Emerge Career

Selling online job training to the government

Founding State Engagement Manager (Sales - US Government)

$80K - $140K / 0.10% - 0.25%
US / Remote (US)
Job Type
3+ years
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Gabriel Saruhashi
Gabriel Saruhashi

About the role

Who Are We:

Emerge Career is a gov-tech company designing hybrid job training programs for justice-involved individuals. In addition to the training, our program includes several wrap-around services, such as individualized customer support, data analytics, and a job placement platform.

In less than a year since rolling out its first contract, Emerge Career has become a training provider in five states and signed direct contracts with two counties to provide training services to their justice-involved populations.

Before Emerge Career, Gabe and Zo co-founded Ameelio in 2020, an award-winning tech nonprofit dedicated to developing educational and communication tools for the incarcerated. While scaling Ameelio, they stumbled upon the issue of post-incarceration unemployment which Emerge Career seeks to address.

Follow us on Linkedin and find out more about who we are and what we do.

Our students are also a part of who we are. Read up on our student stories and hear from them firsthand on Youtube .

Why We Do This:

Emerge Career was designed to tackle two systemic issues: recidivism, fueled by post-incarceration unemployment and poverty, and labor shortages in vital industries. Over 60% of formerly incarcerated people remain unemployed a year after incarceration, seeking work but not finding it. The reality is shocking, workforce development programs are severely limited inside prison, with only one-third of incarcerated people ever participating. To worsen, the available prison jobs offer meager wages, often less than $1 per hour, and often do not equip individuals with the skills for long-term stable employment.

Emerge Career breaks this cycle with scalable vocational training and job support during incarceration, equipping individuals for roles in high-demand industries. This comprehensive pre-release approach continued throughout post-incarceration, can combat the cycle of poverty, promoting real second chances.

Who You Are:

  • You have a winner's mindset. You don't just play the game; you play to win. This isn't solely for personal gain but because you know the impact of your work. You’re a conscious tactful steward of time and resources, prioritizing initiatives that amplify potential across the board, because you know that when one rises, we all rise.
  • You believe everyone deserves dignity. Respect, recognition, and the opportunity to achieve one's full potential are the bedrock of your spirit. You know how to meet people exactly where they are and approach them with empathy and compassion, helping to create a space where everyone feels seen and valued regardless of their background.
  • You are passionate about our mission to create redemptive pathways for underserved communities throughout the nation. Life doesn't always give everyone the same chances, but you believe in rewriting the script and empowering others to hold onto and live out that script.
  • You take ownership. You approach tasks with an unwavering sense of integrity, eschewing fluff and ego in favor of direct, accountable action. With an entrepreneurial mindset, you are a self-starter capable of steering through ambiguous challenges and tread new grounds every day.
  • You have grit. You don’t hesitate to roll up your sleeves and tackle something hands-on, you persevere when others might give up. You understand that startups are hard, but can be super fun with the right mindset. You are a partner in resilience. Being of service to others is not just an act but an ongoing commitment. You’re ready and willing to empower, not patronize, no matter how arduous the journey.

What we’re looking for: (minimally)

  • Three or more years of professional work experience
  • Demonstrated experience performing SDR responsibilities: identifying and researching potential clients, contacting leads through various channels, and assessing their needs, interest levels, and purchasing power
  • Demonstrated experience drafting and writing compelling proposals tailored to client needs and objectives, highlighting the value and benefits of the product or service after client meetings or calls
  • Demonstrated experience setting up and operating Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to track interactions, manage client information, and analyze sales performance for strategic planning
  • Building and nurturing partnerships with clients and other relevant stakeholders to foster long-term relationships and collaborative opportunities
  • Eager to lead by example, treat partners with respect, and seek constructive feedback
  • Comfortable switching between self-directed work and teamwork
  • Highly collaborative
  • Deeply curious and highly attuned to human behavior and emotion

What we’re looking for: (preferred)

  • Experience leading RFP writing
  • Experience navigating the government procurement space
  • Involved with or impacted by the criminal justice system
  • Passionate about working with underrepresented communities and tackling challenges related to poverty and inequity

Your Mission

As the Founding State Engagement Manager at Emerge Career, you'll play a critical role from day one, utilizing your resourcefulness and agility akin to a sales athlete. Your mission is to establish Emerge Career as the leading prison-to-employment program in the nation by year's end. Initially, your role will mirror that of a Sales Development Representative, focusing on lead generation and strategic relationship building.

As we adapt to the unique landscape of each state, your role will evolve, placing you at the intersection of politics, policymaking, and partnership building. Expect dynamic daily tasks that change as we identify new needs and opportunities in each market. This evolution goes beyond sales; it involves a deep understanding of the interaction between local government, legislative frameworks, and the partnerships essential for enacting real change.

You must be adept at navigating the challenges of a startup environment and understand that our approach, aimed at inspiring innovation in an overlooked space, may differ from traditional industry practices. We prioritize action and results, expecting the same commitment from you.

We are looking to bring on two individuals to this role. Each manager will act as a regional leader, responsible for creating, implementing, and managing sales initiatives tailored to a specific US region. This crucial position requires a commitment to positive impact and the ability to develop strategies that meet the unique needs of each community. Ideal candidates will have a deep dedication to our mission and the flexibility to tailor our sales efforts to benefit the communities we aim to serve. You will lead our efforts to forge a new path in the workforce and government sectors, potentially lifting thousands of families from poverty to high-paying careers annually.

What You’ll Do:

Partnership Development

  • Collect emails, draft outreach, lead meetings, and sign MOAs with correctional institutions.
  • Research local partner schools, negotiate rates, and sign MOAs.
  • Leverage existing legal templates

Government Engagement

  • Track RFPs, participate in RFP webinars, submit questions, draft RFPs.
  • Research local policies, draft engagement plans involving local politicians and legislators to identify funding sources.
  • Track federal funding opportunities.
  • Collect emails and develop outreach plans to engage workforce development agencies.

Sales Development

  • Ensuring key qualification questions are answered at each step of the sales flow.
  • Following up with MOAs, presentations, and requested write-ups after sales calls.
  • Ensuring the sales process is carried out end-to-end, engaging different stakeholders at the right points.

Deployment Handoff

  • Collaborating with product and operations teams to ensure client needs are met.
  • Communicating market feedback to product and operations teams based on RFP analysis and live client feedback.

Event Engagement

  • Participating in conferences, researching participants ahead of time, scheduling meetings, and representing Emerge Career with the goal of collecting leads.


  • Participate in general and functional team weekly meetings.
  • Respond promptly to internal and external communications via email, slack, and text message.

Benefits You’ll Receive:

  • Hours: Flexible
  • Unlimited PTO (minimum of 10, recommended of 14)
  • WFH Stipend ($500 / year)
  • Healthcare Reimbursement ($500 / mo)
  • Professional Development Stipend ($1,000 / year)

Start Date


About the interview


Thank you for taking the time to learn more about Emerge Career's interview process.

Here at YC, we’re looking for a sales development representative who exhibits a strong sense of ownership and autonomy and feels comfortable navigating ambiguity.

Below is what to expect in our interview process.

  • Cultural Fit Interview (30 min)
  • Reference Checks
  • Take-Home Challenge (3 hours at your own pace)
  • Submission Review (60 min)
  • Deep-Dive Interview (60 min)
  • Final Chat (30 min)


The typical interview process takes two-three weeks from start to finish. That said, we have moved more quickly and look to accommodate candidates who might have a short timeline or competing offers. The more information you can share about your situation and where you are in the process, the more we can either attempt to expedite/match, or save you time if we cannot.

About Emerge Career

Emerge Career
Team Size:3
Uzoma "Zo" Orchingwa
Uzoma "Zo" Orchingwa
Gabriel Saruhashi
Gabriel Saruhashi