Hiring: Program Coordinator – Backyard Growers

Job Position: Program Coordinator

Organization Summary: Backyard Growers (BYG) is a grassroots community-based organization in Gloucester, MA. We are a small but mighty group of committed people who love what we do, and have fun while we work hard. Our mission is to cultivate healthy, connected, environmentally sustainable communities and to fight for food justice by teaching people how to grow their own food. BYG provides resources and support to establish vegetable gardens at homes, housing communities, organizations, and schools, and offers learning opportunities in growing and preparing fresh produce.

We serve public school children and low- to moderate-income residents in Gloucester, and share our program models regionally through a consulting practice to increase our impact. Our goals are to increase access to healthy, affordable foods, mobilize attitude and behavior changes around healthy food choices, reactivate neglected urban spaces through food production, and build community and support self-sufficiency within diverse populations. We believe that by growing our own food, we are empowered, connected, and strengthened.

Position Summary:
The Program Coordinator is responsible for overseeing all of Backyard Growers’ school and community garden sites. This includes our existing 8 public school gardens and 10 community gardens, as well as future sites should they be developed. The Coordinator is responsible for seasonal garden site planning, overall site maintenance, recruitment and management of volunteers, and implementing school and community programs and events.

This position serves as our urban agriculture knowledge co-lead and as such advises on all aspects of Backyard Growers’ expanding work and consulting activities related to growing food in raised and container gardens. The Coordinator will also develop and deliver content, trainings, workshops, and videos to complement on the ground learning.

The Coordinator will support our work to increase community connection with a strong commitment to bringing diverse populations together and honoring different perspectives.
The Program Coordinator reports to the Program Director and works in close coordination with our FoodCorps Service Member and volunteers. A day in the life of the Backyard Growers Program Coordinator might include training a new school on how to implement our Salad Days school garden model, leading a group of volunteers in building a new community garden, training seasonal volunteers in how to support our program participants, or recruiting new participants for our Backyard Garden Program.

Duties and responsibilities include:
● Strategically develop annual growing plans for community partner gardens, such as at our local food pantry and homeless shelter where we manage gardens
● Work with staff to develop our volunteer program, promote initiatives, and conduct community outreach
● Manage applications, wait lists, and enrollment of new program members in our community and backyard garden programs
● Lead all logistical aspects of site selection, building, and maintaining new raised gardens
● Provide garden training and other learning opportunities for a range of audiences, including seniors and kids
● Ensure that all school gardens are successfully growing food, following program guidelines, and meeting program goals
● Work effectively with city staff, organizational partners, school administration, teachers, parents, and students to ensure effective communication and collaboration
● Implement and sustain programs to support the strategic direction of the organization
● Assess program needs and strengths, identify areas for improvement, and adapt programming to meet goals
● Follow grant requirements, document procedures, make purchases, track outcomes using our measurement tools, and maintain impact data
● Assist as needed with additional events, which may include community events, internship fairs, garden events and workdays, school lessons, workshops, and school cafeteria tastings
● Develop our annual calendar of programs and events based on our learning objectives and core competencies
● Represent the organization at conferences and other public events
● Coordinate seasonal merchandise and online retail store
● Inventory program materials and equipment
● Coordinate annual van maintenance and inspection
● Help with a variety of administrative tasks in the office, including checking voicemails, ordering supplies, and helping with mailings

Desirable Skills and Qualifications:
● At least 3 to 5 years of work experience in a relevant and progressively responsible role
● At least 2 years of experience working on a vegetable production farm and/or urban agriculture program
● Knowledge of national and regional food system issues and policies
● Commitment to building and maintaining trust within the communities and populations we serve
● Commitment to social and racial justice—professionally and personally
● Cultural competency to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds
● Strong commitment to social change through community empowerment and engagement
● Self-motivated; self-organized; excellent follow-through; creative problem-solving and systems thinking skills
● Experience cultivating and managing relationships with community and municipal partners
● Ability to play a public front-facing role for a range of activities including community relations and organizing, meeting facilitation, public presentations, consulting pitches, and school and community outreach and trainings
● Ability to work independently and as part of a team, be flexible, and manage multiple priorities in a fast-paced, non-profit environment
● Detail-oriented with excellent communication, organizational, interpersonal, and writing skills
● Proficient computer skills and social media skills (Microsoft Suite, Google Suite, Facebook and Instagram)
● Must be able to safely lift and carry 50 pounds repeatedly, use basic hand-held power tools, and work outside in different weather conditions
● Must have reliable transportation, be able to drive a car, have appropriate auto insurance coverage, and a valid Massachusetts’ driver’s license
● Must be comfortable driving a large work van
● Must submit to a CORI/SORI check
● English/Spanish bilingual preferred
● Knowledge of Gloucester neighborhoods and communities is a plus

Salary & Schedule
● Salary is $36,400 annually; Exempt, full-time position at 35 hours per week
● PTO benefits package and QSEHRA health benefits
● Candidate must be open to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends

Apply Today! We look forward to hearing from you!
● Apply by 12/6/20; Tentative start date is 1/4/21
● Send resume, cover letter, and contact information for two references to (include “Program Coordinator” in the subject line)

We will review all submissions, identify viable candidates and contact only those individuals selected to continue in the search process—No calls please
The information presented indicates the general nature and level of work expected of employees in this classification. It is not designed to contain, or to be interpreted as, a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications and objectives required of employees assigned to this job. Backyard Growers provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, sexual identity / expression, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.

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