Since 1991 Unlimited Future has been providing training and technical assistance to nascent entrepreneurs – especially minority and low-resource entrepreneurs moving out of poverty. Unlimited Future collaborates with public and private partners to create and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The organization engages with the City of Huntington and other regional and local economic development initiatives to find new and innovative ways to support the revitalization of blighted areas in the city.
On a regional level, Unlimited Future participates in the work of the Central Appalachian Network to help build local food economies to scale and participate in peer learning opportunities. Unlimited Future was also an anchor in the Central Appalachian Food Enterprise Corridor Project; a multi-state network looking to expand access to wholesale markets and increase distribution of local food to small retail outlets across the region.
Recently, “Building Appalachia from the Ground Up” a project of Coalfield Development Corporation and Unlimited Future was chosen to receive a grant from the Communities Thrive Challenge of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Rockafeller Foundation. The grant will support the continued work of both organizations with an aim to bringing people out of poverty. Unlimited Future and Coalfield will work together to provide life-skills training and/or referrals to crew members, people in recovery, pipeline clients, and others as needed.
At the same time, Unlimited Future and Coalfield will work together to support the creation and support of social enterprises, especially in the solar, local food, sustainable construction, arts and culture, hospitality, and conservation sectors. At a minimum, these enterprises will give people earning opportunities, but in the case of worker-owned cooperatives, also provide opportunities for personal wealth-building.
As a Community Program Coordinator at Unlimited Future a typical day might include the following:
- Work with multiple partners, communities, and clients to conduct market analysis and formulate plans for social enterprise development that will meet identified needs
- Work with a project team to develop business plans as needed for these social enterprises
- Provide technical assistance and coaching to developing and existing social enterprises to ensure sustainability and profitability – including worker-owned cooperatives and B Corps
- Track client outcomes, analyze the impact of these outcomes and recommend program changes as needed. Report these findings and actions for change
- Manage project budget, track expenditures and develop financial reports
- Stay abreast of what is new and innovative in the social enterprise field; especially worker-owned enterprises
- Present ideas for new enterprises and ownership models for consideration.
- Your home base will be in Huntington, but you will find yourself traveling to communities in Southern WV and the Tri-State of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.
- Familiarize yourself with the history of Unlimited Future, Coalfield, The Central Appalachian Network, and other partner agencies in order to gain understanding and perspective
- Attend conferences and peer learning opportunities as scheduled. Participate in webinars and phone conference meetings as required
- Familiarize yourself with the other nine Communities Thrive projects and other innovative programs to learn what is working in other places. Present relevant findings to Unlimited Future staff and partners
- Serve on the Coalfield/Unlimited Future Leadership Committee as a representative of Unlimited Future and attend meetings and gatherings as required
This job might be a good fit for you if:
- You are comfortable working in a team environment where management is more collaborative and consensus-based than top-down; eager to contribute to the big picture.
- You are comfortable in an environment with some ambiguity; willing to trust your own judgment and move ahead without clear direction.
- You are energized by making connections and building networks; in fact, the connections and the work are more important than your own ego.
- You are passionate about improving Central Appalachia and its people; you want to see our communities thrive.
- You understand the importance of tracking outcomes, reporting those outcomes and consistently communicating with your teammates, partners and granting agencies.
- You communicate clearly. You write well. You have better than average computer skills including cloud-based applications, Excel and QuickBooks.
To land this gig, you need to have experience in:
- Community Development – grassroots style organizing and leadership
- Project Management – coordinating a large project with many moving pieces and partners
- Business Start-up or Management – business plan development, profit, and loss responsibility
- Adult Education/Training – curriculum development, training presentations
- Business/Professional Writing – reports, correspondence, marketing pieces, press releases
- Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, Cloud-Based applications, project management software