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City of Joliet, Economic Development Director

EXPIRATION: until filled
TITLE: Economic Development Director (Position Code #1011)
SALARY: Full Salary Range: $85, 085 – $139,518 DEPARTMENT/DIV: COMMUNITY / ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Outstanding opportunity for a highly motivated professional to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a growing organization and city. We are seeking an individual of outstanding quality with a respected track record. The City of Joliet is prepared to offer an attractive compensation package, including a competitive base salary as well as excellent benefits.

GENERAL PURPOSE
This position is responsible for working closely with the City Manager’s Office, Mayor and City Council, Economic Development Committee, and other City staff/departments in promoting the business and economic development interests of the community. The Administration is making collaboration, communication, and engagement a vital priority in aligning the organization and a key component of the delivery of services to the community. This position is crucial in embodying and advancing these principles, acting as a pivotal connector between the City’s economic development function and its diverse stakeholders, both within and outside the organizational structure. The incumbent has division-level management responsibility within the Community Development Department and will collaborate on the creation and implementation of overall economic development policy, programs, activities, and fiscal management. This position works with all noted departments in guiding individuals and companies to establish, relocate, or expand their businesses within the community, including assistance in navigating City incentives, licensing, zoning, development review, and permitting processes. Works with outside agencies and partners to guide, inform, be informed, and assist in economic development projects that benefit the community. Provides highly responsible and complex support to the Director of Community Development, and City Manager’s Office regarding economic development and works diligently to communicate, collaborate, and align the economic development function with City goals.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Manages the Economic Development Division, including direct supervision of the Sr. Economic Development Specialist, and the Economic Development Specialist.
Serves as the City’s business liaison and first point of contact for existing and prospective business owners seeking to locate in Joliet, facilitates a timely and efficient response from City Departments.

Promotes a business-friendly environment throughout the City organization. As needed, lead, form, or participate in City team efforts to streamline or simplify governmental processes to help departments be more business-friendly, including opportunities to assist small businesses and entrepreneurs. When necessary, supports resolving issues that may arise concerning individual businesses.

Provides input to the City Manager’s Office and management team regarding strategy, resources, and organizational needs to create and maintain an economic development program for business attraction, retention, and expansion.

Aids in the development of short and long-term economic and community development plans, as well as gathering of information and preparation of studies, reports, and recommendations to achieve such goals.

Collaborates with City staff on the development and implementation of a City-wide Comprehensive Plan and works to align the economic development function with its goals.
Develops and implements a marketing plan to identify the strategic assets of the Joliet Community as they pertain to economic development. Develops and maintains a digital Joliet Community

Profile with information on utilities, taxing bodies, zoning, transportation, community services, financing tools, incentives, and site data. Develops print flyers and brochures. Coordinates with other
City staff/departments in support of this marketing material including the development and maintenance of an economic development web presence.

Collaborates with City Staff/Departments to coordinate the tourism marketing program. Serves as the liaison to the Heritage Corridor Destinations to highlight Joliet as the premier visitor’s destination within the Corridor.

Partners with the City Center Partnership, Will County Center for Economic Development, and other organizations on the strategic promotion and positioning of Joliet as a great place for commerce and industry.

Provides professional economic development advice, assists in the application and permitting process, and serves as an advocate for economic development in line with City goals and policy.

Works closely with the Economic Development Committee to discuss projects and programs and identify areas of concern with business incentives, locations, and expansion within the City.

Maintains a liaison with various local, state, and federal agencies, coordinating projects with agencies as deemed necessary and appropriate.

Provides information and/or makes presentations to boards, commissions, committees, civic groups, businesses, individuals, and the public on economic development issues, programs, services,
and plans.

Prepares grant proposals and applications, and other necessary documents as may be required for development projects.

Coordinates the preparation of market studies, economic analysis, and demographic data to identify the best means to attract, retain, or expand businesses. Proactively identifies and recruits likely business prospects, maintains an inventory of available sites/buildings, and aggressively markets suitable sites to business prospects.

Becomes familiar/proficient with the appropriate online platforms for real estate property information and maintain any related subscription services. Utilizes these and other resources to stay current on the existing inventory of available buildings and business and residential development sites within the community. This will include both public and private buildings and land areas.

Assists with negotiation and the management of professional service contracts, property sales or acquisition, lease agreements, and economic development-oriented negotiations, as assigned.

Oversees all aspects of the City’s economic development programs and tools, including the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Program. Ensures timely reporting, public meetings, Joint Review Board hearings, and liaison with TIF advisors.

Leads negotiations involving economic development strategies and activities related to TIF districts and commercial special service areas. Provides input on incentive requests and proposals consistent with City policy.

Monitors the long-term status of projects that receive a financial incentive from the City to ensure they are meeting performance benchmarks and are accountable to the public.

Attends development review team meetings, provides input, and advocates for projects, where appropriate, and consistent with City policy. Serves as a member of various other staff committees and teams, as assigned.

Provides recommendations for changes to development-related policies.

Maintains strong working relationships with the City staff, the general public, area businesses, clients, other partner organizations, the media, and others.

Monitors legislation and regulations relating to economic development, and reports findings to the appropriate impacted parties (i.e., Community Development Director, City Manager’s Office, Economic Development Committee, and the City Council).

Attends professional development workshops and conferences to keep abreast of trends and developments in the field of economic development, and to represent the interest of the City of Joliet on matters related to economic development.

Performs related duties as required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS
Education & Experience:
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in business or public administration, real estate, or closely related field; master’s degree preferred.
Extensive experience of an increasingly responsible nature in local governmental administration, some of which shall have been at the level of program manager or above.
Considerable knowledge of business development, community, and economic development. Working knowledge of municipal zoning, infrastructure, and development review processes.
An equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential functions of the job will be considered when hiring for this role.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Strong organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail.
Creative problem solver.
Good knowledge of applicable laws, labor relations, and sources of information related to problems of local government.
An understanding of the political process while avoiding personal involvement in political issues.
Personal and professional integrity of the highest order.
Proficiency in use of the Microsoft Office Suite.
Ability to write clear and concise reports, memoranda, directives, and letters.
Ability to develop comprehensive plans from general instructions.
Ability to accomplish assigned administrative tasks with minimum supervision and with only general directions.
Ability to plan and supervise the work of others.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
Valid State of Illinois Class D driver’s license.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION EMPLOYER

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