Economic Development Specialist, Asheville, NC

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About us:

The City of Asheville is dedicated to providing quality service for the residents and visitors of our beautiful city, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. Asheville, NC is a thriving mountain city that has a culture enriched in diversity.

The City of Asheville values and respects a diverse community, workforce and ideas, and is committed to promoting an equitable, fair, and just employment environment. Our organization seeks to create and provide access and opportunities to employees, residents and visitors to fulfill their potential through inclusive engagement practices.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status.

About our opportunity:

The City of Asheville is currently hiring an Economic Development Specialist within the Department of Community and Economic Development (CED). The purpose of this position is to perform professional functions in the coordination of small business retention and expansion assistance, administrative management of economic development projects, community-oriented problem solving in partnership with other internal City departments on issues that affect area businesses, and to facilitate community & economic development partnerships to further City Council goals, departmental work plans, and the City's Comprehensive Plan. Employee reports to the Economic Development Program Director.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm with occasional evenings and weekends as needed.

This position is open until filled with the first review of applications beginning on March 8th. 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Coordinates work with other City departments, community agencies, and community stakeholders to address business district concerns

  • Works professionally to develop strategic partnerships within the City's Innovation Districts, as well as other business corridors.

  • Responds to inquiries from Mayor, City Council, City Manager, department heads, and general public concerning business-related issues to evaluate and to mitigate problems

  • Responds to inquiries and meets with established and prospective business associations to serve as an information broker, providing a portal to City services and programs 

  • Assists the Economic Development Program Director in the administration of the City’s Economic Incentives program, to include management of incentive agreements, compliance, databases, budgets and payments.

  • Provides support to assist in the creation of the long- and short-range plans for the City's economic development policies.

  • Researches, evaluates, establishes and manages partnerships with businesses and organizations to help achieve City Council goals and maximize return on City investments.

  • Stimulates economic and community development by meeting with partner organizations and evaluating feasibility, impacts, benefits, and timeframes.

  • Participates on commissions and committees by attending and conducting meetings, preparing and presenting reports and resolutions, researching and analyzing trends, returns, demographic and economic data, recommending improvements to processes and participating in comprehensive policy development and implementation of city wide strategies.

  • Assists in maintaining relevant Economic Development web pages and content, uses social media within CAPE guidelines to promote Economic Development.

  • Regularly participates in City Council Committees including PED, HCD, PSC, and Finance.

Supplemental Functions:

  • Performs other similar duties as required.

Education & Experience

Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Planning or related field, with at least three (3) years of experience in public relations, economic development, local government, including contract management experience.

Licensing and Certifications:

  • Completion of UNC School of Government Basic Economic Development course is preferred within one year.

Candidates with equivalent education and/or experience may be considered.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Working Conditions


  • Comprehensive understanding of the economic development field and application of advanced principles, techniques and theory.

  • Knowledge of procedures and practices to analyze and resolve unusual or difficult problems.

  • Proficiency with Google Suite and Microsoft Office.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to analyze situations to pinpoint problems and assist with solving problems or identifying sources of obstacles

  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships as required by work assignments

  • Excellent customer service skills with the ability to work with internal and external customers in a friendly, cooperative, and professional manner

  • Ability to work independently with limited supervision

  • Ability to bring resources together to resolve a problem or provide a solution

  • Ability to work well under pressure and to handle conflict in a professional manner

  • Strong organizational and time-management skills

  • Must be flexible, reliable and have the ability to work autonomously, as well as in a supportive/team based environment

  • Effective problem solver and decision maker

  • Ability to read and understand basic workplace data, such as simple forms, tables, graphs, schedules, etc.

  • Ability to conduct research of existing, internal policies and procedures

  • Ability to think creatively in all areas for the purpose of increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Ability to research program documents and narrative materials, and develop reports from information gathered

  • Demonstrated cross-cultural skills in community, professional and business relations

  • Ability to analyze and interpret policy, agreements and procedural guidelines and to apply this understanding to tasks

  • Ability to communicate effectively in spoken and written form.

  • Ability to research program documents and narrative materials, and develop reports from information gathered.