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Multnomah County Drainage District #1 - Communications & Outreach Intern (Summer 2022)

Posted: 6/9/2022
Salary: $20/hour
Location: Portland, OR

Application deadline:

Open until Filled; First Review June 14, 2022


Are you interested in the systems and structures that keep our community safe from flooding? Are you passionate about helping your community build new, more equitable, more efficient, and more effective public agencies that can respond to the threat of climate change, calls for racial justice, and the need to protect clean air and water and improve access to nature? Are you looking for a summer internship that will help you grow professionally while making a difference?

About Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD):

Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) helps protect lives and property from flooding by operating and maintaining flood management systems on behalf of four independent drainage districts along the Columbia Slough and lower Columbia River in the Portland region. Collectively, these drainage districts provide protection for nearly 13,000 acres of land, including important state-wide assets such as the Portland International Airport, sections of I-5, I-205, and I-84, and Oregon’s second largest supply of drinking water.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature created a new district – the Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District (UFSWQD) – that will ultimately replace the four existing drainage districts, and help to establish a safer, more modern, and financially sustainable way to manage the 27-miles of levee and water conveyance systems along the Columbia River in northern Multnomah County.

The Communications & Outreach intern will play a key role in generating public interest around the creation of the UFSWQD, including the new mission areas of equity, cultural history, and environmental considerations. This internship is an exciting opportunity to gain exposure to the creation of a new government agency.


Position Summary:

The Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) is looking for a dynamic individual who can provide strategic communications and outreach support to MCDD during an exciting time of transition. Throughout the 2022 summer season, this intern will help raise awareness of the flood protection systems along the Columbia River, as well as the efforts to modernize this system. Key responsibilities for this position include the development and implementation of a summer outreach strategy, coordinating presentations and tours with neighborhood associations, schools, and community organizations, developing communication materials and updating online channels, coordinating and staffing tabling and other outreach events, and providing other communications and outreach support as needed. There is an additional opportunity for a student-led project, to be discussed based on student interest and organizational need. This position works under close supervision and will report to the Sr. Public Affairs and Communications Manager.


Timeline and schedule:

This internship will have a minimum of 375 hours and a maximum 450 hours over the course of 3-6 months (Summer 2022, and possibly into the Fall), dependent on budget.

Anticipated Summer hours (July – August): 20-32 hours per week and Fall hours (September – December): 10-15 hours per week.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and Implement Outreach StrategyResearch, schedule, and coordinate tabling events, presentations to neighborhood associations/community meetings, and other engagement opportunities to share information about the levee system, and the UFSWQD transition effortsSupport landowner outreach related to the design of levee improvement projectsCoordinate and support additional outreach efforts as interest to the intern, including but not limited to, coordinating and scheduling tours with school groups, non-profits, and community-based organizations, organizing volunteer trash clean-up events, conducting targeted door-to-door outreach related to emergency preparedness, and targeted engagement/outreach to underserved communities
  • CommunicationsIdentify opportunities for local neighborhood communication outlets, including digital and printed communicationsAssist in the creation of communication materials, such as articles, newsletters, blog posts, neighborhood mailings, and the drainage districts’ annual reportOther communication efforts of interest to the intern
  • Administrative SupportSchedule and facilitate internal and external meetings to achieve program goalsCoordinate event logistics (work directly with venue managers, coordinate room set-up/clean-up, catering, entertainment, registration lists, promotional materials etc.)
  • Student-led ProjectThere is an opportunity for the intern to design and implement an outreach/engagement project from start to finish in collaboration with staff. Specific details of the project will depend on student interest and organizational needs.


Duties Applying to All Employees:

It is the duty of all employees to:

  • Perform other duties as assigned
  • Strive to achieve the Mission, Vision, and Values of the organization
  • Ensure and encourage a safe workplace environment

Minimum Qualifications: Knowledge of:

  • Computer programs such as Microsoft Office products, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint;
  •  Strong verbal and writing abilities, especially in translating long-form narrative into shorter, impactful pieces of storytelling.
  • Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations

Ability to:

  • Work in a team environment;
  • Organize and prioritize;
  • Communicate effectively with other district staff to complete assigned tasks;
  • Perform detailed work thoroughly, neatly, accurately and efficiently;
  • Attend work on time;
  • Thrive in a fast-paced and open work environment.


Education, Experience, and Special Requirements:

  • 0-2 years of directly related experience.
  • Enrolled in an accredited college or university at a junior standing or higher with major coursework in urban planning, community development, intercultural communications, graphic design, marketing, political science, or other related field.
  • Valid “Class C” driver’s license.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to communicate in languages commonly spoken in the managed floodplain such as Spanish, Vietnamese, and Russian.
  • Experience producing written and visual communication materials; experience with graphic design
  • Experience with public speaking, community engagement, community outreach and event planning
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, and experience conducting community engagement activities to underserved communities
  • Graduate student with coursework in urban planning, public administration, community engagement, or related field

Working Environment: General office environment, sitting, occasional lifting. This position is not considered safety sensitive. This position will be a hybrid of remote and office work – exact hybrid schedule is yet to be determined. The Public Affairs department staff are currently working a largely remote schedule with occasional time in the office. Hours may vary but should fall between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm.

This position will occasionally include weekend or evening hours as needed to coordinate and staff outreach events.


This position is eligible for MCDD’s health insurance stipend and paid vacation and sick time on a pro-rated basis; as well as access to our Transportation & Wellness program that includes subsidized transit fare, incentives for biking and carpooling, and access to health promotion activities. This position does not currently receive any additional benefits.



Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is available to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this process. Veterans’ Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for Veterans’ Preference when applying for MCDD positions. If you are a veteran and would like to request Veterans’ Preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents (Copy of the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD Form 214 or 215; Disabled Veterans must also submit a copy of their Veteran’s Disability Preference Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) with your application submittal. Documentation must be received by the closing date and time of this recruitment for the applicant to receive Veterans’ Preference. Equal employment opportunity: All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made, or any other status protected by law. This position is not represented.



Please submit the following, in PDF form, via our Smartsheet link found here: Incomplete applications will not be considered. A complete packet will include: 1) Cover letter (Your cover letter should address your ability to meet the minimum requirements) 2) Résumé 3) Reference sheet (minimum of 2 professional references)