The Local Currency program of the Schumacher Center is focused on the research and development of place-based, non-profit, democratically controlled currencies that can serve as resources for the support of thriving and sustainable regional economies. Launched in 2006, BerkShares is an on-the-ground application of the concept, serving as a model for other regions. In Spring 2022, BerkShares has launched a mobile app alongside the existing paper currency to facilitate local payments via a Venmo-like system powered by blockchain technology.
A BerkShares coordinator will represent and grow the program through education and advocacy to businesses and citizen-consumers in and around Pittsfield/ central Berkshires.
Key responsibilities of this position:
- Schedule and attend regular outreach exhibitions in the community and educate community members on the benefits of the local currency and to demonstrate the features and functionality of the mobile payments app (1:1 meetings, group meetings, tabling events)
- Successfully acquire new business participation and new app sign ups by members of the public
- Assist business owners with app set up and troubleshooting
- Build relationships with local leaders in community and economic development field
- Maintain a calendar of outreach activities, including community events, workshops, appearances, and other communication opportunities.
- Track and report business sign-ups and other activities regularly
- Assist in the organization of special events, including donor/volunteer appreciation events and other fundraising initiatives
Qualified candidates will have some or all of the following:
- Excellent writing and presentation skills
- Comfort with public speaking, approaching and talking to people of diverse backgrounds and in different professional settings
- Pro-active about making phone calls, dropping into storefronts, etc.
- Ability to work independently and self-manage
- Experience with designing and leading outreach programs
- Strong interest in local economies and community organizing
- Familiarity with the Central or Northern Berkshires
- An engaging, trustworthy and persuasive presence
- Ability to work after-hours and on weekends
- Ability to work outdoors
- Ability to walk and stand for long periods
- Fluent in use of smartphones, mobile apps, and standard computer programs for business (enthusiasm for blockchain technology a plus, but not required)
This position involves travel throughout Berkshire County, including attending initial training and regular (1-2 x month) meetings in Egremont, MA. Applicants are required to have a driver’s license and have use of a car. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.
BerkShares Coordinators report to the program and marketing administrators of BerkShares, Inc. Average anticipated time commitment is 25-32 hours per week at a rate of $25/hour, plus travel reimbursement. Positions will run through 2022, with possible renewal in 2023 subject to funding. Successful candidates can start as soon as possible.
For the right candidates, these roles represent opportunities to contribute to a vibrant and sustainable local economy here in the Berkshires, to add to your experience growing participation in a non-profit program, and to deepen your familiarity with local community groups and independent businesses.
If interested, please submit your resume, a short writing sample, and two references along with a cover letter in the body of your email to Schumacher@CenterforNewEconomics.org. Note that interviews will be conducted in-person in Egremont, MA.