Community Engagement Coordinator – Mill City Grows (MassLIFT AmeriCorps Program)
The Massachusetts Land Initiative for Tomorrow (MassLIFT) 2016 Community Engagement Coordinator Position Opening with Mill City Grows
The MassLIFT-AmeriCorps program was initiated and is managed by Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust as a collaborative effort of regional conservation organizations (including urban conservation and gardening efforts) seeking to increase their capacity to engage with more people and do more community conservation projects across Massachusetts. This year, 30 MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members will help their hosting organizations meet critical community needs for land protection, stewardship of protected lands, outreach to the broader community, and youth education opportunities to engage young people in conservation. To learn more about MassLIFT-AmeriCorps, visit masslift.org.
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 men and women in intensive service each year through more than 15,000 nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. AmeriCorps members help communities tackle pressing problems and also leverage their service by mobilizing volunteers to help address community needs for environmental stewardship, health, education, economic opportunity, disaster services, and support to veterans and military families. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit americorps.gov.
MassLIFT-AmeriCorps is a grant program contingent upon renewal of federal funding from the Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS grants to AmeriCorps programs in Massachusetts are administered by the Massachusetts Service Alliance. The Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA, mass-service.org) is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as the state commission on community service and volunteerism. MSA’s mission is to catalyze the innovation and growth of service and volunteerism by creating partnerships that maximize resources, expertise, capacity, and impact. MassLIFT is one of 22 AmeriCorps programs for which MSA currently administers funding and supports program implementation.
AmeriCorps Member Eligibility Requirements
This year’s MassLIFT program will run from August 29, 2016 through July 28, 2017. All MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members are expected to serve full-time, commit to serve for the entire eleven-month term, and complete at least 1,700 hours of service, including time spent in trainings and service with the full MassLIFT team. Weekly service averages 35 hours and commonly includes some night and/or weekend activities.
Applicants must also meet the following AmeriCorps requirements:
* a US citizen, US national, or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S.
* at least 18 years old
* a minimum of a high school diploma or GED
* no more than three previous terms as an AmeriCorps member
* pass a criminal history background check, including an FBI check
AmeriCorps programs provide equal employment opportunities. MassLIFT will recruit and select persons in all positions to ensure a diverse and inclusive climate without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, color, political affiliation, creed, national origin, marital status, or any other status as protected by federal, state, and local laws. We encourage applications from individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations for interviews and service upon request.
Member Compensation and Benefits:
* MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members will receive a living allowance of $12,530 over the 11-month term of service, which is $522.08 per 24 biweekly pay periods.
* MassLIFT assists members in obtaining health insurance coverage through healthcare.gov. Reimbursement of costs may be available.
* Childcare assistance may be provided in cases of financial need.
* Upon successful completion of a term of service, AmeriCorps members receive a $5,775 education award that can be used for future education or to pay off existing school loans. See nationalservice.gov/resources/edaward for info and restrictions.
* AmeriCorps members are eligible for forbearance of most federally-guaranteed student loans, as well as payment of interest accrued during service.
* MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members gain skills in land conservation, attend a statewide conference, and participate in team trainings and other professional development opportunities.
* AmeriCorps members experience the personal rewards of national service and community engagement.
Note: MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members are responsible for their own housing and must have access to reliable transportation.
The 2016 MassLIFT-AmeriCorps program will support thirty full-time AmeriCorps members, serving in one of four positions: Land Stewardship Coordinator (LSC), Regional Conservation Coordinator (RCC), Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC), and Youth Education Coordinator (YEC). The positions differ in their emphasis on land protection, stewardship, community outreach, and youth or adult education. All members will carry out capacity building projects; educate or train individuals in environmental stewardship; recruit, train, manage, and support community volunteers engaged in land conservation activities; and identify new individuals and groups to participate in education, recreation, or service opportunities that address land conservation needs. All positions include computer-based administrative and reporting duties. The specific responsibilities and goals of members in each position differ as described below.
Mill City Grows will host a Community Engagement Coordinator for the 2016-17 service year. Information about all MassLIFT positions is available at: masslift.org.
2016 Community Engagement Coordinator Position Opening with Mill City Grows
Mill City Grows
Physical address: 150 Western Ave, B Mill Lowell, MA 01851 millcitygrows.org Mailing address: P.O. Box 7133 Lowell, MA 01852
Mill City Grows is growing a healthier community by creating new opportunities for Lowell residents to access healthy, fresh, affordable foods. Our mission is to foster food justice in Lowell, MA by improving physical health, economic independence, and environmental sustainability through increased access to land, locally grown food, and education. We are a young organization with passionate staff and dedicated volunteers, and we’re seeking a motivated and well-organized individual committed to the values of our work to fill the Community Engagement Coordinator AmeriCorps position.
The Community Engagement Coordinator will serve closely within Mill City Grows’ Community Gardens, where currently 61% of gardeners live in low or very low income households, 14 languages are spoken, and 19 countries of origin are represented. Our gardeners are primarily adults, though multigenerational gardening is quite common across our gardens. The Community Engagement Coordinator will support the gardens and gardeners by doing outreach to gardeners and providing technical support for organic, ecological gardening practices. Additionally, this service member will serve with many partner agencies that serve diverse residents to develop a robust volunteer program at Mill City Grows, connecting residents with the least access to outdoor recreation and fresh, nutritious foods with opportunities to literally dig into the local food system in the Lowell area.
Community Engagement Coordinators (CEC) build the long-term capacity of their host sites to expand community engagement efforts, traditionally focused on conservation minded groups and populations, to include more diverse demographics and civic interests for the purpose of increasing public support for land conservation (including urban conservation and gardening efforts).
Specifically, the CEC will engage new constituencies in land conservation (including urban conservation and gardening efforts) by educating the public about the many social benefits of land conservation and by including them in projects and events that demonstrate how land conservation can address diverse community needs such as public health, economic development, education, poverty and hunger, neighborhood revitalization, and cultural decline. With volunteers, CECs have helped create community gardens at homeless shelters and food pantries, initiate and improve farmers’ markets, build wellness trails and gardens for hospitals, revitalize urban parks and greenways, create wheelchair accessible camping events, organize urban rivers water quality monitoring, build recreational trails with addiction recovery programs, organize urban birding clubs, and organize corporate volunteer projects. By engaging with diverse peoples and collaborating with community partners, they build bridges that reinforce the connection between land conservation and a sustainable social, economic, and environmental future for all people.
MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members engage with their supervisors to develop and carry out three or more capacity building projects over the course of the service year. Some of these projects will
involve recruiting, training, and/or managing community volunteers. Mill City Grows has proposed the following potential projects for their Community Engagement Coordinator:
1) Create a meaningful and engaging volunteer program that interested members of the community can be plugged into to help our programs run efficiently.
2) Strengthen existing partnerships in order to enhance volunteer opportunities for a wide range of Lowell residents.
3) Support and expand existing community garden program in collaboration with Community Program Manager and MCG staff.
4) Serve with Community Garden Leadership teams to strengthen community garden program and maintain safe and productive infrastructure.
Development of these and other projects will occur during the first two months of service and consider the member’s interests and skills.
• associate degree; experience may be substituted for education
• a strong interest in serving with diverse community groups, landowners, and municipalities
• organic food gardening experience, knowledge and skill
• strong organizational and time management skills
• comfortable presenting in front of groups
• strong writing, communication, and networking skills
• able to serve both independently and as a member of a team
• familiarity with Microsoft Office programs
• experience in community needs assessment
• experience with diversity and inclusion issues
• experience training and managing volunteers
• experience in local government, or civic organizations
• marketing experience or experience developing public information materials
• familiarity with land conservation in Massachusetts
• experience with service learning programs
• understanding of food justice and the challenges urban residents face in accessing safe, affordable, nutritious food
• Language proficiency in one or more of the following languages: Spanish, Khmer, Portuguese, Burmese, French
• Knowledge of culture and history of Lowell community
For questions about Mill City Grows’ Community Engagement Coordinator service position, contact Kesiah Bascom at Kesiah@millcitygrows.org.
How to Apply
Hosting organizations, service positions, and application procedures are described at the MassLIFT-AmeriCorps website: masslift.org.
A complete member application includes a 1- 2 page cover letter, a resume, three references, and an application form. Download the application from the Join MassLIFT website. Scan your cover letter, resume, and completed form into one PDF file (in that order) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member applications will be available for viewing by all of our host sites. Do not send applications directly to a host site.
We strongly encourage application submissions before interviews begin in mid-May. Position offers and acceptances will begin in early June. The program aims to fill all positions by late July, but host sites will continue interviews as needed until all positions are filled.
For questions about MassLIFT-AmeriCorps, contact Sean Pollock, Program Director, at Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. Email email@example.com or call 978-248-2043 x16.