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New Economy Program Manager


This position will organize and implement sustainable economic projects and campaigns focused around solar and coal-impacted land redevelopment, while managing Appalachian Voices’ New Economy program in Southwest Virginia.

About Appalachian Voices

Appalachian Voices is a leading nonprofit advocate for a just economy and healthy environment in the Appalachian region, and a driving force in America’s shift from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. We envision an Appalachia with healthy communities and just, sustainable economies in balance with the region’s incomparable natural heritage.

What We Do

Appalachian Voices promotes diverse local economies and thriving communities and defends the land, air and water of our region from the worst environmental threats. We work at the nexus of the ongoing shift from fossil fuels to clean, 21st-century energy sources — we fight mountaintop removal coal mining, fracked-gas pipelines and other threats to the people and places of Appalachia, and we advance energy efficiency, clean energy, and other economic solutions that create community wealth and sustain Appalachia’s mountains, forests and waters.

Our New Economy Program utilizes the following strategies to achieve our goals of realizing a just economic transition through securing thoughtfully targeted investments for sustainable economic and community development while ensuring robust and meaningful community engagement:

  • Create a locally rooted solar industry in Southwest Virginia, prioritizing projects that save money and spur local enterprise development;
  • Provide targeted technical assistance to communities seeking to transform coal-impacted land from liabilities to assets by connecting good ideas with funding, partners and resources to realize community vision;
  • Work in coalitions for good policies at the local, state and federal level that support a just transition, including coal plant closure transition planning;
  • Address the longstanding system of absentee land ownership in Appalachia that keeps our region stuck in extractive and destructive models;
  • Build community resiliency and power through organizing across all of our program areas.

About the New Economy Program Manager

We are seeking a dedicated and passionate professional to manage our New Economy Program. Success in this role requires the ability to work in multiple economic and community development contexts while remaining flexible, creative, and focused. Our New Economy program drives innovation both within Southwest Virginia and across the broader central Appalachian region. We provide movement-level leadership through multiple coalitions and workgroups; this position will provide key capacity for those efforts.

Ideal candidates are capable of management in both a programmatic and project level capacity. This position has the potential to supervise at least one full time position and will play an important role in shaping and implementing the strategic direction for the New Economy program. The Program Manager will provide leadership and capacity to move sustainable economic and community development projects from concept to implementation. Foundational to success in these and other responsibilities is the ability to learn new concepts quickly, effectively facilitate dialogue, build consensus, and listen deeply to the perspectives of partners and stakeholders. We seek a team-oriented person who is capable of implementing shared work while also being self-directed.

Strong candidates will:

  • Understand, or be able to quickly learn, state and federal policies and programs that impact Central Appalachia;
  • Value community engagement and organizing and know how to do it well;
  • Show aptitude for project management, including project proposal development and creating and tracking budgets.

Specific workload includes:

  • Working with team members and partners to implement solar development goals, including residential solarization programs and commercial-scale projects through multiple strategies;
  • Guiding and implementing campaigns to improve Virginia’s energy policies and secure continued federal and state investment in a just transition for Central Appalachia;
  • Leading the process to create coal-impacted land redevelopment project proposals in close collaboration with partners and local stakeholders;
  • Engaging at both grassroots and leadership levels to develop and maintain strategic partnerships and coalitions to advance the goals of the New Economy Program;
  • Contributing to the development of a sustained campaign around land ownership issues in Central Appalachia;
  • Collaborating with the Communications team to develop and execute public-facing communications strategies
  • Tracking and reporting on program progress.

Appalachian Voices prioritizes creating real impact. We are committed to finding creative ways to measure what is valuable, recognizing the absolute importance of relationships, trust, and community. Our work is visible, relevant and felt in the communities we serve.

The New Economy Program Manager position is based in our Norton, VA office and will report to the Regional Director of Community and Economic Development. This is a place-based employment opportunity within far Southwest Virginia, working in our Norton office on a daily basis, without the option of telecommuting once COVID restrictions are lifted. 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 a part of that—both professionally and personally—as we are.

Compensation and Benefits

Appalachian Voices offers competitive compensation and benefits that includes employer-paid health care, vision and dental policies with options to include family members at a reduced cost; as well as generous paid vacation and parental leave, and an employer-matched retirement plan.

This is a mid-level management position. Targeted hiring range is between $45,000 – $52,500.

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until this position is filled and interviews may start in May 2021; Apply now!

Please send a resume and a brief cover letter (less than 500 words) that addresses the questions below to Adam@appvoices.org. Questions about the position are welcomed via email. No calls, please.

What’s your connection to Appalachia and why do you want to work in Norton, Virginia?
Discuss your experience working in coalitions: what was the objective, who was involved and what was your role?

Share an area of professional growth in which you are currently engaged.

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.

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