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Careers at Groundwork

Careers at Groundwork are life-changing opportunities to create a better Michigan. We improve people's lives by creating and implementing local-based solutions that improve the environment, economy, and community. Become a part of creating bright, optimistic tomorrows in our challenging and rewarding work environment.
(Above photo by Scot Laing.)

career opportunities

Groundwork is currently hiring a Digital Engagement Manager, a Development Specialist, and a Program Associate. Scroll for details below.

program associate

The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities is seeking a master multi-tasker with excellent communication skills and a keen eye for detail. The Program Associate will assist our program staff in developing systems and processes to enhance accountability with a wide variety of tasks related to internal and external communication, grant writing and reporting, professional development, and more. Duties of the Program Associate include co-developing systems that ensure the efficient and smooth day-to-day operation of our programs team, and assisting in daily administrative tasks. 

The ideal candidate will possess the following: a strong passion for community resilience; interest in and/or experience with non-profit advocacy work within food, transportation, and/or environmental systems; an exceptional attention to detail; enthusiasm for developing systems and processes; and a team-player attitude, with a genuine desire to meet the needs of others. 

This position is full time, year round, and will report to the Director of Programs.

The Program Associate will be responsible for, but not limited to, the following:

  • Preparing agendas, setting up for meetings, generating program reports as needed; 
  • Transcribing notes from team meetings and creating monthly program reports, including occasional entries into our donor database management system;
  • Providing real-time scheduling support by booking appointments and preventing scheduling conflicts;
  • Developing and maintaining a detailed digital filing system for all program materials (reports, grants, articles, photos, videos, etc);
  • Researching program and project funding opportunities, including applicable grants and assisting in grant-writing and copy-editing as needed; 
  • Creating templates and preparing draft presentations reflecting Groundwork’s broad array of program work;
  • Supporting program-related events (visit our events page for recent examples), including tabling at outreach events and conferences, both virtual and in-person as needed;
  • Compiling and summarizing relevant news articles related to program and project priorities to share with program staff;
  • Occasionally making travel arrangements, such as booking flights, cars, and lodging reservations;
  • Maintaining polite and professional communication via phone, e-mail, and mail;
  • Anticipating the needs of others and accomplishing related tasks in order to ensure a seamless and positive experience for the entire team.

Professional Requirements

Candidates for this position must demonstrate:

  • Demonstrated standard of excellence with attention to detail and accuracy;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to multitask;
  • Excellent time management skills and the ability to prioritize work;
  • Proven experience as an Administrative Assistant, Virtual Assistant or Office Admin Assistant;
  • Proficiency in Google Workspace, Microsoft Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word), Zoom, Slack; Adobe Creative suite (Acrobat, inDesign, Illustrator) a plus;
  • A proven ability to work independently and be self directed while collaborating well with others in a team setting;
  • And, a desire to be proactive, problem solve, and create a positive experience for others.

Personal Qualifications

Among the qualities we seek in successful candidates are a:

  • Strong commitment to Groundwork’s mission and programs;
  • Passion for building livable communities, propelling clean energy, and expanding the local food economy; 
  • Growing understanding of and enthusiasm for resiliency principles;
  • Proven ability to organize priorities, with keen attention to detail and deadlines;
  • Self-directed working approach and ability to take initiative;
  • Professional and pleasant demeanor;
  • And, a sense of humor and positive outlook.

At Groundwork, the candidate will join a driven team of individuals who are advancing policy solutions and projects that are pragmatic, practical, caring and visionary. We strive to create a positive, collaborative, healthy, and inspired working environment that gives the staff the support and opportunities for growth to become leaders in their field.

We are optimistic about Michigan’s future and believe in a thriving local farm and food economy; stronger, more walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly towns and villages; cleaner sources of energy, and climate solutions that support a more equitable world for all. The researchers, writers, advocates, system-changemakers and coalition-builders that make up the Groundwork staff are passionately committed to realizing this vision.

Compensation, Benefits, and Application Procedure

This is a full-time position with flexible hours, generous vacation and health benefits, retirement contribution matching, and a competitive salary range. This is an associate-level position, with a starting salary range of $42,000-$46,000. The position will ideally be based in the Traverse City, Michigan, area, though exceptional candidates seeking remote work will be considered. 

Please send a one-page cover letter, résumé and at least two references to [email protected], with the subject line: Program Associate. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; the final deadline for submitting an application is 5pm Eastern on Friday, September 24, 2021. 

Groundwork is committed to creating a diverse workplace and seeks a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds. People of color, persons with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply. Groundwork is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions. Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation at any point in the employment process.

*The safety and wellbeing of our staff, contractors, and communities is our top priority. Therefore, in-person responsibilities of this position have been paused and replaced with remote communications in response to Covid-19. These responsibilities will resume with at least some in-person meeting attendance required by June of 2022.


auditing services

The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities (Groundwork) is seeking the services of a certified public accounting firm to meet our annual auditing needs and invites qualified firms to submit a written proposal.

Groundwork is a nonprofit 501c3 organization advancing local food, clean energy and transportation policy and programs in northwest lower Michigan and throughout the state.  It was founded in 1995 and is governed by a Board of Directors with 21 employees on staff within two offices, one in Traverse City, MI, and the other in Petoskey, MI. 

The organization generates $2.4 million in annual revenue and receives funding through private foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donations.

Groundwork is seeking the services of an accounting firm that will provide:

  1. An annual audit of financial statements;
  2. The preparation of our IRS Form 990;
  3. The filing of a Charitable Organization License for the Michigan Attorney General;
  4. A letter to management regarding internal controls and the financial statements;
  5. And, a presentation of audit results to the Board of Director’s Finance Committee.

The staff requests that the above be completed in order for our Board of Directors to review the draft documents prior to its submission to the appropriate agencies. Our fiscal year ends on September 30.

Groundwork is seeking proposals that include the following:

  • Evidence of the firm’s qualifications to provide the above services;
  • Background and experience in auditing nonprofit clients;
  • The size and organizational structure of the auditor’s firm;
  • A statement of the firm’s understanding of work to be performed, including tax and non-audit services;
  • A proposed timeline for fieldwork and final reporting;
  • Proposed fee structure for the proposal period;
  • And, billing rates and procedures for technical questions that may come up during the year, or whether these occasional services are covered in the proposed fee structure;

Groundwork is committed to creating a diverse workplace and seeks a wide range of perspectives and backgrounds when selecting consultants. Firms owned by people of color, persons with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ individuals are encouraged to apply.

Firms can submit proposals electronically (if possible) to Groundwork Deputy Director, Jim Bruckbauer ([email protected]) by October 31, 2021, so that the Board of Director’s Finance Committee can review the proposal. If you are unable to send it electronically, you can send a hard copy to Groundwork Center, 301 E. Front St., Suite 301, Traverse City, MI 49684.

Firms will be notified of our selection no later than November 5, 2021.




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.


Volunteer opportunities are available here.

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