Economic Development Manager
City of San Luis Obispo - San Luis Obispo, CA

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Plans, organizes and administers programs that encourage economic development in the City, consistent with City policy; develops strategies to improve the economic strength of the City through business development, retention and expansion, job creation and the promotion of tourism; and performs related work as assigned.

SUPERVISION RECEIVED AND EXERCISED :
The Economic Development Manager receives general direction from the Assistant City Manager within a framework of broad policies and procedures and established organizational values and processes. Provides direct supervision to the Tourism Manager and may provide supervision to interns or volunteer staff.

CLASS CHARACTERISTICS:
The single-position class develops and implements a wide variety of programs for the benefit of residents, businesses, employees and visitors. Responsibilities include analysis and implementation of policies and programs to improve the economic strength of the City. The Economic Development Manager represents the City in a variety of meetings and public forums regarding the support of local business, industry, downtown, tourism and job development. The position leads implementation and provides support for policies, programs and projects that strengthen City’s head of household job base and revenues, particularly sales tax and transient occupancy tax, and works to improve communication and to find solutions to problems of economic concern. This class is distinguished from other mid-management classes by its extensive involvement in major and politically sensitive projects, policies and other highly visible issues, both internally and within the community and region.

Examples of Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Plans, organizes, coordinates and administers a comprehensive and coordinated program aimed at encouraging sustainable economic development for the City.
  • Implements the City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan and periodically updates it.
  • Monitors progress and reports results of the City’s current Economic Development Strategic Plan.
  • Analyzes and develops policies and programs related to the underlying strength of the City’s economy.
  • Works closely with the City Manager, City Council, and other City departments, a variety of public and private organizations, and citizens groups in developing programs and implementing projects to solve problems related to the community’s economic development function; advises the City Manager and City Council on related issues and programs.
  • Identifies and pursues grant and funding opportunities that leverage city resources for economic development activities and/or community event; oversees administration of economic development grants and contracts.
  • Designs, develops and implements business retention, expansion, and targeted outreach programs, consistent with the Strategic Plan.
  • Identifies community employment needs and supports job creation efforts that match these needs with the skills of current residents and other members of the workforce.
  • Supervises the work of the Tourism Manager and provides additional support to the Tourism Business Improvement District Board and the City’s Promotional Coordinating Committee, as necessary.
  • Communicates the elements of the City’s Economic Development Strategic Plan to diverse groups and builds consensus for this strategy.
  • Recommends work plan in support of economic development goals and priorities through the City’s budget and goal-setting process.
  • Develops and prepares informational brochures and other materials describing the community and develops information about economic development activities for the City’s web site and for the joint City/Chamber of Commerce website.
  • Contacts businesses interested in locating to the community, and initiates recruitment efforts to attract businesses that meet the City’s job creation goals.
  • Attends meetings, workshops, conferences and seminars on economic development.
  • Serves as the City liaison to the business community, conducting regular interactions and visits to business leaders, regularly attends Chamber, Downtown Association, EVC, Softec and other business organization meetings.
  • Serves as an advocate for business; represents the perspective of the business community by translating inputs and needs identified by the business community into program objectives.
  • Establishes and maintains contact with other City, County and statewide economic development organizations and serves as team leader on specific projects related to economic development.
  • Coordinates and facilitates major development projects and works closely with other City departments on these projects.
  • Monitors and assists in facilitating planning and building permit processing activities.
  • Coordinates economic development activities with other City departments and offices.
  • Plans, organizes, administers, reviews and evaluates the work of professional, technical and/or office support staff on a project basis; provides training and policy guidance and interpretation to staff.
  • Analyzes legislation pertaining to economic development; recommends policy and procedural changes to implement adopted legislation.
  • Prepares reports, graphic representations and statistical summaries on issues related to economic development and makes presentations to the City Council, commissions, business and community organizations and other stakeholders regarding these issues.
  • Develops, manages and tracks the budget of the City’s Economic Development Program in coordination and collaboration with the City Manager.
  • Performs related duties similar to the above in scope and function as required.

Education and Experience:

Graduation from a four-year college or university with major coursework in business or public administration, economics, planning or a field related to the work;

and

Five years of increasingly responsible professional experience in one or more economic development disciplines (that may include but is not limited to, business attraction and retention, development and management of public/private partnership projects, job creation, real estate development, and/or assessment districts), including three years at a program management level.

or

An equivalent combination of education and experience.

Possession of an advanced degree and some experience in a public agency setting are desirable.

Supplemental Information:

Knowledge of:
  • Principles, practices and resources for economic development; job creation and business recruitment, retention and expansion.
  • Principles and practices of marketing.
  • Federal, state and local programs and opportunities to cooperatively develop and enhance the economic strength of the City.
  • Applicable laws, regulations, policy and procedures.
  • Financing trends, practices and resources in economic development.
  • Principles and practices of drafting agreements, negotiation of contracts and supervision of contractors.
  • Principles and practices of urban planning and community development, including community issues related to economic development.
  • Business and administrative computer applications related to the work.
  • Techniques for effectively representing the City in contacts with governmental agencies, community groups and various business, professional, regulatory and legislative organizations.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service to public and City staff, in person, over the telephone, and email.
  • Basic program management, budgeting and supervisory techniques.
Ability to :
  • Plan, organize, coordinate and administer comprehensive and coordinated programs aimed at encouraging sustainable economic development for the City.
  • Design, develop and implement targeted business recruitment, retention and expansion programs.
  • Identify community employment needs and implement recruitment strategies and job creation efforts that match the skills and needs of current residents.
  • Communicate the City’s economic development strategy effectively to diverse groups and building consensus for this strategy.
  • Conduct outreach to businesses interested in locating in the community and initiating recruitment efforts to attract businesses.
  • Support business incubation programs and job creation through the use of entrepreneurial approaches.
  • Establish and maintain effective contacts with other City, County and statewide economic development organizations.
  • Identify and implement appropriate funding resources and strategies.
  • Serve as an effective advocate of economic development within the community.
  • Identify and help resolve issues within the development review process.
  • Plan, direct and review the work of staff on a project basis.
  • Develop and analyze projects and programs for their financial feasibility and effectiveness.
  • Research and evaluate legislation pertaining to economic and job development.
  • Make effective presentations to the City Council, commissions, community and business organizations and other stakeholders regarding these issues.
  • Use sound independent judgment within general legal, policy and procedural guidelines.
  • Prepare accurate and effective reports, policies, procedures and other written materials.
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with those contacted in the course of the work.
  • Use creative problem solving techniques and approaches.

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