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Opportunities at Black Oaks Center

Since 2009, Black Oaks Center has been building community resilience in the Chicago Area. For more information on our mission and approach, click here.

As an organization, we are in the midst of an exciting expansion, and are looking for passionate and skilled individuals who can grow with Black Oaks Center over the coming years. Please see details on open positions below, and keep an eye out for new openings over the coming months.

Black Oaks Center is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to attracting and retaining a talented and diverse team of professionals. Women, BIPOC, LGBTQ people, and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Open Positions

Organic Farm Co-Manager

Position Type: Full time, permanent

Start Date: As soon as possible

Application Deadline: Rolling

Click here for details

Food Hub Manager

Position Type: Full time, permanent

Start Date: August 17th

Application Deadline: August 10th 

Click here for details

Development & Communications Manager

Position Type: Full time, permanent

Start Date: August 17th

Application Deadline: July 29th

Click here for details

Organic Farm Co-Manager

About the Farm

Black Oaks Center is in the midst of a major expansion-- this year, we expanded our farm from 7 to 50 acres, and in addition to growing vegetables, greens, and melons, this year we are also growing grains and beans. We are beginning four-season production this winter in our Greenhouse and High Tunnel. In 2021, we will expand to livestock production, and as part of

our work to restore farmland, we will begin perennial agro-forestry.

Since 2013 we have been training the next generation of farmers through our Farmer Apprenticeship Program and Community Permaculture Certification programs. These programs are on hold this season due to COVID-19, and we will re-evaluate plans prior to next season.

The Position

We are seeking a farm co-manager to join us in farming 50 acres in Pembroke Township, IL. This position is ideal for someone who is passionate about restorative farming and permaculture, and believes in the need for a resilient food system. 

We are looking for someone who is excited to grow with Black Oaks Center over the coming years.

Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the co-farm manager to lead a team of 2-4 farm workers

  • Seedling Propagation, Nursery Care

  • Composting, Organic/Biodynamic Soil Building, Soil Testing & Amendment Calculations/Implementation

  • Seeding, transplanting, raised bed production, hay & straw bale production

  • Fencing, rotational grazing, animal care (cattle, poultry etc)

  • Farm equipment maintenance, safety, operations

  • Low to no-till techniques, strip intercropping, perennial agroforestry (nut & fruit trees, berries)

  • Greenhouse/High tunnel, 3-4 season production, maintenance and repairs

  • Recordkeeping, farm plans, crop plans, farm records

Required Qualifications

  • At least 2 years of experience in organic farming

  • Ability to work with people of many backgrounds, including volunteers and trainees

  • Collaborative leadership style and strong communication skills

  • Prefer a candidate with significant experience in: 

    • Fencing, rotational grazing, cattle care

    • Low to no-till techniques and equipment, strip intercropping, perennial agroforestry (nut & fruit trees, berries)

    • Experience with recordkeeping for organic certification

    • Hay and straw bale production

  • Experience with medicinal plant production is a plus

Salary & Benefits

We offer a competitive salary based on experience, competitive benefits package (health, dental and vision), and a generous vacation and leave policy.

Start Date: As soon as possible

Application Deadline: Rolling, until position is filled

​How to Apply

Please submit a resume and 3 references to careers@blackoakscenter.org. Please include “Farm Co-Manager” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

 
Food Hub Manager

About the Healthy Food Hub

A core area of Black Oaks Center's work is building a resilient food system-- one with high biological diversity, high diversity of products, multiple small local suppliers, and sufficient redundancy. All of our farming is grounded in permaculture practices. 

We are in the midst of a major expansion-- this year, the Healthy Food Hub, our prescriptive market, is projected to double its reach from 1,600 to 3,200 people per month. The market’s focus is Boosting Immunity in the Community as our first line of defense against COVID-19, and serves neighborhoods in the South Side of Chicago and South suburbs with the highest morbidity rates from COVID-19.

This year, we are launching a mobile market for the first time, allowing us to expand our reach and meet customers where they are during this pandemic.

The Position

We are seeking a Food Hub Manager to lead the inventory management and pre-order fulfillment. This position is ideal for someone who is passionate about food justice and community empowerment, and who is excited to grow with Black Oaks Center over the coming years.

Responsibilities

  • Inventory management: restocking, quality assurance, packaging, labeling, repacking, washing and cutting 

  • Foraging and procurement: with an emphasis on finding and coordinating with organic, local vendors and suppliers

  • Pre-order fulfillment in preparation for pickup and delivery

  • Training and managing two team members

  • Pre & Post Market Preparation:  food selections, materials and supplies prepared for markets as well as receiving post market inventory, check for accuracy and prepare for the next market.  

  • Update inventory list and pricing in online store (set up in Wix, no coding required)

 

Required Qualifications

  • 1-2 years experience in food handling, inventory management, food warehousing management

  • Food Safety manager or food handlers certificate

  • Valid drivers license and licensed vehicle

  • Able to able to work autonomously, well organized, and strong time management skills

  • Collaborative leadership and strong communication skills

  • Must be able to frequently lift up to 50 lbs, and go in and out of coolers and freezers

  • Data entry skills and knowledge of POS/inventory management software

Salary & Benefits

We offer a competitive salary based on experience, competitive benefits package (health, dental and vision), and a generous vacation and leave policy.

Start Date: August 17th

Application Deadline: August 10th, early applications encouraged

​How to Apply

Please submit your resume and 3 references to careers@blackoakscenter.org. Please include “Food Hub Manager” in the subject line. Early applications  are encouraged, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

 
Development & Communications Manager

The Position

We are seeking a full-time Development and Communications Manager. This position is ideal for someone who is passionate about food justice, holistic healthcare, and community empowerment. We are looking for someone who is excited to grow with Black Oaks Center over the coming years. 

During the pandemic, this is a work-from-home position, pending further guidance from regional health officials about returning safely to work. Long-term, this is a hybrid position, with 1-2 days per week onsite in Pembroke, IL. There may be a possibility to work out of our Chicago office after the re-opening.


 

Responsibilities

Development

  • Strategy--Continue with implementation of the individual giving strategy, and create the ongoing strategy for Q4 2020 and beyond in collaboration with the President. Our individual giving program has three components: peer to peer campaigns, a monthly giving program, and major giving.

  • Major Giving--Conduct prospect research, create donor cultivation strategy, and provide leadership with resources needed to be successful in securing major gifts

  • Donor stewardship-- 

    • Develop and lead the strategy to retain and upgrade donors to the monthly giving program.

    • Coordinate donor acknowledgements by Executive Director, President and Board of Directors.

    • As needed, draft scripts and templates for donor communications.

  • Volunteer coordination 

    • Build relationships with volunteer fundraisers, blog writers, and other volunteers supporting fundraising and administrative work

    • Coordinate volunteers prior to on-site events (Farm manager will coordinate during the event).

  • Donor data management-- currently donor information is stored in the Classy database, eventually we will transition this to Salesforce or another CRM

  • Grant management-- support President in gathering information for grant applications and reporting, and oversee timeline for reporting requirements

 

Communications

  • Create a communications strategy with the objective of bringing in new donors, retaining and upgrading donors, in collaboration with the President.

  • Manage website (created in Wix), create new content as needed, track analytics, and create strategy to increase site traffic and increase conversion rate.

  • Edit blog, coordinate writing of blog posts by leadership and volunteers, and ghost-write blog posts as needed.

  • Create email marketing strategy, and write email newsletters.

  • Create a social media strategy, create content, and manage accounts.

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree and at least 3 years of relevant work experience

  • Significant experience in individual giving and grassroots fundraising

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

  • Highly organized and excellent time-management skills

  • Able to work independently and collaborate with people from a range of backgrounds

  • Enjoys building relationships with donors and volunteers

  • Takes initiative and learns quickly

Desired Skills & Qualities

  • Experience with content marketing and copywriting

  • Deep interest in community resilience, food security, sustainable agriculture, and land sovereignty

  • Experience with Excel, Wix, Mailchimp, Classy (fundraising platform), and Salesforce is a plus

Salary & Benefits

We offer a competitive salary based on experience, competitive benefits package (health, dental and vision), and a generous vacation and leave policy.

Start Date: August 17th

Application Deadline: July 29th, early applications encouraged

How to Apply

Please submit your resume and cover letter to careers@blackoakscenter.org. Please include “Development and Communications Manager” in the subject line. Applications are due by July 29th. Early applications are encouraged, as they will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

 

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Black Oaks Center  |  6735 South Chicago Ave.  |  Chicago, IL 60637  |  (773) 410-3446

©2020 by Black Oaks Center