Northwest, visit www.mercycorpsnw.org
Community Navigators are the face of Mercy Corps Northwest to the communities we serve. A successful candidate must have strong client service skills and excellent partnership development acumen. They must approach their work with a combination of confidence, curiosity, and humility. Community Navigators must approach MCNW services as a complement to, not replacement of, existing community resources; therefore, a critical factor for success is identifying and supporting the development of joint opportunities for collaboration.
- Administer the Oregon IDA, loan, education and one-on-one business technical assistance services and processes while tracking and reporting activity, progress and impacts.
- Ensure that program implementation is responsive to communities and partners and is consistent with Mercy Corps’ relevant program guidelines, principles, including diversity, equity, and inclusion values and targets, quality standards and strategic plan.
- Ensure that underserved participants are effectively served in a way that is culturally responsive and accessible.
- Integrate community approaches, gender sensitivity, Capacity Building and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion into all activities as appropriate.
- Ensure program implementation is on time, on target and in budget, using effective monitoring and evaluation systems to reach desired impacts.
Provide language-specific support for participants to navigate programs and services.
Individual Development Accounts (IDA)
- Oversee the collection of all needed IDA documents for enrollment in the program
- Track participant progress and ensure that participants complete all program requirements for successful completion of their respective IDA
- Lead IDA disbursement meetings with participants and manage collection of all required documents to process their disbursement from the program
- Use VistaShare Outcome Tracker to manage IDA participant data. Duties include data input, running reports, and tracking participant information.
- Identify and coordinate with affordable and experienced community education providers to provide the training to program participants and assist with outreach.
Utilize OR IDA Program tracking tools to track participant communication, technical assistance, and program status.
- Responsible for reviewing assigned loan inquiries and holding initial screening meetings with prospective loan applicants in Oregon and Washington State to discuss loan readiness.
- Advise and assist participants with loan applications, compiling needed documentation and working with loan participants to support readiness for the underwriting process.
- Provide business advisory technical assistance to both prospective loan applicants and existing participants, including working with participants experiencing repayment issues.
Utilize Lending Program tracking tools to track participant communication, technical assistance, and program status.
Education and One-On-One Technical Assistance
- Participate in regular (i.e. bi-weekly) check-ins with the Education Coordinator, who will update Community Navigators on education programming and changes including information about classes, events, enrollment, program development, training, consultant and subject matter experts, webinars and one on one consulting.
- As requested by the Education team, provide language-specific support to the team, particularly when working with Spanish-speakers.
- Provide one-on-one resource navigation and business technical assistance to small business owners in the conceptual, start-up, growth, and rebuilding stages as needed
Utilize technical assistance tracking tools to track participant communication and technical assistance data
- Coordinate with the Education and Business Development Services teams on the development and execution of community outreach plans
- Conduct consistent outreach with community partners and attend community outreach events as needed to market and help secure participants to register for upcoming classes, one-on-one counseling, and other business development events and services
- Work closely with Outreach Coordinator (consultant) and other community partners to translate materials and market Spanish language offerings
Utilize outreach and partner tracking tools to implement outreach plans and track progress
- Support and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback to team members.
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
Contribute to Mercy Corps Northwest’s strategy, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
Supervisory Responsibility: None
Reports Directly To: Business Development Services Manager
Works Directly With: Community Navigation Coordinator (Bilingual Russian/English), Credit Manager, Financing Support Officer, Education Coordinator, Women’s Business Center Manager, Spanish Outreach Coordinator, Southern Washington Program Manager, and other support staff
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills
We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying unless an item or section is labeled required. Please submit a cover letter that clearly shows how your experience meets the minimum qualifications and prepares you to perform the key responsibilities of this role; be clear and specific about how your background is relevant.
- BA/S or equivalent in business, finance, Banking, Community Development, economics and/or other relevant field or entrepreneurial experience. (Professional work at or near the level of this position can substitute year for year for the educational requirement);
- 2 year experience service to the community preferably with underserved communities and low-income individuals;
- Demonstrated knowledge of asset building, small business development and/or resilience strongly preferred;
The successful candidate must be fluent in both Spanish and English. Native Spanish speakers strongly preferred.
*Transferable skills: Any skills you have gained through education, volunteer or work or life experience (including the military) that are relevant for this position will be considered. Be sure to describe any transferable skills and how they apply to this position in your cover letter.
- Strong client service skills and excellent partnership development acumen
- Ability to work independently and cooperatively
- Ability to approach their work with a combination of confidence, curiosity, and humility
- Ability to identify and develop joint opportunities for collaboration
- Ability to prioritize competing tasks and deadlines and must possess exceptional communication skills
- Experience working with databases and a strong attention to detail
- Proficient with Microsoft Office applications, specifically Word and Excel
- Demonstrated experience working with a diverse client base of low-income people and successfully addressing their needs is desirable
- Applicants must be able to demonstrate an ability to give personal finance/business development advice. Small business development experience is strongly preferred but not required
- Demonstrated knowledge of business and financial terms in both English and Spanish
Lending, banking, and/or financial experience is a plus
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in the Pacific Northwest and the successful individual is expected to be based in the Pacific time zone. The position generally is a working from home role with some limited required travel in Oregon and Washington State to support specific events or initiatives. Where possible, the role is expected to support the Credit Manager with face to face loan closings.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate Child Abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
As a safeguarding measure, Mercy Corps screens all potential US-Based employees. This is done following the conclusion of recruitment and prior to assuming full employment.
Our screening process is designed to be transparent and completed in partnership with new Team Members. You will have the opportunity to disclose any prior convictions at the conclusion of the recruitment process before the check is initiated. We ask that you do not disclose any prior convictions in your application materials or during the recruitment process.
Covid-19 Vaccine Policy for US-Based Employees
Mercy Corps has determined that, in an effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all Mercy Corps employees working in the United States, all U.S.-based employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, regardless of prior COVID-19 infection status. This policy is necessary to ensure not only the safety of our workforce, but the ongoing functionality of the organization.
This policy will be revised as needed to comply with federal, state, and local requirements, and to respond to changing guidance from public health authorities.
For new employees this requirement goes into effect within 10 business days of employment. Team members that travel are expected to comply with host-country requirements, including vaccinations. Failure to comply may impact your employment. Proof of vaccination or exemption must be provided.