This position’s focus is on attracting and retaining businesses and promotes the Town of Vinton as a choice location for business, recreation, and living. Also responsible for coordinating, creating, and executing communication with internal and external stakeholders.
• Responsible for communication involved in specific targeted economic develop initiatives and programs to attract/recruit new business and investment to the greater Vinton Community to include Downtown, Uptown and Vinton Business Center (Business Park).
• Direct the overall development, coordination and execution of the Town's comprehensive communications plan.
• Encourages and facilitates new businesses and business expansions by responding to inquiries and responding to prospect leads.
• Provides technical assistance to businesses and prospects, to include formalizing local service providers and capacity for local utilities necessary to operate and business within the Town limits.
• Evaluates business-financing needs and connects businesses with existing financial, grant or incentive-based funding opportunities. Works directly with other Town of Vinton departments as well as Roanoke County, to facilitate business development needs of prospects (such as zoning permits and code compliance, businesses license, refuse collection, and police protection).
• Establishes marketing and partnership opportunities to promote the Town of Vinton as a great place to live, work and do business.
• Prepares and presents reports to the Town of Vinton Manager and Council as needed.
• Coordinates activities with economic development partners such as Roanoke County Economic Development Authority (EDA), Roanoke and Vinton Chambers of Commerce, Roanoke Regional Partnership (RRP), Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Planning Commission (RVARC) and Virginia’s Visit Blue Ridge (VBR); represents the department in local, county, state and other meetings.
• Develops and recommends economic development incentives for attracting and securing community and economic redevelopment projects.
• Researches and summarizes community demographic, economic, workforce, and service data.
• Creates and manages a public relations program for Economic Development initiatives; develops non-paid promotions through press releases, articles and interviews for print, radio and television, speaks to local and regional business organizations.
• Ensures business continuity by delegating or transitioning responsibilities during absences.
• Prepares and participates in Request For Proposals (RFP) and Request For Qualifications (RFQ) process for related community development related contractors, developers and prospective clients.
• Manages fiscal responsibility including the ability to analyze and present financial information, develop and manage budgets and present progress reports on economic development activities and programs.
• Responsible for Economic or Community Development grants to include drafting applications and eventual grant implementation, reporting, and fiscal management. Examples of grants include Virginia Brownfields Assistance Fund (VBAF), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and Marketing Leverage Program (MLP). Represents Town of Vinton on Boards and Commissions as deemed relevant by the Town Manager.
• Responsible for general media inquiries and interview requests for economic and community development related projects; draft and promote positive news stories by generating leads and developing story lines to create awareness of Town activities to include both internal and external community related programs.
• Responsible for creating and promoting opportunities for community engagement to include community meetings, citizen satisfaction surveys, focus groups and build the narrative of why the Town is initiating a project or service.
• Assists with the planning and hosting business prospects, state/local legislators or other regional partners for the benefit of facilitating positive relationships, recruiting business to locate or expand, or celebrating the opening/expansion of a business.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Bachelor’s Degree, minimum of three years of experience in economic development, communication, public relations or related field.
Master’s Degree in a related field or Certified Economic Developer (CEcD)
Local government experience.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
• Economic development statutes, principles, practices and methods.
• Sophisticated market planning and its applications to local government.
• Basic laws, principles, and regulations involved in government planning and operations.
• Project management practices and principles.. Commercial and industrial real estate.
• Federal, state and local tax structure and financing programs.
• Economic development marketing and business retention programs.
• State legislative process.
• A comprehensive knowledge of the Town’s organization, function, and operating methods.
• Entrepreneurial programs and systems.
Skills and Abilities
• Analyze complex public policy issues.
• Plan, coordinate and conduct projects and multi-phase programs.
• Maintain complex program and project records.
• Prepare and deliver clear, concise and effective formal public presentations and reports.
• Communicate both orally and in writing to a variety of audiences on a variety of complex subjects.
• Travel overnight to attend meetings or make business presentations.
• Robust relationship building and storytelling skills.
• Strong skills and knowledge base in economic development, community development and commercial real estate principals.
• Competence to focus and place priority on businesses and programs that provide the greatest economic impact.
• Possess talent to build long lasting relationships with boards, public officials, stakeholders, commercial real estate professionals, developers, community partners and regional and state economic development professionals.
• Must be able to get out into the community and effectively communicate with business owners/operators, the general public and Town employees.
• Attend evening and weekend meetings and events.
This job functions under general direction and uses a wide range of procedures in meeting job responsibilities; plans and arranges own work; and refers only unusual cases and situations to supervisor. This position reports to the Town Manager.
Position requires extensive contact with the public, outside organizations and all Town Departments. Incumbent responds daily to walk-in inquiries and correspondence, plus requests for assistance from the local business community. Incumbent frequently makes presentations at public hearings and committee meetings and responds to requests for information from the media. Position requires extensive participation with local, regional, state and federal agencies and organizations regarding economic development programs in the capacity of membership, participation or director responsibilities.
Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.