Apply to become an Ecolibrium3 Resilience Corps Member!
Ecolibrium3 has twelve VISTA positions open for the 2018-2019 Ecolibrium3 Resilience Corps cohort. If you have successfully completed 1 or more years of AmeriCorps service, you could apply to be our first VISTA Leader. Click on each position title to apply. Applications open through 5-15-18, but may be filled in advance.
In order to address poverty and lack of access to services that affect low-income households, the VISTA member will build capacity and align City of Duluth departments to better serve low-income individuals in the community by aligning policy and procedures, increasing communication, and incorporating comprehensive plan equity provisions into City operations. 1. Align policy & procedures between multiple city departments to maximize effectiveness in serving economically disadvantaged individuals a. Develop a benchmarking framework and best practices for existing policies and procedures in community development & planning to reduce poverty in Duluth 2. Determine implementation steps for aligning practices with the comprehensive plan update and Imagine 2035 a. Analyze existing development services in relation to the Comprehensive Plan update. b. Create an interdepartmental communications and tracking system
The VISTA member will increase and deepen partnerships with organizations and volunteers to reduce energy poverty with the Giving Comfort At Home program- a unique model that works with volunteers to complete weatherization projects for low-income, disabled, elderly, and veteran households. The member will develop a sustainable funding plan for Ecolibrium3 that will continue to advance anti-poverty energy programs, recruit, assist with training, orient, and place volunteers on projects, and develop evaluation tools for assessing the success of the volunteer efforts and incorporate into a volunteer management plan. Join one of Duluth’s most dynamic teams and learn design thinking, project management, program development, and nonprofit administration skills!
The Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation is a member of the 10-state Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency and Emergency Partnership. Through this partnership, the Community Foundation has convened community leaders across multiple sectors with the goal of building capacity to mitigate the impact of, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Focus is particularly on increasing the disaster resilience of community members experiencing poverty, homelessness, mental and physical disabilities, and language barriers. This group of community leaders is forming a network with the goal of increasing disaster resilience. The VISTA will build the capacity of this network and further its goal by strengthening and establishing whole-community systems and partnerships. With the leadership of the VISTA, these systems and partnerships will focus on communicating disaster mitigation and preparedness tools, and building capacity for rapid disaster response and comprehensive recovery. This work will be founded on the VISTA engaging with community partners to analyze gaps that must be addressed to mitigate the impacts of disasters, especially among community members potentially facing the most harm from disasters, such as families experiencing poverty, homelessness, mental and physical disabilities, or language barriers. Utilizing and building upon skills in leadership, community engagement, communications and community assessment, the VISTA will collaborate with members of the network to strengthen the disaster resilience and capacity of individuals, organizations and community. The impacts of this work are potentially life-altering. The VISTA member will be one of 16 Ecolibrium3 Resilience Corps cohort members serving in northeastern Minnesota. Although each member is serving in a unique position, cohort members will also jointly complete one community service project of their cooperative design.
We believe that children need free play time to discover new things about themselves and the world around them. Our exhibits are designed with little instruction to give kids the freedom to find their own solutions. Programs and exhibits provide opportunities for children to try out their passions, to test their own abilities, and to explore new topics. Our spaces are designed to encourage imaginations. Dress up, pretend, invent stories and songs. There are no limits to how you play! As fun as we make learning, we know we are in a serious business. There is an opportunity gap experienced by families with lower incomes that can often result in loss of learning during school breaks, placing these children even further behind. The Duluth Children’s Museum seeks a passionate individual that wants to build upon our amazing resources to find ways in which we can better serve our community. The Duluth Children’s Museum’s Community Learning Advocate is a one year AmeriCorps VISTA position focused on bringing regionally focused culture, arts, and STEM learning to underserved families. The position will build on the museum’s foundation of exhibits, programming, and outreach by securing new partnerships, mobilizing volunteers, and piloting new learning activities.
Ecolibrium3 is a Duluth-based organization that has been nationally recognized for development of innovative approaches to difficult problems. Our use of design-thinking to effectively empower people and create unique partnerships allows us to develop strong community relationships and impactful programs. Working in concert with the Duluth Mayor’s Office, Ecolibrium3 is applying our approach to the new Lincoln Park Innovation Zone. The goal of the Lincoln Park Innovation Zone is to revitalize a neighborhood that has suffered from historical disinvestment. The neighborhood has seen expanded economic interest and has been recently become #CraftingSomethingGreat, as smaller craft-based businesses have relocated or started in the neighborhood. Through the Innovation Zone concept, the VISTA member will work to ensure that revitalization of the neighborhood business district results in expanded opportunities for low-income neighborhood residents. The Innovation Zone Developer will build the capacity of residents and businesses to define ongoing issues and secure partnerships and programs needed to address the challenges. We seek a curious person who measures their success in action, not just conversation. The VISTA will help build partnerships, develop innovation and leadership curriculum, and support neighborhood-led projects resulting from design thinking. We believe that our neighborhood holds the wisdom to reduce poverty, increase health and wellness, build social cohesion, and live vibrant lives. Help us unleash our power!
The Fond du Lac Reservation is located next to Cloquet, MN just 20 miles southwest of the city of Duluth. The Treaty of 1854 between the United States Government and the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa established the Reservation, comprised of 101,400 acres. The government is overseen by the Reservation Business Committee, comprised of five popularly elected officials. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has over 40 programs including, but not limited to, a K-12 School, Head Start and Early Head Start, Human Services and Social Services, Resource Management and Transportation. In addition to full government services, the Band also runs enterprises such as a Gas Station, two Casinos and Propane Company. We are seeking a candidate who is passionate about creative community development. This person should be flexible in the type of work they will be participating in. The work will include building capacity with our Planning Division and partnering divisions to work collaboratively on the creation of an Agricultural Department for the Fond du Lac Band. The member will lead evaluation of food sovereignty efforts and build systems to make our work more powerful. Successful candidates will be comfortable in an office environment working in a shared space with others in a collaborative way. They will have basic computer skills and experience writing reports, papers or grants. They will engage with community members and be self-motivated and able to work independently. The expected work hours are generally Mon-Friday 8:00 – 4:30, but there is flexibility to accommodate needs and there will be some nights and weekends. Ultimately, this experience will offer an opportunity to see multiple perspectives, specifically throughout a Tribal community. This position will explore program development, grant development, volunteer recruitment and organizational and program evaluation.
Western Lake Superior Habitat for Humanity strives to increase lower-income residents’ access to decent, affordable housing. We build new homes in partnership with aspiring homeowners and the community. We also repair and retrofit homes belonging to older adult homeowners. WLSHFH is in a period of growth, with concerted efforts to develop capacity and sustainability. The Capacity Building VISTA will play a key role with staff and volunteers to drive sustainable organizational growth. The VISTA will focus on assessing, developing, and implementing fund development and volunteer data management systems in order to increase volunteer involvement and donor support. The VISTA will also build systems to increase community awareness of and engagement with WLSHFH. Activities include: 1. Assess organizational fund development and volunteer data management systems and needs; 2. Develop tracking system for funding sources, grant proposals, grant reports; 3. Develop annual plan for donor appeals; 4. Assess and restructure donor/volunteer management system and materials to generate needed outputs; 5. Learn and develop elements of grant proposals; 6. Research and author grant proposals and reports; 7. Participate on Development Committee; 8. Develop targeted appeals and communications utilizing written and digital media; 9. Develop and implement volunteer training, communication, and tracking documents; 10. Organize Habitat Campus Chapters; 11. Engage in community outreach and event development; and 12. Assess/Improve organizational communications media (print, social media, electronic and web-based.
The Zeitgeist Center for Arts & Community is an arts and community development organization working to build a healthy, connected community empowered to create and thrive. We bring the arts and culture to all of our programs and projects, as well as a commitment to the natural environment and to building equity in our community. Much of our current work is dedicated to advancing access to fresh and healthy food, expanding equitable multi-modal transportation, and creating cultural and artistic opportunities through the facilitation of the Zeitgeist Arts Building – a community building designed to produce and present performance art and independent film. We are seeking a candidate who is passionate about creative community development. This person should be flexible in the type of work they will be participating in. The work will include building capacity with our Executive Director, as well as work to enhance our ability to tell the full Zeitgeist story through communications and programming in partnership with the Communications & Creative Director. The member will lead evaluation of current community volunteer efforts and build systems to make our work more powerful. Successful candidates will be comfortable in an office environment collaboratively working in a shared space. They will have basic computer skills and some experience writing reports or papers. They will be willing to work with volunteers, make recruitment calls, and interact with community members in a direct way. They will be self-motivated and able to work independently. The expected work hours are generally Mon-Fri during the day, but there is flexibility to accommodate needs and there will be some nights and weekends. Ultimately, this experience will offer an opportunity to see multiple perspectives within a non-profit that does diverse and multifaceted work. This position will explore program development, communications capacity, volunteer recruitment, and organizational & program evaluation.
The Damiano Center of Duluth honors the dignity of all people as we strengthen our community by providing essential services to individuals and families who are in need. The Damiano Center is the largest emergency meal provider in Northeastern Minnesota and has the only free store in Duluth. We also offer children’s programming, a clothing program specifically for people seeking employment, and we provide referrals and other basic assistance to those struggling in our region. The Damiano Center Sustaining Community Coordinator VISTA will increase our ability to serve those in need and help lift them out of poverty by expanding our volunteer programs and improving the efficiency of our multiple programs. The VISTA member will have a unique opportunity to help define future programming that brings urban agriculture, social enterprise, youth training, and urban food growing together. Programs that will be supported by the VISTA member’s capacity building include the Damiano Soup Kitchen, community service referral service, the Kids’ Kitchen (reduces childhood hunger by providing nutritious meals, nutrition education and a fun and nurturing place for kids after school and during the summer), clothing programs, and youth job training. As an Ecolibrium3 Resilience Corps member, you will join 15 others working throughout northeastern Minnesota to reduce poverty and improve the health and wellness experienced by our community members. Although each cohort member will have their own project and placement, the Ecolibrium3 Resilience Corps members will design and implement one joint project during their service year.
Ecolibrium3 is an organization that has been recognized nationally for developing innovative approaches and partnerships to tackle difficult community problems. A major challenge in the northwoods of Minnesota is energy poverty experienced by low-income families. Using design-thinking approaches, the Utility Partnership and Low-Income Program Developer VISTA will create a unique partnership between local utility providers (ComfortSystems, Minnesota Power, delivered fuel providers), governmental agencies, and nonprofit organizations to establish a groundbreaking cross-sector approach to alleviating energy poverty. The VISTA member will strategically engage service providers, develop best practices and evaluation methodologies to target resources, and expand outreach to decrease families facing “heat or eat” situations. The member will have access to energy program data and staff, coordinate community engagement to define opportunities and challenges from the customer’s perspective, and receive design-thinking mentorship from nonprofit and utility conservation program designers. The VISTA member will align utility program and other low-income services to create a seamless experience for economically challenged households, develop outreach strategies to match need with resources, and create integrated pilot approaches that can leverage existing and proposed programs.
Increase and deepen partnerships with organizations and volunteers to improve health and social connectedness among young families. • Develop a sustainable funding plan for LPCFC that will continue to advance child and family-centered programs in health, nutrition, and culture at a neighborhood-level. Key Responsibilities Specific Duties: 1. In conjunction with LPCFC staff, recruit, assist with training, orient, and place volunteers within LPCFC programs. 2. Assist with development of evaluation tools for assessing the success of the volunteer efforts and incorporate into a volunteer management plan. 3. Be familiar with LPCFC’s programs, activities, and priorities and how resources can support them. 4. Work with LPCFC staff to develop, record and institutionalize policies and procedures. 5. Attend staff meetings and other meetings as needed. 6. Participate in training related to volunteer, nonprofit, and grants management as needed. 7. Expand and develop key partnerships to advance LPCFC mission to address health, food access, and anti-poverty issues. 8. Assist in fundraising and development of a 5-year sustainable funding plan. Job Relationships 1. Will work with LPCFC Executive Director to develop skills and set goals for position. 2. Will receive support from other Ecolibrium3 VISTA cohort members serving in the community including training, inservice opportunities, and community programming. 3. Will work with community members, partner organizations, and funders to advance LPCFC anti-poverty mission.
The Ecolibrium3 Resilience Corps began in 2017 with ten members focused on expanding capacity of local organizations and government agencies to address intractable community issues. Member positions range from working with City government on building equity and health into community plans, to working on community development at arts and neighborhood-based organizations, to combating opioids and hunger. In 2018, the Ecolibrium3 Cohort will expand to sixteen members with additional focus on closing the opportunity gap experienced by children in poverty, expanding partnerships with the Fond du Lac Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa, and defining the Lincoln Park Innovation Zone. As an innovative program, the Ecolibrium3 Resilience Corps uses its depth of community knowledge to identify which levers may produce the largest impact on reducing poverty. We seek a VISTA Leader that can help develop the support resources needed for VISTA members to succeed in their positions. The VISTA Leader should have excellent communication skills, be flexible, be able to empathize with members and community representatives to identify issues and possible solutions, and be a strong ambassador for AmeriCorps. In addition, to the activities each Ecolibrium3 cohort member will do as part of their positions, one joint cohort activity will be designed and implemented by the members. The VISTA Leader will serve as project manager for the collaborative project.
Click on the AmeriCorps logo below to learn more about the AmeriCorps Legacy Building, an ongoing Resilience Corps project
Meet Our 2017-2018 Members!
Emilie Voight- City of Duluth Planning Technician
Emilie Voight is a Minnesotan who doesn’t talk like a Minnesotan. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature and French from Williams College (Massachusetts) and a Master of Arts in Geography from Queen Mary, University of London (England, U.K.). Emilie has professional experience in publishing, education, and event management, and most recently spent three years working for an international nonprofit organization based in Paris, France. As Planning Technician with the City of Duluth, her focus is on Imagine Duluth 2035, the City’s comprehensive plan update, and working to ensure that principles of health and fairness are reflected in the plan’s policies and strategies. When she’s not busy serving as a VISTA, Emilie likes running, trying exciting new sandwiches, and enjoying the beauty of Lake Superior.
Zoe Respondek- Comfort Systems Energy Conservation Technician
Zoe Respondek is an Energy Conservation Technician with the Ecolibrium3 Resiliency Corp. She recently completed her Masters of Science in Energy and Society from Durham University in England. This course of study taught Zoe how to take an interdisciplinary approach to looking at today’s energy issues and motivated her to accept the AmeriCorps VISTA position in Duluth. Previously, she studied biology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she also competed on the university’s NCAA DI water polo team. Zoe’s professional interests include renewable energy, conservation, sustainability, and the environment. She also enjoys swimming, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. Zoe’s VISTA project focuses on the development of a low income energy conservation program through a collaboration with Comfort Systems, the public natural gas utility for the City of Duluth. Their goal is to facilitate the energy efficiency process and make it more affordable for households to save energy, reduce costly utility bills, and increase the overall comfort of homes in the Duluth area.
Mark Harris- Ecolibrium3 Giving Comfort At Home Energy Specialist
Mark graduated this past May with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota – Duluth’s Swenson College of Science and Engineering. At UMD a class in sustainable engineering sparked his interest in working with communities to improve energy efficiency at home. This lead him to the apply for the Ecolibrium3 Resilience Corps, commit to a 5th year living in Duluth. Originally from Silver Bay, one-hour North of Duluth, Mark grew up with a great appreciation for the natural world around him. Since moving to Duluth his love of the lakes and rivers in the area has grown exponentially through his passion for surfing and whitewater kayaking.
Yodit Gidley- Lincoln Park Children and Families Outreach Coordinator
Yodi is an Americorp Vista at Lincoln Park Children and Family Collaborative (LPCFC). LPCFC is a nonprofit organization that is committed to strengthen the Lincoln Park community by connecting families who care about young children. As a Vista, Yodi will be working on capacity building at LPCFC by applying for grants, fundraising, recruiting volunteers and etc. Yodi has a Master of Arts degree in Public Health. Yodi is also a qualified health coach and holds Health Promotion certification.
Zach Shears- Lincoln Park Leadership Development Coordinator
Zach recently graduated from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota – Duluth with his B.A. in Urban and Regional Studies. He came to Duluth by way of the tiny town of Cotton, MN. He currently resides in Central Hillside with his fiancée, Alexandria, and their Boston Terrier, Mack. Zach’s favorite thing about Duluth is the week of Homegrown Music Festival in April/May; during Homegrown 2017 he performed with the rock band Paper Parlor as well as reading some of his work at the Homegrown Poetry Showcase. Most of his free time that doesn’t involve creating or appreciating some sort of art is spent appreciating the natural world, especially the slices of it that lie along the Superior Hiking Trail. He finds Duluth to be a place of unparalleled synergy and play between wilderness and the built environment. As an AmeriCorps VISTA, Zach will be working to build capacity for leadership among the residents of Lincoln Park, and to identify possible neighborhood improvement projects. His work will enable these resident leaders to develop skills in project management, volunteer organization, government interaction, and more so that they can strengthen their communities going forward.
Madilyne Wegener- Zeitgeist Center for Arts and Community
Emily Herne- Lincoln Park Food Systems Development Coordinator
Emily is working with Ecolibrium3 as the Lincoln Park Food Systems Development Coordinator. She has a degree in Applied Sociology from St. Cloud State University. Throughout college she worked in areas of community organizing and development with the Greater Minnesota Worker Center and Hands Across the World, an ESL center for immigrants and refugees. Emily committed herself to collaborating with organizations, government, faith based groups, and other stakeholders to identify problems in the community and develop solutions that benefit all. Emily moved from the Chicago suburbs to Minnesota where she enjoys the boundless communities involved with art, music, and nature. Coming from a family that is invested in gardening, she is excited to work on capacity building for the households in Lincoln Park to create healthy futures.
Julia Hogan- Opioid Rapid Response and Sharps Program Coordinator
Julia is the Opioid Rapid Response and Sharps Program Coordinator here in Duluth. She recently graduated with a B.A. degree in Geography and Urban and Regional Studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Julia is originally from the Twin Cities area, but has lived in Duluth the past 3 years and has loved every minute of it. As an AmeriCorps VISTA Julia will be helping build capacity of the City of Duluth and the Duluth Police Department to respond to community issues resulting from increased heroin and opioid addiction. In her spare time Julia enjoys hiking around Duluth, playing volleyball, and finding new and interesting maps to add to her large collection.