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Job: Director of Economic Opportunity & Development in Fort Bend County, Texas

In one of the fastest growing counties in the US

Dane Carlson
Dane Carlson
4 min read

TRANSFORMING OUR COMMUNITY:

Fort Bend County, Texas is ranked one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. Located in the Southwestern part of the 13 county Houston-Galveston Metropolitan area, Fort Bend County has seen significant growth over the past fifty years.  The diversity and inclusivity of our community is our strength and at the forefront of a workplace environment welcoming to all.

ABOUT THE POSITION:

The Director of Economic Opportunity & Development will lead the establishment and operations of the Fort Bend County Economic Opportunity & Development Department.  The Department will spearhead financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable economic development that promotes, community business development, workforce development, job training, equity and opportunity for all.  It will facilitate initiatives that aim to create business and workforce opportunities, develop and implement policies and programs that create economic pathways for Fort Bend County residents who have been historically disenfranchised and marginalized, and ensure the continued outlook of Fort Bend County as a highly sought-after place to live and do business.

The Director will report directly to Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, which serves as the administrative head of the Fort Bend County government.  Participates in planning of programs, policies, and procedures for own department other work groups, departments and offices.

IDEAL CANDIDATE:

Fort Bend County is seeking a visionary and skilled servant leader who is ready to take the reins of a new department and set the stage for a new era of growth and success.  The ideal candidate will utilize their knowledge of laws, regulations and requirements to produce an innovative roadmap for economic and community development driven by Fort Bend County.  The candidate would foster partnerships and collaborate with external economic development organizations to ensure economic development for Fort Bend County.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

The Director will collaborate with community members, businesses, government agencies, experts, developers, and other relevant stakeholders, to establish an inclusive vision for the Department that aims to enhance economic mobility and opportunity for all Fort Bend County residents, while advancing the continued strength, resilience, and vitality of our region’s economy.

  • Oversee and direct the functions of the Department to achieve departmental goals
  • Establish a long-term economic development plan for Fort Bend County that meets the needs of our residents and ensure the continued growth of our economy
  • Establish and coordinate implementation of scalable programs and initiatives that further equitable economic development, community business development, workforce development, job training, in the fulfillment of Fort Bend County contracts and services, including programs and initiatives that:
  • Expand equitable employment opportunities and participation of Minority and Women Business Enterprises/Small Business Enterprises/Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Fort Bend County contracts;
  • Enhance Fort Bend County workforce development activities and occupational training opportunities;
  • Monitor and enforce contract compliance, subcontractor utilization, and wage rate compliance; and
  • Facilitate access to capital, loans, or grants for businesses and nonprofits that serve a significant need (e.g., businesses in food or bank deserts)
  • Manage business incentive initiatives, in coordination with the County Judge and respective precinct commissioners, including the administration of the tax abatement process, tax incentive reinvestment zones (TIRZ), etc., to recruit and retain high-demand industries and development to our region
  • Establish and implement a community engagement plan to inform the Department’s work
  • Develop strategic partnerships with government stakeholders, business leaders, advocacy organizations, chambers of commerce, developers, and experts to facilitate and support the Department’s objectives
  • Inform Commissioners Court about the initiatives, programs, and activities of the Department
  • Perform any additional duties as delineated by the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court related to the objectives of the Department
  • Participates in activities and duties related to emergency management during a local state of disaster as directed by appropriate county managers

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE:

  • Bachelor’s Degree, required.  Master’s Degree in Business Administration or related field, preferred.
  • Required Experience: Minimum of five (5) years full-time, paid, related professional experience with a delineated progression in job responsibilities, including related to team building and management, decision-making, consensus building, and community engagement.
  • Minimum of three (3) years management and/or strategic planning experience.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated ability to drive organizational culture and build/manage high performing teams.
  • Comfortability providing counsel to, interfacing with, and obtaining feedback from a diverse range of stakeholders, including at the executive level.
  • Ability to continuously learn about other areas affecting economic opportunity in Fort Bend County, including, but not limited to, transportation, education, infrastructure, flood management, and criminal justice.
  • Ability to build and manage a team with expertise in relevant areas, including, but not limited to, procurement contracting, subcontractor utilization and/or wage rate compliance experience.
  • Minimum ten (10) years management experience in the public sector and/or a public- facing role.
  • Background or demonstrated experience in economic development, workforce development, workers’ rights, M/W/DBE program management, community business support, and/or community development.
  • Experience evaluating data and/or an ability to communicate key details about data to stakeholders unfamiliar with analytics.
  • Demonstrated success implementing community business programs and/or workforce development initiatives.  Strong writing skills
  • Ability to interact and deal effectively with other employees, elected and appointed officials, department heads and the public
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to communicate verbally, and in writing. Strong supervisory, interpersonal skills, including persuasion, diplomacy and problem solving to deal effectively with the public, other employees and elected officials
  • Ability to use discretion and intelligible through process in making responsible decision without supervision

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:

The Economic Opportunity & Development Director role is on the Executive Management pay structure.  Compensation will be dependent upon experience and education.  Fort Bend County offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes medical, dental, vision, Section 125 Flex Spending account, and longevity pay.  Fort Bend County ‘s retirement includes participation in the Texas County & District Retirement System (TCDRS) and a 457 (b) plan for employee deferrals.  The County matches 2:1at retirement.  TCDRS members are eligible for retirement upon meeting specific criteria.

CLOSING DATE:  Upon filling position

Fort Bend County is an equal opportunity employer, committed to non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, religion or creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy status (including childbirth and related medical conditions), national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, age (40 and over), physical or mental disability, genetic information, protected military and veteran status, political affiliation or beliefs, or any other classification protected by state, federal  and local  laws, unless  such classification is a bona fide occupational qualification.

To be considered for employment, all interested candidates must complete the required Fort Bend County online employment application located at www.fortbendcounty.jobs


To apply, email [email protected].

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Dane Carlson Twitter

Founder/Host of Econ Dev Show. By day: Director of Economic Development for Galveston County, Texas.