Community Engagement Coordinator

January 24, 2023 12:56 PM | Dina Storz (Administrator)

The Oregon Water Resources Department (WRD) seeks to hire two full-time, permanent Community Engagement Coordinators (Natural Resource Specialist 4, with an NRS 3 underfill option). As a Community Engagement Coordinator, you will empower and partner with the public and communities to understand their water situation and pursue solutions to meet the water needs of Oregon’s communities, environment, and economy. You will serve as an agency expert on public participation working with other WRD communications and engagement staff to improve community understanding of local water challenges and decisions and increase community voice in water management decisions. You will be a liaison between WRD and those who live, work, or have an interest in a place on water budget development, groundwater basin studies, development and implementation of place-based integrated water resources plans, or other agency-led initiatives as assigned. Your work will primarily focus on the North Central or Southwest Region of Oregon.  You will be a member of the Planning, Collaboration, and Investments Section within the Director’s Office, reporting to the Manager of that section. Consider joining our team and advancing our mission to practice and promote responsible water management in Oregon! Learn more about the Department

What you will do 

Public engagement is critical to WRD fulfilling its mission and ensuring the public plays a meaningful role in the pursuit of a secure water future. As an agency expert in public engagement, you will: 

  • Develop and coordinate public engagement plans, outreach, and strategies for increased engagement in and understanding of high priority agency projects such as water budgets and groundwater studies. 
  • Implement strategies to engage all communities, especially underserved and marginalized people, impacted by water management decisions using a variety of tools and methods including workshops, public meetings, market research, public information and advertising campaigns, visuals, and more. 
  • Coordinate and facilitate stakeholder, work group, and public meetings, formulating agendas, public meeting notices, meeting materials, and approach for engagement. 
  • Effectively communicate science, law, and policy to the public, working with technical and communication staff to translate technical efforts or findings into materials accessible and understandable by a general audience. 
  • Work with basins to identify how they want to use water budgets, groundwater study results, and other data in preparing for their water future. 
  • Support development of locally-led integrated water resources plans and implementation of state-recognized plans if present in the geographic area of responsibility. 

What’s in it for you? 

The opportunity to:  

  • Help members of the public, tribes, and stakeholders engage in Department activities and projects including groundwater basin studies, data and technical initiatives, and water management efforts so that they are empowered to speak into and help shape their water future. 
  • Support a sustainable water future for Oregon’s economy, environment, and communities.  
  • Join an organization with smart, driven co-workers who care about public service, water resources, and their co-workers. 
  • Work with a team that welcomes new ideas. 

Natural Resource Specialist 4 Salary – The State of Oregon conducts a pay equity analysis to determine what pay step within the salary range to offer the successful candidate based on the experience documented in your application. See below for salary ranges. 


NON-PERS eligible

(this includes most new hires to state government. Employees typically gain PERS eligibility after six months of state service)

PERS eligible

(this is typically current or former employees of Oregon state or local government, public schools, universities, etc. 6% is deducted for PERS) 

Natural Resource Specialist 4

$5,396 - $8,292 monthly 

$5,771 - $8,870 monthly 

Underfill Natural Resource Specialist 3

$4,693 - $7,180 monthly

$5,019 - $7,678 monthly


Other Benefits – We offer a competitive benefits package that includes: 

  • Exceptional medical, vision and dental plans with employees paying 1-5% of the total premium. 
  • Leave accrual starting at 8 hours of sick and 8 hours of vacation leave per month, with your vacation leave accruals increasing every 5 years. 
  • Access to and additional four days of discretionary leave - 3 days of personal business leave and one day of Governor’s Leave to use at your discretion each year. 
  • Eleven paid holidays per year. 
  • Membership in the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), including a pension and employer contributions to the Individual Account Program. 
  • Optional benefits (such as term life insurance, long-term and short-term disability, long-term care, health and dependent care flexible spending accounts, enrollment in the Oregon Savings Growth Plan, a deferred compensation program with a wide variety of investment options). 
  • Represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 
  • The opportunity to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program  (must qualify). 

What we are looking for?  

We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may not meet every one of our listed qualifications. Lived experience may count towards the preferred qualifications listed below. If you are excited about this position, we encourage you to apply. If you are unsure as to whether or not you meet the qualifications of this position, please contact the hiring manager to discuss your application.  

See the full job posting for the minimum qualifications for the NRS 4 and NRS 3 levels of Oregon state government employment.  In addition to these minimum qualifications, we are looking for the following:

  • Expertise in public engagement – You have experience developing and executing project-based community engagement strategies as well as creating content for materials for community engagement and public involvement. 
  • Experience coordinating workgroups - You are a formally trained and experienced facilitator , able to facilitate work groups made up of diverse interests tackling natural resource issues. 
  • Effective communication – You must be able to listen to and communicate with various parties on contentious issues, maintaining solid relationships. You are able to communicate technical topics in plain language to a wide variety of audiences, including scientists, policy makers, stakeholders, and the public, including historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. 
  • Equity and environmental justice – You are informed and engaged with issues of equity and environmental justice and seek to continue to learn and grow in these areas. You are experienced in creating safe spaces and meaningful engagement opportunities for those who have been historically underrepresented, harmed, or disproportionately affected by natural resource management decisions. 
  • Critical thinking skills – You have the ability to identify connections and generate ideas for navigating complex problems. 
  • Excellent organization skills and detail-oriented – You can keep track of project progress, timelines, deadlines, and deliverables, while also coordinating with project partners. 

Where will you work? 

Our priority is to hire a Community Engagement Coordinator to serve the North Central Region. We may also fill a position that focuses its service on the Southwest Region of Oregon.   The final candidates can choose between duty stations: 

  • North Central Region focused position – One position will focus on serving in the North Central Region of Oregon and can be based in Salem or Pendleton, Oregon.  
  • Southwest Region focused position - One position will focus on serving in the Southwest Region of Oregon and can be based in Salem or Medford, Oregon.  

What are the working conditions?  

This position may work remotely and/or in an office environment. The position can work remotely on a schedule agreed upon by the manager and employee. Overnight travel will be required within the region to attend meetings, develop relationships, learn about the basin geography and water issues, etc. Overnight travel will be more frequent if you are based in Salem. This position requires a valid driver license and an acceptable driving record. 

How to apply:  

  • Provide a brief (no more than 1 page) cover letter, to the attention of Kim Fritz-Ogren, indicating why you are interested in, and a good candidate for the position. 
  • Provide a resume (no more than 4 pages) indicating your experience pertinent to the required qualifications and desired attributes in this announcement. 

Follow this link to learn more and apply.

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