The Special Projects Officer is two-year position within the Partners for Education leadership team and reports directly to the Executive Director. The position will lead a multi-partner collaborative planning project focused on accelerating outcomes within eight counties in southeastern Kentucky. This position will provide strategic vision for the project and serve as the project manager ensuring that Partners for Education and key partners are aligned and on track to meet all milestones for the two-year planning period. This position is responsible for cultivating and maintaining partnerships throughout Appalachia necessary for project success, aligning funding opportunities to Partners for Education’s mission, building capacity of partner organizations and shaping a rural agenda that ensures all Appalachian students succeed. The Officer operates with the Partners for Education goal in mind that all Appalachian students succeed.
Minimum Qualifications Required:
Education required to ensure success in this position: • A Master’s Degree with at least 10 years of senior level experience.
Experience required to ensure success in this position: • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills; Ability to cater language and tone to diverse audiences. • Highly proficient writing and editing skills. • Ability to build relationships and work collaboratively with partner organization (governmental, business, non-profit) in Appalachian Kentucky. • Experience in communicating and engaging in a highly complex environment. • Demonstrated experience in developing partnerships in rural areas that result in action • Demonstrated project management experience with entrepreneurial experience preferred. • Demonstrated success in a complex, fast-paced, high-performing organization, with the ability to prioritize projects and work cross-functionally. • Demonstrated ability to cross boundaries of race, class, ethnic origin and personal philosophy. Capacity to work effectively with a broad range of constituencies.
Special skills, knowledge and abilities: • Self-motivated and have good attention to detail. • Experience researching and analyzing public policy preferred. • Strong interpersonal skills. • Experience creating project management plans and timelines. • Knowledge of continuous improvement frameworks.
License, certification, or registration necessary: • Valid driver’s license • Background check, including social media check
Physical requirements: • Ability to work in a high energy office • Ability to accurately communicate and exchange information with partners, stakeholders or meeting participants • Ability to occasionally lift up to 30 pounds • Able to travel independently by car and plane regionally or nationally
Environmental conditions: • Work at a Partners for Education office within Appalachian Kentucky with regular travel throughout the Appalachian region. • Work primarily in a fast-paced office setting with frequent interruptions and moderate to high levels of activity
Ability to operate the following vehicles or equipment: • Standard office equipment – computer, telephone, fax machine • Motor vehicle
Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Regular and predictable attendance is essential. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Serve as project manager for a multi-partner collaborative, planning effort for eight southeastern Kentucky counties. • Facilitate partner and stakeholder sessions; • Develop project timeline with milestones and responsible partiers; • Collaborate with partners to ensure project management plan remains effective and that milestones are met in a timely manner; • Ensure aligned communications among partners, stakeholders and residents. • Prepare regular reports to share with stakeholders, funders and partners.
Lead the development and implementation of a communications plan for the multi-county planning effort. • Collaborate with partner organizations to develop a communication plan for the effort that includes protocols and milestones for success. • Serve as the lead in ensuring alignment in communications efforts among the multiple parties.
Accelerate efforts to ensure the success of the multi-county planning effort and to sustain the effort past planning • Assist the Executive Director and partner organizations by researching and analyzing trends in rural education funding. • Lead the development of communications materials to communicate the planning process and its outcomes to multiple stakeholders including policy makers and funding organizations. • Assist the collaborative in developing a shared resource development agenda to support implementation of the multiple plans. Research and recommend funding opportunities or partnerships that will advance the goals of the collaborative and of Partners for Education. • Work with partners to design and develop funding proposals to secure funding to support the results of the collaborative and of Partners for Education.
Facilitate the development and implementation of a resident engagement plan for the multi-county planning effort. • Collaborate with partner organizations to develop a plan for engaging resident and youth voice in all planning efforts. • Serve as the lead in ensuring alignment in communications efforts among the multiple parties.
Build capacity of partner organizations to execute pilots to support the developing plans • Support the partner organizations in the launch of pilot projects to support the planning process and work closely with leadership to document the pilots and ensure the lessons learned in the pilots inform the planning process. • Oversee an array of capacity-building efforts, in support of Partners for Education’s strategic plan to influence systems and effect large-scale community change on behalf of Appalachian children.
Serve as a thought-partner to the Partners for Education Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy and Finance Officer. • Provide input on long-term goals and objectives for the collaborative effort and for Partners for Education’s contributions of the effort. • Provide recommendations to support relationships with investors and funders to include strategy development, communications and forecasting for long-term sustainability. • Identify areas of potential alignment between the services provided by Partners for Education and the collaborative project.
Other roles/duties will be assigned as necessary to assist the College in the attainment of the goals set forth and the enhancement of a positive, respectful learning environment for all staff, faculty and students.
About Berea College
Berea College achieved national distinction as the first coeducational and interracial college in the South. With an emphasis on service to the people of Appalachia and beyond, Berea enrolls 1,600 students from 40 states and 70 countries. The College has a longstanding commitment to interracial education; here, people of different races seek to learn from and about each other, while also living together. Berea is among the most racially diverse private liberal arts colleges in the United States. It admits only students whose families are unable to afford the high cost of tuition and awards each of them a Tuition Promise Scholarship, meaning no student ever pays tuition. Berea’s students excel in the College’s supportive but demanding academic environment, and many are the first in their families to graduate from college. The College is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, and all students hold a position in which they work 10-12 hours per week. Washington Monthly Magazine has consistently ranked Berea in the top 3 of Liberal Arts Colleges for its success in educating and graduating academically talented, low-income students who become service-oriented leaders in their professions and communities; in 2016 and 2017, the magazine ranked it number 1.