Design and Placemaking Project Coordinator

Grounded Strategies

Pittsburgh, PA, USA


US$40-40k (annually)


Full time

Mar 8

The position will close on March 31, 2023, and interviews to commence in April 2023

About Grounded

Grounded works to improve the social, economic, and environmental health of distressed and transitional communities by building capacity to reclaim vacant and underutilized land. In order for residents to thrive in all aspects of their lives, they must find support, safety, and pride in their physical environment. For the past 15 years, we have provided a platform for engagement, education, and implementing change in communities experiencing hypervacancy in Allegheny County. Our approach to this work relies on expertise in the fields of design, land stewardship, and land use policy. 

Position Summary

The Design and Placemaking Program at Grounded manages vacant land interventions that require design services. The goal of this program is to aid community organizations and grassroots leaders who wish to improve their built environment, but are unable to access professional design services via for-profit vendors. The Project Coordinator’s primary responsibility is to support activities related to engagement with community members, producing drawings and other essential materials, and implementing these designs with the help of external contractors, Grounded Stewards, and our volunteer networks. 

The Project Coordinator is a designer who is passionate about community-centered design, sustainable landcare practices, and grassroots environmental justice efforts. Success in this role will require an ability to communicate clearly, orally and in writing; ability to switch quickly between tasks and support more than one project simultaneously; ability to work  with a variety of personalities in the roles of partners, supervisors, staff, and peers.

Reports to: Design and Placemaking Project Manager

Applicant Requirements

  • Lives locally.
  • Driver's License
  • COVID-19 vaccination required
  • Holds a Bachelor degree (BA, BS, etc.) related to the fields of architecture and/or landscape architecture, or at least 3 years of working experience in a similar role.
  • Has a working knowledge of design software, i.e. AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, or Google SketchUp; Twinmotion, V-Ray, or a comparable rendering application; Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. 
  • Personal values align with the vision and values of Grounded Strategies, including Grounded's stance on anti-racism, as well as Grounded’s policies related to workplace discrimination and harrassment.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and Google Workspace.
  • Demonstrates the following skills via portfolio submission:
  • Architecture/landscape design
  • Examples of software use listed above
  • Sketching by hand
  • Model making
  • Simple carpentry
  • Landscaping/project implementation on-site
  • Community engagement
  • Graphic design & project writing
  • Possesses humility and enthusiasm for working with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Works well in a team-oriented environment and maintains harmonious relationships.
  • Works well with people in various communities, institutional and governmental organizations.   
  • Some experience with volunteer management, community engagement, educational initiatives community development, environmental justice, and/or planning.
  • Excellent organization, time management, problem-solving skills, communication, and interpersonal skills.

Coordinator Responsibilities

  • Charrette and build-day event coordination, i.e. resident and neighborhood group communications, flyering, door-knocking, volunteer recruitment, and small group facilitation.
  • Product research, vendor quotes, material orders, site delivery coordination, and general procurement.
  • Project documentation, i.e. photo, video, project writing, social media and website post coordination, and grant reporting support.
  • Drawing set production, i.e. existing conditions, schematic design, construction documents, concept renderings.
  • Design implementation support on-site, i.e. build-day material organization and preparation, oversight of volunteer build activities, general assistance with build tasks. 
  • Data collection and site assessment support. 
  • Best practice research, i.e. industry standards, opportunities for innovation and improvement within the Design and Placemaking program.
  • Supporting the day-to-day activities of the Resident Resources Trio as directed by the Design and Placemaking Project Manager (PGH Mobile Toolbox, Land Doctor, Refresh Fund).

General Responsibilities

  • Understand and expound upon the Grounded mission when and where required. 
  • Maintain an up-to-date calendar for reference and schedule coordination with fellow colleagues, project partners and material vendors.
  • Use organization-standard scheduling processes for reserving tools and machines.
  • Chair and/or participate in Grounded internal committees, i.e. Fieldwork Protocol Committee, Workplace Culture Committee, and Development Committee. 
  • Prepare and present assigned slides for discussion during quarterly program presentations.
  • Maintain strong relationships with fellow colleagues, clients, partners and residents. 

Physical Requirements & Work Environment: 

  • Must be able to lift 30 pounds. 
  • Ability to travel to Grounded offices, community meetings, volunteer workdays, and other events. 
  • Occasional standing for lengthy periods of time during outreach events or volunteer engagements.
  • Grounded allows employees to work a pre-approved hybrid schedule to support work-life balance and efficiency. Expectations for remote work are reliable electricity and internet connections in a relatively distraction-free environment.


  • 40 hours/week. 
  • Flexible schedule, some evenings and weekends.

Salary & Benefits

This position is overtime-exempt. The base salary for this position is $40,000. The total annual compensation is $47,704 with the base salary in addition to the benefits listed below:  

  • Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance, 85% Coverage for employees
  • If employees meet their annual health insurance deductible, 50% is reimbursed by Grounded
  • 10 Holidays, plus your birthday, in addition to the week between Christmas and New Year’s when the Grounded office is closed
  • 19 days of personal time off (includes all vacation, sick leave, and other personal days off)
  • Life Insurance, Accidental Death/Dismemberment, Short- and Long-term disability available after 3 months 
  • SIMPLE IRA retirement plan with up to 3% match from Grounded available after 6 months of employment

Application Requirements

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Visual portfolio in the form of a webpage, .PDF or comparable format

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Grounded Strategies

Change rooted in community