Program Director

The Duluth Area Family YMCA is searching for a Program Director to join our growing team in the beautiful city of Duluth, MN! 
Job Description

We are seeking a motivated and enthusiastic Program Director to lead and oversee our Aquatics (75%) and Sports & Recreation (25%) programs at the Downtown Branch of the Duluth Area Family YMCA. The Program Director will be responsible for planning, implementing, and managing all aspects of these programs and spaces, ensuring they align with the YMCA's mission, values, and safety standards. This role requires strong leadership, organizational, and communication skills.



  • Minimum: 2 years’ experience in Aquatics programming.
  • Certifications: Certified lifeguard including CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Basic First Aid. Higher levels of certification are accepted. 
  • Experience in a supervisory role. 

Willing to obtain: 

  • YMCA Swim Instructor v6 Certification 
  • YMCA Swim Official Certification 
  • Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor Certification  
  • Belay Certification
  • Ability to relate effectively to diverse groups of people from all social and economic segments of the community.  
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office products and computer skills. 


  • Bachelor’s degree in a field related to aquatics, fitness, recreation, or related degree program  
  • Experience managing a department budget and meeting budgetary goals and objectives 
  • 1+ years of successful program management experience that includes managing staff/volunteers, preferably in aquatics, rock climbing, and/or sports leagues.
Essential Functions
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate Aquatics and Sports & Recreation programs that cater to the diverse needs and interests of our members and the community.
  • Oversee day-to-day operations of Aquatics and Sports & Recreational programming including: swim lessons, swim team, adult leagues, intramurals, Miracle League, fencing, rock climbing, daily schedules, and facility rentals.  
  • Recruit, train, and supervise a team of qualified staff, including lifeguards, coaches, and instructors.
  • Promote a welcoming, genuine, hopeful, nurturing, and determined work environment that encourages teamwork and supports professional growth while fostering positivity and inclusivity.
  • Assist with swimming lessons, lifeguard breaks, and provide on-call support as needed to ensure staff coverage.
  • Develop and manage departmental budgets, ensuring efficient resource allocation and financial sustainability.
  • Implement and enforce safety protocols, including lifeguard certifications, first aid, and emergency response procedures.
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant regulations and standards governing Aquatics and Sports & Recreation activities.
  • Build strong relationships with members, participants, parents, and community partners to enhance program engagement and participation. 
  • Develop and implement marketing strategies to promote Aquatics and Sports & Recreation programs within the community.
  • Actively seek feedback and input to continually improve programs and services. Regularly assess program effectiveness and participant satisfaction, making necessary adjustments for improvement.
  • Apply, execute, and report on grants to meet budgetary and grant requirements. 
  • Assist in YMCA fundraising activities and special events.
Cause-Driven Leadership Competencies

Mission Advancement: Accepts and demonstrates the Y’s values. Demonstrates a desire to serve others and fulfill community needs. Recruits volunteers and builds effective, supportive working relationships with them. Supports fund-raising.   

Collaboration: Works effectively with people of different backgrounds, abilities, opinions, and perceptions. Builds rapport and relates well to others. Seeks first to understand the other person’s point of view and remains calm in challenging situations. Listens for understanding and meaning; speaks and writes effectively. Takes initiative to assist in developing others.   

Operational Effectiveness: Makes sound judgments, and transfers learning from one situation to another. Embraces new approaches and discovers ideas to create a better member experience. Establishes goals, clarifies tasks, plans work and actively participates in meetings. Follows budgeting policies and procedures, and reports all financial irregularities immediately. Strives to meet or exceed goals and deliver a high-value experience for members.   

Personal Growth: Pursues self-development that enhances job performance. Demonstrates an openness to change and seeks opportunities in the change process. Accurately assesses personal feelings, strengths and limitations and how they affect relationships. Has the functional and technical knowledge and skills required to perform well; uses best practices and demonstrates up-to-date knowledge and skills in technology. 

Required Certifications

To be discussed upon hire.