Regional Coordinators - Job ID 356404

Clean Energy Resource Teams
Organization Summary

The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) connect individuals, organizations, and communities with the resources they need to identify and implement community-scale energy efficiency and clean energy projects, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and beneficial electrification. 

The CERTs Regional Coordinator builds relationships and fosters community-based clean energy projects in a CERT Region, as well as increases capacity statewide in one specific program area. As a part of the U of M Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP), the Regional Coordinator plays an important role in connecting community members and their local ideas and innovations with the research, education, and resources of the University, as well as those of the other CERTs partners.

These positions report to one of the CERTs Co-Directors. CERTs provides the Clean Energy focus area programming of the U of M Extension RSDP. 

Office location: choice of Extension Regional Office in Brainerd, Cloquet, Crookston, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Moorhead, Morris, Rochester, Roseau, St. Cloud, and Willmar; Hybrid work options at all locations.

Posting Date
Closing Date
Location in MN
West Central
Job type
  1. There are five full-time, CERTs Regional Coordinator positions appointed at the level of Extension Program Associate 2 (8316A2), Civil Service.
  2. There is a choice of office location at any of the following Extension Regional Office locations; Brainerd, Cloquet, Crookston, Grand Rapids, Mankato, Moorhead, Morris, Rochester, Roseau, St. Cloud, and Willmar. Hybrid work options are available at all locations.
  3. A full University of Minnesota benefits package is available:   
  4. Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance with University policy. 
  5. Estimated starting salary range is $45,760 - $58,240 ($22-$28/hour). Salary commensurate with education and experience.
Primary Duties

Tend the networks (30%)

  1. Strengthen our reach and impact by establishing, broadening, and deepening relationships with diverse communities in your region, with a focus on engaging community members interested in clean energy projects.
  2. Recruit and facilitate participation of Regional CERT steering committee members with a broad geographic makeup and diverse representation. Connect with steering committee members quarterly as a group and individually as needed to identify emerging trends and opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration and deeper connection to community. In collaboration with the RSDP Executive Director in your region, ensure that the steering committee effectively serves the needs of both RSDP and CERTs, particularly with respect to annual priority setting and proposal review for CERTs Seed Grants and RSDP project partnerships. Identify opportunities for steering committee participation to add value to the work and networks of steering committee members. 
  3. Foster cross-Extension and University connections that, combined with community expertise, contribute multidisciplinary perspectives to local clean energy initiatives. Build community-University partnerships and connect community representatives to needed technical resources within Extension, the University, and beyond. This includes assistance to identify potential funding sources for community energy projects and to help community-based teams pursue these opportunities.
  4. Connect directly with distribution-level utilities (cooperative, municipal, and investor-owned) about opportunities for collaboration, successes and challenges in programming, and/or need for information around particular topics (e.g., EVs, electrification, low-income energy efficiency, solar).
  5. Plan and host 2-3 virtual or in-person events, meetings, or tours that include the Region, and participate in additional regional events as appropriate, with an emphasis on advancing clean energy opportunities in underserved communities and other programmatic priorities.

Support identification and implementation of community-based clean energy projects (30%)

  1. Work with local governments, Native nations, schools, utilities, and underserved/historically marginalized communities to understand clean energy needs and priorities and to advance clean energy efforts in their facilities and communities. 
  2. Create greater awareness of the role of clean energy in fostering community development. Facilitate dialogue across communities, especially across cultural differences.
  3. Connect rural small businesses and farms to clean energy funding and financing instruments like USDA REAP, PACE, and utility rebates.
  4. Connect with CERTs Seed Grant recipients regularly, providing additional assistance as needed. Through these relationships, deepen connections to seed grant recipients’ communities.
  5. Assist GreenStep Cities and GreenStep Tribal Nations in your region.
  6. Identify potential ideas/projects to highlight in stories and social media to raise the profile of successes in your region and share innovative models. 
  7. Report regularly on engagement, assistance, and impacts.
  8. Support data collection for relevant research efforts, including through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and web research. Compile research results into useful formats. In some cases, this will be case studies or short written reports and, in others, spreadsheets or databases. 
  9. Support the development of tools and resources for external stakeholders in coordination with project partners and staff, including documents and presentations.

Focus on one of the five specific clean energy program areas to increase CERTs’ capacity statewide. (40%)

Collaborate with other CERTs staff and partners in developing, adapting, and implementing CERTs’ statewide programming in ONE of the following program areas: residential clean energy; non-residential energy efficiency and building electrification; non-residential renewable energy and energy storage; utility program innovation; or renewable energy siting.

Together, these program areas support CERTs’ strategic plan priorities – intensify energy efficiency, beneficially electrify, and reach increasingly high renewable targets – and they make use of CERTs’ key strategies:

  • Imagine: Help people see options and connections, get energized, fully consider what the opportunity could mean for them. Storytelling and sharing models are key elements of the “imagine” strategy.
  • Build Community: Empower more people to connect to an idea/approach/model and, through that, connect to each other. Expanding partnerships and convening people are key elements of the “build community” strategy.
  • Remove Barriers: Make participating in clean energy decisions and implementing solutions more accessible for everyone; ease the path to action. Implementation tools, funding, and technical assistance are key elements of the “remove barriers” strategy.

A. Residential energy efficiency and electrification

  1. Provide support to CERTs’ residential clean energy programming, with an emphasis on equipping a range of community organizations with the knowledge and tools to effectively engage underserved audiences around priority clean energy opportunities: energy efficiency, beneficial electrification (thermal and transportation), and renewable energy.
  2. Strengthen partnerships and program targeting to ensure that accurate and timely information can be effectively communicated to underserved communities, with consideration given to relevant factors like geographic location, housing type, heating fuel, energy burden, language, and cultural considerations, among others. 
  3. Identify and communicate relevant funding options like utility programs, energy assistance and weatherization, low interest financing, and government incentives like those included in the Inflation Reduction Act, with the goal of easing the path to equitable adoption of efficiency, electrification, and renewable technologies.
  4. Identify opportunities for storytelling to facilitate replication of successful strategies and projects.

B. Non-residential energy efficiency and building electrification

  1. Serve as a technical resource for CERTs staff and community organizations on non-residential energy efficiency and building electrification (especially thermal). Work with other staff to identify and prioritize audiences for engagement, with priority given to underserved communities.
  2. Assist in the development of partnerships and tools to effectively communicate energy efficiency and electrification opportunities to target audiences.
  3. In alignment with CERTs’ programmatic and audience priorities, conduct energy audits for and provide other needed technical assistance to businesses and organizations. Connect to relevant funding options to ease the path to adoption of energy efficiency and electrification measures.
  4. Identify opportunities for storytelling to facilitate replication of successful projects.

C. Non-residential renewable energy and energy storage

  1. Serve as a technical resource for CERTs staff and community organizations on renewable energy and energy storage. Work with other staff to identify advantageous use cases for renewable energy and storage technologies, with consideration given to sector-specific energy usage and local energy costs, among other factors. 
  2. Assist in the development of partnerships and tools to effectively communicate renewable energy and energy storage opportunities to target audiences, prioritizing underserved communities.
  3. In alignment with CERTs’ programmatic and audience priorities, conduct non-sales site assessments for and provide other relevant technical assistance to businesses and organizations. Connect to relevant funding options (e.g. USDA REAP, PACE) to ease the path to technology adoption.
  4. Identify opportunities for storytelling to facilitate replication of successful renewable energy and energy storage projects.

D. Utility program innovation

  1. As utilities seek to achieve increasingly high targets for efficiency and renewable energy, and as they seek to accommodate and promote electrification, support CERTs’ efforts to identify and share innovative and equitable utility programs and approaches to providing clean, reliable, affordable energy services.
  2. Activities may include convening peer-to-peer learning sessions or cohorts, as well as supporting CERTs’ partnerships with utilities, their associations, and program implementers.
  3. Identify opportunities for storytelling to facilitate replication of innovative and successful programs and approaches.

E.  Renewable energy siting

  1. Proactively engage communities on renewable energy siting, so that as Minnesota seeks to achieve renewable energy targets, communities can ensure that this clean energy transition meets local as well as statewide needs and priorities.
  2. This may include activities like community-based research to identify community priorities and preferences, developing partnerships with diverse community organizations, and convening meetings.
  3. Connect with University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center on their ongoing renewable energy projects (especially agrivoltaics) and, as appropriate, communicate results to relevant audiences.
  4. Identify opportunities for storytelling to facilitate replication of innovative and successful models.


  • Demonstrated knowledge and networking capacity in clean energy or community development.
  • Combination of 6 years of education and experience, including at least 2 years in a related field, which includes but is not limited to community engagement, applied research, education, and/or clean energy project implementation (energy efficiency, renewable energy, beneficial electrification). 
  • Demonstrated strong skills and abilities in oral and written communication, leadership, and team building.
  • Skilled in Microsoft and Google suite applications.
  • Must be able to work on a computer for prolonged periods of time.
  • Must be able to travel 3-5 times per month to include occasional overnight stays.
  • Must have reliable internet when not working in an Extension office
  • Demonstrated ability to work with people and organizations that represent significant diversity in culture, values, education, occupation, income, and changing rural demographics, which can include through lived experience and/or volunteer work.


  • Passion for advancing community development through sustainability, resilience, clean energy or other actions that help communities thrive into the future.
  • Demonstrated experience in facilitating, organizing, and leading diverse groups through decision making and planning processes.
  • Ability to work independently and be assertive in building relationships with community members throughout the Region. 
  • Experience working with Native nations to foster relationships, identify opportunities for collaboration, and partner on projects.
  • NABCEP PV certification; Building Performance Institute or equivalent energy auditing certification; work experience with utilities;  and/or experience with state and federal energy funding programs.
How to Apply

Apply online at the University of Minnesota's Job Board (Job ID 356404)

Applications must be submitted online. You will have the opportunity to complete an online application for the position. Please attach the following required application materials:

  • Cover letter: Must include your specific preference(s) for one or more of the five program areas (A - E) (also listed above); and specify your location preference(s) from the office location options.
  • Resume: Your resume must include all your education and experience as it relates to the required qualifications. The initial HR screening process focuses primarily on the resume.
  • Names and contact information for three professional references will be required during the interview process.

Additional documents may be attached after the application by accessing your “My Job Applications” page and uploading documents in the “My Cover Letters and Attachments” section. See full instructions,

Application Tips

  • Make sure you fill out the application in the system in full.
  • Please upload a cover letter and resume in addition to the information you provide in the application.
    • Cover letters help us learn why you think you would be a good fit for this role and why CERTs would be a good fit for you. Tell us your story!
    • Resumes show us the activities that led you to this point in your career path. Please highlight roles and activities you feel are most relevant to the Regional Coordinator position.

If you have questions or run into any problems when applying please email us so we can try to assist: [email protected]

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