Thank you for your interest in working with MERIT!

We are currently accepting applications for our Executive Director and Program Coordinator positions.

See each posting for details on where to send resumes with cover letters.

No phone calls please.

Details of each position are below.



MERIT is seeking a bilingual program coordinator for our microenterprise program. MERIT is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit. We serve English and Spanish speaking residents of Marion, Polk, Yamhill and surrounding counties. We work to help economically and socially underserved people increase income and build assets through financial empowerment and microenterprise development. Our mission is to help people explore, launch and grow successful small businesses through training, support and access to resources.

Email resumes with cover letter to:
No phone calls please.

Summary Statement:


The Bilingual Program Coordinator plays a critical role in the success of our microenterprise program and its participants. This individual will serve as an interface between program participants and the delivery of program services to accomplish our mission. This person is responsible for program planning and its day to day operations, maintaining close contact with program participants for technical assistance and coaching, timely documentation of client interactions, creating/modifying courses and programs as needed, seeking and maintaining relationships with community partners, and pursuing new program opportunities.

The Program Coordinator will utilize excellent judgment to develop credible and meaningful relationships with businesses and or the community ensuring the strictest confidentiality. He/she will work closely and collaboratively with the Executive Director and other staff.


    • Reports to: Executive Director
    • Subordinate staff: Instructors
    • Other internal contacts: Clients and Business Owners
    • External contacts: 
    • Businesses, community partners, general public, instructors, related government, industry and community contacts.

Major Responsibilities/Duties:

1. Direct Client Service

  • Strong facilitation skills geared toward adult learning
  • Schedule all classes and times
  • Ensure class registration and client coaching goals are met
  • Schedule and maintain periodic coaching/technical assistance meetings with clients
  • Collect and input client data for all advising appointments and classes
  • Document client interactions and outcomes in our database system
  • Manage client case files and reports
  • Provide Quarterly program reports
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships with MERIT clients
  • Maintain excellent and timely communication with clients (email, phone and/or text)
  • Develop a library of resources for client referral purposes
  • Collaborate with other Program Coordinators to ensure consistency
  • Resolve customer complaints/inquiries which cannot be dealt with by front line staff
  • Exhibit sensitivity and respect in all internal and external customer service activities
  • Provide direction and technical support to clients starting and growing businesses
  • Assist clients with revising business plans, creating cash flow projections and other documents required within MERIT programs
  • Coach clients in developing financial capabilities: household budgets, action plans, understanding credit reports, etc.

2. Program Development/Implementation/Evaluation:

  • Employ creativity in the implementation of programming to best meet client needs
  • Design, modify and approve course curricula as needed
  • Identify any required supplies/books/software/equipment/facilities and submit budget requests to Executive Director
  • Assist in preparing and submitting reports as required to maintain funding
  • Review course/program/instructor evaluations and utilize the data to plan & modify programs. Collaborate to implement streamlined data collection procedures.
  • Design and implement strong evaluation tools for products, services, and clients.
  • Assist in identifying and recruiting facilitators and managing performance
  • Attend regular Coordinator meetings (SIT team)

3. Program Research and Outreach:

  • Determine, define & locate target markets for programs
  • Develop and maintain professional contacts.
  • Liaise with professional associations, advisory committees and interagency project teams
  • Develop and maintain ongoing relationships with existing & potential new clients, business, industry and community organizations throughout all of MERIT’s service area.
  • Identify and develop new opportunities for program delivery & program development
  • Collaborate with other Program Coordinators

4. Budgetary Responsibilities

  • Assist in developing program budget & individual class budgets
  • Adhere to program budget to meet targets/operating margins
  • Meet project and program deadlines and desired/required impacts
  • Proactively work with Executive Director to avoid budget discrepancies
  • Analyze & utilize financial information to plan and modify classes or programs

5. Marketing

  • Utilize identified communication channels to connect with target markets
  • Collaborate with Marketing Coordinator to develop and execute annual marketing plan for program offerings
  • Define needed information and messaging for programmatic marketing materials and collaborate on the design of specific marketing materials
  • Prepare annual class calendar and course descriptions to be publicized on website and social media
  • Research, identify and secure MERIT participation in community events
  • On occasion, act as a media liaison for MERIT
  • Write articles for local publications
  • Maintain current photos of classes, businesses and community events


  • Bicultural and Bilingual/Biliterate – English/Spanish
  • Degree in relevant field (i.e. Adult education, business, arts, fitness, health, social work) or equivalent.
  • Demonstrated experience in an entrepreneurial environment.
  • Strong interpersonal, relationship building and conflict resolution skills.
  • Creative and proactive problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent oral, written, analytical and technical skills (in English and Spanish)
  • Strong organizational and planning skills.
  • Demonstration of superior project management skills and tools
  • Ability to determine priorities, be self-directed and work with minimal supervision.
  • Ability to learn in-house database software quickly and use Microsoft Office 365 at an intermediate/advanced level: Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, OneDrive, SharePoint, Asana
  • Strong budgetary skills and accounting experience preferred
  • Strong leadership and team-oriented skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work positively with diverse communities in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Mastery of equity and inclusion guiding principles.

Performance Criteria:

    • The performance criteria shall include factors related to the tasks set out in the position description, annual major objectives, and special assignments. Work output will be measured in outcomes and positive results, not hours spent.


Position Competencies:

  • Building rapport
  • Client/Customer awareness
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Listening skills
  • Organizing/Planning ability
  • Personal work ethic
  • Analytical skills
  • Database management
  • Business focused writing
  • Proactive problem solving/decision making
  • Team building skills
  • Initiative
  • Integrity
  • Follow through

Hours and Compensation:

  • Full-time: 32-40 hours per week
  • Normal work hours are Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
  • Some evening and weekend work may be required, based on advanced planning of class schedules and events.
  • Hourly wage is negotiable and depends on experience
  • 9 paid holidays per year
  • Paid sick leave
  • 2 weeks paid vacation leave per year, begins accruing after 90-day trial period
  • Health insurance stipend
  • Access to Oregon Saves retirement plan

Start Date:

  • March/April 2018


    • Some training will be provided by the Executive Director and Program Coordinator.
    • Position requires a high level of self direction.

Work Environment & Physical Demands:

  • Work will be performed in a shared/open concept office and classroom environment. This position will be based out of our Woodburn office but will also require working in our downtown Salem office and our new office space in Independence.
  • This job requires travelling by personal car locally/regionally on a regular basis to meetings and events in Marion, Polk, Yamhill and neighboring counties. Mileage is reimbursed.
  • This job description is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of the job and the general nature and level of work performed by job holders within this job. But, this job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of qualifications, skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities or working conditions associated with the position.
  • Please send a resume and cover letter to


ACCOUNTING INTERN POSITION - click to expand for details

Part-time, internship

MERIT is seeking several business, bookkeeping and accounting majors pursuing associates and bachelor degrees to work 15 – 20 hours per week in Woodburn or Independence. Interns will complete bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses. These internships are paid and require a 6-12 month commitment. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to build their practical knowledge and resume with real experience in the accounting and bookkeeping field. MERIT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

We serve English and Spanish-speaking residents of Marion, Polk, Yamhill and surrounding counties. We work to help economically and socially underserved people increase income and build assets through financial empowerment and microenterprise development. Our mission is to help people explore, launch and grow successful small businesses through training and support.

Job Title: Accounting Intern

Email resumes with cover letter to:
No phone calls please.


    • Data entry & data management on Quickbooks (some training provided)
    • Organize accounting records & set up record keeping systems for small business clients
    • Reliably communicate via phone and email with small business clients and MERIT staff
    • Coordinate payables and receivables
    • Prepare monthly financial reports, and provide technical assistance for clients to help them understand reports
    • Create & update spreadsheets on Excel
    • Complete work on schedule to meet deadlines promised to clients
    • Create monthly, quarterly & annual financial reports for small businesses including Cash Flow Statements, Cash Flow/Budget Projections, Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Budget v. Actual, Year over Year Comparison, etc.
    • Track hours and projects completed to create invoices for small business clients.
    • Clerical Duties: answer & make phone calls, filing, scanning, photo copies, greet clients when they come in for appointments
    • Provide other clerical and accounting support, as needed
    • Participate in intensive training at beginning of internship
    • Participate in continual training and professional development throughout internship


    • Minimum High School Diploma
    • Bilingual – Spanish/English
    • Applicants should be pursuing an associates or bachelor degree in Bookkeeping, Business, Accounting, Finance or related major
    • Prior background in bookkeeping or accounting is preferred but not required.
    • Interest in working directly with small business clients is crucial
    • Interest in working in a team and culture of collaborative learning
    • Demonstrate understanding of accounting principles and practices, finance and banking
    • Demonstrate working knowledge of computer software packages, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, and MS Word
    • Some experience with QuickBooks is preferred but not required


    • Must have the ability to solve complex problems, organize multiple resources, and analyze data
    • Ability to handle confidential and sensitive information with professionalism
    • Excellent organizational and multitasking skills required
    • Must have the ability to quickly assess priorities and make adjustments as needed
    • A high level of integrity and accuracy
    • Must feel comfortable working with people of diverse backgrounds


Interns will participate in a wide range of financial management tasks and professional development activities.

Real world experience, networking, leadership, time-management, planning, software and managerial skills are built into this internship with the goal of helping interns find employment within their field after completing their education.

Please submit a resume and cover letter to be considered to

Latest News


MERIT to Launch Second Phase of Financial Empowerment Academy

Salem, Oregon – Tuesday February 20, 2018 – In a motivating influence for the Willamette Valley community, MERIT (Micro Enterprise Resource Initiatives and Training) continues providing comprehensive financial and business resources for local business owners and families.

MERIT is a 501(c)3 non-profit, located in downtown Salem’s Center for Business and Industry, and has been helping determined individuals blossom into prosperous business owners in our community for over 13 years. True to their philosophy, MERIT has been a resource in providing training and workshops for local entrepreneurs and business owners who wish to take their ideas to the next level.

Through Initiatives such as group classes, IDA’s (3 to 1 matched savings), lending circles and coaching; MERIT has helped seed the foundations of main street businesses throughout the Willamette Valley.


Our Funding Partners

Merit Funders Logos - NALCAB
Merit Funders Logos -Chemeketa Community College
Merit Funders Logos -Northwest Area Foundation v2
Merit Funders Logos Ford Family Foundation
Merit Funders Logos -Wells Fargo v2