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We are currently hiring a Consulting Project Manager for the Sandy Neighborhood Design HelpDesk and summer interns. To apply, please see the job announcements below.

 

Sandy Neighborhood Design HelpDesk – Consulting Project Manager 

 

Consultant Contract, May 2014 – December 2014

Pratt Center for Community Development seeks to retain a consultant to serve as off-site project manager for the Sandy Neighborhood Design HelpDesk, a series of temporary weekend outreach centers in Sandy-impacted communities that will bring volunteer architects and other specialists to provide residents with technical advice about rebuilding their homes.

The Consulting Project Manager will be responsible for:

  • Working with community-based organization hosts to arrange space and schedules for the HelpDesks;
  • Supporting each community-based host in planning and executing a comprehensive outreach strategy for each HelpDesk, including placing stories and paid ads in local media, inclusion in e-newsletters by local organizations, elected officials, and others, short presentations at local organization meetings, flyering, etc.
  • Managing logistics and setup for each HelpDesk, including setup of the space, wifi connections, supplies, etc.
  • On-site management of each HelpDesk (typically involves evening and weekend hours)
  • Working with community-based organizations to follow up with HelpDesk clients in order to track our impact and guide property owners through next steps;
  • Producing  a monthly update and a final report that captures the lessons learned and neighborhood-specific design concerns and solutions, including any policy recommendations that came out of lessons learned;
  • Overall communication and coordination among HelpDesk partners, local hosts, and supporting organizations.

HelpDesk Background and Project Description

Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge inundated over 88,000 buildings within New York City; over sixteen months later, small property owners in particular continue to struggle to recover and rebuild. Their difficulties are compounded by the challenges of making their buildings resilient to future flooding. And even buildings that sustained little or no damage from Sandy are impacted by the expansion of the 100-year flood zone, which will now encompass almost twice as many buildings as the 1983 map that previously governed. These revisions, along with changes to the national flood insurance program, have left thousands of home and small business owners uncertain about how they can repair their properties, make them resilient to future flood damage, and make flood insurance available and affordable.    

While generic information on flood-resistant design, code, zoning, and insurance requirements, and available financial assistance is available from many sources, the varied nature of New York City’s building stock, and the disparate financial circumstances of Sandy-impacted residents and building owners, mean that many people need individualized professional advice that takes account of their specific physical and financial situations. The Sandy Neighborhood Design HelpDesk will build on the model piloted in Arverne and Red Hook during the fall and winter of 2013-14 that offered free, one-on-one architectural consultations to home and building owners.

An expanded partnership between LISC, Enterprise Community Partners, the Center for New York City Neighborhoods and the Pratt Center for Community Development, as well as the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Housing Recovery Office will work with designated local community-based organizations to offer approximately eight HelpDesks between May and December 2014.

Each HelpDesk will be hosted by a local organization for a period of approximately three days / evenings, and staffed by a team of architects with specific training in New York City Zoning and Building Code provisions applicable to floodproofing, as well as in the challenges faced by Sandy-impacted homeowners. Architectural staff will include experienced professionals who will be supported by volunteers. The volunteers will assist with intake, research, preparation of sketches, etc.

The Center for New York City Neighborhoods and local hosts will also provide counseling on related mortgage and insurance issues. Clients will be able to walk in, or to schedule a consultation online.  

We are seeking to enter into an eight month consulting agreement with a qualified, energetic Project Manager to coordinate the planning and implementation of these HelpDesks, whose responsibilities are outlined below.

The Sandy Neighborhood HelpDesk Project Manager will work with the HelpDesk partner organizations - Enterprise, LISC, Pratt Center, the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the New York City Housing Recovery Office, as well as with local community-based host organizations to offer approximately eight three-day HelpDesks between May and December 2014.

With designated partners, the Consulting Project Manager will:

  • Work with LISC’s community-based partner organizations  (the local hosts) and the Helpdesk partners to plan, schedule, and execute eight three-day HelpDesks;
  • Work with the HelpDesk partners to recruit and schedule volunteers to staff each HelpDesk; including establishing and communicating volunteers’ qualifications and roles;
  • Arrange for presentation of volunteer architects’ training sessions with the HelpDesk partners, the Department of Buildings and the Department of City Planning. Arrange for training sessions to be video recorded and posted online. Work with partners to secure Continuing Education credits for volunteers completing the training;
  • Work with Enterprise to update and maintain the SalesForce client registration and tracking system, along with the associated solutions/ resource database;
  • Work with the Center for New York City Neighborhoods to arrange for mortgage and insurance counselors to staff each HelpDesk, and to develop related online and print materials. 

Qualifications:

  • Two or more post-college years of experience in a relevant field, such as: architecture, planning, community development, affordable housing development and management, disaster recovery. Equivalent combination of academic study and experience will be considered.
  • Ability to work with residents, small business owners, and local organizations in low- and moderate-income New York City communities.
  • General understanding of rebuilding, of New York City Building Code and zoning regulations, and of related financial and insurance issues faced by home and small property owners in Sandy-impacted communities.
  • Well-organized, self-starting, "can-do" approach to work, good communication skills, sense of humor, and tact are essential.
  • Proficiency with common office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and some database management (SalesForce or similar) essential; familiarity with graphic design and web/blogging applications desirable.
  • Multi-lingual ability and driver’s license both desirable.

This is an eight month full-time consulting engagement based at the Pratt Center for Community Development. Compensation for these services will be based on qualifications and experience.

Apply by sending a resume and cover letter that highlights your relevant skills and experience to: mgeorges@prattcenter.net. Please put the words Design HelpDesk in the subject line.  Applications must be received no later than 5 PM Eastern Daylight Time on May 2, 2014.

 

Pratt Center Internships

Pratt Center is looking for student interns this summer (mid-May to mid-August and flexible as to start and end dates). Internship positions and application procedures appear below.

Project Assistant (Industrial Initiatives Interns)
Responsibilities: Responsible for assisting Pratt Center staff with the Made In NYC and Spec It Green initiatives. Two positions are available. Duties will include helping with communications tasks such as writing newsletters and posting on social media; outreach tasks such as interviewing manufacturing businesses and organizing meetings; research tasks such as collecting and analyzing economic data; and general program development assistance.

Skills and Interests: written/verbal communications and data management skills required. Interest in manufacturing retention, economic development, and small business outreach required. Graphic design, mapping, and photography skills a plus.

Hours: looking for 2 part-time (14-21 hours per week) or 1 full-time (28-35 hours per week) intern

Project Assistant (Post-Sandy Recovery Intern)
Responsible for assisting Pratt Center’s Policy Director with several projects in Sandy-impacted communities. Duties will include helping with coordination and implementation of the Sandy HelpDesk, a series of weekend workshops to provide homeowners with information about building codes, flooding issues, and other issues related to home repair for storm-impacted houses; and gathering and analyzing insurance and housing data.

Skills and Interests: written/verbal communications, organizational, and logistical skills required. Interest in community development, community outreach, and environmental sustainability required. Data management skills a plus.

Hours: looking for 1 part-time (14-21 hours per week) intern

Energy Efficiency Program Support Intern (Green Jobs Green New York Intern)
Responsible for assisting Pratt Center’s Green Jobs Green New York project manager on all aspects of service delivery to community based organizations. Duties will include helping with research on energy efficiency outreach strategies; data collection and input; mapping using GIS software; designing graphic materials to promote energy efficiency programs to communities.

Skills and Interests: research, data management, and mapping skills required. Interest in environmental sustainability, energy efficiency, community development and community outreach required. Graphic design skills a plus.

Hours: looking for 1 part-time (14-21 hours per week) intern

GIS Assistant
Responsible for assisting senior planners and GIS specialists with a variety of data analyses and mapping projects.  Duties will include helping with analyzing and mapping socio-economic and demographic data; analysis and mapping of transportation data for Pratt Center’s Transportation Equity Atlas.

Skills and Interests: GIS data gathering, management and mapping required. Interest in community development, economic development, data analysis required. Graphic design skills a plus.

Hours: looking for 1 part-time (14-21 hours per week) intern

Internship – General Qualifications
Pratt Center is accepting applications from undergraduate and graduate students currently studying urban planning, urban policy, environmental sustainability, architecture, geography, history, or related subjects. Recent graduates and entry-level professionals may also apply. Students and graduates from all universities are welcome.

Salary
Pratt Center has funding to offer several – but not all – of the internships as paid internships. The salary range is $9-$14 per hour, commensurate with experience.

Application Process
Please submit a cover letter and resume to: mgeorges@prattcenter.net, with Internship Application as your subject line. Cover letters should indicate which internship position/s you wish to be considered for, and should express your general interests, educational background, and relevant skills for the position/s.  Applicants who will only consider a paid internship should indicate this in their cover letter. No calls please!