Economic Development Manager (Bilingual: Español/English)


Posted : 2023-07-27

HIRING: Economic Development Manager (Bilingual: Español/English)

REPORTS TO: Community Outreach Director

STATUS: Full-time, Exempt

SALARY: $45,000 starting, based on experience and qualifications

WHO WE ARE: VIA CDC (“VIA,” formerly Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, or LBWN) is an innovative community development corporation that is a partner in building strong, healthy neighborhoods where we all can thrive. We are anchored on Milwaukee’s near south side, surrounding the neighborhoods of our foundresses, the School Sisters of St. Francis. Since 1995, VIA has leveraged more than $50 million in neighborhood improvements and has grown in size, budget and impact. VIA primarily serves the near south side neighborhoods of Silver City, Layton Park and Burnham Park – some of Milwaukee’s most diverse neighborhoods, with a supermajority Latino/a/x population.

WHAT YOU’LL DO: The Economic Development Manager will drive strategy and execute VIA’s grassroots Neighborhood Economic Development programming and other strategies inspired by the Main Streets approach. This position is the key leader of VIA’s Economic Development work which addresses economic and racial disparities in our community, making sure we all have opportunities to thrive.

Support Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs to Thrive:

  • Intentionally builds relationships through 1:1 conversations, door-to-door outreach, phone calls, engagement meetings/events and more.
  • Creates jobs and supports business registration by providing technical assistance (e.g. compliance, growth, establishment and financing).
  • Serves as a liaison between city permitting departments and business owners.
  • Coordinates publicity for neighborhood businesses (e.g. grand openings, restaurant weeks, etc.).
  • Brings together subject matter experts to provide training and networking opportunities for neighborhood business owners.

Foster Vibrant Commercial Corridors that Serve the Community:

  • Establishes and maintains relationships with property owners to encourage lease ups of storefronts.
  • Designs, develops, and administers solutions to commercial corridor needs in partnership with neighborhood property and/or business owners and residents.
  • Builds relationships with key stakeholders to identify opportunities for neighborhood businesses (such as alders, city departments, non-profits, etc.) .
  • Keeps up with best (anti-displacement) practices to attract, retain, and expand businesses.
  • Maintains a database through the use of Salesforce to track economic development data.
  • Promote/identify/secure building & business improvement resources (e.g. grants, loans, etc.).

Advance Economic Development Engagement Strategies:

  • In collaboration with other staff and neighborhood residents, identify culturally and linguistically relevant initiatives that support economic wellbeing.
  • Collaborates with VIA staff to align economic development efforts with program areas including housing outreach, community building, and real estate development.
  • Partners with staff and residents to maximize the impact of Neighborhood Action Plan strategies.
  • Supports community-based collective action across engagement, planning, partnership cultivation, and implementation processes.
  • Leads program development and marketing initiatives by evaluating, adapting, or scaling existing programs, such as Phobruary, Silver City InterNational Festival, Trick-or-Treat Street, and/or piloting new programming.

Other (program management, administration, fund development, etc):

  • Serves as VIA’s economic development spokesperson, participating in events, interviews and more.
  • Builds partnerships with elected officials, city departments, realtors, brokers, and others.
  • Tracks economic development data and assist in the preparation of grant applications, reports, etc.
  • Creates and manages the annual Economic Development program budget.
  • Assist with VIA’s newsletter, website, marketing videos, facebook, and other media tools.
  • Participate in VIA CDC staff meetings, neighborhood events, and board meetings as required.

WHO YOU ARE: The ideal candidate will have lived experience in VIA’s anchor neighborhoods, similar communities, and/or as a business owner. You are an excellent relationship-builder and love making connections. You can navigate governmental systems and guide others through the process. Your desire to help others achieve their dreams fuels your commitment and follow-through. You are strategic about planning and decision-making that will have the biggest impact for folks who have been institutionally marginalized. You should also have:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Spanish required
  • A demonstrated commitment to building a more equitable world where we all can thrive
  • Ability to create & develop relationships with people of all backgrounds
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills
  • Experience/knowledge of economic development, urban planning, finance/business, and/or real estate
  • Ability to conduct evening and weekend activities occasionally (we offer flex scheduling)
  • A willingness to use technology tools like Google Apps, Asana, Salesforce and more
  • Must live and maintain residence in the City of Milwaukee throughout employment to uphold grant requirements.

In addition, as part of our team we hope that you will also exhibit strong: learning, problem-solving and analytical skills; ability to work independently; high degree of flexibility, integrity and initiative; and alignment with VIA CDC’s mission and values (strength-based, community-led, listening, justice, teamwork & results).

BENEFITS: Starting at annual 21 days PTO + 10 self-selected holidays, flexible hours, retirement/pension account (w/ match), disability & life insurance, 75% employer-paid health/vision/dental insurances; and supported training opportunities.

WORK SETTING: VIA offers a hybrid work environment. Community facing roles are required to hold 3 (self-selected) in-office work days as agreed upon with their direct supervisor. This position also requires a high level of being out in the community—we encourage all employees to take health & safety precautions.

BACKGROUND CHECK: A criminal background will not automatically eliminate you from consideration. A criminal history background check will be conducted on the final candidate prior to start date. VIA CDC prioritizes equity and inclusion. We are an equal opportunity employer and we strongly encourage Black, Indigenous, people of color, women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and others who identify with underrepresented groups to apply.

To ensure full consideration for the position, submit this form. This position will remain open until filled by the right candidate.

Job Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
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