MidTown Cleveland is Hiring an AmeriCorps VISTA!

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Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until April 30th, 2021, or until filled. Please apply on the AmeriCorps Website (https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=86491) or submit a resume & cover letter by email to rbarga@midtowncleveland.org with VISTA in the subject line. The full listing and more information about the AmeriCorps program can be found at https://midtowncleveland.org/wp-content/uploads/MTC-AmeriCorps-VISTA-job-description_FINAL.pdf

MidTown Cleveland, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) economic and community development corporation that serves a two-square-mile on Cleveland’s east side. Supported by area businesses, institutions, and individual stakeholders, MidTown Cleveland, Inc., leverages our diverse assets to develop a dynamic neighborhood that unites the city’s downtown and innovation districts.

Overview: MidTown Cleveland, Inc. is seeking a motivated, resourceful, and strategic AmeriCorps*VISTA member to join our team for 2021-2022. The MidTown VISTA will help develop a strategy to address food insecurity and community wellness in a fast-growing neighborhood impacted by structural racism and generational poverty, defining and measuring community health metrics, and creating and implementing sustainable program initiatives. Health outcomes are a major community priority, particularly around food, healthy eating, healthy places, and personal wellbeing.

The VISTA will work with institutional partners like University Hospitals (UH) Rainbow Center for Women and Children, local grocer Dave’s Supermarket, and a collaborative of local nonprofits to leverage a critical asset – our new community teaching kitchen – to increase access to fresh and healthy foods and think creatively about ways to measure and improve community wellness. The VISTA will drive awareness of community food & nutrition-related challenges and help coordinate targeted education classes, including healthy cooking courses, food identification, food as medicine, and disease prevention.

The VISTA will create a Community Wellness dashboard based on these strategic health and wellness concerns, working with residents, community health professionals and partners, business owners and employees to define the critical community health metrics for our community, developing a strategy and organizing plan, and implementing a series of innovative pilot programs to address existing community health issues. Initial intervention work will focus on convening partners and growing programming at a community teaching kitchen within the new Dave’s Supermarket to expand residents’ capacity to shop, cook, and eat healthily.

About the AmeriCorps*VISTA program: VISTA members are passionate and committed to their mission to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Members make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. They focus their efforts to build the organizational, administrative, and financial capacity of organizations that fight illiteracy, improve health services, foster economic development, and otherwise assist low-income communities. The program is administered by the Ohio CDC Association (OCDCA), a statewide membership organization of Community Development Corporations (CDCs).

PRIMARILY INTERFACES WITH MidTown Cleveland, Inc. staff, community members and residents, companies in various sectors, nonprofit and workforce organizations, public servants and agencies, community development professionals. Reports to MidTown’s Vice President of Economic Development.

Job responsibilities. The candidate must have the skills and experience to perform the following duties:

●     Create and market a robust schedule of culinary education programs to educate and inspire residents on healthy shopping, cooking, and eating behaviors for measurable health outcomes

●     Attract a farmer’s market to the neighborhood which accepts WIC / SNAP benefits

●     Work with different local grocers to promote a buy local/buy fresh strategy 

●     Create a strategy for a MidTown Community Wellness program through research and program development, grounded in local and national best practices around wellness

●     Work with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital to create a regularly updated Wellness dashboard to track health metrics in the community.

●     Conduct and inventory industrial property and vacant land, track ownership changes, forfeitures, and tax delinquencies, identify opportunities for community gardens, and partner with community members to bring a garden to reality.

●     Conduct lighting surveys and provide monthly updates to providers on outages and brownouts

●     Identify upcoming opportunities to promote and partner with Cleveland’s Lead Safe Coalition to engage the residential community and building owners.

●     Attend, staff, and organize neighborhood block clubs singularly around healthy food, community health, and lighting issues

PROGRAM START: The MidTown VISTA will begin work on June 19, 2021. The AmeriCorps*VISTA program duration is for one year from the start date.

QUALIFICATIONS

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor degree in sociology, social work, communications, urban planning and development, economics or related field or equivalent work experience
  • Prior leadership or volunteer experience
  • 1-2 years work experience preferred

Personal Characteristics

  • Passionate, strategic, and interpersonal leader
  • Self-starter, resourceful, learner, networker, and accountable for results
  • Excellent time management and ability to manage and execute a project
  • Creative approaches toward problem-solving
  • Works independently and in a team environment
  • Understands the connection between economic and community development with an equity lens

OTHER: This is a full-time position requiring at least 37.5 hours of work. Must have reliable transportation. Must be comfortable working in various settings, including industrial businesses, residential communities, and diverse groups of people.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: In accordance with the VISTA program and benefits description on pages three and four of this job description. MidTown Cleveland, Inc. will provide a $300/mo housing subsidy in addition to the compensation outlined by the program and benefits description.