Program Manager I (Climate Engagement) Grade 23
Montgomery County Government
Department of Environmental Protection
2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, Maryland 20902
Salary Range: $61,189 to $101,350
The mission of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to enhance the quality of life in our community by protecting and improving Montgomery County’s air, water, and land in a sustainable, innovative, inclusive, and industry-leading way while fostering smart growth, a thriving more sustainable economy and healthy communities.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has unveiled the Climate Action Plan (CAP) that will guide the County toward its goals of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2027 and by 100 percent by 2035 compared to 2005 levels. The CAP, which will increase resilience in the face of climate hazards, is one of the most ambitious climate plans in the nation for a local government.
DEP is seeking a Program Manager I to join the Office of Energy and Climate to engage the community as partners in climate action. This position will lead a range of climate-related engagement and communication activities, with a particular focus on efforts to involve underserved community members who are likely to feel the impacts of climate change most acutely.
The Program Manager will have considerable knowledge of, and experience in, community engagement, particularly participatory approaches that integrate climate resilience, health and racial equity. The individual will serve as a thought leader, catalyzing a paradigm shift from conventional, non-inclusive outreach to a community engagement process that centers Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and frontline leaders in the co-creation of solutions to climate change. The individual must be a systems thinker who sees, and helps to forge, integrated solutions that cut across departments and sectors.
The primary responsibility of this position will be to help shape a new community engagement process — one that is premised on community empowerment, amplifies under-represented voices, and cultivates community-driven civic leadership. The Program Manager will help the County create and implement a process in which program development is centered on the needs, desires, wisdom, and insights of County residents, tailored to meet their specific needs, and co-created through authentic collaboration. Such a model is premised on a “participatory action research framework” in which solutions are devised through the participation by, and lived experiences of, stakeholders so that interventions are fully “owned” by the community.
One possible institutional outcome of this process is the creation of a Community Justice Academy in which graduating Community Ambassadors serve as information and advocacy bridges representing their communities to build resilience; advance racial equity, health and quality of life; encourage carbon-reducing behavior; and identify and co-create solutions in partnership with the County. Note: the creation of a Community Justice Academy is not predetermined. It is currently a conceptual model and the outcome will be shaped through conversations with community members and civic organizations, possibly taking an entirely different form.
Regardless of the institutional structure flowing from the community engagement process, the Program Manager will likely be involved in meeting facilitation; partnership building; training and program design; “appreciative inquiry” in which community-based assets and strengths are identified and leveraged; community decision-making; outreach and communications; and accessing resources and funding to support initiatives conceived and generated by community members.
Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:
- Lead process to identify equitable community collaboration and engagement focused on frontline and BIPOC residents most impacted by climate change to develop community-based resilience, mitigation, health and quality-of-life solutions.
- In partnership with community-based organizations, help identify, co-create and manage the County’s Community Justice Academy (or other outcome based on community input) to address climate priorities identified in the CAP.
- Build internal and external support and identify funding for program(s) flowing from community-based conversations; help institutionalize these programs including building on existing assets and programs; convening community-based organizations, networks, and County departments to facilitate strategic planning sessions; help determine program structure, governance, funding needs, outreach strategies, etc.
- Administer contracts with community-based organizations with whom the County partners.
- Conduct trainings, workshops, and communication/outreach campaigns.
- Support other actions in the CAP that advance the priorities and needs of BIPOC, frontline, and other communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
The ideal candidate will have considerable experience in program development and management, community engagement, and working with low income, under-represented and BIPOC communities. The successful candidate will be culturally competent, empathetic, and collegial.
Bilingual applicants in the Spanish/English languages are encouraged to apply. If the candidate selected for this position possesses multilingual skills, they will be required to successfully pass an examination assessing oral communication, reading comprehension, and interpreting skills. For Advanced proficiency, the candidate must also pass an examination requiring translating text from Spanish to English and vice versa.
This position requires the ability to attend meetings, engagement events, and perform work at locations outside the office, which includes traveling to various locations throughout Montgomery County.
To ensure a positive workplace and to comply with federal, state and County laws, the incumbent is responsible for completing mandatory trainings within the first three to six months or within the specified timeframe.
NOTE: Effective August 30, 2021, all new hires will be required to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus prior to their first date of employment. Individuals who are unable to be vaccinated should contact OHR@montgomerycountymd.gov to discuss possible accommodations.
Experience: Considerable (3 years) of professional experience in program development and management focusing on community-based climate change and/or sustainability initiatives and stakeholder engagement.
Education: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Bachelor’s Degree.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
All applicants will be reviewed by OHR for minimum qualifications. Those applicants who meet minimum qualifications will be rated “Qualified,” placed on the Eligible List, and may be considered for interview.
Preference for interviews will be given to applicants with experience in the following:
- Expertise in community engagement, including participatory approaches based on decentralized decision-making and collaboration, including the co-creation of program initiatives.
- Experience working directly with low income, immigrant and/or BIPOC communities.
- Expertise integrating and promoting principles of health, racial equity and environmental sustainability into community engagement processes and project design.
- An understanding of the concepts of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities.
- Bilingual in Spanish/English or advanced proficiency in Spanish. **Please indicate on your resume**
- Familiarity with climate change, particularly building community resiliency to climate hazards.
- Experience in coalition building across sectors and between local government and community-based organizations and networks.
- Strong communication skills including experience with social media campaigns and designing fact sheets, posters, infographics, blogs, etc.
Montgomery County Government offers competitive salaries and excellent benefits.
To view the complete job announcement and to apply, please visit our website at https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HR/Recruitment/MCGCareers.html
and click on the “Search for Jobs at MCG” tab. Read the full job description under the “General Professional” Job Category. Interested candidates must create an online account in order to apply.
The requisition number is IRC51083.
This Recruitment Closes October 27, 2021
All resume submissions must address the preferred criteria for the position, which are listed in the full advertisement, preferably in a separate section of the resume. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Resume Preparation Tips listed under the “Resources” tab on the Office of Human Resource’s MCG Careers webpage.