Public Engagement Specialist (Hourly)


City of Fort Collins Natural Areas


Fort Collins, CO



Rachel Balduzzi

POSITION TITLE:  Public Engagement Specialist   (Hourly)
REQUISITION #:  req6955
DEPARTMENT:  Cultural Services
BENEFIT CATEGORY: Variable Hourly View Classifications & Benefits
EMPLOYMENT TYPE:  Part-Time Hourly
HOURLY RATE:   $19.00 - 23.00 per hour (based on relevant experience)
SELECTION PROCESS:  Application deadline is 3:00 p.m. MT on 3/16/2023.

The City of Fort Collins is a bias-conscious employer. We ask that you please avoid the use of photos when submitting a resume and/or an application for employment. You will receive an email acknowledgment when you have successfully submitted an application. Your completed application will be forwarded to the hiring manager. You will be notified if you are selected for further testing or interviews. Please keep your contact information up-to-date. The status of your application will be updated in your applicant profile. Post-offer background check, Motor Vehicle Report, and drug test required within four calendar days (96 hours) of offer.

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they can perform every job description task. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may come from a less traditional background. The City may consider an equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set for the role.

 The Community:  The City of Fort Collins sits nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains alongside the banks of the Cache La Poudre River. At 5,000 feet in elevation, residents enjoy a moderate, four-season climate, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. With 174,800 residents, Fort Collins is Colorado’s fourth-largest city and spans 57 square miles. With the 20 year growth projection, the City of Fort Collins is expected to reach 255,000 residents.

The first people who hunted in this region arrived approximately 11,000 years ago, and Northern Colorado remains an integral part of the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations. European-American trappers and traders arrived by the early 1800s but rarely established permanent settlements. Gold and silver discoveries in the Colorado mountains in the mid-1800s and the prospect of land for farming and ranching attracted people from eastern cities and across the globe to the Colorado Territory, including what would become the town of Fort Collins; an agricultural colony that emerged from its founding days as a military fort. The expansion included the sugar beet industry's growth, which brought new residents whose descendants still live here today, including Mexican-American families from southern Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, as well as Germans from Russia. Since 1879, Fort Collins has been the home of the state’s land grant institution, Colorado State University, which currently enrolls 34,000 students. Along with the university, the city’s major high-tech and manufacturing companies and breweries attract new residents from all over the country and world. The community’s overall social diversity continues to grow.

There are abundant outdoor recreation opportunities available to the many residents who enjoy healthy lifestyles. The nearby Horsetooth Reservoir is a key attraction, as is the Cache La Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway. The Downtown district provides many venues for live music, shopping, dining, and nightlife within the city. Fort Collins is widely considered the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado. The City has a strong appreciation for arts, culture, and entertainment. Various national organizations and magazines recognize Fort Collins as one of the best places to live in the nation.

The City’s long list of acknowledgements includes:  

  • No. 2 Best Tasting Drinking Water in North America: American Water Works – June 2021
  • No. 5 Best Remote-Ready Cities: Jan 2021
  • Top 30 Creative Small Cities: CVSuite – May 2020
  • No. 18 Safest Cities in America: SafeWise – April 2020
  • No. 1 Best Place to Live: March 2020
  • No. 9 Most Fitness Friendly Places: SmartAsset – Dec 2019
  • No. 7 Safest Driving Cities: Allstate – June 2019
  • No. 4 Best U.S. Cities to Raise a Family: MarketWatch – April 2019
  • No. 9 Best Performing Cities: Milken Institute – Jan 2019
  • No. 3 U.S. Cities with Highest Economic Confidence: Yahoo – Nov 2018
  • No. 2 Brain Concentration Index: Bloomberg – Nov 2018
  • No. 1 City in America for Cycling: PeopleForBikes-May 2018
  • Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation Award: Alliance for Innovation-April 2018
  • The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award-Nov 2017
  • 18th Best City for Career Opportunities: SmartAsset – Sep 2017
  • 3rd Best College Town to Live in Forever: College Ranker – July 2017
  • 25 Best Towns Ever: Where to Live Now: Outside Magazine – June 2017
  • No. 1 Stable and Growing Housing Market: 2017
  • 11th Happiest City in America: Yahoo! Finance - March 2017
  • No. 9 Top 150 Cities for Millennials Report: Millennial Personal Finance - Feb 2017
  • No. 2 Best Cities for Small Business Owners: ValuePenguin – Feb 2017

Why Work For the City of Fort Collins?

-   Potential for paid personal leave and paid holidays 

-   Employee Assistance Program: counseling, legal, and financial assistance 

-   Wellness program, workout facilities 

-   Personal & professional learning opportunities plus potential for career mobility

-  Collaborative work environment

Job Summary

The hourly Public Engagement Specialist supports Natural Areas Department community programming and public activities. The primary duties are coordinating and staffing special events where Natural Areas has a table/booth, supporting activities that are listed in the Explorer publication, staffing school field trips, and supporting Club Outdoors, a summer program for Boys & Girls Club members. There is an opportunity to work on other Public Engagement Team efforts as the Specialist’s skills, interest and capacity allow.

The Specialist works February-November each year on a variable schedule. The schedule between February and May is usually Tuesday-Friday with some Saturdays (primary duty is supporting school field trips and events). Then in June-October, the schedule has more weekend work, usually Wednesday-Sunday or Tuesday-Saturday (primary duty shifts to public programming and special events). Evening work is included. The variable schedule is worked out in advance and has some flexibility.

Spanish language ability is preferred.

This job summary describes this specific position. The job description below encompasses all duties for all Public Engagement Specialists across the City organization.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

•Develops and implements programs to educate community members and stakeholders about City strategies and resources.

•Creates educational activities and lesson plans that reflect a variety of program delivery models.

•Schedules and conducts public education and outreach to diverse audiences.

•Plans, leads and evaluates activities for diverse audiences including presentations, events, workshops, classes, and business outreach.

•Prepares, designs, disseminates and evaluates audience-appropriate messaging, materials, and related marketing, educational and informational campaigns.

•Creates, administers, and maintains strategic sponsorships and partnerships to foster an engaged community.

•Manages stakeholders for effective relationships with community groups, organizations, neighborhoods, and internal City departments.

•Provides support and advice on community engagement techniques that lead to the successful implementation of processes, projects or programs.

•Meets deadlines and uses time, materials, and resources efficiently and cost-effectively.

•Researches and resolves complex disputes and operations problems based on stakeholder engagement techniques.

•Supports internal City work teams by assisting with development and implementation of outreach strategies, engagement activities, and focused messaging.

•Coordinates volunteers including recruitment, placing, training, retention activities, project supervision and logistics, safety, recognition, communication and evaluation. Creates policies and programs to manage and support volunteers in partnership with the Citywide Volunteer Program Manager.

•May manage grant projects including tracking funding and reporting.

•Uses appropriate safety practices.

•Maintains equipment and inventory and prepares supplies for activities.

•Collects, compiles and reports program data and survey results.

•Assists with work planning, budget preparation and record-keeping.

•May actively solicit, write, and manage grants in partnership with City Grants Development Specialist.

•May direct the work of interns or volunteers.

All Other Duties as Assigned/ADA/Reasonable Accommodation

This job description is a living document and may not be all-inclusive. Employees are responsible for all other duties as assigned. Employees must be able to perform the essential duties of this job with or without reasonable accommodation. This position requires regular attendance at the workplace.


Management Responsibilities



City Competencies

  • Demonstrated cultural competence to effectively interact, work, and develop meaningful relationships with people of diverse identities, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Strong learning orientation. Leverages all resources and is creative in ways of learning for self to continue adapting to changing issues and trends.
  • A desire and ability to understand the diverse needs of internal and external customers, and to create experiences and deliver services that exceed their expectations.
  • A desire and ability to utilize digital tools for organizational information, individual, and teamwork.


Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

•Demonstrated knowledge of educational learning styles and communication techniques that are audience-appropriate.

•Demonstrated knowledge of curriculum development, including forming instructional objectives and selecting appropriate materials.

•Ability to effectively communicate, both orally and in writing. Effective public speaking skills.

•Capable of working as a member of a team, as well as independently.

•Knowledge of principles of interpretation and public outreach.

•Understanding of effective public relations, marketing, and promotional concepts and objectives.

•Ability to deal with stressful situations and deadlines.

•Proven skills facilitating or leading discussions with a variety of groups.

•Ability to interact with members of City staff, other agencies, and general public.

•Competent in use of publishing, graphics, web page editing, Excel, presentation, social networking, volunteer management, and word processing software.

•Excellent customer service, presentation, communication and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive internal and external relationships.

•Ability to train and mentor volunteers, use volunteer management software, manage groups, communicate effectively, and accept and give feedback.

•Skills in evaluating public engagement activities and learners including quality and outcome-based metrics.

•Ability to drive vans that hold 10 or more people.

Education Requirements


Education Level



College degree or equivalent work experience. Some positions may require functionally related certification or advanced degrees

Preferred: Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university in business, non-profit management, environmental science, education, natural resources, or related field.



Experience Requirements

At least three (3) years related experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.


Valid Colorado driver's license.

Certified Interpretive Guide or Trainer (National Association for Interpretation), and Environmental Educator certification (Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education) preferred.

 The City of Fort Collins will make reasonable accommodations for access to City services, programs and activities and will make special communication arrangements for persons with disabilities.  Please call (970) 221-6535 for assistance.
Notice Regarding Medical and/or Recreational Marijuana Use:
 Because the possession and use of marijuana, whether for medical use or otherwise, constitutes a federal offense and because the City is a drug free workplace, the City will not accommodate the medical use of marijuana and enforces written policy prohibiting working for the City while marijuana is in the body.  The fact that state law recognizes medical marijuana as a prescribed, or otherwise permitted, medication does not alter or otherwise change this policy. 

 The City of Fort Collins is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for positions for which they have applied without regard to gender (regardless of gender identity or gender expression), race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age 40 years or older, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or other characteristics protected by law. For the purpose of this City policy “sexual orientation” means a person’s actual or perceived orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality. 
 Note: Some information in your application may be public information under the Colorado Open Records Act.