About the City of Somerville
Somerville is a city that upholds progressive principles for both employees and residents. The City of Somerville values diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging throughout our hiring practices; these values are embedded in our mission and work environment—furthermore, we encourage applications from a diverse range of professional experiences and skillsets. We embrace and encourage an innovative, empowering, and collaborative workplace culture in a fast-paced, challenging environment. The City also offers a generous benefits package that embodies a strong work-life balance. Not only is Somerville a “Model City,” as termed by The Boston Globe, it is also a model employer.
Now Hiring: Community Engagement Specialist - Mandarin
The Community Engagement Specialist for Mandarin coordinates community outreach, programming, City services, events, and outside service referrals primarily for Mandarin-speaking immigrants and refugees residing in Somerville. The Mandarin CES also serves as a community liaison and official representative of the City of Somerville, conducts translation and interpretation, and coordinates public meetings, immigration-related services, and all forms of communication including emergency messaging needed to serve the City’s Mandarin-speaking residents.
The essential functions or duties listed below are intended only as illustrations of the various type of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.
- Community Outreach – Make connections in the community and serve as a resource to residents to share information about City services and opportunities for citizen engagement and assist those who need help accessing City services and materials. Attend and table at events, speak to community groups, conduct surveys, hold meetings and events, conduct communications and media relations, etc. Build connections to community organizations and providers and facilitate collaborative efforts and coalitions. Create and facilitate opportunities for immigrants to participate in civic dialog and public discussions. Promote the advancement of the Somerville Mandarin-speaking population.
- Service Delivery and Referrals – Support and facilitate access to city services, programs, resources, volunteer opportunities, and other municipal programming including providing interpretation, and counseling on available services. Provide referrals to nonprofit and government social, health, long-term housing, homelessness prevention/emergency housing, legal, nutrition, educational, and other services. Provide notary services. Be on call 24/7 to assist with emergency situation services/interpretation such as assistance for fire victims. Maintain and adhere to all privacy standards.
- Community Liaison – Through outreach via various methods and innovative programs, work to maintain an ongoing dialogue between the community and City staff as well as the Mayor’s Office. Gather input, feedback, concerns and requests from the community and community stakeholders to share with appropriate staff and the Mayor’s Office, to aid in developing and adapting City services to meet the needs of the community. Maintain thorough and detailed familiarity with citywide FAQs, services, and policies and provide residents answers to a broad range of City-related questions during outreach efforts. Serve as community spokesperson in both Mandarin and English as featured speaker or emcee at public events, conferences, workshops, press events, etc.
- Translation / Interpretation – Work with City departments to translate forms, brochures, and other information in a way that conveys the material’s message and is accessible to residents. Also help to translate relevant information for Mandarin section of the City website. Translate key City press releases. Assist with coordination of additional translation services for City departments by outside vendors. Interpret at public meetings from English into Mandarin. Be available 24/7 to translate emergency messaging quickly and accurately.
- Immigration Services and Efforts – Provide immigration needs assistance and referrals, and related translation services. Coordinate and facilitate educational workshops, information sessions, appointment support, legal clinics, citizenship clinics and services, etc. Maintain thorough working knowledge of current immigration regulations, pending rule changes, current issues, processes, and related services. Maintain strong working relationship with area and regional immigration service providers and strong knowledge of national providers. Maintain strong understanding of various immigration requirements and application procedures. Track current immigration issues and develop policy priorities.
- Meeting Facilitation – Work with City Councilors, city staff, the Mayor’s Office, and residents to coordinate community meetings in Mandarin for community, civic, and other groups in the community. Some meetings will be similar to Somerville’s bi-annual ResiStat meetings, but will be tailored to suit the needs of the audience. Employee should be experienced in facilitating meetings for 25-100+ residents, presenting information, answering questions, and coordinating participation from other key city staff and elected officials.
- Communication – Prepare oral and written communications for the community in Mandarin including emergency and community alerts, website content, fliers, press releases, social media posts, brochures, newsletter, emails, and radio and City Cable TV content. Develop press contacts at news sources (radio, print, local cable, etc.) and write/translate and distribute press releases or make radio/TV appearances to share City information and serve as a representative of the Mayor. Keep abreast of advances in technology and trends in use of both traditional and digital media in order to communicate via the most effective channels. Find innovative communications solutions whether high- or low-tech to make sure information on City services, programs and news reaches Mandarin-speaking Somerville residents.
- Event Coordination – Coordinate informational, community and cultural events for the full community such as a cultural festivals, arts events, provider seminars/trainings, event tabling activities, forums, workshops, immigration clinics, heath fairs, flu shot clinics, presentations, etc.
In addition to the core tasks above, the Mandarin CES will suggest new program initiatives and ways to increase community engagement and best serve immigrant residents.
Education and Experience
Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent plus five (5) or more years of directly relevant experience.
Knowledge, Abilities and Skill
Must have strong knowledge specifically of Somerville immigrant communities and local/regional immigrant services providers. Must have knowledge of local/regional/federal social service providers and proven ability to successfully navigate a range of social/support services ranging from homelessness prevention, housing, tenant rights, healthcare access, educational access, mental health, nutrition, childcare, etc. Must be familiar with HIPAA and other privacy requirements. Must have proven knowledge of citizen engagement and outreach techniques, especially for vulnerable populations and limited English proficiency residents. Must be well-informed about current immigration requirements, regulations, application procedures, and issues. Must have first-hand knowledge of the immigrant experience by having personally immigrated to the U.S. and have demonstrated cultural competency for immigrant populations in Somerville and for Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kongese culture. Must have proven ability to coordinate with immigration legal providers including via referrals, application support, and legal clinic coordination.
Must have proven ability to build alliances and facilitate collaboration with a wide range of community, nonprofit, City, public school, higher-ed, faith-based, and government partners. Must have proven ability to develop and conduct community surveys; facilitate public, internal, and coalition meetings; and organize and facilitate workshops, presentations, cultural events, and other community events. Must have proven ability to create and facilitate opportunities for immigrants to participate in civic dialog and public discussions. Must have the knowledge and skill needed to serve as a representative of the Mayor’s office and liaise with elected officials and community leaders. Proven ability to work in a team or independently as needed. Able to prepare oral and written communications for the community in Mandarin including emergency and community alerts, website content, fliers, press releases, social media posts, brochures, etc
Must have mastery of office software including spreadsheets and social media. Ability to provide notary services as an official notary public preferred. Must be a fluent native speaker and writer of Mandarin with full command of written usage and style. Acceptable English skills (or better) for written communications required (must be able to communicate effectively in English in writing, but a moderate level of errors is acceptable). Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing with state and federal agencies, community leaders, business owners, supervisors, employees, representatives of the media, and the general public. Must be able to serve as community spokesperson in both Mandarin and English as a featured speaker or emcee at public events, conferences, workshops, press events, etc. Must be able to translate a wide range of City documents and information (excluding legal and highly technical documents) literally as well as to adapt content for cultural appropriateness into Mandarin.
Send your resume and cover letter to:
City Hall HR Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.
The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request.
Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Adrienne Pomeroy, at 617-625-6600 x2059 or email@example.com.
COVID-19 Vaccination Required
To better protect the health and safety of staff and the public, all City of Somerville employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of November 1, 2021. Exemptions and/or reasonable accommodations are not guaranteed and will be reviewed by the City of Somerville Human Resources Department on a case-by-case basis. Learn more at somervillema.gov/HR/COVID19.