Otsego Career Access Network (OCAN) Network Coordinator Position Description

Otsego Career Access Network (OCAN) is a county-wide alliance of members from a variety of backgrounds representing K-12 education, higher education, the nonprofit sector, government, business, philanthropy, and other post-secondary success champions.  OCAN is committed to utilizing a collective impact approach to expand successful completion of advanced training and education among Otsego County students and working adults.  In 2019, the Education Committee of the Otsego Community Foundation began a conversation exploring ways to be more effective with philanthropic resources designated for educational purposed. In fall of 2021, the group received a planning grant from the Michigan College Access Network (see press release below).  Funding for this position is made possible through a grant from the Michigan College Access Network and the Community Fund of the Otsego Community Foundation. OCAN’s vision is to connect every individual in Otsego County with access to opportunities for advanced training and education.

Job Title:  Otsego Career Access Network Coordinator
Classification: Contractual, Variable, expected average 20-24 hours / week 
Reports to: Otsego Career Access Network Leadership Team
Salary: $25,000 – $30,000 annual compensation

OCAN’s efforts are guided by these beliefs:

Advanced Training and Education is training beyond high school that leads to attainment of valuable credentials, including professional or technical certificates and academic degrees.  

Access to and promotion of Advanced Training and Education is a necessity, dramatically increasing an individual’s economic independence in a knowledge-based economy.  

Advanced Training and Education is for everyone, thus systems must empower every individual and ensure equity in attainment of advanced training and education.

Advanced Training and Education is a public good critical to healthy communities, a strong economy, a thriving democracy and a just and equitable society.

Advanced Training and Education enhances personal well-being, including improved health, safety, engagement, self-esteem, and achievement of fullest personal potential.

Advanced Training and Education supports the sustainability of local employers, and we can advance our local economy by promoting awareness of living wage opportunities that are happening here.  

Specific goals of Otsego CAN have been identified as part of its shared Common Agenda and are aligned with increasing the overall attainment of advanced training & education in Otsego County to a targeted level by 2030.

Position Overview

The OCAN Coordinator is responsible for working with all alliance members to carry out OCAN’s shared Common Agenda, defining a plan to achieve identified goals and supporting systems change within and among member organizations.  The OCAN Coordinator will become a local expert and change agent steeped in knowledge of the collective impact approach and well-versed in practices that lead to a community-wide culture supporting advanced training and education.  The OCAN Coordinator is also the primary connection between the OCAN Leadership Team and action teams cultivated by the Leadership Team to work on identified priority areas and action plans.

Key Responsibilities

  • Effectively facilitate OCAN Leadership Team meetings, keeping  the group focused and moving forward with meaningful progress.  Identify prospective new members and recruit them to participate.
  • Manage data collection and analysis.  Identify, maintain, assess and share relevant metrics with network partners and community to evaluate progress.
  • Facilitate strategic conversations and shared programming among partners.  Develop and maintain effective communication mechanisms among all community partners.
  • Build relationships with partners within and outside of Otsego County as needed to maximize resources and experience in support of Network goals.
  • Help develop and mobilize funding. Collaborate with local, state, and national organizations to leverage resources, securing grants and other funding as needed.
  • Assist with annual budget development and provide effective stewardship of financial resources.
  • Work closely with the Michigan College Access Network and other OCAN supporters and partners to receive technical assistance, resources and best practices relevant to the work of OCAN.

Desired skills and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree / master’s preferred
  • Strong interpersonal, organizational, group facilitation, and communication skills
  • Prior experience in building collaborative efforts to fully leverage human and financial resources toward defined goals
  • Administrative and/or project management experience, including data analysis and presentation skills
  • Ability to work comfortably with diverse populations, including organizational leaders
  • Ability to use technology, including Microsoft Office applications, social media, presentation and web technologies
  • Successful history of grant writing and donor solicitation to support program revenue needs
  • Commitment to increasing successful completion of advanced training and education throughout Otsego County
  • Ability to meet occasional local and statewide travel requirements

Additional Information

The Otsego Community Foundation (OCF) is serving as the designated anchor entity of the initiative for administrative and fiscal oversight.  The Network Coordinator will have a contractual relationship with OCF.

OCAN is part of a statewide group of local access networks coordinated by the Michigan College Access Network.  More information about MCAN can be found at www.micollegeaccess.org .
To apply, please submit a cover letter summarizing your qualifications and interest in the position, as well as a resume and three professional references.  These materials are due no later than July 5, 2022 with submission to OtsegoCAN@gmail.com and the subject line “OCAN Coordinator”.  An interview team will screen applicants, interview finalists, and make a hiring recommendation.  Questions about the position can be directed to OtsegoCAN@gmail.com.

Michigan College Access Network awards $20,000 to Otsego Community Foundation to launch local college access network

October 27, 2021


Media Contact:

Katie Wittenauer, katie@micollegeaccess.org, (517) 316-1713

Grant funding will be used to establish community network for postsecondary access work

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded a $20,000 Planning Grant to the Otsego Community Foundation to start the process of establishing a Local College Access Network (LCAN) in Otsego County. The funding will be used to gather baseline data, map regional assets and identify influential organizations and individuals in the county.

A key part of MCAN’s statewide strategy, LCANs are community-based college access alliances supported by a team of community and education leaders representing K-12, higher education, the nonprofit sector, government, business and philanthropy. LCANs coordinate and expand programs, services and resources that lower barriers preventing students from pursuing postsecondary educational opportunities. These coalitions are committed to building a college-going culture and dramatically increasing college readiness, participation and completion rates within their community.

We’re thrilled to have the expertise of the Otsego Community Foundation supporting community action to increase postsecondary educational attainment and build a better economic future for students in Otsego County.

On a personal level, I grew up in Gaylord, and I know how college can seem like an unattainable goal for many rural residents. We are committed to meeting our state’s goal of Sixty by 30 by ensuring that every student in Michigan has the opportunity to earn a certificate or degree — especially low-income students, first-generation college- going students and students of color.

Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director.

Based in Gaylord, the Otsego Community Foundation supports a wide variety of county-wide initiatives, ranging from arts and culture to community and economic development to health and human services. Since its founding in 1994, the foundation has awarded over $2.7 million in grants. As the anchor organization for the LCAN, Otsego Community Foundation will use its existing connections and reputation to bring together the region’s businesses, nonprofits and educational entities to build a college-going culture in the county.

The planning grant sets in motion a process for aligned, community-wide activity, and systems change around postsecondary education access that will benefit all of Otsego County.

The forward-thinking, collaborative energy of an LCAN lifts everyone and builds upon the spirit of generosity, caring for its residents and mutual dependence which are already part of our county’s culture.

Dana Bensinger, OCF Executive Director.