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Economic Development Program Director

Southeastern Vermont Community Action

     The mission of Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA) is to empower and partner with individuals and communities to alleviate the hardships of poverty, to provide opportunities to thrive, and to eliminate root causes of poverty in southeastern Vermont. SEVCA gives people the knowledge, tools, and support to break the cycle of dependence, and works to find solutions to the deep-seated problems of poverty, largely by empowering and collaborating with those whose lives are affected by it daily. SEVCA was created in 1965 as a part of the nationwide ‘War on Poverty’ and chartered as a Community Action Agency (CAA) – a private non-profit corporation, locally initiated and governed, and designated by local, state and federal officials as the ‘anti-poverty agency’ serving Windham and Windsor Counties in Vermont. 

     SEVCA was founded on the belief that poverty is not an inherent condition of anyone’s life, and that with hope, support, adequate resources, and opportunities, everyone can reach their full potential, and be free from the hardships of poverty. Guided by those values, SEVCA has served low-income people in this area for the past 55 years. During that time, the problems facing that population have been diverse, complex, and constantly changing; thus, the agency has developed a broad, multi-faceted approach that reflected the breadth and depth of the problems and enabled it to be flexible enough to adapt to changing needs and conditions. The result is a wide array of programs and initiatives addressing the comparable range of poverty-related needs, in the areas of crisis intervention, affordable housing / homelessness prevention, home energy costs, business startup and support, workforce development, education and skills training, early childhood development, family support, food and nutrition, affordable clothing / household needs, income budgeting / savings, information & referral, and service coordination.

Job Objectives and Job Summary

Client enrollment, screening, service provision & recordkeeping for Micro Business program; overall responsibility for planning, implementation, management, supervision, reporting, monitoring & evaluation of services and operations of the Economic Development Department, including: Micro Business (MB) Startup / Retention / Enhancement support, Ready for Work (RFW) Job Readiness, Financial Fitness (FF), VT Matched Savings (VMS), Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), and any other programs consistent with the purpose / goals of the department and/or agency; and  exploration / implementation of opportunities for Economic Development initiatives.



  1. Bachelor’s degree in business-related field consistent with developing skills and expertise to fulfill job duties, and 3 years of related work experience required, such as business owner / manager, counselor or educator. Demonstrated track record in the field and the generally accepted industry equivalent in years of experience may substitute for the required degree.
  2. Good working knowledge of business management principles and best practices, business planning and financial management required, and familiarity with local, regional and statewide business development resources preferred.
  3. Supervisory or department-level management experience required; both strongly preferred.
  4. Strong oral and written communication skills with diverse individuals and groups.
  5. Strong computer skills, including proficiency in MS Office applications and database management.

Primary Functions

  1. Develop, enhance, and/or maintain systems, policies, and procedures for the effective and efficient provision of services to clients of the programs within the ED Department, in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and contracts, funding source requirements, and SEVCA policies.
  2. Recruit, screen, and enroll clients in the various ED programs, and provide or ensure the provision of appropriate services to meet their needs, including: business counseling, business plan assistance, loan preparation, tax preparation assistance, financial literacy training, asset development, and referrals to other agencies for additional needed services.
  3. As feasible, explore prospects for initiation and/or participation in economic development projects & initiatives that can enhance workforce development and community development opportunities.
  4. Oversee, monitor and evaluate service provision and program operations and ensure that all funding source programmatic, fiscal, and reporting guidelines are followed, including the tracking and maintenance of client databases.
  5. Recruit, hire, train, supervise and evaluate all ED staff in accordance with SEVCA Personnel Policies and Procedures and all applicable laws and regulations.
  6. Develop and monitor department and grant budgets, in conjunction with the Finance Director.
  7. Conduct long range strategic planning for program operations and identify possible sources of funding for continuation or expansion, including participation in joint proposals with the state MB / FF / VMS network.
  8. Prepare appropriate grant applications and oversee development and implementation of related program contracts.
  9. Market ED programs through news media, coordination with other SEVCA programs, presentations to community groups and service organizations, and other marketing methods as needed and feasible.
  10. Develop and maintain effective partnerships and positive relations with the broader community, including related service providers, other non-profits, businesses, state and federal agencies, municipalities, chamber of commerce and other community organizations.
  11. Participate in meetings, retreats, conference calls and other activities of the state Micro Business program network, the Vermont Business Development Network, and other mission-related state and regional associations to enhance the effectiveness of ED programs.
  12. Participate in agency decision-making, training, team-building, and strategic planning as a member of the Program Directors and Leadership Teams.

Other Functions:

  1. Establish and maintain coordination and communication with other SEVCA programs and community service providers, take steps to integrate financial empowerment principles and activities into other services, and disseminate program information to other interested parties.
  2. Support and, where feasible, participate in fundraising activities.
  3. Perform any other duties requested and/or approved by the Executive Director that are consistent with the functions of this position and with the mission, goals, and priorities of SEVCA.
How to Apply:

Send résumé, cover letter, and salary requirements ASAP to Executive Director, or contact him if you have any questions. Applications will be accepted until position filled.

Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.

Job Location:

Westminster, VT (Currently remote from home)

Date Added: January 11, 2021

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