Careers at Groundwork

Careers at Groundwork are life-changing opportunities to create a better Michigan. We improve people's lives by creating and implementing local-based solutions that improve the environment, economy, and community. Become a part of creating bright, optimistic tomorrows in our challenging and rewarding work environment.
(Above photo by Scot Laing.)

career opportunities

Rural Clean Energy Organizer

Rural Clean Energy Organizer Position Description
Salary Range: $48,000–$53,000
Deadline to apply: Dec 1, 2023
Target hire start date: January 2, 2024
Location: Traverse City, MI, Petoskey, MI, or surrounding areas
Reports to: Climate and Environment Program Director

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities is seeking a Rural Clean Energy Organizer to support our Climate and Environment Program in northern Michigan. The ideal candidate will be passionate and knowledgeable about advancing local, state and national energy policy reform, and experienced in public policy advocacy, networking, partnerships and facilitation. Successful candidates will have a demonstrated passion for promoting an equitable and just transition to renewable energy to combat the climate crisis. This position is full time, year round, and will report to Groundwork’s Climate and Environment Program Director.

Groundwork’s Clean Energy Program History
Groundwork’s clean energy advocacy work spans several decades, beginning when, as the Michigan Land Use Institute in the 1990s, we pushed for reforms in the oil and gas drilling industry. This work was followed by successful advocacy to shut down existing coal plants and reject new ones in Michigan. Groundwork launched the Oil and Water Don’t Mix campaign to decommission the Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac, and followed this highly successful environmental coalition of environmental groups to help launch both the Michigan Climate Action Network and the Great Lakes Business Network—key advocacy partners in the push for clean energy. On a local level, Groundwork focuses on helping Michigan communities set and achieve goals for 100% renewable energy, advance solar on school, and coordinates a local solar group-buy program known as Access MI Solar. We strategically partner with public schools, businesses, municipal utilities and tribes as key stakeholders in these communities.

Job Description:
The Rural Clean Energy Organizer will be a visible, credible leader on energy policy issues who will work with key stakeholders to inspire positive clean energy outcomes from rural energy co-ops, help to pass 100% clean energy commitments, and help to educate voters and drive turnout. Primary responsibilities of the Rural Clean Energy Organizer will include:

  • Help to advance strong clean energy candidates in rural co-op energy board races.
  • Help to design and implement a new organizing strategy for winning on local climate and clean energy campaigns, and advancing climate goals in Michigan.
  • Develop grassroot and grasstops networks and cultivate strong relationships with local elected officials, school officials, business leaders, municipal utilities, non-profit partners, and tribal governments.
  • Seek opportunities to advance Groundwork Center’s equity, inclusion, and justice commitments through new partnerships and public engagement strategies to build strategic alliances and stand in solidarity with communities most impacted by climate change.
  • Represent Groundwork Center in regional coalitions and at public events, and communicate our campaigns effectively to the general public, and to members of the press.
  • Plan and recruit for engagement and base-building activities including phone banks, public events, door-to-door outreach, events, and maintain lists and databases of campaign activists and supporters.
  • Contribute to educational outreach materials like newsletter updates, webinars, op-eds, digital content, sign-on letters, and help to obtain media coverage in local and regional media outlets.
  • Conduct research to ensure campaign policy positions are scientifically grounded and current.
  • Support fundraising efforts and establish positive relationships with donors and foundations.

Professional Requirements
Candidates for this position must demonstrate:

  • Community organizing experience including professional experience in grassroots organizing, coalition building, canvassing, or lobbying especially relating to clean energy policy or electoral campaigns;
  • Proven networking skills and experience in developing partnerships and building diverse coalitions;
  • An ability to develop and cultivate relationships with decision-makers and grassroots community leaders at all levels of community, education, and economic stakeholder groups;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; Candidates should be comfortable leading group discussions, motivating individuals to take action, and establishing shared trust, understanding, and expectations.
  • A proven ability to work independently and be self directed while collaborating well with others in a team setting.
  • Knowledge of climate, energy systems, local utilities or related issues.

Personal Qualifications
Among the qualities we seek in successful candidates are a:

  • Strong commitment to Groundwork’s mission and programs;
  • Passion for advancing equitable solutions to climate change in the Great Lakes region;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice
  • Proven ability to organize priorities, with keen attention to detail and deadlines;
  • Self-directed working approach and ability to take initiative.

At Groundwork, the candidate will join a driven team of individuals who are advancing policy solutions and projects that are pragmatic, practical, caring, and visionary. We strive to create a positive, collaborative, healthy, and inspired working environment that gives the staff the support to be the leaders in their field.

We are optimistic about Michigan’s future and believe in a thriving local farm and food economy; stronger, more walkable, bike-able, and transit-friendly towns and villages; cleaner sources of energy, and climate solutions that support a more equitable world for all. The researchers, writers, advocates, system-changemakers, and coalition-builders that make up the Groundwork staff are passionately committed to realizing this vision.

Compensation, Benefits, and Application Procedure
This is a full-time position with flexible hours, generous vacation and health benefits, retirement contribution matching, and a competitive salary range. This is a project coordinator level position with a salary range of $48,000–$53,000, commensurate with experience. Groundwork Center is located in northwest lower Michigan, and candidates must be able and willing to be located within the region by February of 2024.

Please send a one-page cover letter, resume and three references to: with the subject line: Rural Clean Energy Organizer. Applications will be accepted until 11 pm on Friday, December 1st, 2023.

Groundwork is committed to creating a diverse workplace and seeks a wide-range of perspectives and backgrounds. People of color, persons with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply. Groundwork is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions. Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation at any point in the employment process.

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