Community Engagement and Planning Specialist

Job Description

Self-Help Enterprises has an opening for a Community Development Specialist on our Community Sustainability team, based out of our Visalia or Madera office, with an emphasis on helping rural, low-income communities in obtaining safe drinking water and increasing the capacity of rural community leaders to effectively impact water management. Community Development Specialists work closely with low-income, rural residents to assist them in participating in regional water management and groundwater sustainability planning. It is a necessary function of this position to serve in an advocacy and technical assistance role regarding the needs of rural, low-income people for safe, adequate water.



  • Support community and Tribal participation in regional water management and groundwater sustainability, and Multi-benefit Land Repurposing planning.
  • Educate disadvantaged communities (DACs) and Tribes on the Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Program, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), and the Multibenefit Land Repurposing Program (MLRP) through activities, including but not limited to, hosting workshops, developing, presenting and disseminating educational material, and coordinating water tours.
  • Conduct community outreach to engage disadvantaged communities (DACs) and Tribes, including but not limited to, door-to-door outreach and attending community and/or water board meetings.
  • Attend IRWM and Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) meetings to inform IRWM groups and GSAs of DAC needs in the region/facilitate community participation.
  • Build long-term water management capacity and expertise in rural community leaders. 
  • Coordinate with the local, state, and federal agencies to implement SHE’s community engagement, planning, capacity building, and training programs.
  • Conduct technical/data review of Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and draft comment letters based on findings of the technical/data review. Seeking technical expertise to review groundwater models, water budgets, draft GSPs, and proposed groundwater fees.

Must Haves


  • Four-year college degree or equivalent work experience
  • Ability to work with diverse community groups, including Tribes, low-income, and other community groups
  • Ability to work with public and private agency officials
  • Ability to analyze technical documents related to groundwater quality and supply
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong computer (Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.) skills
  • Ability to manage time and work tasks with a minimum of supervision
  • Ability to work effectively with public and private agency officials
  • Strong facilitation and leadership development skills
  • Ability to problem solve and brainstorm creative solutions in challenging situations, and
  • Ability to work in a high-volume environment with multiple deadlines and a variety of tasks


Type: Full-time

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Self-Help Enterprises

Self-Help Enterprises is a nationally recognized community development organization whose mission is to work together with low-income families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. In the last 50+ years, Self-Help Enterprises’ efforts have touched the lives of over 50,000 families.

Equal Opportunity Employer

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