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

Executive Director

Job Title: Executive Director
Salary Range: $145,000–$165,000
Location: Traverse City, Michigan
Reports to: Board of Directors
Link to application: Groundwork Executive Director Application
Deadline to Apply: 11:59 p.m. on June 28, 2024
Download the Executive Director Position Profile: PDF download

Groundwork Center for Resilient communities is seeking a visionary and dynamic Executive Director to lead the organization into its next phase of growth and impact. The Executive Director will serve as the primary spokesperson for Groundwork and will provide strategic leadership to advance the organization’s mission and programs. This individual will oversee all aspects of the organization, while working closely with the Board of Directors, staff, and community partners to ensure the success and sustainability of Groundwork. The ideal candidate will be ready to play an integral role in the organization’s fundraising and will have experience in securing funding from foundations, businesses, and individual donors.

The Executive Director will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Act as the lead public spokesperson for the organization while building and maintaining relationships with supporters, donors, partner organizations, and the general public
  • Provide strategic leadership on program and organizational vision, guiding the development and implementation of programs and projects that align with Groundwork’s mission and values
  • Oversee and support staff, finances, and week-to-week systems of the organization, ensuring efficient organizational systems and processes
  • Collaborate with the Board of Directors by providing regular updates on organizational activities, financial status, and strategic priorities
  • Play a key role in fundraising efforts, working to secure financial support from foundations, corporations, and individual donors to sustain and expand Groundwork’s impact
  • Execute other duties as requested by the Board of Directors to support the overall success of the organization

General Expectations:

Groundwork staff members are expected to demonstrate a:

  • Strong commitment to Groundwork’s mission and programs
  • Passion for building livable communities, propelling clean energy, and expanding the local food economy
  • Growing understanding of, and enthusiasm for, resilience principles
  • And, a self-directed working approach and ability to take initiative


  • Strong supervisory and leadership skills with experience managing a diverse team and fostering a culture of collaboration and trust
  • Proven track record of successful fundraising for nonprofit organizations
  • Ability to build and maintain effective communication and working relationships with partners, community leaders, donors, and supporters
  • Strategic thinker with the ability to guide the development of organizational vision, programs, and priorities
  • Passionate advocate for the organization’s mission, with the ability to inspire others to action
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in all aspects of organizational leadership and decision-making

About Groundwork:

At Groundwork, the candidate will lead a team of driven individuals who work hard to provide funding for the organization so that it can fulfill its goals of 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 staff members support and opportunities for growth.

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 future for all. The researchers, writers, advocates, system changemakers and coalition-builders that make up the Groundwork staff are passionately committed to realizing this vision.

This is a full-time position with flexible hours, generous vacation and health benefits, retirement contribution matching, and a competitive salary range. The salary range for this position is $145,000–$165,000. This position is based in Traverse City, Michigan, and allows for remote work from home.

Please apply using the Groundwork Employment Application, and please be aware that the application will require you to upload both a cover letter and résumé. Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on June 28, 2024.

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 LGBQT+ candidates are encouraged to apply. Groundwork is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment. Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation at any point in the employment process.

line 5 Campaign Contractor

Groundwork Center is seeking an experienced contractor to significantly increase momentum in support of shutting down the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline, specifically targeting northern Michigan. Key targets will include Senators Peters and Stabenow. The successful contractor will meet the deliverables outlined below, with a possibility for renewal based on performance and continued funding. Compensation will be up to $7,000 for the six-month period.

Organizational Background
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.

Groundwork Center is dedicated to protecting the Great Lakes and ensuring the safety of Michigan's precious water resources. We collaborate with various stakeholders, including the Oil and Water Don’t Mix Coalition, to achieve statewide and federal objectives concerning environmental protection and public health.

Northern Michigan (Flexible)

Employment Type

Six months, from July through December 2024, with the potential for renewal.

Up to $7,000 for the 6-month period. Contractor to invoice Groundwork on a monthly basis and invoices to be paid within 30 days.

The contractor will work closely with Groundwork Center’s Climate and Environment Program Director and with the Oil and Water Don’t Mix Coalition.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Community Engagement:
    • Develop and implement strategies to mobilize community support for shutting down Line 5.
    • Foster relationships with local civic groups, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders.
    • Organize and lead community meetings, events, and educational sessions.
  2. Advocacy and Public Policy:
    • Advocate for policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels.
    • Work with elected officials, policymakers, and community leaders to advance the campaign's goals.
    • Monitor and report on legislative and regulatory developments related to Line 5.
  3. Networking and Coalition Building:
    • Collaborate with the Oil and Water Don’t Mix Coalition and other partner organizations.
    • Regularly attend Oil and Water Don’t Mix organizer meetings.
    • Build and maintain a network of supporters and volunteers.
    • Coordinate joint actions and initiatives to amplify impact.
  4. Communication and Outreach:
    • Develop and distribute educational and promotional materials.
    • Utilize social media and other digital platforms to raise awareness and engage the community.
    • Represent Groundwork Center at public forums, meetings, and media events.


  • Proven experience in public policy advocacy, community organizing, or a related field
  • Knowledgeable about the legal and political history of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline
  • Familiarity with civic priorities and groups in northern Michigan
  • Strong communication, networking, and interpersonal skills
  • Commitment to environmental protection and public health

Submission Requirements
Please provide information detailing your professional experience and background.

Submission Deadline
All proposals must be submitted by midnight on June 24, 2024.

Contact Information
Please submit your application materials and direct any questions to:
Ashley Rudzinski
Climate & Environment Program Director
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities
(616) 485-8290


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