BlueGreen Alliance | Job Opening: California Economic Development Transition Strategist

Job Opening: California Economic Development Transition Strategist

The BlueGreen Alliance (BGA) seeks qualified candidates for the position of California Economic Development Transition Strategist.

BGA was formed in 2006 by the United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club in recognition that the future of working people and the health of the environment are inextricably linked. Now, together with 13 of the nation’s largest labor unions and most influential environmental organizations, we are fighting to protect the planet and advance racial and economic justice. The labor unions and environmental organizations of the BlueGreen Alliance reject the false choice that we must choose between good jobs and a clean environment. BGA builds a shared agenda between the labor and environmental movements on bold measures critical to advancing a future American economy that addresses climate change, protects public health, advances racial and economic justice, and creates good-paying union jobs in safe and healthy workplaces in communities across America. BGA develops policy, produces research, builds coalitions, provides education, advocates these policies at the local, state and federal level, and mobilizes working people to take action. 

Job Summary: BGA is seeking a dynamic organizer and advocate to join our California team as an Economic Development Transition Strategist (EDTS). The EDTS will focus on regional strategies, particularly in the Bay Area, to convene refinery workers, unions, the refinery-impacted community, Environmental Justice advocates, and allies across government, industry, and other stakeholder groups to envision economic development pathways and a healthy future for the Bay Area region and Contra Costa County specifically. The strategist will also be expected to assist in statewide planning, policy, and advocacy efforts pertaining to Economic Transition and related issues. This two-year position is funded by the CWDB High Road Training Partnership initiative. The EDTS will report to the Western States Director as well as receive day-to-day guidance from the CA State Manager.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Convene a coalition of rank-and-file unionized refinery workers, unions, frontline community members, and allies (including academia, NGOs, government stakeholders, industry and consultants) to develop economic development transition recommendations in Contra Costa County and the Bay Area region.
  • Manage day-to-day operations of the coalition including relationship building, meetings, agendas, convenings, conferences, data management, contracts, and grant deliverables.
  • With the assistance of the Western States Director and CA State Manager, set strategic direction for the coalition by identifying key constituencies to engage, problem-solving coalition dynamics, and identifying new resources (coalition member time,  communications support) with the primary goal of building a durable, trust-based coalition, and developing shared coalition goals and strategies. .
  • Coordinate and contextualize coalition research developed by research consultants across two primary areas: 
    • Economic development research pertaining to regional economic diversification strategies as well as refinery transition scenarios including modernization, retooling and shutdowns that analyze impacts on tax and economic revenue, public health, employment and GHG emissions.
    • Participatory action research with/of workers in oil refining industries to build shared understanding, commitment, and coalition understanding of worker perspectives, workers’ needs, and issues they face.
  • Participate in various policy and organizing discussions at the state, local, and regional level related to industry diversification strategies.
  • Develop and review public materials, which may include letters, policy memos, technical comments, white papers, reports and presentations. 
  • Ensure regular communications and updates on BGA initiatives among staff and partner organizations; and 
  • Other duties as required.

Skills & Qualifications:

Qualified candidates will demonstrate deep experience in and knowledge of grassroots movement and coalition building across climate, labor, and ideally community equity issues in California. This position will require heightened political and relational sensitivity in building, envisioning, and navigating dynamic alliances in the labor, community, and environmental organizing.  Candidates should demonstrate a strong labor, economic and climate justice orientation.

  • Deep experience with labor unions, specifically industrial and construction trades unions,  environmental justice organizations or community equity organizations required.
  • Experience organizing diverse coalitions of stakeholders over contentious issues in one if not more of the following issue areas: climate, labor, and/or other social justice.
  • Strong intersectional organizing approach and analysis with particularly strong understanding of one or more of the following areas: labor, worker, EJ, and equity principles, identities, and politics.
  • Experience in managing research projects connected to campaigns and coalition/issue organizing. 
  • Strong analytic and strategic-thinking skills;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a commitment to quality, and an ability to break down and communicate complicated public policy when writing for a general audience;
  • Ability to travel occasionally within the Bay Area and Sacramento when health and safety allows; 
  • Ability to use the various technology platforms utilized by BGA including IVDesk, Microsoft Outlook (including Outlook calendars), payroll systems, and any future programs as required;
  • Strong commitment to economic, racial and environmental justice; and
  • A deep commitment to the mission of the BlueGreen Alliance.

Additional Information: This is a two-year position, with the possibility of extension. Salary range $70,000-$80,000; generous benefits package that includes medical and dental, 401k with company match, generous vacation and holidays, and a friendly work environment. The BlueGreen Alliance staff is working virtually during the pandemic and is not requiring travel until further notice. This is a union represented position, represented by USW Local 2002.

How to Apply: Please submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and three references to Jennifer Bakkom‐Gatzke ( Please include your location, salary requirements, and where you saw the posting. Please write “CA Economic Development Transition Strategist” in the subject line of your email. Position open until filled.

Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

BlueGreen Alliance does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity, or veteran status in the administration of employment policies, or in any other programs and activities