Extension Educator Applied Research, Community and Economic Development
Penn State University
The College of Agricultural Sciences is seeking an individual trained in agricultural economics, demography, sociology, rural sociology, geography, economic and community development, and/or related field to join our nationally recognized Energy, Business & Community Vitality Unit within Penn State Extension. The individual will provide applied research support to Penn State Extension’s Energy, Business and Community Vitality Unit, connecting local opportunities and challenges associated with community, economic, and agricultural business development to sound science. This includes working closely as a member of that unit to set objectives, identify applied research needs relevant to the unit’s target audiences, and then developing, conducting, creating educational materials to disseminate the results of that research, and utilizing evaluation to measure success and impact. Research methods used likely will include secondary data analysis, surveys, focus groups, economic impact analysis, and GIS. The individual will serve as a link between the Extension unit and Penn State’s Center for Economic and Community Development, drawing upon the Center’s expertise as appropriate for conducting applied research. To facilitate this linkage, the position will be housed in the Center, located in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education at the Penn State University, University Park Campus, Armsby Building. Though reporting to the Assistant Director of Programs, the individual will be expected to work closely with Center faculty and staff. The educator will be part of the state Extension unit, participating as a full member of that unit, providing applied research support and education to help the unit address identified needs and opportunities for analysis. This job will be filled as a level 3, or level 4, depending upon the successful candidate's competencies, education, and experience. Typically requires a Master's degree or higher plus two years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience for a level 3. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher level jobs. Preference will be given to candidates with degree(s) in agricultural economics, demography, sociology, rural sociology, geography, economic and community development, or related disciplines, and those that have related work experience. Competitive candidates will have a detailed understanding of community engagement, community and economic development, agriculture, and enjoy working independently and as a team member on a wide variety of applied research projects. Candidates must possess effective communication skills (verbal and written), research skills, interpersonal skills, ability to build effective working relationships with colleagues and clientele, and work both independently and as an active member of a team. The candidate must be very organized and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Desired experience includes successfully conducting applied research, such as secondary data analysis, surveys, focus groups, ARC-GIS visualization and spatial analysis, and IMPLAN; grants management; understanding and practicing community engagement and development methods; and proficiency in use of computer software packages, such as Microsoft products suite and statistical software. The individual must be able to work effectively in a unit, and with diverse populations and audiences. The successful candidate will need to develop and/or participate in collaborations across multiple disciplines, departments, colleges, and institutions. All unit members must participate in the development of a diverse external funding portfolio (e.g. grants, contracts, cost recovery, development) in support of the unit’s programs and projects. The individual will develop original applied research content and likely engage audiences through innovative educational methods such as online courses, videos, mobile apps, and electronic publications, in addition to traditional publications, in-person presentations and in-service training for Extension educators and faculty. The candidate must be able to carry equipment, and educational materials and supplies, with or without accommodation. Significant travel (including overnight trips) is required. The candidate must possess a valid passport, driver's license and have use of a private vehicle. Since the position requires operating a motor vehicle as part of the job duties, successful completion of a motor vehicle records check is required, as well as standard background checks. This position is an opportunity to join one of the nation’s leading Extension organizations as it embarks on a new and exciting business model that encourages risk taking and innovation. Penn State Extension is an organization on the move and a leader in learning environment innovation. This is a fixed-term appointment funded for one year from date of hire with excellent possibility of re-funding.
These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.