Economic Development Specialist

Job Title: Economic Development Specialist

Job Type: Full Time

Location: Platteville, WI

As an extension of local government, the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SWWRPC) serves the five counties of Southwestern Wisconsin (Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, and Richland) in land use, transportation and economic development planning. SWWRPC seeks a qualified candidate to serve as the lead economic development planner and contact for the Economic Development Agency (EDA) and the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The Economic Development Specialist will also serve in the role of Executive Director of the Platteville Business Incubator, Inc. (PBII), and administrator of a regional revolving loan fund. The Economic Development Specialist reports to the Executive Director.

Overview: The Economic Development Specialist is responsible for setting the organization’s economic development vision through the development of the 5-year CEDS and the annual updates. They will also liaise closely with the county and municipal economic development professionals to develop close working relationships and support the local business attraction/retention efforts. The Specialist will write and administer bi-annual EDA planning grants, and perform all necessary reporting. SWWRPC views the Economic Development Specialist as the prime relationship between itself our partner organizations such as Prosperity Southwest and the Southwest Workforce Development Board. As such, the successful candidate have the ability to build networks and relationships founded on common interests and outcomes.

Through a contractual relationship, the Economic Development Specialist also serves as the Executive Director of PBII. The primary duties of this role are to provide business planning assistance, coaching, and mentoring to new small businesses. PBII’s Director will also be responsible for developing a marketing strategy geared towards attracting new business prospects, and working with the Platteville Economic Development team to retain graduates of PBII within the community. As PBII Director, the Economic Development Specialist will also manage PBII operations by assisting with board meetings, developing metrics to measure success, measuring and marketing PBII’s economic impact, and maintain the PBII facility. 

The Economic Development Specialist will also serve as the administrator and underwriter of the Southwest Business Development Fund, and the Revolving Loan Funds for Iowa and Richland Counties.

Location: The PM will work primarily from SWWRPC’s Platteville Office. Platteville is located 60 miles southwest of Madison, Wisconsin with a population of approximately 11,000. The City, nestled among rolling hills and surrounded by beautiful farm country, is home to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Knowledge Required:

• Thorough knowledge of project management techniques, including development of WBS schedules and resource allocation.

• Knowledge of general business principles and economic factors, including business management, purchasing, financial record keeping, inventory management, and other business consulting necessary for assisting new business start-ups.

• Knowledge of revolving loan fund procedures and practices, including underwriting.

• Knowledge of TIF financing and development of TIDs for small and mid-size municipalities.

• Demonstrated proficiency in grant writing, grant administration, project scoping, budgeting, and management.

• Budgeting procedures and techniques.

• Knowledge of effective tactics for strategic planning, organizational development, and visioning.

• Knowledge of rural planning and development and local government policies and procedures.

• Methods and techniques of effective technical report preparation and presentation.

• Thorough knowledge of effective citizen involvement techniques and processes.

• Knowledge of computer hardware and software programs, which may include Microsoft Office, Internet applications, and project management or Gantt chart development software.

Skills Required:

• Effective and persuasive leadership with all levels of staff, public, and others.

• Demonstrated ability to develop marketing materials, including development of success stories, calculation of ROI for investors, and generating promotional materials.

• Demonstrated ability in working with governing boards, facilitating meetings, setting agendas, developing staff programmatic and financial reports, and setting strategic direction.

• Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work including business prospects, local businesses, City and other government officials, community groups, and the general public.

• Preparing clear and concise technical, policy, administrative and financial reports.

• Recommend and implement goals, objectives, and practices for providing effective and efficient economic development services.

• Must be innovative, detail-oriented, and experienced in highly visible and controversial projects.

• Strong analytical skills to interpret research data for reports and apply mathematic techniques in practical situations.

• Reading comprehension to understand technical and legal materials.

• Strong organizational skills.

Abilities Required:

• Ability to develop and maintain networks and relationships.

• Ability to diagnose conditions, gather information, and plan, coordinate, and analyze conditions necessary for developing a regional economic development strategy.

• Ability to manage projects effectively and meet firm deadlines.

• Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with other employees and the general public.

• Ability to work on several projects or issues simultaneously.

• Ability to reconcile different viewpoints and make constructive policy recommendations.

• Ability to work independently or in a team environment as needed.

• Ability to attend to details while fulfilling larger goals.

Minimum Qualifications:

• A master’s degree in planning, public policy, community development, or a closely related field, and at least five years of experience in the field of economic development.

• History of working for, or with, Business Incubators or similar organizations.

Preferred Qualifications:

• Familiarity with current issues facing small rural communities.

• EDFP, CEcD, Incubator Management Certifications  are desirable

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

• EDA Grant Administration and Plan Development – 65%

• Serve as PBII Executive Director – 20%

• Administrate Revolving Loan Funds – 10%

• Administrative support work – 5%

Physical Requirements:

• Ability to see and hear within normal ranges; ability to sit, stand, stoop, and walk; ability to use hand, finger, and wrist motion.

• Applicant must possess a valid driver’s license.

Special Demands: The ED Specialist attends frequent evening meetings. SWWRPC makes an effort to plan and schedule meetings in a timely manner and inform staff of their meeting calendar in advance of all meetings.

Supervisory Duties: The Economic Development Specialist supervises one part-time administrative staff while serving as the Executive Director of PBII. There are no day-to-day supervisory responsibilities associated with the EDA planning grant, however some supervision if interns may be required. The EDA planning grant will require close coordination with other SWWRPC planning staff, and application of project management skills to ensure coordinated delivery of the CEDS and other EDA-related outcomes.

Availability: This is a permanent, full-time position.

Compensation: Salary Range is $55,000-$65,000, depending on qualifications. SWWRPC employees are considered Local Government employees by the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, and therefore eligible for Group Health Insurance, Group Life Insurance, Income Continuation Insurance, Flex Spending, and participation in the Wisconsin Retirement System.

FLSA Status: Exempt

Those interested should submit an electronic cover letter, resume, three professional references, and a completed SWWRPC Application (available at http://swwrpc.org/wordpress/about/employment-opportunities/) to jobs@swwrpc.org

Only electronic applications will be reviewed.  Applications are due by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 17, 2017. The first round of interviews is anticipated to begin on February 23rd. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found. 

Please be sure to clearly indicate which position you wish to apply for in the subject line of your email submission. 

SWWRPC is fully committed to attracting, retaining, developing and promoting the most qualified employees without regard to their race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, citizenship status, veteran status, or any other characteristic prohibited by state or local law. We are dedicated to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment and where employees are treated with respect and dignity.

Those interested should submit an electronic cover letter, resume, three professional references, and a completed SWWRPC Application (available at http://swwrpc.org/wordpress/about/employment-opportunities/) to jobs@swwrpc.org

Only electronic applications will be reviewed.  Applications are due by 5:00 PM on Friday, February 17, 2017. The first round of interviews is anticipated to begin on February 23rd. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found. 

Please be sure to clearly indicate which position you wish to apply for in the subject line of your email submission. 

SWWRPC is fully committed to attracting, retaining, developing and promoting the most qualified employees without regard to their race, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, citizenship status, veteran status, or any other characteristic prohibited by state or local law. We are dedicated to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment and where employees are treated with respect and dignity.