The City of Fort Wayne’s next Economic Development Director will be instrumental in helping to continue building a nationally recognized economy. Fort Wayne, with a population of 255,000, is the central economic engine that drives Allen County and the entire northeast region of Indiana.
Currently, Fort Wayne and Allen County are in the midst of a cultural and economic renaissance; nearly $1 billion has been invested in downtown over the last 15 years and local businesses have invested more than $2.3 billion in capital improvements in the last five years. With a rich history in engineering and entrepreneurship and a deep-seated Midwestern commitment to service, our local economy is bustling with successful small businesses, established corporations, and foreign direct investment.
Examples of this momentum include a new, award-winning baseball park, a convention center expansion, the addition of two new downtown hotels, expansion of the arts campus, several hundred new apartments and condominiums, and the near-completion of Riverfront Fort Wayne Phase I. The future holds the complete transformation of the 39-acre former General Electric campus in the heart of several urban neighborhoods, as well the development of Riverfront Fort Wayne Phases II and III.
The ideal candidate will join a team of innovative and hard-working economic development professionals focused on promoting entrepreneurship, business retention and growth, and quality of place projects that inspire residents and businesses to locate and stay in Fort Wayne. The Fort Wayne team firmly believes that the “people first” approach is the single most important key to unlocking the current and future economic development investments in our community and throughout the northeast Indiana region.
Working under the direction of the Deputy Director – Redevelopment, the incumbent manages projects and personnel of the department of Economic Development (DED) and develops and implements economic development goals, strategies and projects. The incumbent is expected to exercise good judgment, independence, initiative, and professional expertise in conducting day-to-day operations. All work duties and activities must be performed in accordance with the City safety rules and operating regulations, policies and procedures as well as federal, state, and local regulations.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the ability to interact with the public, City incumbents, and outside agencies with patience, tact, respect, and professionalism and the following. Other duties may be assigned.
• Directs and manages designated staff of the department of Economic Development;
• Works in cooperation with the Fort Wayne Economic Development Commission, Redevelopment Commission, Urban Enterprise Association, and Deputy Director of Redevelopment to develop departmental goals, work programs, and development strategies;
• Oversees the Economic Development Incentive Fund budget;
• Develops, coordinates, and manages projects involving complex joint public and private partnerships;
• Financial management of complex, multi-source, including public sector/private sector source funding for Economic Development Commission's bonds;
• Oversees development and management of existing and new Urban Renewal Areas, Economic Development Areas, and Allocation Areas when appropriate;
• Acts as an advocate for businesses needing special assistance with the City and other agencies when such advocacy is consistent with economic development interests;
• Develops and administers programs to help existing businesses maintain and expand employment;
• Collaborates and leads coordination efforts between services of other economic development partners throughout the region to assist businesses;
• Prepares resolutions, analyzes data and other pertinent information for the Administration, City Council, and Commissions when considering economic development incentives;
• Visits local businesses to ascertain concerns, future plans, and provide information regarding available business support programs;
• Oversees communication between businesses and the Mayor’s Office;
• Develops and maintains favorable business relations including job creation activities;
• Monitors and coordinates various economic development projects including business expansions and business attraction efforts in conjunction with other economic development partners;
• Attends various meetings, making presentations when required;
• Provides direction on strategic use of technology within the department;
• Develops and implements programs to strengthen local business opportunities under department direction;
• Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with staff members, government agencies, and the general public.
Performs other duties as assigned
The incumbent is responsible to manage their performance in accordance with this job description and the performance expectations provided to them by management. If at any time the incumbent is unsure of their role or specific responsibilities, it is the incumbent’s responsibility to refer to their job description and ask for clarification from their supervisor. Management will work with the incumbent, as needed, to ensure performance expectations are clearly communicated and performance goals are achieved.
Manages staff and subordinate supervisors, who oversee employees in the department of the Urban Enterprise Association and the Community Development Corporation. The incumbent carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems. The incumbent recommends disciplinary action as necessary and approves leave requests.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE
• Bachelor's degree (B.S.) or equivalent from an accredited college or university; Master's degree (M. A.) preferred; or five (5) to ten (10) years increasingly responsible experience in Urban Planning, Public Administration or a related field; or equivalent combination of education and experience;
• Project Management Institute (PMI) certification desired, but not required;
• Lean Six Sigma certification desired, but not required.
OTHER SKILLS AND ABILITIES
• Full range of generally accepted and commonly used principles, practices, and objectives or urban planning, real estate development, and governmental processes;
• Ability to collect, interpret, and analyze data using spatial, predictive statistical analytics tools and methods;
• Demonstrated experience with financial packaging and analysis, including knowledge and experience with incorporating federal, state, and local grants, loans, taxes, and all forms of public revenue with private resources;
• Mastery of field of urban development/redevelopment and understanding of state and municipal legislation relating to redevelopment and economic development;
• Ability to develop new techniques and methods related to redevelopment and economic development;
• Ability to express oneself clearly and concisely, orally and in writing, to write reports and grant applications, draft plans, give speeches, direct staff and maintain coordination within the department;
• Ability to understand and apply federal, state, and local regulations relating to redevelopment and economic development;
• Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, civic and business groups, City Administration, City Council, media and the general public;
• Ability to research, develop and write specific plans and reports dealing with redevelopment and economic development issues;
• Ability to manage effectively at the same time multiple complicated multimillion dollar projects.
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents. Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community. Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format. Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.
Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
The work is broad in scope and of substantial intricacy involving many variables or considerations with interrelationships difficult to ascertain and requiring individual diagnosis and treatment. Incumbent must supervise and administer the City's redevelopment and economic development programs and must use considerable judgment to bring forth innovative ideas following guidelines that are often obscure. Individual diagnosis is necessary to find solutions to complex problems involving the present and future needs of the community.
The purpose and desired results are indicated. Unusual problems and/or proposed deviations from guidelines or practice are discussed at the discretion of the employee. Work is reviewed for soundness of judgment and conclusions, general technical adequacy, and conformance with practice and policy. The incumbent makes major contributions involving authoritative application of policy and practice to especially complex and/or important matters.
CERTIFICATES, LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS
• Maintains a valid Driver’s License if a City vehicle is used.
• Project Management Institute (PMI) certification desired, but not required.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit. The employee frequently is required to stand. The employee is occasionally required to walk.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.