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Communications Manager

Groundwork is seeking a passionate communications professional to move our program and organizational messages to multiple audiences using all relevant tools – social media, print products, journalism, video and more. The ideal candidate will have a strong understanding of Groundwork’s mission and programs, and a proven ability to manage multiple organizational priorities and large amounts of content, while effectively targeting messages to key audiences.

Groundwork’s Communications Manager will:

  • Work with the program director, development director and staff to develop communications strategies, messages, and tactics to advance multiple projects and organizational activities;
  • Edit content (writing, graphics, video) for accuracy, readability, and message frame;
  • Disseminate program content into appropriate media venues (local, state, and national) to reach target audiences and elevate Groundwork’s profile;
  • Grow Groundwork’s social media presence and engage our audiences to interact with our work;
  • Direct the overall calendar of Groundwork communications tools (website, social media, print and e-newsletter) and other program content to hit necessary deadlines and meet organizational goals;
  • Manage a lean communications budget that includes contracts with outside vendors (designers, video production, photography, website development, etc.) for maximum effectiveness;
  • Provide communications support and training for program staff, including writing, editorial and social media support;
  • Oversee scheduling, design, production and mailing of print materials including fact sheets, event invitations, special reports, and donor mailings, other key organizational materials;
  • Manage press releases and media contacts, as necessary.
Professional Requirements

The candidate must demonstrate:

  • Strong management skills to prioritize multiple projects, budgets, and deadlines;
  • Excellent editorial skills to shape content for appropriate audiences and media;
  • Ability to work effectively with a team of content-producing policy specialists;
  • Knowledge of various media tools, especially social media;
  • Experience shaping public relations strategies and campaigns;
  • And, contract management experience.

A bachelors degree and at least three years experience are required.

Personal Qualifications

Groundwork seeks the following qualities in successful candidates:

  • Strong commitment to Groundwork’s mission and programs, including an appreciation for advancing complex systems change;
  • Strong interpersonal communication and teamwork skills;
  • Self-directed working approach and initiative;
  • Professional and pleasant demeanor;
  • Appreciation for small-town, rural living in a magnificent natural surrounding;
  • And, a sense of humor and positive outlook.
Compensation, Benefits, and Application Procedure

This is a full-time position with a competitive salary range, depending on experience. Full-time employees and their families qualify for Groundwork’s health insurance coverage. They also receive retirement benefits, ample vacation, and schedules flexible enough to enjoy the wondrous forests, clean rivers, and the magnificent Great Lakes shoreline that distinguish our region.

To apply, click on the link below to submit a one-page cover letter, resume and references. Applications will be directed to Program Director Jim Lively. For any questions or correspondence about this job, please email and include “Communications” in the subject line. We are accepting applications until January 31st.

Click here to apply.


About Groundwork

The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, formerly known as the Michigan Land Use Institute, was established in 1995 as a nonprofit organization to protect the environment, strengthen the economy, and build community. The principal office is located in downtown Traverse City with a satellite office in Petoskey. With a staff of 12, we work to build a thriving local farm and food economy; to make our towns and villages more affordable, bike-able, and transit-friendly; and to develop local, clean energy. We seek to achieve on-the-ground results in northwest Michigan and leverage them to support other communities and improvements to state policy. All of this is designed to build resilience in our communities and equity in our opportunities.



Volunteer opportunities are available by clicking here.



The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities offers program related fellowships twice each year: January—June, and July—December. These are based at our main office in Traverse City, Michigan. 

Groundwork Fellows work side-by-side with Groundwork staff on projects, build policy expertise, engage in networking opportunities, and gain valuable professional development skills. Fellows are provided an excellent opportunity to engage in policy advocacy while working for a well-established, community-based nonprofit organization.

Successful applicants will be awarded a competitive stipend in addition to assistance with housing and unique opportunities in our local community. A minimum of 25-35 hours per week is required, with a flexible schedule to allow for outside employment if desired. Depending on the institution, current students may be eligible to earn academic credit.