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Employment Opportunities, Jobs & Internships in Preservation & Cultural Resources     

Employment Opportunities, Jobs & Internships in Preservation & Cultural Resources
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Facilities & Preservation Specialist, National Willa Cather Center (Red Cloud, NE)

Contributed By: Catherine Pond

Job Title: Facilities & Preservation Specialist
Status: Full-Time
Reports To: Director of Collections & Curation

Salary Range: $38,000-42,000

Who we are: The National Willa Cather Center exists to promote and encourage increased understanding of and appreciation for the life, times, settings, and work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Willa Cather. We promote her legacy through education, preservation, and the arts, and we aim to become a premier cultural center that offers broad educational opportunities for our patrons to experience Cather’s work, explore historic landmarks, foster their own creativity, and embrace the arts and humanities.

Job Purpose: The National Willa Cather Center seeks a highly-organized, technically skilled, and multi-talented candidate to fill a Facilities & Preservation Specialist position. The Specialist ensures the  short- and long-term maintenance, security, and safety of the NWCC’s  historic properties and grounds, including the National Willa Cather Center (30,000 square feet); the Red Cloud Opera House (11,000 square feet); and nine sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including Willa Cather’s Childhood Home (a National Historic Landmark), the Burlington Depot, the Farmers and Merchants Bank, the Cather Second Home, Pavelka Farmstead, J.L.  Miner House, and three historic churches.  

The Facilities & Preservation Specialist works as part of the Collections team to ensure efficient maintenance and repair of properties; acts on behalf of the NWCC when engaging and overseeing the work of independent contractors and vendors; and assists NWCC leadership in planning and prioritizing regular preventative maintenance and capital improvements. Managerial duties include evaluation of and contribution to sites-related procedures and documents, such as disaster planning, integrated pest management, environmental monitoring, and maintenance scheduling. 

Essential duties and responsibilities:  

  • Proactively review all general maintenance and maintain detailed maintenance files on all HVAC units, security systems, fire suppression systems, and other equipment 
  • Maintain compliance with applicable regulations by completing regularly scheduled  inspections per established schedules and update maintenance checklists as needed 
  • Oversee the safe and proper maintenance of equipment and tools including coordinating repairs and/or replacement and ensuring all are returned to appropriate storage areas 
  • Ensure that security, fire, and emergency safety equipment is inspected and in good working order
  • Respond to and resolve issues regarding security systems, buildings, and grounds
  • Manage and conduct basic maintenance and repairs including carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and engaging outside vendors/contractors with approval
  • Keep centralized detailed records of preservation work completed, costs, warranty cards, paint colors, and other pertinent material 
  • Oversee construction projects, ensuring timely completion within budget 
    Regularly communicate maintenance priorities, concerns, and emergencies both verbally in meetings and in written and digital communication
    Develop a long-range facility maintenance plan including necessary improvements and costs
  • Adhere to approved budget, managing expenses for the  benefit of the organization 

Education and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s or Associate’s Degree with technical training in facility management, construction, or a related field is preferred 
  • Minimum 1–3 years of experience as a facility manager or related profession that involved conducting repairs and renovations including carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc. 
  • Well versed in facilities management and historic preservation best practices, or a willingness to pursue professional development to acquire this knowledge 
  • Outstanding communication skills, organizational skills, and impeccable attention to detail  
  • Ability to work collaboratively
  • Strong analytical skills to review complex information in order to make decisions based on  priorities and budget availability 
  • Experience using Gmail, Google Calendar and Drive, and Microsoft applications  
  • Ability to have a flexible work schedule when needed (occasional evenings and weekends) 
  • Appreciation for rural America, small town life, and local history 

Work Environment and Physical Demands

  • Must be able to lift and carry a minimum of 40 lbs. 
  • Must be able to perform moderate to heavy manual labor 
  • Must be able to crawl, bend, stretch, and climb while performing routine tasks 
  • Must be able to work in non-temperature controlled areas throughout the year 
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be able to drive a motor vehicle 

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time, salaried position. Competitive compensation will be based on experience.  Benefits, including health insurance, IRA, paid holidays, and paid time off (PTO) are available. 

This job description may evolve over time. Duties and the position status are subject to periodic updates. At management’s discretion, the employee may be assigned different and/or additional responsibilities.  

To apply, send cover letter, résumé, and three professional references to

The Willa Cather Foundation  
Attn: Human Resources 
413 North Webster Street 
Red Cloud, NE 68970 | 

DEADLINE: Applicants are encouraged to apply by October 31, 2022. The position will  remain open until filled.

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