Director of Community Relations

Western Lake Superior Sanitary District
Duluth, MN

Director of Community Relations

Salary: $74,868-$92,235 Annually


Work with the Best of the Best!


Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD), a nationwide leader in pollution prevention, seeks a dynamic, skilled individual to serve as its Director of Community Relations.  This position is responsible for all aspects of public affairs for WLSSD, and manages WLSSD’s relationships with various stakeholders in the community.


WLSSD has a stimulating work environment with flexibility and opportunities for personal and professional growth.  Our team of dedicated staff uses today’s leading-edge technology to provide high quality wastewater services and solid waste oversight for the region.


WLSSD’s employees are committed to a clean and healthy environment, excellence in their work, and working in a team-oriented structure.  If you have a strong environmental ethic, experience and education that prepares you for this leadership position, and you want to be part of team that makes a difference in our community, this position may be a fit for you!



The Director of Community Relations reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for the development and execution of effective communication, environmental education and public engagement strategies for the District. This position manages all media and public communications, including creating content through a variety of media for public distribution, and managing programs that encourage pollution prevention and improve the reduction and reuse of waste within the communities served by WLSSD. This individual develops and fosters relationships with internal and external stakeholders and, through public education, ensures positive branding of the District.




·         Plans, directs, executes and evaluates the operation of the community relations functions of the District including strategic communications, public information, public relations, media relations, marketing, employee communications, and government affairs

·         Works collaboratively with District leadership to identify trends and opportunities for innovative communication and education around wastewater and solid waste

·         Develops strategies to build and enhance relations among the District and its communities, stakeholder, influencers, politicians, governments and other decision-makers

·         Leads and coordinates media relations and serves as the primary media contact, including building strong networks with local media to develop, nurture and expand opportunities for positive exposure

·         Develops District goals for communication, supplemental (grant) funding, environmental programming, public information, legislative (funding or policy) needs, and community relationships

·         Leads the Environmental Programs team in identifying and implementing activities and programs focused on protecting the St. Louis River through targeted wastewater and solid waste education and management by District staff, residential customers and business segments

·         Provides counsel on internal and external communications to maintain trust with stakeholders, including employees and the community

·         Conducts research studies, prepares reports and graphic materials necessary to identify opportunities and support decision-making

·         Develop meaningful public engagement processes that support District decision-making

·         Manages access to public records and serves as internal subject matter expert on record request fulfillment, ensuring compliance with applicable laws

·         Maintains knowledge and understanding of new and existing media and tools available to communicate with stakeholders

·         Leads Administrative Services role and manages administrative staff to ensure support for the regular business functions of the District

·         Coordinates crisis and high-profile issue communications as the District’s public information officer

·         Coordinates the application for and management of grants and provides updates and reporting as required by the grant agency 

·         Acts as the administrator for WLSSD messaging and mass communication systems

·         Responsible for assigned staff

·         Performs related duties as assigned




·         Possess a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Communications, Public Relations, English, Journalism, Marketing, or other closely related field

·         Master’s Degree preferred

·         Minimum five years of directly related professional experience in public affairs, government affairs, environmental education, or media communications

·         Supervisory experience strongly preferred



·         Team development and facilitation skills

·         Grant writing and administration experience

·         Experience working in public sector communication or external relations, stakeholder relations, for a utility or environmental capacity



·         Knowledge of environmental practices and a strong environmental ethic

·         Knowledge of open records laws and regulations

·         Knowledge of the principles of social marketing

·         Knowledge of the publishing process for a wide variety of media

·         Knowledge of the legislative process

·         Skilled at working effectively in a political environment and providing sound advice on complex issues

·         Knowledge of social media communication practices and a willingness to adapt and apply emerging technologies

·         Considerable knowledge in the use of modern communication systems and emergency messaging systems

·         Strong customer service/relations skills

·         Strong writing, editing, proofreading, layout and design, professional printing/publishing skills

·         Strong public speaking skills, including ability to engage and facilitate a group

·         Skilled in the grant opportunity identification, applications, and grant management

·         Ability to manage the administrative support function

·         Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external stakeholders

·         Ability to organize and conduct research studies and investigations

·         Ability to prepare effective oral, written and graphic reports and documents

·         Ability to develop and manage financial plans and annual operating budgets

·         Ability to develop and implement various strategic or specialized communication plans, both internally and externally

·         Ability to effectively advocate for District funding and policy interests and initiatives with state and federal staff and elected officials

·         Ability to manage contracts and vendors

·         Ability to translate technical information in meaningful ways

·         Ability to collaborate and communicate with a wide range of people, cultures and communities

·         Ability to offer creative and innovative approaches

·         Ability to advocate for and represent the needs of internal and external stakeholders

·         Ability to design and produce materials for a variety of audiences



Applicants must meet the minimum qualifications.  Those who meet the minimum qualifications will be given an examination. Final selection will include a panel interview.


Alternative Exam Process:  For individuals who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), alternative examination processes are available on an individual basis upon prior arrangement.  Contact Human Resources at (218) 740-4818.


Work Eligibility:  In accordance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the WLSSD requires verification of identity and work eligibility.


Veterans:  For applicants claiming veterans’ preference, a DD214 must be filed at the time of application. 


Non-discrimination:  The WLSSD is an equal opportunity and veteran friendly employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation, status with regard to public assistance, disability, genetic information, veteran status or activity in a local Human Rights Commission or any other characteristic protected by law.


Drug testing policy: Under WLSSD’s drug and alcohol testing policy, prospective employees will be asked to submit to drug testing.  No prospective employee will be asked to submit to testing unless an offer of employment has been made.  An offer of WLSSD however, is conditioned on the prospective employee testing negative for drugs and alcohol.


Pre-employment physical:  Applicants selected for employment must successfully complete a pre-employment physical examination.


Background checks:  Offers are conditioned on passing a criminal background check.  Convictions are not an automatic disqualification from the selection process.

Reasonable accommodation information is used to provide reasonable accommodations in the testing and hiring processes. If sufficient data is not provided, we may not be able to accommodate you.

You are not legally required to provide any of the private data listed above. WLSSD employees from the Human Resources Department and other departments involved in the selection process may have access to your private data if their work assignments reasonably require access. Others who may legally access the above data are individuals or agencies to whom we are required to release the data by law, rule or court order.



Please complete an application found at and return to WLSSD, via email ( by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 17, 2022.  Applicants who claim Veteran’s Preference must provide a DD214 at the time of application.


Probation Period:  9 months

Duration of Eligible List:  6 months



Equal Opportunity Employer

Women and Minority Applicants Encouraged to Apply