Join us! 

Place-Based Economic Development Internship, Fall 2019

Union Square Main Streets (USMS) is an established nonprofit organization that works collaboratively to actively support a vibrant neighborhood by preserving the character and advancing the economic strength of the Union Square business district and community. If you have a passion for mission-driven work that engages multiple stakeholders, this internship presents an exciting opportunity to gain in-the-field experience. 

This is a particularly meaningful time to work with USMS. The City of Somerville is partnering with residents, businesses, and property owners to shape the Square’s future in a way that will preserve the unique character of the Square while taking advantage of new and emerging industries, increasing demand for housing, and the arrival of the Green Line. USMS works closely with everyone involved in transit-oriented planning efforts. 

Now in its 15th year of service, USMS is focused on understanding how to most effectively respond to the evolving needs of its district in the coming years. To accomplish this, USMS has contracted with a consultant to create a strategic plan using a collaborative process that will engage its board, staff, and community stakeholders including local business owners and/or employees, community-based organizations serving Union Square and its creative economy, residents, subject matter experts, and local leaders. 

A USMS intern plays an integral and multi-faceted role in USMS’ work. This internship grants an opportunity to expand knowledge and gain skills related to urban, community, and strategic planning; place-based economic development, and communications. Eligible for credit, this position requires 15-20 hours per week from mid-September through mid-December 2019. A modest stipend is available. 

Responsibilities and tasks include, but are not limited to, supporting the following:

  • Strategic Planning 

    • Research and analyze data specific to the USMS district; summarize findings in a report  

    • Conduct an environmental assessment of how USMS is positioned during a time of local economic growth, expanding employment and industry trends in Union Square, and changing state, local, and federal funding mechanisms for similar organizations

    • Facilitate stakeholder participation by supporting individual and group interviews as well as electronic and/or intercept surveys 

    • Contribute to and support logistics including minutes at Strategic Planning Committee Meetings

    • Work closely with Executive Director and Consultant Team to ensure timeliness of deliverables 

  • Communications  

    • Propose/draft content and messaging for strategic planning related activity

  • Operations 

    • Support meeting logistics at monthly Business Leader Meetings and Economic Vitality Work Group, which meets twice monthly 

    • Administrative and operational tasks to support project streams above


  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to problem solve, prioritize, and meet deadlines

  • Strong written and interpersonal communication skills 

  • Detail oriented and able to work both independently and as part of a team

  • Strong computer skills, including Google Drive 

  • A high degree of personal and professional integrity

  • Passion for community-driven work and working with a small team that has a big agenda

  • A keen interest in researching and analyzing data related to communities  

How to Apply:

Please send a letter of interest, resume, and 3 references to by August 30, 2019.