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New Economy Field Coordinator

Posted on January 26, 2022

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.

Position Details

Appalachian Voices is seeking a New Economy Field Coordinator based in our Norton, Va., office to build local power and engagement in the just transition movement by recruiting, engaging, and activating community members, local organizations, and business leaders in Southwest Virginia through our New Economy Program. The Field Coordinator will develop community leaders, support the strengthening of new and existing community-based organizations, host educational events on solar and economic development, and execute strategic campaigns focused around solar, coal-impacted land redevelopment, power plant closure transition planning and other community economic development issues in Southwest Virginia.

This position will foster the connection between community members and our work, making sure that local, diverse community voices and perspectives are informing the economic and community development decisions that are being made both within our organization and the region as a whole. Foundational to success is a well developed understanding of community organizing in rural settings, as well as community and economic development within a just transition framework.

With massive federal funding being invested in the region, this is an exciting time to join our New Economy team. The Field 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 Field 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, including recruiting and stewarding volunteer leaders in rural and under-represented communities;
  • Understand, or be able to learn, 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 project management skills, with the ability to steward multiple projects simultaneously;
  • Have or quickly gain familiarity with solar energy; and
  • Thrive in a highly collaborative setting while being self-motivated and creative.

Key aspects of the workload include:

  • Coordinate and build leadership of the New Economy Network:
    • Develop strategies that engage community members and key partners on economic and environmental initiatives;
    • Plan and execute public meetings and events; and
    • Work with local governments and policy makers to advance policy priorities.
  • Support Appalachian Voices leadership of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia by developing and coordinating campaigns to expand solar access:
    • Lead grassroots engagement on Appalachian Voices campaign to expand Shared Solar access in Southwest Virginia;
    • Take point on our ongoing residential solar program;
    • Support the Southwest Virginia Solar Action Team; and
    • Get people engaged in the General Assembly and other places where solar policy is created.
  • Provide key grassroots communications capacity:
    • Bottomline the publication of our regional grassroots newsletter, the Mountain Ascent;
    • Engage with residents around coal power plant closures to gain community feedback on economic transition planning; and
    • Work with our communications team to develop other digital materials to mobilize our membership.
  • Support the strengthening of new and existing community-based organizations:
    • Regularly attend community meetings of local organizations like Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards to listen, learn and offer capacity; and
    • Serve as a connector in and between various groups, organizations, local stakeholders, to maximize opportunities for shared learning and collaboration.
  • Connect with local entrepreneurs 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 higher education for regional initiatives.

The New Economy Field Coordinator position is based in our Norton, Va., office and will report to the New Economy Program Manager. This is a place-based employment opportunity within far Southwest Virginia. We recognize that it is a dynamic time in regard to tele-working; Appalachian Voices’ Covid policy supports our staff working from home and limiting in-person engagement and we look forward to when we can safely resume regularly working in person both at the office and within our communities. At that time, it will be an expectation that the Field Coordinator works out of our Norton office on a regular basis.

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

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 $35,000 – 45,000. 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.

To apply

Applications will be accepted until this position is filled and interviews may start by late February, 2022. Target employment date is March- early April 2022. Apply now! Please send a resume and a cover letter no longer than one page that addresses the questions below to Robert@appvoices.org with the subject line “[YOUR NAME] application for New Economy Field Coordinator.” Questions about the position are welcomed via email. No calls, please.

  1. What’s your connection to Appalachia and why do you want to work in Norton, Virginia?
  2. Share one example of your experience organizing with communities to achieve a goal: what was the objective, who was involved and what was your role?
  3. What does a just transition in Appalachia look like to you?



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