Prosper Portland, the City of Portland's economic development agency, is seeking a proven economic development professional and experienced leader to guide the agency's Economic Development department. The department works to foster inclusive economic growth for the city with an emphasis on increasing access to high quality employment, equitable wealth creation and community capacity to support business vitality.
The ideal candidate will have significant experience in a combination of community development, economic development, business development and public administration. They will possess excellent communication, organizational and problem-solving skills along with the creativity and willingness to exchange and encourage new ideas. They will be a committed leader, a culturally competent thought partner and a consensus builder who can collaborate in a way that embraces Prosper Portland's values of learning, innovation, putting people first, inclusion and excellence.
The Economic Development Director reports to the Executive Director and leads the managers and professional staff of the Economic Development Department. The team is responsible for the agency's overall programs and initiatives that support target industry clusters, community-led initiatives, business competitiveness, international trade, and inclusive entrepreneurship.
The Economic Development Director is a member of the executive team and works closely with other Prosper Portland departments to support initiatives that encourage inclusive economic growth and vibrant, healthy Portland communities. This position establishes and fosters strong collaborative relationships with City Council, city and state agencies, community and regional economic development organizations, business and industry associations, and workforce development and higher education institutions.
The selected candidate will lead efforts to develop and implement strategies for entrepreneurial support, small business growth, workforce development, target industry clusters and traded sector business development. These strategies will focus on supporting underserved communities, entrepreneurs and business owners of color, and promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the Portland business community.
We are the economic and urban development agency for the city of Portland. We focus on building an equitable economy by carrying out a comprehensive range of economic development programs that support small business, improve access to workforce training, and create jobs for Portland residents. We work with partners to drive public attention and resources to different areas of the city, which helps Portland realize capital projects – parks, streetscape improvements, community centers –that would not happen on their own, making it a better place to live for all Portlanders.
Our work is based on four cornerstones: growing family-wage jobs, advancing opportunities for prosperity, collaborating with partners for an equitable city, and creating vibrant neighborhoods and communities.
We support innovative civic solutions that promote mixed-income neighborhoods with both affordable and workforce housing, and that evolve in ways that honor cultural diversity. We prioritize property ownership and real estate projects with communities of color and in low-income neighborhoods to create assets that can be passed from one generation to the next.