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University of Minnesota
Extension Department of Community Development
St. Paul
Posted: 06/28/2023
Program Director - Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center

Title:                                      Program Director – Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center

Appointment:                    Full-time, Community Relations/Outreach Manager (9341R1), P&A

Program Area:                  Extension Department of Community Development

Office Location:                St. Paul Campus; Hybrid work options may be available

Application Deadline:    July 21, 2023


The University of Minnesota Extension Department of Community Development and the Center for Science, Technology and the Environmental Policy in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota are leading a collaborative program to provide community development and technical assistance to advance environmental and energy justice in the Great Lakes region. The collaborative program engages the Land-grant universities’ extension schools in EPA Region 5 (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio), the Great Plains Institute, the Environmental Protection Network, the Community Engineering Corps, and the Midwest Tribal Energy Resources Association.

The program is funded through a grant from the Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center program (TCTAC) at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The TCTAC led by University of Minnesota will provide technical support to communities as they navigate the federal grant application systems, guidance on community engagement, and assist with efforts to secure funding that addresses legacy pollution and invests in clean energy technologies in EPA Region 5.

 The objectives of the TCTAC are to:

  1. Identify underserved and overburdened communities who could benefit from environmental and energy-related grants and other technical assistance,
  2. Build capacity for communities to engage in environmental and energy decision-making, and
  3. Provide tailored, accessible, culturally appropriate technical assistance that allows communities to secure funding and resources that materially improve their social, economic, and environmental outcomes.

The TCTAC Program Director will oversee the day-to-day operations of the network, coordinate activities across the network, and supervise support staff. The Program Director will be responsible for internal communications, provide fiduciary oversight, ensure compliance with project reporting requirements, and be responsible for liaising with EPA and DOE staff, other project collaborators in EPA Region 5, and the other TCTACs across the country. In consultation with project leadership, the Program Director will establish clear expectations for ethical community engagement that respects community autonomy, agency, and authority and communicate these guidelines to all TCTAC network participants. The Program Director will also oversee outreach and engagement staff across the Region 5 network and assist in the creation of programs and materials designed to increase awareness of TCTAC resources, provide centralized access to technical assistance, recruit new community and technical partners, and ensure consistency and professionalism in all TCTAC-related communications.

The Program Director will serve as an internal and external-facing leader of the TCTAC. Leadership activities include facilitating regular virtual and in-person network meetings; networking with project partners, sub-awardees and community groups to identify and leverage best practices, resources, and expertise from across the network; and hosting conversations among outreach staff, grants administrators, and community coaches to share experiences, lessons learned, and support each other in their specialized roles.

The TCTAC Program Director will join a team of people that are passionate about communities. Our values include authentic engagement, holistic and equitable prosperity, creativity, and innovation, all grounded in research. Our team is a high-impact and high-performance group and a leader in the field of community development. The Program Director will report to the Associate Dean in the Department of Community Development.


Operation and Program Management:  70%

  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the TCTAC network.
  • Coordinate and serve as a member of the TCTAC leadership team.
  • Lead regular network-wide coordination meetings and supervise TCTAC support staff.
  • Manage internal communications, key documents, and ensure quality communication of decisions made by the TCTAC leadership team to all staff and collaborators.
  • In consultation with TCTAC leadership, identify and articulate project objectives and outcomes. Establish clear expectations for ethical community engagement that respects community autonomy, agency, and authority and communicate these guidelines to all TCTAC network participants.
  • Coordinate with national and other regional TCTACs and federal agencies as needed to share resources and best practices.
  • Ensure compliance with project reporting requirements and be responsible for liaising with EPA and DOE staff.
  • Be a “point person” with collaborators and staff as they identify key needs and access TCTAC resources.
  • Coordinate efforts to collect and share information about potential grants and contracts across the TCTAC network.
  • Develop a detailed understanding of state and federal energy and environmental policies and programs and how these programs intersect with articulated needs of communities.
  • Participate as a key member of the TCTAC leadership team in their efforts to effectively manage and monitor and report on the expenditure of project resources. Provide fiduciary oversight. 

Leadership and Supervision:  30%

  • Provide core services and leadership necessary to coordinate activities across the network. These include the design and implementation of a management structure with clearly delineated roles for each partner and mechanisms for collaboration, information sharing, communication, and evaluation.
  • Help direct the work of the grant navigators, education and outreach staff, and communications staff, ensuring alignment between work priorities and the goals of the network.
  • Hire and develop TC TAC employees (Technical Specialist; Outreach Education Coordinator) to include recruiting, onboarding, and performance management.


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 10 years of related experience in the social sciences such as public policy, environmental studies, community development, planning, sociology, or related fields.
  • Five years working experience managing complex multi-party projects in academic or public agency settings.
  • Experience in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience working in diverse settings with diverse populations.
  • Four years supervisory and leadership experience including facilitation.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated experience managing and reporting on projects, budgets, and grants.
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft and Google Suite applications.
  • Experience with project management tools.

Additional Requirements:

  • Valid driver’s license and own means of transportation with required liability insurance.
  • When not in the assigned office location, employees must be reachable with a mobile number at the employee’s own expense. That number will be published in the Extension staff directory.
  • Must have reliable internet if/when working outside of assigned office location.
  • Must be able to travel and have the ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, including occasional evening or weekend work, and overnight stays. Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy.
  • This position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Understanding of key environmental justice and energy justice policy issues.
  • Experience successfully navigating federal grant funding opportunities from areas such as EPA and DOE.
  • Master’s degree in related field
  • Ability to seek out, analyze, and communicate new information, data, and approaches that would be of use to communities and leaders of environmental justice organizations.
  • Demonstrated success in working with individuals, organizations, and communities with a variety of cultural, ethnic, language and/or literacy backgrounds.
  • Mastery and expertise in addressing community development issues in cooperation with governmental entities, higher education, or interest-based organizations and/or foundations.


  1. This is a full-time Professional & Administrative appointment at the level of Community Relations/Outreach Manager (9341R1) and is annually renewable based on performance, funding, and program needs. The position will be located on the St. Paul campus and will primarily serve the six states in EPA Region 5. Hybrid work options may be available.
  2. A full University of Minnesota benefits package is available: https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Applicant-Center/About-Working-U/Benefits-Working-U
  3. Estimated salary range is $80,000 – $99,000. Salary commensurate on qualifications and previous work experience.


University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. Our mission is to make a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota. Extension strives to attract and retain high-quality, passionate employees, and weave diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of Extension’s programming and employee engagement. Find further information at www.extension.umn.edu.


Please apply at: https://extension.umn.edu/home/careers, Job Opening ID: 356299

Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click on the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application for the position.

Please include the following attachments with your online application:

  1. Cover letter expressing your interest in the position and how your strengths and experiences align with the position description and listed qualifications.
  2. Resume/Vitae
  3. Diversity Statement: In 500 words or less, highlight your unique strengths, experiences, perspectives, and values as they relate to equity, diversity and inclusion. Your statement could include the following:
  • Personalized views and experiences
  • Topics through the lens of your own knowledge or experience
  • If you don’t have personal experience on a topic, reflect on why
  • Demonstrated learning and growth

Three professional references and transcripts for all college work (unofficial transcripts are acceptable) will be required during the interview process.

Additional documents may be attached after the application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section. See full instructions, https://hr.umn.edu/Jobs/Applicant-Center/Help-Job-Applications/Using-Job-Application-System.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please email employ@umn.edu or call 612-624-UOHR (8647).

For questions about this position contact:

Stephen Jeanetta, Associate Dean, Department of Community Development, jeanetta@umn.edu.

For questions about applying online, contact:

Tiffany McMillan, Extension Human Resources, tiffmcm@umn.edu.



Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.


The University of Minnesota and Extension recognize and value the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission. The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. To learn more about diversity at the U:  http://diversity.umn.edu.