Affiliate/Host Site Name:  HFH Coastal Fairfield County Host Site Manager (HSM) Name:  Eileen Bakos
Program:   AmeriCorps VISTA

Member Role:   Construction Systems Development 


Will members engage in any of these programs?

 Disaster Recovery  Neighborhood Revitalization

Veterans/Military Families      

Service Week (days/times):   Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM with occasional evenings/Saturdays/Sundays                                                                                                    Direct Supervisor Name:  Eileen Bakos



 The overall goal of this position is to develop, document and implement a plan to improve our affiliate’s construction operations and closing schedule (working with Family Services) to include scheduling the entire process from land acquisition through the closing process, tracking paperwork, scheduling orders for materials, attaining permits and inspections, where and when to obtain as-builts, which grants will affect move-in dates, scheduling attorneys.

Concerted efforts are needed at our affiliate to enhance our construction and closing processes to make our service delivery system more user friendly. An AmeriCorps VISTA Construction Systems Member would support our organizational plan by assisting us in developing a comprehensive process for our construction system and closings. The VISTA will address key components needed to increase our construction capacity efficiently and safely as well as actually moving families into their new homes efficiently. With the appropriate processes in place, we would expect the effectiveness and efficiency of our construction programs and closing process to be enhanced, which would lead to increased productivity in meeting the needs of those we serve.


  • $0  cash and in-kind resources will be raised utilizing systems and opportunities identified by VISTA member (includes resources raised  for home building efforts, as well as ReStores)
    • $0 cash resources
    • $0 in-kind resources
  • 20 individuals will collaborate with VISTA member on projects related to this position. (Stakeholders, volunteers, community members, staff, etc.)
  • 1 new and sustainable projects will be led by VISTA member that will increase capacity at the affiliate
Objective One (First Quarter)

EXPLORATION – Explore the construction and closing processes and systems that are currently in place at the site and identify best practices from other programs. Identify what additional needs the project requires. Document research and communicate findings to the project sponsor and gain further direction to move forward with developing enhanced construction and family services operations.

Member Activities 

  1. Evaluate current procedures for tracking the construction process from permitting to land development and through construction and inspection.
  2. Evaluate current procedures for tracking grant requirements and scheduling of closings.  Review resources available from HFHI, other affiliates, etc. Compare findings to current affiliate methods.
  3. Research systems for improvements regarding work site safety and training for onsite volunteers.
  4. Research software and other methods of tracking and maintaining schedules of these processes.
Objective Two (Second Quarter)

DEVELOPMENT – Develop and document an enhanced construction operations plan that will address the needs of the host site. The plan should address construction prep, planning, permitting, scheduling, ordering of materials, work site safety, documentation needed for a Certificate of Occupancy and closings, as well as other areas of need discovered during the exploration phase.

Member Activities 

  1. Develop and document a plan to improve or expand the organization’s construction operations and closing process.
  2. Develop systems for improvements to the construction process to include possible software or databases to make the process easy to track and reference. This may include software for inventory management and construction budgets and schedules.
  3. Develop filing systems, both paper and electronic, to manage and archive important documents needed for construction operations.
  4. Develop systems for improvements to the closing process which would include: determination of documents required for Certificate of Occupancy and closing, and the process by which those should be obtained; as well as work with family services, construction, and administration to develop a process for an enhanced communication system so that all departments know what is expected of them, and when, in order to be ready for closings.
Objective Three (Third Quarter)

IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW – Implement the new construction operations and closing program. Assist the site in testing and evaluating the various parts of the program developed and make revisions to the program as needed in order to ensure success.

Member Activities 

  1. With staff/board approval as needed, implement recommended changes to the overall construction operations and closing process of the site. Evaluate changes and adjust as needed.
  2. Implement systems for improvements to the processes to include possible software or databases to make the process easy to track and reference. Gather feedback from staff and make necessary changes.
  3. Implement filing systems, both paper and electronic, to manage and archive important documents needed for construction operations.
  4. Implement systems for improvements to the overall processes.
  5. Gather feedback from staff about what is working and what is not and suggest changes as needed.

* Note that the activities listed here may include visits to the construction site for the purposes of observation, interviews of staff and volunteers, and implementation of construction systems and processes. While VISTAs cannot regulary build on the construciton site, the VISTA member may have the opportunity to engage in active building no more than one time per month to help inform construction system development projects.

Objective Four (Fourth Quarter)

SUSTAINABILITY – Ensure that the construction operations program and closing process is sustainable and will continue at the host site after the completion of the VISTA term by developing manuals and training staff/volunteers on the new program.

Member Activities 

  1. Develop a manual of resources and directions for maintaining the construction operations program in its entirety including land acquisition, permitting, construction scheduling and tracking, document filing and archiving.
  2. Develop a manual of resources and directions for streamlining of the closing process.
  3. Train volunteers/staff on use of new systems, procedures, etc. and ensure there is a transition plan for ongoing maintenance of systems and support of the program.
Required Meetings, Trainings and Events: Minimum expectations are outlined below, with the understanding that further trainings may be required as determined by HFHI, CNCS or the Host Site.

  • Pre-Service Orientation (provided by CNCS)
  • On Site Orientation to local host site
  • HabitatLearns “Foundations of Habitat” series
  • Lockton Safety Courses
  • National Service Leadership Conference (fall)
  • Build-a-Thon (spring)
  • National Days of Service (MLK Day required, 9/11 Day of Remembrance and AmeriCorps Week encouraged)
  • HFHI Host Site Monitoring Reviews and periodic check-in calls
  • Monthly meeting with HSM (minimum)
  • Bi-weekly meeting with direct supervisor (minimum)
  • Life After AmeriCorps training (LAFTA)
  • Staff meetings, Board meetings and home dedications, as appropriate
  • Construction Committee meetings
  • Individual and/or group professional development trainings may be available based on AmeriCorps interest, HSM/supervisor recommendation and budget
  • Family Services Meetings
  • Host Site Events, including Groundbreakings and Home Dedications, Closings, Annual Meeting, Annual Gala. Participation in these events will be in line with AmeriCorps program regulations/restrictions.


Education/Experience/Knowledge/Skills  required for this position

·         Valid Driver’s License and ability to meet host site’s insurance requirements.

·         Microsoft Office Suite (especially Word/Excel)

·         Knowledge of, and willingness to promote, the mission and activities of Habitat for Humanity and AmeriCorps

·         Strong research skills

·         Strong written and verbal communication skills

·         Ability to work with a diverse group of people

·         Detail oriented and highly organized

·         Experience working as a member of a team

·         Project management experience preferred

·         A second language is highly desirable, with preferred languages being Spanish.

Physical requirements for this position

·         Ability to sit at a desk and computer for extended periods of time

·         About 20% of this position requires outreach in the community, including visiting buildings and homes that may have stairs, as well as serving on project sites that might have uneven terrain.

Service Site Environment: Member will serve in an open-space office and will share space with other staff and/or AmeriCorps members. Each member will have a desk, computer (with email and internet access), and a phone for service-related tasks. Shared resources include a printer, copy machine, fax machine as well as office supplies.

How to Apply:  Please send resume with cover letter and a writing sample to Eileen Bakos at