Appalachian Voices is a nonprofit advocacy organization that brings people together to protect the land, air, and water of Central and Southern Appalachia and advance a just transition to a clean energy economy. We currently have over 35 staff members across the region, and offices located in Boone, NC, Charlottesville, VA, and Norton, VA.
Commitment to Equity
Appalachian Voices is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion both in our work and in our organizational structure. We seek applicants who share and exhibit these principles. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.
We understand people gain skills through a variety of professional, personal, educational, and volunteer experiences. We encourage candidates to review the position details and responsibilities listed. If you have the transferable skills necessary to fulfill many of the requirements of this role, we encourage you to apply. We may tailor the role to a talented or passionate candidate.
Appalachian Voices is excited to announce an opening for a Southwest Virginia Solar Coordinator. We are seeking an experienced, motivated, and creative individual to provide essential capacity to the Solar Work Group of Southwest Virginia and the Appalachian Solar Finance Fund to support solar development in coal-impacted Central Appalachian communities, with a specific focus on developing a locally rooted solar industry in Southwest Virginia.
The Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia(SWG) is a group of nonprofit and community action agencies, colleges, state agencies, planning district commissions and other interested citizens and businesses seeking to develop a renewable energy industry cluster in the seven coalfield counties of Southwest Virginia. Founded in 2016, the efforts of the workgroup are focused around four key goals:
- Goal 1: Identify and develop sites that are ideal for solar development, making SWVA a hub for solar energy development.
- Goal 2: Grow workforce development and entrepreneurship opportunities to advance solar projects and maximize local benefits.
- Goal 3: Expand education and outreach in communities and with local leaders around solar benefits and opportunities.
- Goal 4: Promote policy changes that will help grow the solar and energy storage industries in Southwest Virginia.
The Appalachian Solar Finance Fund (SFF) is a regional financial and technical assistance program designed to accelerate solar development and economic growth in coal-impacted communities throughout Central Appalachia. The SFF provides competitive sub-grant awards and technical assistance cost support for solar projects on nonprofit and public buildings and commercial enterprises that serve as anchor institutions in their local communities. The SFF partners closely with regional blended capital platform Invest Appalachia to deploy a flexible suite of credit enhancements and repayable financing products to help leverage large-scale repayable investment into promising solar projects that face financing obstacles related to risk mitigation, cost of capital, or timing of investment. Since its launch in October 2021, the Appalachian Solar Finance Fund has pledged $1.1 Million to support 41 solar projects in five Central Appalachian states. These projects will result in $12.7 Million in private and public investment, 5.8 megawatts of new solar development, $20.6 Million in financial benefit across 38 coal-impacted communities in Central Appalachia, 73 jobs directly supported, and 3,602 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions reduced.
This position will be based out of Appalachian Voices’ Norton, Virginia office. We seek an individual who is located within the Southwest Virginia region. The Southwest Virginia Solar Coordinator position is a full-time staff position for an initial one-year period, with the possibility of extended timeline depending on availability of additional funds. Office space in Norton will be made available, but remote work is acceptable with this position as long as the individual is able to regularly travel to the Norton office and throughout the local region in support of program-related initiatives.
Primary Roles & Responsibilities
The Southwest Virginia Solar Coordinator will carry out the following specific duties/roles:
Appalachian Solar Finance Fund (SFF):
- SFF administrative support: Support the SFF Director in completion of administrative tasks, grant compliance procedures and overall program management. Track and update the status of program applications and related impact metrics; draft contracts and follow up with applicants and awardees; and file supporting documentation to ensure ongoing compliance with contractual procurement guidelines and federal grant management protocols. The Solar Coordinator will have strong support in these responsibilities from the SFF Director.
- SFF project pipeline development and stakeholder outreach/engagement: Assist the SFF Director in stakeholder outreach and engagement to develop the program’s project pipeline by working with partners, solar industry professionals and potential applicants in targeted areas.
- SFF opportunity research: Support the SFF Director and Executive Committee in identification and evaluation of new funding opportunities and potential stakeholder partnerships. Research opportunities and provide summaries and analyses to the project team.
- SFF fundraising and grant management: Play a supporting role in grant management for current federal and private funding sources. Coordinate and bring substantial capacity for ongoing grant writing for the program, with an emphasis on securing additional funding.
Southwest Virginia Solar Program:
- Coordinating with the Solar Workgroup: Provide regular capacity to advancing all 4 goals of the Workgroup listed above. Provide facilitation and coordination capacity to the Workgroup on a weekly basis, playing the key connecting role between the Appalachian Voices team and Workgroup partners. Lead and/or coordinate SWG website updates and newsletters.
- Support development of community-based/climate resilient projects: Serve as a point of first contact for individuals and entities interested in solar development at their home, business or institution. Field general questions and connect interested parties to appropriate resources.
- Support fundraising: Monitor and track solar funding opportunities and add grant writing capacity.
- Stakeholder engagement: Build relationships with solar installation companies and panel manufacturers, support and build new relationships with solar advocacy organizations and other partners with aligned missions regionally and beyond.
Skills & Qualifications
- Strong knowledge base in the solar sector, particularly as it relates to solar development in Appalachia.
- Very strong organizational skills and the ability to track multiple priorities at once.
- Experience or strong aptitude with budgets and accounting.
- Strong writing skills; grant writing experience a plus.
- Experience coordinating and facilitating collaborative efforts, skill in facilitating in-person and virtual engagements.
- Comfort in public speaking and engaging in public facing events and activities, particularly within the context of coal impacted communities in Central Appalachia.
We are seeking to hire immediately for this full-time, term limited staff position, with the possibility of extension with additional funding. This is a non-exempt position and is included in a union-represented collective bargaining unit; specific terms and conditions of employment may be subject to a future Collective Bargaining Agreement. Appalachian Voices offers competitive compensation and benefits that include employer-paid health care, vision, and dental policies with options to include family members at a reduced cost; short- and long-term disability plans; generous paid vacation and parental leave; flexible working hours; and an employer-matched retirement plan.
The total compensation for completing the scope of work will be $55,000-$65,000, commensurate with experience. Eligible travel and project-related materials costs will be reimbursed by Appalachian Voices. Appalachian Voices is committed to equity in pay practices.
How to Apply
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until this position is filled. For early consideration, candidates shall apply by October 31. Using this link, please submit (1) a resume, (2) a brief cover letter that addresses why you are interested in this role and why you would be a good fit for the position, and (3) a list of three references.
Appalachian Voices participates in E-Verify. Federal law requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all persons hired to work in the United States.