Sustainable Systems Manager

Jobs - Full Time
Minneapolis, MN

Spark-Y: Youth Action Labs | Job Title: Sustainable Systems Manager

Spark-Y is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering youth with hands-on education rooted in sustainability and entrepreneurship.


Time: 40hrs / week

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Position Code: SSM

FMLA Status: N/A

Expires: June 1st, 2019


Power statement:

The Ranger - The one who gets it done.  Dependable.  Exhibiting the fortitude to troubleshoot without hand-holding, you are the gatekeeper of success for Spark-Y’s sustainable systems.

Job Description:

This position reports directly to the Operations Director and is responsible for leading youth in execution of all hands-on builds and sustainable systems maintenance for Spark-Y. Systems safety, builds, training, and care across our network of partnerships while engaging youth is a must. Spark-Y employs a broad range of sustainable and entrepreneurial systems including aquaponics, farming, and greenhouses which provide meaningful educational opportunities in culinary science, chemistry, physics, and biology. These systems are constructed  and maintained using basic construction techniques, carpentry, timber framing, plumbing, and electrical work. The position will also include delivering materials, coordinating system design and construction, and/or anything else required by the Operations Director to facilitate youth empowerment and managing results-oriented projects.

Essential Job Functions:

Sustainable System Support & Build Facilitation - 35%

  • Make rounds to Spark-Y’s many sustainable urban agriculture systems (including aquaponics, vermicompost, mycology, greenhouses, etc.) to ensure a baseline of system success is maintained
  • Review “Systems Excellence Report” weekly to aid educators in troubleshooting their assigned systems
  • Visit high-need programs as needed in person to remedy larger issues
  • Participate in planning and execution of program “system builds,” sometimes as the primary lead.
  • Lead a summer internship project with high school and college interns

General Operations Support - 20%

  • Aid in ongoing build-out and transition at Spark-Y’s new facility in NE Minneapolis, and assist with tool inventory, general cleanliness, etc.
  • Support Spark-Y’s “Urban Ag Lab” initiatives as needed
  • Participate in on-site workshops and tours as able

School Program & Workshop Facilitation  - 20%

  • Help facilitate engaging, educational, hands-on experiences in Spark-Y school programs or with community partners as needed

Curriculum Support & Process Documentation - 10%

  • Translate ongoing systems excellence experience and learning into digestible SOPs and activity plans for educators to refer to as needed

“DIY Bio Lab” Liaison - 10%

  • Work with “DIY Bio Lab” team each Wednesday to make progress on school program related initiatives. Prototype, refine, and then implement in schools

Meetings / Admin - 5%

  • Staff and Program meeting participation, timesheets, etc.



  • Reliable mode of transportation
  • Driver’s license

Desired knowledge areas:

  • Aquaponics
  • Gardening / permaculture
  • Urban / indoor farming
  • Food systems
  • Culinary basics
  • Construction / mechanical troubleshooting
  • Composting / vermicomposting
  • Mycology / bioremediation
  • Arduino / coding basics

Desired Experience/Education:

  • Bachelor degree
  • 2+ years experience in a related field


  • $28,000+ (DOQ)


To apply, send resume and cover letter to


At Spark-Y we value passion, community, balance, integrity and growth.

Our leadership and staff build collaborative relationships with our partners and team members to empower ourselves and others. We’re a forward-thinking organization fueled by resourceful innovators that take the initiative to better serve our mission. We encourage applicants of all backgrounds to apply, including women and applicants of color. | EEOC Employer.