The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina is dedicated to enhancing the ability of governments and other organizations to provide environmental programs and services in fair, effective, and financially sustainable ways. The EFC at UNC is part of the University’s public service mission and works directly with environmental service providers. It is housed at the School of Government, which is the largest university-based local government training, advisory, and research organization in the United States. The EFC at UNC works on several projects with drinking water and wastewater systems.
One of our major projects is a national effort funded by the US EPA to work with small drinking water systems on finance and management. The project involves education events and direct technical assistance to local government and non-governmental water systems in every state and territory in the United States. For more information on the project, see http://efcnetwork.org/. The Environmental Finance Community Advisor will play an important role in helping advise the utility managers, town managers, and local decision-makers in charge of small water systems. That assistance will include measuring the financial well-being of the water system, analyzing the affordability of the rates charged to the customers, looking at the impact capital projects will have on utility budgets and costs, and benchmarking water system energy use. Work will include speaking directly with utility officials, data synthesis and analysis (usually using and editing existing EFC at UNC spreadsheets tailored for this analysis), online and literature searches, and reviewing and evaluating financial documents.
The Community Advisor will also conduct business case analyses for water utility sustainability projects. The Community Advisor will be responsible for summarizing this information in clear, concise, and engaging ways for our water system clients. As part of these tasks, the Community Advisor will use—and preferably edit and tailor—existing EFC spreadsheet models designed for this purpose (see https://efc.sog.unc.edu/project/utility-financial-tools) and will help create new Excel-based models to guide the decision-making of water system managers. In addition, the Community Advisor will work on other projects related to drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and wetland finance. This work will include conducting original qualitative and quantitative research on finance, conservation, energy efficiency, and other aspects of sustainability.
The position will be ideal for someone looking to get started working with environmental finance and local government or for someone who has experience working with and advising water utility managers on financial issues. The Community Advisor can begin working upon hire. Candidates who are still in school can begin working as a part-time employee during the academic year and would then transition to full-time employment after graduation in May 2018. As per state employment rules, a background check will be required. The School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill works to improve the lives of North Carolinians by engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens understand and improve state and local government. As the largest university-based local government training, advisory, and research organization in the United States, the School of Government offers up to 200 courses, webinars, and specialized conferences for more than 12,000 public officials each year. In addition, faculty members annually publish approximately 50 books, manuals, reports, articles, bulletins, and other print and online content related to state and local government. The School is also home to a nationally ranked graduate program in public administration and specialized centers focused on information technology and environmental finance.
For more information and application details, click here.