Appalachian Apprenticeship For Diverse Leaders

Position Description:

The Appalachian Apprenticeship for Diverse Leaders is a full-time, two-year program. It is designed to empower emerging, diverse Appalachian leaders to increase their professional skills, connections, and leadership capacities while supporting the operations of the Appalachia Funders Network.

The apprentice would work to provide backbone support to the Appalachia Funders Network through administration and coordination.  Along with tangible skills, the focus on professional and personal development, learning, and reflection will afford the apprentice with the opportunity for personal growth.

Specifically, we encourage applicants representing a broad diversity of Appalachian people which includes, but is not limited to, people of color, women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, non-native English speakers, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated individuals, folks of various religious beliefs, people of a broad age range, and non-traditionally educated individuals.

What is the Appalachia Funders Network?

The Appalachia Funders Network convenes and connects funders for learning, analysis, and collaboration towards the equitable Appalachian Transition. We envision a healthy, equitable, and vibrant region that, through strong partnerships, civic engagement, and leadership, preserves our unique assets and provides prosperity for all. We create the space and support for relationships to grow, common analysis and vision to develop, and collaborations to form.

Who are we looking for? The ideal candidate will have:

  • Skills in administrative work such as scheduling meetings, taking meeting notes, drafting meeting agendas, drafting and sending emails, answering phones.
  • Familiarity with Google Suite (Gmail, Drive, Docs), Zoom meetings, and Microsoft platforms, and/or the ability to learn these skills.
  • Comfort working in a collaborative environment as well as independently.
  • Deep commitment to equity and justice across difference including, but not limited to, racial, gender & economic justice.
  • Ability and desire to engage in personal reflection and a dedicated focus on personal and professional development, both individually and with a team.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Calm demeanor in situations that may be challenging or stressful. Good time management skills.
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize work, attention to detail, and problem solving skills.


  • Provide backbone support to the Appalachia Funders Network through administration and coordination.
  • Coordinate communication between members of the Network and working groups through email correspondence, telephone and video calls, scheduling meetings, and note-taking.
  • Inspire regular communication between members of the Network via updates to our Twitter account, updates to the website, and Mailchimp email blasts.
  • Weekly professional and personal development reflection independently and with supervisor.  

Travel: The responsibilities of a Apprentice require some travel; therefore, it is necessary that candidates have the willingness, capacity, and physical health for overnight travel within and outside of the region.

Duration: 2 years

Location: This position is based in  Asheville, NC at the offices of Rural Support Partners and is supervised by the Appalachia Funders Network Coordinator.

Supervision: The Apprentice will be employed by Rural Support Partners (RSP), the backbone support consultant for the Network. RSP provides a variety of support services to help deepen the impact of leaders, organizations, and networks working to advance community economic development efforts within Central Appalachia. We work hand-in-hand with our clients to advance a just economic transition across Central Appalachia, grow new business models, and innovate the field of rural development. Our services are based on a strong commitment to rural communities, and result in increased organizational effectiveness, improved strategies, more collaborative efforts, and greater impact. Rural Support Partners is a social enterprise that uses business disciplines and the power of market demand to create social, economic, and environmental impacts for a community or region.

Non-Discrimination Policy: The Appalachia Funders Network and Rural Support Partners are committed to the principle of equity in employment and programming. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or veteran status in its hiring practices, programs, services or activities. All are encouraged to apply.