Founded in 1978, RCAC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy so low-income rural communities can achieve their goals and visions. For more than 40 years, our dedicated staff and active board, motivated by our core values: leadership, collaboration, commitment, quality, and integrity, have helped effect positive change in rural communities across the West.
Community and Environment Department
RCAC’s comprehensive community and environmental services support rural communities to create a vision, set goals and implement an action plan for community development projects. We work with rural water, wastewater, and solid waste systems to make them sustainable. We work with the volunteer boards of directors and staff of the small systems to make sure they comply with state and federal regulations and understand the finances and operations of the systems. Outcomes of RCAC’s work include system regulatory compliance; access of resources for capital improvement projects; and capacity building of boards and staff on technical, financial, and managerial best practices.
The Rural Development Specialist (RDS) provides technical, managerial, and financial (TMF) assistance to small, disadvantaged community water and wastewater systems and Tribal utilities so that they can operate sustainably and deliver quality services to the communities served. The RDS works closely with utility operators, utility managers and community leaders to assist them in the operation and management of drinking water and wastewater systems. The RDS also prepares and delivers classroom, virtual and individual trainings as needed to build the capacity within utility staff.
Specific job goals, objectives and tasks are established for each employee as part of the annual evaluation process. Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Assess utilities’ needs and recommend solutions to identified gaps
- Provide direct assistance and service to utility staff to build technical, managerial, and financial capacity to achieve long term sustainability
- Provide access to federal, state and local financing and grant opportunities to address utility needs
- Promote and facilitate partnerships to maximize limited resources
- Develop, prepare, and deliver group and one-on-one trainings
- Provide excellent customer service
- Prepare activity and outcome reports as required
- Perform other duties as assigned
Skills and Qualifications
- Ability to manage technical aspects of field work related to water and/or wastewater
- Facilitation, mediation and meeting management skills in person and online
- Be community oriented and able to work with rural and Tribal communities with varying cultural beliefs and traditions, and to demonstrate sensitivity and discretion in all aspects of work
- Ability to troubleshoot, innovate, and problem-solve
- Proficiency with personal computers including Microsoft Office Suite
- Ability to complete administrative and reporting requirements related to work responsibilities in a timely manner
- Ability to listen effectively and communicate, verbally and in writing
- Ability to work with minimum supervision and effectively prioritize multiple tasks
- Ability to work independently as well as in team environments
- Experience hosting or presenting trainings using online platforms
Physical Job Requirements:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable persons with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Work performed in an office requires ability to operate computers and various pieces of office equipment, including telephone. Use may be moderate (average two hours per day) to heavy (four or more hours per day)
While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently required to stand and/or sit for prolonged periods of time; walk; talk; hear; use hand to finger; hand; feel or operate objects, tools or controls; and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl.
The employee may occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability and adjust focus.
This position also requires moderate (up to two days per month) to heavy (up to ten days per month automobile and airline travel, including overnight travel.
Preferred Education and Experience:
A combination of experience and education is required to qualify for the position. A typical qualifying combination would be:
Three years of applicable experience in water/wastewater operations, environmental project management, regulatory compliance, or other closely related field (if a higher level of related education is possessed than is required, this education may be substituted for the experience requirement up to a maximum of one year). Experience in training, facilitating and mediating community programs/projects is highly desirable.
High School diploma or equivalent with qualifying experience required.
Bachelor’s degree preferred.
Wastewater or Drink Water operator licenses.