 

  • Superb writing skills - ability to listen, reflect, and create compelling written content 
  • Strong verbal and presentation skills 
  • Adept critical thinker, strategist, problem-solver and team-player 


Excellent performance in relevant work experience: 

  • Project management experience – meeting deadlines by producing high-quality deliverables 
  • Experience managing communications functions such as messaging, development of collateral materials, social media, website development and market research 
  • At least five years of experience in Communications, Public Relations or a related field 


Educational background: 

Bachelors’ degree required, Master’s degree preferred 

To apply

For application instructions or questions, please email [email protected]