Hiring - Technical Assistance Program Administrator

April 16, 2024

The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program seeks an administrator for our new Technical Assistance Program (TAP).

Join the Northeast SARE team and help us launch this exciting new effort!

Northeast SARE is a USDA grant-making program hosted by the University of Vermont (UVM). Northeast SARE currently coordinates six competitive grant programs offered to educators, farmers, graduate students, and scientists in 12 states and Washington DC. See www.northeastsare.org for more information.

The TAP is designed to promote equity in participation and success with our grant programs. The TAP will build on and complement the technical assistance (TA) that staff and state coordinators already provide. Increasing and improving the type and extent of TA we provide to applicants and grantees is a key to the successful implementation of several aspects of our strategic plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ).

This program will initially support applicants and grantees in the new BIPOC Communities Grant Program (BCGP)*. This will be the first program for which expanded TA is available, in late summer 2024. The next phase will be for Farmer Grants and Partnership Grants in 2025, followed by Research and Education (RE), Novel Approaches, Professional Development Program (PDP) Grants. Lessons learned in each phase will be used to improve the program.

Our work is guided by this Outcome Statement: Northeast agricultural communities honor the holistic connection among land, water, air, and all living beings. Agriculture in the Northeast is accessible, sustainable, and just, addressing historic and current inequities so all farmers and farm employees can steward resources to ensure sustainability, resilience, economic viability, and a high quality of life.

Congress has funded the SARE program for 35 years. Northeast SARE’s current annual budget is $10.80 million. The Northeast SARE Administrative Council has initially allocated $3 million for the BCGP.

* Northeast SARE understands BIPOC to align with the USDA definition of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers as those belonging to groups that have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice, including but not limited to farmers who are Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, and Asian or Pacific Islander.

Responsibilities of the Position

The Technical Assistance Program (TAP) Coordinator is responsible for developing and maintaining a network of technical assistant service providers to support potential applicants in their proposals for Northeast SARE Grant Programs. The TAP Coordinator has a specific focus on reducing application barriers of historically underserved or marginalized populations.

The TAP coordinator supports Northeast SARE’s diversity, equity, inclusion and justice values and its strategic plan, including engagement with under-served communities. They collaborate to develop and improve policies and procedures in support of Northeast SARE grant program effectiveness and commitment to the organization’s outcome statement.

The TAP coordinator leads Northeast’ SARE’s outreach efforts in recruiting potential applicants for SARE grant programs and diversifying applicant pools. The position has a specific focus on recruiting and nurturing applicants for the BIPOC Communities Grant Program.

The position works with external partners to develop training for technical assistant service providers and leads the Northeast SARE team on policies and procedures for best practices of converting interested parties into grant applicants; they foster the relationships between technical assistant providers and grantees. The position reports to the Northeast SARE Director.

The successful candidate will work with a team of staff and DEIJ stakeholders to coordinate activities including:

Develop and implement mid-to long-range technical assistance program to serve individuals/organizations applying for SARE funding; oversee and provide leadership when building relationships with potential grant applicants; collaborate with a committee to select and recruit an initial group of TA providers; develop intake process for people seeking one-on-one TA with providers; develop a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for paired applicants and TA providers; create and oversee multimedia promotional and instructional materials, specialized publications, related communications, and documentation for the Technical Assistance Program; provide leadership in creating and implementing initiatives designed to provide integrated opportunities, enrichment, and professional development for technical assistance providers and potential applicants; develop the curriculum and provide training, consultation, and support services to provide orientation and guidance materials to TA providers; provide administrative and project reports about the TAP; develop budget projections, monitor expenditures for the TAP; take a leadership role in providing outreach for NE SARE; develop plan to collect data to evaluate the pilot TA program; document challenges encountered by TA providers and recipients along with recommendations for improvement; and support the Administrative Assistant with contracting and final budget amendments for awardees.

Required Qualifications

Master’s degree and two – four years of experience related to the responsibilities of the position or equivalent related experience. Ability to: help ensure diverse, equitable, and inclusive programs; manage networks and provide rigorous programmatic oversight; communicate clearly with diverse audiences; manage data and produce reports; use independent judgment, manage multiple tasks, meet deadlines, work with a team, and coordinate projects. Proficiency or ability to learn and use grant program software, spreadsheets, word processing. Experience with Microsoft Office is a plus.

Occasional travel required. Ability to work flexible hours which may include evenings and/or weekends especially during peak periods of grant administration activity. A background check is required.

This is a 12-month, 1.0 FTE position, with a robust benefits package. The salary range for this position is $60,000 to $71,000, depending on candidate experience. The position may be housed at any office of UVM Extension where space is available, or it may be a remote position, depending on candidate needs and UVM telework policy.

At Northeast SARE we believe that diversity and inclusion among our staff is critical to our success as an organization, and we seek to recruit, hire, and retain talented applicants from a diverse candidate pool. Research suggests that women and BIPOC individuals may not apply for opportunities if they think they don’t meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage individuals who believe they have the necessary skills to thrive in this position to apply, even if you don’t meet every qualification as described.

The University of Vermont is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Women, veterans, individuals with disabilities and people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Northeast SARE team members are not allowed to apply for or be named in Northeast SARE grant applications. You can find the Northeast SARE current conflict of interest policy here.

Applications must be submitted using the UVM jobs web site, see Posting # S5002PO . The deadline for applications is May 24, 2024, with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2024.

To apply, please submit a cover letter describing your motivation for applying for the position, and your relevant experience and skills, a resume, and contact information for three professional references.

Related Locations: Northeast