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Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo

Assistant Facility Maintenance Supervisor

Can you think of a more interesting and unique place to work than a zoo?  Brookfield Zoo has an amazing history.   In December 1919, 83 acres of land were donated for creating a zoo.  In 1922, the ground is broken.  In 1927, the first buildings are constructed:  Reptile House, South Gate, and a powerhouse.  In 1932, Primate House, Australia House and North Gate work begins. On Saturday, June 30, 1934, opening ceremonies commence with the public opening of Brookfield Zoo the next day.  Fast forward to May of 2010 when the Chicago Zoological Society opened Great Bear Wilderness at Brookfield Zoo. Construction of this $27 million animal-centric exhibit leveraged $48 million in economic activity and created 350 much-needed construction jobs at a time in which unemployment in the state of Illinois exceeded 10 percent. All of this requires working with Cook County on securing permits.  This massive construction project at Brookfield Zoo underscores the critical role that Chicago-area cultural institutions play as drivers of our region’s economy and employers of area workers.

The role of zoos in society has changed around the world.  Recognizing the critical need to deal with environmental issues worldwide, zoos are working to increase people’s appreciation of conservation issues and inspire them to take action. The Society’s mission is to help inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature.  CZS is a 235 acre property with more than 170 structures supporting our operations and currently involved in an exciting and comprehensive Master Planning process in support of the future of this organization.   We generate $150 million in economic activity annually, we have 2,000 jobs and over 500 volunteers supported, and 2.2 million annual guests. 

The Chicago Zoological Society has an exciting, fast-paced work environment and a family friendly atmosphere. We are committed to conservation in the broadest sense, and we take PRIDE in every aspect of our operation. Our employees enjoy a unique work environment in a beautiful park-like setting. We work hard and we play hard!

This position contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society (“CZS”) by supervising the daily activities of the Exhibits, Facilities and Mechanic/Equipment Repair departments assuring daily work tasks are carried out in an efficient and quality manner.  This position contributes to the mission and vision of CZS by assuring an extraordinary guest experience and supporting Animal Welfare through effective maintenance of exhibits and structures.

Primary job duties and responsibilities:

Support the Director of Facilities Management in the daily operations and facility maintenance work activities within the Exhibits, Facilities and Mechanic/Equipment Repair groups.  Responsibilities include (a.) coordination, delegation and follow-up of daily routine maintenance and repairs, (b.) oversee operation and proper use of equipment, tools, and systems, (c.) oversee and ensure completion of work orders, (d.) monitor the use and inventory of spare parts, maintenance supplies and equipment and (e.) coordinate/approve purchasing of material, equipment & supplies, as necessary to maintain shop stock.  Responsible for assuring adherence to the Union contract.  Manage Mechanics and Equipment Repair department operations to ensure CZS vehicle fleet, equipment and Carousel are properly inspected, maintained and repaired in an efficient and timely manner. 

Assist the Director with oversight of construction, special event and temporary exhibit projects as directed. Act as field liaison for construction and project-related activities, work with contractors, architects, engineers, CZS staff and other vendors, as appropriate. Work closely with internal stakeholders to ensure project deliverables are met.  Perform daily work inspections to ensure compliance with all standards and specifications.  Monitor contractor operations as directed to ensure safe conditions are maintained.  Assists with coordination and communication of building/exhibit/site closures with appropriate managers.

Assist in monitoring expenditures for Exhibits, Facilities and Mechanics/Equipment Repair and provide input to the Director in support of the development and control of department operating budgets.  Provide input on long-term planning objectives and develop and maintain a comprehensive fleet and equipment replacement list to support Capital planning.

Make appropriate recommendations with respect to department structure and staffing needs to the Director.  Develop and maintain Standard Operating Procedures for routine tasks including, but not limited to safety, inventory, purchasing, preventative maintenance and safety for Exhibits, Facilities and Mechanic/Equipment Repair department.  Establish and enforce quality control standards for each department.  Ensure all necessary inspections are completed.  Develop technical specifications for materials and application standards for routine operational tasks.  Work with department Leads to assure high performance/labor standards related to productivity, quality of work and time management. Assures regular review and auditing of skills and task completion.  Assures efficient and economical utilization of materials and resources and develops and implements methods to improve productivity in the workplace. Ensure all Exhibits, Facilities and Mechanic/Equipment Repair staff comply with CZS safety policies, protocols, and use all appropriate safety equipment correctly during daily work activities.   Ensures staff participation in training and report safety violations to the Director in a timely manner.   Develop and implement actions to improve workplace culture with an emphasis on driving results and fostering a high-performing, inclusive culture.  Actively lead employee engagement, talent development, recruitment, and retention initiatives.  Leverage organizational resources (CZS University, performance management systems, employee surveys, communications vehicles, etc. to drive continuous improvement and positive outcomes. 

Under the direction of the Director, assist with coordination of CZS permits and permit compliance for the Carousel, Splash Pads and Environmental, Health and Safety initiatives, including, but not limited to air permitting, storm water compliance, HAZMAT, roof maintenance, safety compliance, inspections and industry requirements.  Ensure city, county, state and federal regulations related to maintenance are met.

Manage the maintenance of master building record files, departmental construction records, and blueprint and specification archives. Control access to blueprints, drawings, and specifications; make these available as necessary to architects, engineers, contractors and staff at the direction of the Director or the V.P., Risk & Facilities Maintenance.

Experience Required

Position requirements: • Associate’s degree in Facility Management, Maintenance, Construction Management or trade certification in appropriate skill category of electrical, HVAC, carpentry, painting, welding or mechanics or four years of equivalent experience required. High school diploma or (GED) equivalent required. • Four years’ experience in construction and/or facilities/maintenance shop supervision required, including supervision of union workers. Knowledge of state, county, and local building codes and regulations and OSHA standards. Ability to read blueprints and construction specifications. Must understand basic technical aspects of facility maintenance and trade operations. Experience utilizing a computerized maintenance management system, monitoring expenditures and work activities of an organization of similar complexity, size and scope. Excellent planning, organizational and prioritization skills. Must be detail oriented, with a focus on completeness and accuracy. Strong people management skills. Ability to build and maintain positive, collaborative relationships with a variety of stakeholders, both internally and externally. Strong customer service aptitude. Strong verbal and written communication skills. Ability to adapt to change, work within a fast-paced environment, and work effectively under pressure with minimal supervision. Good decision-making skills; ability to solve complex problems effectively using a quantitative approach. Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint required. Cultural competency; experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. Valid driver’s license required at time of hire. Desirable/preferred qualifications; Previous foreman experience a plus. OSHA 10 hour or 30-hour General Industry or Construction certification. Previous experience with fleet management; including, golf carts, vehicles and heavy machinery. Knowledge of CDL requirements a plus. Experience working with AutoCAD, Microsoft Project or Project Scheduler. Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus. Experience in a Union environment, public or not-for-profit institutions highly preferred. This position may require evenings, early mornings, weekends and holidays. May be required to perform “Duty Manager” rotation, responsible for after-hours facility and/or building operational calls, in the absence of the Director of Facilities Management. Normal work weeks in excess of 40 hours are not unusual. Some local travel may be required.

Further Comments

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Chicago Zoological Society requires current COVID vaccinations or weekly COVID testing if unvaccinated.


commensurate with experience

How to Apply

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile.  Please visit our website at  Please look for requisition number 2236BR.

Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo
3300 Golf Road
Brookfield, IL 60513
Phone: 7086888400

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