Centralina is Hiring: Community Engagement Coordinator

Be part of a creative team in a dynamic & diverse region!

Who We Seek:
Centralina Regional Council seeks a COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COORDINATOR to equip and empower the Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition (CCFC) to deliver projects that center energy and environmental justice in support of the Justice40 Initiative, which requires at least 40 percent of the benefits of certain federal programs and grant funds to flow to disadvantaged communities. The Community Engagement Coordinator position is a new role that focuses on identifying, cultivating, developing and sustaining relationships with community-based organizations and other community partners who can support and contribute to environmental justice projects. The candidate selected for this position will serve as a key partner and bridge between CCFC and disadvantaged communities across our nine-county region to help CCFC center community priorities and lived experiences in project design and implementation.

This full-time position will initially be funded for two years from the date of hire through the US Department of Energy (DOE), with an opportunity to continue as a full-time Centralina staff member after the two-year initiative concludes. The Community Engagement  Coordinator, while housed at CCFC and Centralina Regional Council, will also be connected to 16 other Clean Cities Coalitions across the country, offering a chance for the selected candidate to support the launch of a nationwide initiative by DOE and its Clean Cities Coalition Network on the cutting edge of energy and environmental justice.

Our Organization:
Centralina Regional Council is an innovative regional planning agency located in Charlotte, NC with a membership that includes 60+ local governments throughout the Greater Charlotte Region. Centralina works with individual communities and leads major projects that transcend local and regional boundaries. Our mission is to lead regional collaboration and spark local action to expand opportunity and improve quality of life. Learn more about our work at www.centralina.org.

The Community Engagement Coordinator will work primarily within the Regional Planning Department. Centralina Regional Planning helps local governments create places of lasting value by developing comprehensive and mutually beneficial solutions, and by engaging the region and local communities to strengthen relationships and bring communities together.

CCFC is housed within Centralina’s Regional Planning Department and was designated in April of 2004 as part of DOE’s national Clean Cities program. The coalition works with over 100 local and regional stakeholders to reduce the amount of petroleum used in transportation across the Centralina region. Since March 2022, CCFC has been an active participant in DOE’s Clean Cities Energy and Environmental Justice Initiative (CCEEJI). CCEEJI is an ongoing training program and community of practice designed to equip and empower Clean Cities Coalitions to meet Justice40 requirements and center disadvantaged communities in project design and implementation by integrating energy and environmental justice best practices across coalition activities.

The Centralina Team:
Centralina strives to provide an inclusive, creative and supportive work environment for its employees. Centralina’s staff of 50+ individuals serve as subject-matter experts to ensure our organization is able to meet critical business needs and is responsive to the needs of communities across our region. Centralina’s staff of friendly, talented and professional individuals helps ensure Centralina remains a trusted source of data and analysis that informs decision makers and calls attention to important trends. Centralina is a great place to work, learn and grow in your career!

Description of the Work:
The Community Engagement Coordinator will work collaboratively with CCFC and Centralina Regional Planning staff to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Cultivate long-standing relationships with local community-based organizations and equity serving institutions.
  • Create and maintain formal and informal partnerships with community leaders to understand the connections between mobility and economic and social well-being.
  • Strengthen partnerships with existing CCFC stakeholders (fleets, local governments, dealerships, utilities, private companies, etc.) and identify opportunities for collaboration and relationship-building between community members and traditional stakeholders.
  • Align, center and advocate for community voices and needs in decision making.
  • Design transportation projects informed by energy and environmental justice principles and best practices.

Over the initial two-year funding period, the Community Engagement Coordinator will lead and collaborate with team members to complete the following tasks:

  • Community Needs Assessment
    • Conduct a Community Needs Assessment to identify opportunities for collaboration with local disadvantaged communities on Clean Cities projects that address transportation inequities.
  • Community Engagement
    • Partner with local disadvantaged communities to listen to priorities and concerns.
    • Identify communities to engage further to understand specific needs.
    • Work to bridge the goals of disadvantaged communities, CCFC, Centralina and DOE to advance Justice40 priorities.
    • Collaborate with Centralina member governments to share learnings from community engagement efforts, build upon existing efforts, increase accountability and transparency, and grow local governments’ capacity to engage disadvantaged communities in equitable, collaborative ways.
  • Project Development       
    • Advise CCFC staff, stakeholders, and partners on incorporating equity principles and energy and environmental justice best practices into existing and potential projects.
    • Advise Centralina departments and staff on augmenting equity activities and principles within existing grants, projects and programming beyond the transportation space (including projects focused on pollution reduction, digital equity, housing equity, and more).
    • Identify opportunities and assist in the design and implementation of projects that strengthen community partnerships and advance energy and environmental justice priorities.
    • Assist Centralina departments with equity-focused messaging and language to support organization-wide equity efforts, programming, education, support of member governments and grant opportunities.
  • Reporting
    • Advise and inform the development of CCFC Justice40 goals, metrics, and benchmarks.
    • Assist with collecting quantitative and qualitative data to track CCFC performance against Justice40 success metrics.
  • Training & Professional Development
    • Attend regular virtual and in-person trainings led by DOE as required throughout the initial two-year funding period, including diversity and inclusion trainings.
    • With support from CCFC staff, develop training materials and resources for fellow staff and CCFC stakeholders to improve organizational fluency and capacity in promoting and centering environmental justice.

    Desired Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
    At a minimum, qualified applicants will be proficient in the following areas:

    • Strong problem solving and analytical skills.
    • Skilled at collaboration and consensus building.
    • Cultural competency; knowledge of or experience working with populations with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
    • Demonstrated passion in sustainability and environmental justice issues.
    • Ability to manage multiple priorities simultaneously.
    • Ability to effectively communicate both in writing and verbally.
    • Ability to be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances.
    • Ability to approach work in creative, curious and innovative ways.
    • Exceptional organizational skills.
    • Experience utilizing computer technology for communication, data gathering and reporting activities.
    • Experience with data collection, report writing and creation of presentations.
    • Excellent interpersonal and client service skills and ability to build relationships and trust at all levels with community members, government staff and representatives, and other stakeholders.
    • Ability to ask the right questions, gather relevant information and craft tailored communications or solutions that balance and meet the needs of multiple stakeholders.
    • Ability to maintain a professional demeanor during emotionally charged, difficult or high-pressure situations.
    • Project management skills to coordinate programs and initiatives from inception through execution.

    Preferred candidates will be proficient or highly skilled in some or all of the following areas:

    • Spanish language skills (speaking, reading and writing)
    • Proven experience working with demographically diverse organizations.
    • Experience coordinating community outreach and/or education programs.
    • Conflict resolution and mediation skills.
    • Skilled at managing change and navigating sensitive topics.

    Who Should Apply?
    Applicants meeting at least one of the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply for this position:

    • Bachelor’s degree in Geography, planning, public policy, public administration, environmental studies, transportation or related field.
    • Three (3) to five (5) years’ experience in community engagement, community organizing, planning, advocacy, sustainability, energy, transportation, environmental justice, or an equivalent combination of training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities.
    • A combination of education and experience that adequately equips the candidate with the required and/or preferred skill sets.

    How to Apply:
    Interested individuals are encouraged to send a resume and cover letter to: admin@centralina.org with “Community Engagement Coordinator” in the subject line. Deadline: Open until filled with rolling interviews. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply early. EOE.