About Appalachian Voices
Appalachian Voices is a nonprofit advocacy organization that works to achieve an Appalachia with healthy, intact ecosystems and advance a just transition to a generative and equitable clean energy economy. We have 30 staff members located in offices in Boone, N.C., Charlottesville, Va., Norton, Va., Knoxville, Tenn., and Durham, N.C.
Commitment to equity
Appalachian Voices is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion both in our work and in our organizational structure. We seek applicants who share and exhibit these principles. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.
We understand people gain skills through a variety of professional, personal, educational, and volunteer experiences. We encourage candidates to review the primary roles and responsibilities listed. If you believe you have the transferable skills necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of this role, we encourage you to apply.
Appalachian Voices is seeking a New Economy Program Coordinator based out of our Norton, Virginia, office to support our community and economic redevelopment efforts by recruiting, engaging, and activating community members, local government, and business leaders in Buchanan, Dickenson and Tazewell counties through our New Economy Program. The Program Coordinator will build relationships and projects with communities, support the work of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia, and host events on solar and economic development. They will support policy initiatives focused around solar and energy storage, coal-impacted land redevelopment, low-carbon manufacturing and other community economic development issues in Southwest Virginia.
This position will build local power and engagement in the just transition movement by fostering the connection between communities in Buchanan, Dickenson and Tazewell counties and our work, making sure that local, diverse community voices and perspectives inform the economic and community development decisions that are being made both within our organization and in the region as a whole. Foundational to success is a well developed understanding of community organizing in rural settings and an understanding of community and economic development within a just transition framework. An individual with community-based grant writing and project management experience, or the aptitude to learn quickly, will do well in this role.
With massive federal funding being invested in the region, this is an exciting time to join our New Economy team. The Program Coordinator will work with a diverse network of community partners to deliver successful programmatic and strategic campaigns to accelerate sustainable and equitable development in Southwest Virginia and Central Appalachia. In the face of climate change and hard won environmental victories, the Program Coordinator joins a team and a movement building alternative systems where ecological integrity, social justice and democracy drive our goal to build a new economy.
To be effective in this position, you will need to:
- Demonstrate strong skills in community engagement, organizing, and advocacy at the local and state level;
- Understand, or be interested in learning, state and federal policies and programs that impact Central Appalachia, particularly at the intersection of environmental justice, renewable energy, and economic development;
- Have excellent written and verbal communications skills;
- Utilize well-honed and flexible project management skills, with the ability to steward multiple projects simultaneously; and
- Thrive in a highly collaborative setting while being self-motivated and creative.
Key aspects of the workload include:
Support Appalachian Voices’ leadership of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia by developing and coordinating projects and campaigns to expand solar access:
- Co-lead our new Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resiliency Program (RACER);
- Support efforts to expand shared solar and residential solar in the region; and
- Get people engaged in the General Assembly and other places where solar policy is created.
Provide key grassroots communications capacity:
- Work to elevate and amplify new opportunities for sustainable economic development, positive stories of building the new economy and Appalachian Voices’ research and work;
- Engage with residents around our strategic plan to gain community feedback on economic transition planning; and
- Work with our communications team to develop other digital and print materials to mobilize our membership.
Support the strengthening of new and existing community-based projects:
- Work with residents to form, or support existing, community associations and facilitate community participatory processes;
- Recruit locally elected leaders to be new economy champions;
- Help build our New Economy Network;
Build interest in community energy resiliency;
- Regularly attend community meetings of local organizations working in aligned areas to listen, learn and offer capacity; and
- Serve as a connector in and between various groups, organizations and local stakeholders to maximize opportunities for shared learning and collaboration.
Connect with local residents and leaders who are building the New Economy:
- Build trust and relationships with local entrepreneurs;
- Identify opportunities for regenerative economic/community development on coal-impacted land; and
- Coordinate with partners for regional initiatives.
The New Economy Program Coordinator position is based out of our Norton, Virginia, office and will report to the New Economy Program Manager. This is a place-based employment opportunity focusing in Buchanan, Dickenson and Tazewell counties. Appalachian Voices has a dynamic COVID policy that supports our staff working from home when needed, and approaching in-person engagement with care. We are seeking a team member who can engage with partners in the above-listed counties in person on a weekly basis. It will also be an expectation that the program coordinator be present at the Norton office on at least an every-other-week basis for in-person team meetings, though greater frequency will be welcomed and preferred. Clear expectations about working location will be determined based on where the selected candidate lives and other factors.
Our office is located within walking distance of the Jefferson National Forest and has easy access to multiple incredible outdoor recreation opportunities and cultural assets. The region is in the midst of an exciting renaissance, and we seek an individual who is as excited about being part of that — both professionally and personally — as we are.
Compensation & Benefits
This is a full-time position and is included in a union-represented collective bargaining unit, and specific terms and conditions of employment may be subject to a future Collective Bargaining Agreement. Appalachian Voices offers competitive compensation and benefits that include employer-paid health care, vision, and dental policies with options to include family members at a reduced cost, plus short- and long-term disability plans; as well as generous paid vacation and parental leave, options for flexible working hours, and an employer-matched retirement plan. Salary commensurate with experience, however expected salary range is between $40,000-$50,000; candidates seeking the higher end of this range should be able to demonstrate very strong background, experience, or other factors. We are open to feedback from the market and would welcome the opportunity to connect with potential candidates who may be outside of the compensation band. Appalachian Voices is committed to equity in pay practices.
Please read and follow these instructions carefully: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with interviews beginning in late February 2023. The target hire date is April 2023. Please send a resume and cover letter, no longer than one page, that addresses the questions below to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “[YOUR NAME] Application for New Economy Program Coordinator.” Questions about the position are welcomed via email. No calls, please.
- What’s your connection to Appalachia and why do you want to work with communities in Buchanan, Dickenson and Tazewell counties?
- Share one example of your experience organizing or leading a project with communities to achieve a goal: what was the objective, who was involved, and what was your role?
- What role do you believe renewable energy plays in a just transition in Appalachia?