Spend Your Summer with NeighborWorks!

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania (NWNEPA) seeks an outstanding individual to provide 8 weeks of service, beginning June 11, 2018, through AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). NWNEPA is a nonprofit organization that revitalizes neighborhoods and creates opportunities for individuals and families to improve their lives through quality housing and financial guidance. The VISTA Summer Associate will function as a core part of our staff devoted to bringing low-income individuals and communities out of poverty.

About the Position

The VISTA Summer Associate will coordinate and participate in a variety of home repair and modification projects for elderly, disabled, and low-income homeowners in and around Scranton. This includes NWNEPA’s annual NeighborWorks Week event, scheduled for July 30 to August 4, during which approximately 150 volunteers will provide critical home repairs to about 30 homeowners. The VISTA Summer Associate will also oversee neighborhood cleanup projects and participate in planning meetings as part of a larger neighborhood revitalization effort in West Scranton.

This position requires a commitment to serve as a full-time employee for an 8-week period this summer. Compensation is paid directly to the VISTA Summer Associate in the form of a modest bi-weekly living allowance from AmeriCorps VISTA. At the end of the term of service, an education award or cash stipend may be provided. Visit the AmeriCorps VISTA website for more information about the program.

Qualifications

  • U.S. citizen at least 18 years of age
  • Responsible, self-motivated, and able to handle multiple on-going projects
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Basic computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Ability to work independently and exercise considerable initiative
  • Regular and timely attendance
  • Valid driver’s license and privately owned vehicle for service-related travel

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted until May 28, 2018, or until the job is filled. For more information or to apply, contact Todd Pousley, Community Revitalization Manager, at (570) 558-2490 or tpousley@nwnepa.org.

We’re Hiring!

NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is currently seeking an Executive Assistant. This full-time position provides a variety of skilled administrative support for the officers, board and operations of NWNEPA. Responsibilities include oversight and direct tasks in the areas of office administration, human resources, organizational strategy, and board communications.

Essential Functions

Officer and Board Support:

  • Provide direct support to President & CEO for administrative and management activities, including correspondence, communications, research/analyzing data and information, and other special projects.
  • Represent the President & CEO, as appropriate, with staff and partners in meetings and in special circumstances.
  • Coordinate and attend all Board meetings and events. Record and maintain Board meeting minutes and other official Board documentation.
  • Promote positive image of the Officers, Board, and organization as a whole by ensuring that all communications, both oral and written, adhere to professionally accepted standards.
  • Work with Officers on coordination of scheduling, files and records.
  • Coordination and support of Board Committee work.

Office Administration:

  • Assist with coordination of Employee Benefits (401(k), HRA/FSA Plans, Disability, etc.).
  • Coordination of internal staff meetings and strategy sessions.
  • Assist with ensuring organizational policies and procedures are current and being adhered to.
  • Management of NWNEPA insurance policies.
  • Oversee organizational file management systems and process improvements
  • Mailing lists and contact database management.
  • Coordination of office activities, vendors and staff to keep office running efficiently and smoothly.

Special Projects & Other Duties:

  • Assists staff with the research and preparation of high-quality grant proposals and reports for community program funding and revenue sources.
  • Assists with organizational strategic planning.
  • Manages additional special projects and administrative tasks for Officers as needed.

Education & Experience

Bachelor’s Degree with a minimum of 5 years of experience working in a relevant non-profit or business environment. Experience in the productive and efficient management of programs or an administrative office preferred.

Job Requirements & Skills

  • Excellent communication and customer service skills.
  • High level of diplomacy, unquestionable integrity, and the demonstrated ability to deal confidentially with sensitive situations and information.
  • Strong leadership and organizational skills.
  • Results oriented and able to direct or manage multiple activities, programs, and/or projects in a fast paced environment.
  • Critical thinking skills necessary to make appropriate decisions and work independently.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and internet navigation.
  • Embrace NWNEPA’s mission and core values.

Other Details

  • NWNEPA is an equal opportunity employer.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience. Compensation package also includes health reimbursement account, 401(k) match, paid time off, and paid holidays.
  • NWNEPA operates a team-oriented, flexible work environment.
  • Training and professional development opportunities available.

Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to jergott@nwnepa.org.

World War II Veteran and His Wife Receive the Bathroom They Deserve

For seniors, there are many obstacles to growing old in the comfort of their own homes. Every house is unique, and most have features that may have been easier to use when the owners were younger and had different abilities. Many homes in northeastern Pennsylvania, for example, were built with only one full bathroom, which is usually located on the second floor. Since walking up and down stairs is often a challenge for older adults, it is important to find ways to remove this barrier to aging in place.

This was the challenge faced by Joe McDonnell and his wife, Joan. Drafted to serve in World War II at the age of 18, young Joe McDonnell was proud and happy to defend his nation at war. After arriving at Le Havre, France, Joe was assigned to the 101st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron, Troop C, attached to the 5th Armored Tank Division. Joe was a cavalry scout, the “eyes and ears” of the Army. His job was to stay ahead of his unit, sometimes as far as 25 miles, to evaluate enemy strength and identify targets. Fortunately, he made it through the war with just one injury—trench foot—but he had many close calls, including one during the legendary Battle of the Bulge.

After being discharged with four Battle Stars in 1946, Joe moved back to Brownstown, PA, to finish up high school. After graduation, he went off to GI school and earned certificates in machining, foundry, and tin-smithing. He then had a diverse working life making caskets, supervising a $4.5 million sewage disposal project at RCA in Mountaintop, running his own roofing business, providing maintenance at Wilkeswood Apartments, and finally retiring in 1988 as grounds superintendent at the University of Scranton.

The home that Joe and Joan live in is over 125 years old, and it was acquired from Joan’s family. Now 92 years old, Joe and his wife Joan are finding it harder to navigate their home. Last year, Joan fell on the stairs and broke her femur. Now she must use a walker or wheelchair to move from one room to another.

Installing an accessible bathroom downstairs would make it easier for Joe and Joan to remain safely in their family home. So NeighborWorks partnered with CIL Cares to transform the McDonnells’ first-floor laundry room into a bathroom with a walk-in shower, sink, and stackable washer and dryer. NeighborWorks used a grant from the Home Depot Foundation to purchase the necessary materials and supplies, and CIL Cares helped the McDonnells obtain Medicaid funding to cover the installation.

The end result: the McDonnells’ home was made safer by moving the most important amenities, like the bathroom, to the first floor so that Joe and Joan no longer have to traverse the stairs. We were honored to give back to this very deserving couple and look forward to assisting other older homeowners like them.

This post is part of a series focused on helping older homeowners live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible, a concept know as aging in place. Read our last post, How to Prevent Falls and Accidents at Home, and stay tuned for the next post in the series!