Public Lab Research note

Public Lab is hiring! Job Posting: Kits Initiative Manager

by Shannon | April 10, 2014 18:47 10 Apr 18:47 | #10293 | #10293

Applications now closed

Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science: Civic Information Starter Kits Initiative Manager

Start Date: Mid May 2014

Location: Portland, OR

Terms: 3-month trial period, full time employment thereafter

The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (Public Lab) is a community--supported by a 501(c)(3) non-profit--which develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible Do-It-Yourself techniques, Public Lab creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively re-imagine the human relationship with the environment.

Position Summary

We are looking for a full-time salaried manager of our kit production, sales and distribution operation. You will work with our staff and community design teams to bring small runs of kits to researchers and large kit runs to market, overseeing our manufacturing and assembly operations, online store, and shipping staff. Full-time work involves moving from production into sales, pursuing bulk sales and new distribution opportunities with an expectation that this position will generate $100,000/yr in additional revenue based on increased bulk sales, growth of channels and new products.

Major Position Responsibilities

  • Working with our community and staff to bring large and small runs of kits to researchers, educators, and online and brick and mortar stores;
  • Finding and negotiating with manufacturers and suppliers for goods spec’d by our design team;
  • Reducing manufacturing and parts/supplies costs;
  • Establishing and maintaining relationships with resellers and bulk customers;
  • Working with shipping and assembly team to keep to production timelines and inventory in stock;
  • Overseeing our shipping operation, shipping manager, and assembly operations;
  • Overseeing online store and customer service (provided by shipping manager).


  • Purchasing experience in a retail or manufacturing environment
  • Customer service and sales experience
  • Manufacturing experience a plus
  • College degree preferred

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities Required

  • Knowledge and appreciation of Public Lab (community & nonprofit), its mission, its approach to R&D and kit development, its programs and services, and the ability to communicate them effectively.
  • Excellent communication skills–in written, verbal and online formats.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, both in-person and with remote co-workers, to envision and promote positive change, and to be supportive of others.
  • Ability to facilitate activities amongst a highly diverse community of people from many different fields and experience sets.
  • Technical proficiency (with full support from co-workers)--ability to learn, disseminate and teach about technology in the context of community development.
  • Excellent self-organizational and administrative skills.
  • Ability to identify and solve problems as a team member, and to make decisions and involve others in the decision-making process where appropriate.
  • Ability to create a work environment that fosters shared goals and objectives, and to be part of a cohesive online and offline community.

Compensation based on experience and qualifications. Please send a cover letter and resume to by May 2nd. No phone calls please.


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