Regional Community Affairs Specialist
California Water Service (Cal Water) invites you to pursue a career with the largest investor-owned American water utility west of the Mississippi River and the third-largest publicly traded water utility in the country. Formed in 1926, the San Jose-based company was named one of the Bay Area’s Top Workplaces several years in a row. Cal Water employees pride themselves on sharing a commitment to being the leader in providing its customers and communities with traditional and innovative utility services.
Cal Water offers a generous total compensation package. We have competitive salaries and match a portion of employees’ contributions to their Company 401(k). In addition, we provide a Company-funded pension plan, great healthcare benefits that provide coverage to employees and dependents, and generous tuition reimbursement. In addition, employees receive 11 paid holidays and three floating holidays per year, and two weeks of sick leave and vacation.
We are committed to hiring the best candidates, developing current employees, and promoting from within. Continuous improvement and employee development opportunities allow employees to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to progress and reach your career goals.
The Regional Community Affairs Specialist serves as a liaison between California Water Service (Cal Water) and community stakeholders in order to build and maintain effective, professional relationships with these constituencies. This position will have responsibility for the districts in a geographic region (i.e. northern, central, or southern California) and can be based in the San Jose or San Mateo office.
•Supports and assists local management in the building and maintaining of effective, professional relationships with local elected officials, their staffs, community leaders, community organizations, the district offices of state and federal elected officials, and local news media , collectively referred to as “stakeholders.” Where appropriate, develops and maintains their own relationships with such “stakeholders.”
•Supports and assists local management in the building and maintaining of effective, professional relationships with key influencers in communities not currently served by Cal Water . Where appropriate, develops and maintains their own relationships with these key influencers.
•Ensures that stakeholders are provided with timely communications about emerging issues that may be of interest to them; advocating the company’s interests on these matters in order to garner local support and understanding.
•Identifies and coordinates opportunities for Cal Water districts to be members of local community organizations.
•Identifies and coordinates opportunities for Cal Water to make presentations to and/or meet with stakeholders; assists local management teams in preparing and delivering these presentations; and when necessary makes presentations to and meets with stakeholders themselves.
•Identifies and coordinates opportunities for Cal Water to partner with stakeholders on projects that will provide value to the company, its customers, or its employees.
•Identifies and coordinates opportunities for Cal Water to make charitable contributions to deserving organizations; communicates those contributions to the Corporate Communications team so that they can be appropriately communicated.
•Monitors the agendas of local government bodies in order to identify items of relevance to Cal Water; produces written analyses of relevant items; identifies instances in which Cal Water needs to advocate its interests before local government bodies to protect and promote Cal Water’s strategic goals and objectives; may testify at hearings as necessary, or coordinate the testimony of other Cal Water employees on matters of importance to the Company.
•Monitors local elections and appropriately communicates changes to the makeup of local governing bodies; evaluates the impact of local elections on Cal Water’s strategic goals and objectives.
•Plans, organizes, and conducts tours of Cal Water’s facilities for stakeholders.
•Plans, organizes, and coordinates special events.
•Plans and organizes regular forums for stakeholders during which Cal Water will discuss emerging water-related issues.
•Identifies capital projects the company is undertaking that may be of interest to stakeholders; communicates details about those projects to the Corporate Communications team so that they can be appropriately communicated.
•Learns about and understands technical engineering and construction projects, and synthesizes information about those projects into easy-to-understand outreach materials and talking points.
•Learns about and understands technical water utility rate information, and synthesizes that information into easy-to-understand outreach materials and talking points.
•Prepares proposals for new initiatives designed to advance Cal Water’s strategic goals and objectives.
•Identifies earned media opportunities; shares those opportunities with the Corporate Communications team.
•Serves as a backup media spokesperson and attends annual media training provided by Cal Water.
•Assists Cal Water’s Conservation Coordinators in identifying opportunities to interface with customers and promote the company’s water conservation programs.
•Identifies opportunities for Cal Water to interact with stakeholders on social media channels; shares those opportunities with the Corporate Communications team.
•Assists in the execution of Cal Water’s social media strategy, including providing responses to comments on the company’s social media platforms.
•Drafts letters, emails, and other correspondence to stakeholders, and assists local management teams to do the same.
•In coordination with the Corporate Communications team, drafts news releases, fact sheets, newsletters, and other communications materials.
•Participates in and supports the company’s Continuous Improvement program and projects.
•Performs other duties as assigned.
•Attends meetings and training as directed by Cal Water.
•Serves as the Liaison, and possibly the Public Information Officer, in Cal Water’s Joint Incident Command System during emergency events.
•Assists in the management of Cal Water’s professional services contracts with public affairs and public relations firms.
•Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Public Policy, Public Affairs, Political Science, Communications, Public Relations, or related field; an advanced degree is preferred.
•Five or more years of experience developing and executing strategies to engage community stakeholders, as well as building effective, professional relationships those stakeholders.
•Five or more years of experience monitoring and analyzing municipal and county agendas, legislative proposals, and codes.
•Experience independently managing projects and completing them on time and on budget.
•Experience coordinating special events is desirable.
•Experience utilizing various social media platforms, such as Facebook, as part of a larger communications strategy is desirable.
•Experience interacting with print, radio, and television media outlets is desirable.
•Experience working in or with local, county, state, or federal government, especially on similar issues, is desirable.
•Excellent professional-level verbal and written communication skills with the ability to represent Cal Water in a professional manner at all times.
•Experience managing professional services contracts with public affairs or public relations firms is desirable.
•Ability to plan, organize, prioritize, negotiate, and network.
•Superior organization skills and the ability to handle multiple projects, meet deadlines, and work independently.
•Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Outlook. Experience with Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is desirable.
•Willing and able to travel within California extensively (50% to 75% of the time), including overnight stays (25% to 50% of the time).
•Valid California Driver License.
Deadline to submit resume is Thursday, October 31, 2019.
The Equal Opportunity Policy of the Company is based upon the philosophy that all people should be treated fairly and with dignity. California Water Service, Hawaii Water Service, New Mexico Water Service and Washington Water Service do not discriminate against any applicant or employee because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or any other protected class. The Company makes all employment decisions in a non-discriminatory manner. EOE, VET, DISABILITIES