The Canal Corridor Association is accepting resumes for a Visitor Center Manager at the I&M Canal Visitor Center in LaSalle, Illinois. This is a full-time, 9-month position (April-December) that is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the visitor center, gift shop, and canal boat ticket sales.

Founded in 1981, the Canal Corridor Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that preserves history, protects nature, and creates destinations where people can learn and have fun in the I&M Canal National Heritage Area (IMCNHA). The Canal Corridor Association was designated by Congress in 2006 as the local coordinating entity for the I&M Canal National Heritage Area, the nation’s first national heritage area. From Chicago to LaSalle/Peru, 60 communities are within the IMCNHA boundaries.  Now with downtown locations in Lemont and LaSalle, CCA strives to engage as many partners as possible to enhance the mission and share the work and fun.  The I&M Canal Boat and Visitor Center in LaSalle is owned and managed by CCA. 

If you are interested in our mission to preserve and promote the region’s natural resources, history, and nationally significant stories, please consider joining the Canal Corridor Association team.

Resumes will be accepted until October 30th, 2023. Send a cover letter describing interest and resume to: [email protected].

TITLE: Visitor Center Manager
LOCATION: I&M Canal Visitor Center, 754 First St, LaSalle, IL
CLASSIFICATION: Permanent, Full-Time (40 hours/week), 9-Month Position (April-Dec annually). 
HOURS: Tuesdays-Saturdays  10-6

Proactively greet and engage visitors at I&M Canal Visitor Center. Provide an introduction to the I&M Canal National Heritage Area and I&M Canal history. Sell boat tickets and gift shop merchandise. Refer visitors to attractions, events, amenities and services within the IMCNHA. Answer incoming calls and emails. Assist contacts looking to book group tours by providing information and referring to Office Manager. Coordinate with cafe lessee on day-to-day facility use and operations. Set-up and take-down for special events and tour groups. Maintain Visitor Center to be stocked and in good condition at all times. Represent CCA to visitors and local community members, businesses, and organizations. Conduct work in accordance with CCA policies and procedures, while exercising a considerable amount of independent judgment in carrying out assigned duties and responsibilities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Provide visitor and information services

  • Become familiar with the I&M Canal story and with local and regional attractions to be able to share insights and recommendations on the area to visitors.
  • Provide group tour information when requested and refer to the Office Manager for further conversations and booking of boat tours, Vintage Room catering, or other special requests.
  • Ensure the visitor center is well-presented, clean, organized, and accessible.
  • Provide assistance and trouble-shooting related to the bike rentals available at location.
  • Solicit and stock brochures of I&M Canal National Heritage Area attractions and services. Maintain brochure racks in an organized, accessible, up-to-date, and attractive matter.
  • Manage the Jr. Ranger, National Park Service and IMCNHA Passport program publications and supplies.
  • Train and supervise volunteers once recruited and on-boarded by Executive Director or their designee.

Operate gift shop and sell boat ride ticket sales

  • Sell boat tickets and merchandise using Point of Sale system, accounting for all cash and credit card sales each day.
  • Oversee the daily operation of the gift shop including marking, displaying, selling, and stocking merchandise.

Collect and record daily data

  • Gather and record visitor data, including attendance and visitor information, as well as sales and inventory.
  • Assist in gathering visitor demographic information and feedback.
  • Submit all data daily and compile reports, on request.

Perform additional duties as required

  • Communicate all questions, concerns, needs, and requests to Executive Director in a prompt and timely manner.
  • Set-up and tear-down tables, chairs, and other equipment needed for group tours, meetings, or events held in the Visitor Center.
  • Assist with boat operations or at Lemont office, if needed.
  • Work non-standard days or hours to staff CCA or partner programs and events.
  • Support the Executive Director and the work of CCA be completing tasks, as requested.
  • Collaborate and work in cooperation with other CCA staff on assigned projects and duties.
  • Attend occasional CCA and industry related meetings.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Organized, motivated and customer-focused approach to work
  • Enthusiastic, friendly and confident manner
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good interpersonal and team-building skills
  • Problem-solving ability and sound judgment
  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the I&M Canal National Heritage Area
  • Proficient computer user; able to use a variety of common software, programs, and applications on an Apple Mac-based system (Microsoft Suite, Google Docs, Zoom, etc.), as well as Square Point of Sale system and other common office equipment and phone systems.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others, work independently, meet schedules and deadlines, plan and organize work.
  • Effectively multitask and prioritize tasks and responsibilities
  • Ability to set-up and take-down tables, chairs, retail displays, and other equipment

Training & Experience

Minimum requirements:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Associates or Bachelor’s Degree in related field, preferred (History, Tourism, Parks & Recreation, Education, or similar)
  • At least 2-years experience at a supervisor or manager level in a visitor center, retail, or other customer-focused business or organization
  • At least 5 years of work experience with experience in one or more areas of responsibility required for this position (customer service, retail, hospitality, public-facing position in non-profit organization, or similar)
  • Demonstrated administrative or clerical office experience and related computer skills
  • Ability to supervise the work of others, as needed.
  • Must possess and maintain a current valid Driver’s License and have access to reliable transportation to get to and from work site

Organizational Relationships

Reports to: Executive Director

Works closely with: Boat crew, Communications Manager, Office Manager, part-time seasonal     visitor services assistant, cafe lessee and staff, and CCA volunteers

Working Environment and Conditions

Work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

Manual Dexterity:  Ability to move between sitting at a computer/desk, standing, and walking for 6-8 hours. Ability to operate computer, POS, and phone systems. Ability to manipulate, lift, reach, position, and arrange physical objects, such as brochures, merchandise, equipment, and other supplies necessary to complete task.

Physical Effort: Ability to lift up to 40 lbs. on occasion

Working Conditions: Ability to work out-of-doors with occasional exposure to moderately disagreeable weather.

Hazards: Negligible

Salary and Paid Time Off (PTO)

Salary: $36,800 (1,600 hours annually)

Paycheck: Biweekly

Paid time off: 7.5 days per year to be used for sick, vacation, or other planned time off during the 9-month term for the position