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Community Engagement Specialist

Marketing and communications
Milwaukee, WI
Riverworks Development Corporation
$36,000 - $42,000
Direct Hire
Bachelor degree required, ideally in education, sociology, social work or business. Equivalent experience might be considered.
Minimum three years’ experience in project/programming management, community development, developing leaders, managing programs and program budgets; supervision experience is ideal.


Riverworks Development Corporation (RDC) is a dynamic and growing nonprofit community economic development corporation focusing its efforts in the Riverworks Center area, Harambee and Riverwest neighborhoods. Riverworks Development Corporation increases community prosperity by promoting strong public, private and community partnerships, pursuing positive development opportunities and offering innovative job creation and workforce development programs that link neighborhood residents with area employers.

Riverworks Development Corporation (RDC) seeks a full-time, empathetic and self-motivated individual to join the Riverworks team to lead our 53212 Marketplace programming efforts in the Harambee North area. Harambee North residents are faced with some of the most urgent issues of our times. This is a unique opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of a predominately African-American, low-income and disinvested community while being part of a movement for resident equity in Harambee North area. We are looking for an experienced program development specialist with project management and community organizing experience; who can support and engage Harambee North residents. This person will be responsible for building the leadership skills of residents in the Harambee North area to build their social influence, improve equitable policies and programs which will improve the well-being of all Harambee North residents.

Reporting to the Director of Operations, the Community Engagement Specialist engages local residents in the Harambee North area in key programs to develop their social, health and economic capacity. The Community Engagement Specialist serves as a valued member of the Resident Equity & Neighborhood Collective Impact Division and has at least two part-time direct reports—the “Harambee North Resident Engager.” S/he will provide leadership development, economic opportunities/resources; and enhance existing programming efforts to support the needs of Harambee North residents. As a result residents will be proactive architects of the future of their neighborhood. The successful candidate will enjoy building relationships with diverse staff, local residents and external key stakeholders.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Coordinate and/or implement leadership, economic opportunity resources/trainings that will strengthen the capacity of Harambee North residents to build social influence for their neighborhood through in-depth skill building, leadership development and mentoring.

2. Build a strategy to implement the logic model and social business canvas model for the 53212 Marketplace programming.

3. Work with other staff members to conduct listening sessions in the community and identify opportunities for Harambee North residents to engage in programming that will improve their lives.

4. Actively represent RDC at different partnership and coalition meetings.

5. Create detailed program plans, outlining deliverables and timelines, facilitating effective teamwork, and providing regular updates to Director of Operations on the progress of programs and organizing efforts.

6. Work in collaboration with the Harambee North Resident Engagers and Resident Equity & Collective Impact Division to support data collection and input in Salesforce, other software platforms as well as support the writing of timely reports.

7. Develop and maintain effective communication links with RDC staff, key stakeholders and residents from the Rivewest and Harambee; prepare and submit relevant reports; and meet outcomes of agreed work plans.

8. Research and identify appropriate partnerships that lead to long term sustainable partnerships within the Harambee and Riverwest neighborhood.

9. Work to identify community leaders who seek involvement in developing neighborhood/community projects; and work co-operatively with residents on community art & culture initiatives and projects.

10. Ensure clear understanding of the partnership responsibilities that will substantiate long term benefits for community.

11. Recruit volunteers and develop initiatives to empower neighborhood residents and community groups by attending community meetings, develop and coordinate recognition activities for volunteers, providing program information.

12. Research innovative models to include partners and residents in meaningful project tasks and responsibilities.

13. Perform other community engagement oriented tasks as assigned by the Director of Operations and Executive Director.


1.Must have a passion for community development work with the ability to demonstrate capacity as an effective community engagement specialist based on experience, education, etc. 2. Commitment to equity, social and economic justice and bottom-up social change. 3. Proven success working in an underserved, multi-cultural environment and ability to build strong working relationships with diverse groups of people. 4. Ability to guide, direct, and support others to advocate for equity and inclusion; and demonstrated the ability to develop and lead teams in diverse settings. 5. Confident and creative thinker with outstanding management and time skills. 6. Demonstrated ability to track program outcomes and other participant data. 7. Must have strong leadership skills and the initiative and competence to manage and lead multiply programs and projects. 8. Must be flexible with ability to switch gears quickly when things do not go as planned, when new opportunities present themselves, etc. 9. Must have excellent communication skills (both written and oral), be effective communicating in front of groups and large crowds, and be able to interact effectively with Riverworks staff and the general public. 10. Must be a critical thinker with the ability to self-educate and learn quickly on the job. 11. Must be computer literate with a basic knowledge of Microsoft Office - in particular Excel, Outlook, and Word. Must be comfortable and competent using the internet, downloading pictures, and formatting documents. 12. Must have car and valid drivers’ license with auto insurance. 13. Must possess a valid Wisconsin Driver’s License, operating vehicle and automobile insurance. 14. Must be willing to work flexible hours, including some evenings and weekend. Preferable, City of Milwaukee resident.