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Stewards VISTA: Energy Communities-USDA Rural Development


AmeriCorps VISTA

Job Location

Cross Lanes or Morgantown, West Virginia

Tracking Code


Position Type


About Stewards:


Stewards Individual Placements (Stewards) provides individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources. Participants work with federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofits building institutional capacity, developing community relationships, and supporting ecosystem health.

For more information regarding Stewards, please visit our website.


This position is a 365 day (1 year) public service term lasting from July 15, 2024 – July 14, 2025.


Living Allowance: $62.69/day ($22,881.85/year)


Housing Stipend: $400/month


About the Site and Position:


USDA Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America with loan, grant, and loan guarantee programs. Our programs expand access to high-speed internet, electric, and transportation infrastructure, and support business growth, healthcare, education, housing, and other community essentials. USDA Rural Development West Virginia was selected to lead the West Virginia Rapid Response Team, an initiative of the Interagency Working Group for Coal and Power Plant Communities. RRTs are intended to work with energy communities who have experienced a recent or approaching fossil fuel facility closure to address worker and community needs using existing federal resources. RRT members work with community members to identify economic transformation and revitalization goals, implement those goals, and make the connections between programs across the federal government. The USDA Rural Development WV RRT VISTA project will utilize community research, targeted engagement activities such as one-one-one conversations, roundtable discussions and surveys, and resource connections as well as ancillary activities to increase economic opportunity and healthy futures, thereby furthering the Rapid Response Teams efforts to increase community involvement, revitalize these target communities and reduce poverty. Our VISTA will put a primary focus on gathering community feedback and data to inform the RRT’s next steps, increasing formalized partnerships and effectively increasing the positive community impacts through collaborative efforts. Through community surveying and research, the VISTA will be able to determine the current needs of the individual communities, design solutions to address those needs and ultimately contribute vital information that will lead to effective and sustainable economic opportunities. There will be training and professional development opportunities for this VISTA throughout their term of service.


Member Duties:


Be part of a new AmeriCorps VISTA project focused on building the capacity of energy communities to implement locally driven environmental remediation and economic development plans in communities impacted by energy transitions! As one of the newest American Climate Corps programs, Energy Community VISTAs will focus on equity and environmental justice – prioritizing communities traditionally left behind, including those energy communities that powered our nation for generations.


The VISTA Project will address poverty alleviation, fund development, and community engagement by doing the following:

  • Identify local economic opportunities 
  • Identify workforce development and retraining opportunities, specific to those that address displaced mine workers 
  • Develop a guide of recommended action items for each target community 
  • Identify funding opportunities to support recommended action items 
  • Assist community organizations with grant readiness steps 
  • Assist communities with grant writing and application submissions, as determined to be competitive
  • Assist communities in preparing capital stacking documentation, seeking alternative and supplemental funding sources and establishing grant management plans, as needed
  • Develop SOPs for community engagement practices to be reused annually and made available to resource partners for alternative uses
  • Facilitate community engagement methods


Service Areas:


  • Community and Economic Development 
  • Community Outreach 
  • Environment 


Program Benefits:

  • Segal Education Award ($7,395) OR Cash Stipend (~$1,800) upon successful completion of service
  • Living Allowance ($62.69/day, disbursed every 2 weeks)
  • Housing Stipend
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Regular Training and Professional Development Opportunities (free and virtual)
  • Employee Wellness Program (access to a licensed, professional counselor and 24/7 in-moment support)
  • Childcare*
  • Healthcare*
  • Non-Competitive Eligibility upon successful completion of the term*
  • Networking and Mentorship
  • Access to a nationwide cohort of like-minded peers
*For more information regarding the Segal Education Award, check out this link as well as alternative uses for the award here.
*For more information regarding the AmeriCorps VISTA Childcare benefit, please visit
*For details about AmeriCorps VISTA healthcare benefits, please visit
*For details about Non-Competitive Eligibility, please visit

For more information, please contact Addie Gilkerson (she/her) at


Stewards Individual Placements does not and will not discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. If you need assistance and/or reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application, interviewing, and/or onboarding process, please send your request to the hiring manager in your preferred method of communication.

Required Skills

(Recommended) Skills:


  • Communications 
  • Environment 
  • Community Organization 
  • Recruitment 
  • Leadership 
  • Fund raising/Grant Writing 
  • General Skills 
  • Public Speaking 


Required Experience

Applicant must be a college graduate.

This position is located in Cross Lanes or Morgantown, WV. View the Google Map in full screen.