April 2, 2021 by Southern Maine Workers Center

SMWC is hiring an Executive Director! (Extended Deadline)

About the Southern Maine Workers Center

The Southern Maine Workers’ Center (SMWC) is a membership organization committed to creating a people-powered movement that improves the lives, working conditions, and terms of employment for working and poor people in Maine— particularly low-wage workers, young people, immigrant workers, and people of color. 

SMWC conducts transformative grassroots organizing through four committees. Work With Dignity (WWD) leads campaigns to improve public policy for workers, and runs a hotline and legal clinic. Health Care is a Human Right (HCHR) organizes directly impacted people into a long-term campaign for universal health care, alongside shorter-term advocacy efforts to protect and expand access to health care. Our Political Education Committee creates popular education workshops that connect all of our issues to their root causes. The Membership Committee orients new members and supports their leadership development. SMWC conducts meetings in English and French, and is currently working to strengthen and build out our language justice program and multi-lingual organizing practices.


The incoming Executive Director will inherit a fiscally healthy organization with a highly engaged core of member leaders and broader active membership. SMWC was formed in 2006 by members of the Southern Maine Labor Council to create new strategies for engaging non-union workers in the labor movement. In 2012, SMWC began an organizational transformation to reinvigorate our programs and become more constituent-led. In 2013, SMWC developed a base building strategy, created our Health Care is a Human Right (HCHR) and Work With Dignity (WWD) committees, and adopted our human rights framework. Since 2015 we have grown significantly and have helped organize and win a minimum wage increase in the City of Portland, a statewide earned paid sick leave policy, and to stop the closure of a public health clinic in Portland, among other victories. In addition to campaign wins, we’ve empowered new organizers, grown a reputation for fierce defense of human rights, and used our people power to critique and transform the systems of oppression that devalue and destroy the lives of working people across our State. After years of growth, we began a strategic planning process this year to evaluate our organizational and staffing structure, to better balance our campaign and program work with staff and member-leader capacity, and develop new collective decision making processes to prioritize work across the organization. The incoming ED will support these collaborative efforts to lead us into a new phase of powerful organizing at the intersection of workers’ rights and health care justice. 


The primary responsibility of the Executive Director (ED) of the Southern Maine Workers’ Center is to support the organization to reach its goals and carry out its mission. The ED is the lead staff member responsible for bottom-lining the fiscal health of the organization. The ED is charged with overseeing and supporting a team of staff, and coordinating collaboration amongst organizers and members to carry out campaign and coalition strategies. The ED accomplishes their varied workload through collective decision making, and by prioritizing tasks, delegating responsibilities, and managing their time closely. 


SMWC seeks a right-brained leftist to help build and maintain a strong community-based organization. Supported by other staff, the Executive Director will be the primary staff member responsible for: 

Fiscal management:

  • Works with the Treasurer and Finance Committee to bottom-line the development of annual budgets.
  • Supports the organization in developing a participatory budgeting process. Works with the Treasurer and Finance Committee to ensure staff and members are educated about SMWC’s fiscal policies, and ensures those policies are kept current and adhered to. 
  • Oversees the work of the Treasurer and bookkeeper in filing taxes and keeping books up to date.

Board Management & Administration

  • Works with the Executive Committee of the board and the Administrative Coordinator to ensure the organization is compliant with all internal administrative and HR policies. 
  • Supports the Executive Committee in planning and facilitating board meetings, and orienting board members. 
  • Works with the Administrative Coordinator to develop and refine admin systems and delegation. 

Staff management and supervision:

  • Manages and supports the work of staff through regularly scheduled one-on-ones.
  • Provides feedback on challenges and successes through regular evaluations. 
  • Supports staff in goal setting and accountability.
  • Provides training or facilitates opportunities for professional development from other sources. 
  • Oversees hiring and onboarding of new staff and independent contractors. 


  • Oversees the work of the Fundraising Committee, which includes researching grant opportunities, writing and submitting grant applications, and updating funders where appropriate.
  • Creates and carries out a strategy for grassroots fundraising.
  • Ensuring the Board of Directors contributes meaningfully to fundraising efforts, including one on one support and accountability with board members towards fundraising goals. 


SMWC seeks a leader who is interested in helping to shape the organization by acting as an equal co-partner, able to maintain a work plan that includes both organizational-wide operations and overlapping, cooperative spheres of work. We seek an individual who will bring skills, enthusiasm, and leadership to some of the following essential areas: 

Movement building

  • Helps cultivate and maintain relationships with local and national organizations with whom we share political values by keeping tabs of local and national issues.
  • Oversees a collaborative process with staff and members to prioritize coalition activities, base building programs, and relationships.
  • Participate in joint efforts to change state and local policies

Programming Committee Support 

  • Where possible, attends regularly-scheduled program committee meetings to provide support and guidance. 
  • Helps to ensure committees’ work remains consistent with commitments we have made to funders, as well as to the SMWC’s overall mission. 

Organizational Development

  • Collaborates with staff and members on organizational visioning and strategic planning (core values, structure, mission). 
  • Facilitates conversations among staff, membership, and the board at meetings and retreats.


  • Collaborates with staff to carry out Media & Communications work plans, including devising newsletters and implementing social media strategies for program areas.


Our office is based in Portland, Maine. While we are still doing most of our organizing work remotely, the incoming ED should be based in Southern Maine and able to commute to Portland as needed.  

The ideal candidate excels at supporting the leadership and expertise of others, while providing vision, guidance, and leadership in collaborative and participatory decision making. The ED should be deeply invested in our grassroots organizing values. Candidates with significant lived experience navigating white supremacy, classism, and other systems of oppression will be prioritized. The ideal candidate should also have the following qualifications: 

  • At least 5 years experience with transformative organizing experience, with grassroots or labor organizations. Experience with member based organizations preferred.
  • At least 3 years experience with organizational development including fundraising, strategic planning, financial management
  • Capable of leading with a collective mindset, including building up other people’s leadership, mentoring staff, excellent facilitation skills, taking direction from membership and board, and experience with and commitment to consensus-based decision making
  • Self directed worker, capable of managing own work plans and hours, prioritizing and delegating work and supporting other people’s organization and planning
  • Alignment with SMWC values, principles, and goals
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and english fluency.

Skills or experience in any of the following areas/activities are also desirable: 

  • Rooted in communities most impacted by systems of oppression, including communities of color and low-income, LGBTQIA+, and immigrant communities.
  • Experience in public relations, marketing, preparing publications.
  • Experience with Google Suite tools and WordPress.
  • Ability to communicate in French, Spanish, Portugese, ASL, or other languages used by residents of Southern Maine.


This is a full time, salaried position. Hours are Monday through Friday, including some evenings and weekends.  Starting salary is $52,000. SMWC is pleased to offer robust benefits including 20 days of paid vacation, 12 paid holidays, and 10 days of paid sick leave. In addition, SMWC employees are entitled to 8 weeks of paid parental leave. Employees also qualify for a 3 month paid sabbatical with an additional $1,000 stipend after five years of employment. SMWC covers the full premium for health benefits through Maine Community Health Options, and provides a vision stipend. 

To Apply:

Please send your resume, cover letter and contacts for three references to: by the end of the day on Weds, May 19th (extended deadline). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until then. We look forward to hearing from you!