Economic Development Specialist

$45,858 - $48,150 yearly
  • Triangle J Council of Governments
  • 4307 Emperor Boulevard, Durham, NC, USA (Hybrid)
  • May 13, 2022
Full time Economic Development

Job Description

Who We Seek

An individual passionate about empowering rural communities to grow their outdoor tourism and associated small business sector. The selected candidate will utilize a highly regarded, nationally recognized framework, Trail Towns, to aid in the sustainable revitalization of trail towns positioned along the Haw River corridor. The Economic Development Specialist must have a positive, customer-focused orientation, be able to deliver high-quality products in a timely manner and have an ability to collaborate with local government staff, stakeholders, and nearby business owners.

Description of Work

This position is funded by a grant award from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA). Funding is for the development of a corridor feasibility and economic impact analysis to determine how to best leverage the Haw River. As part of this investment, an Economic Development Specialist will be hired to support the Haw River Trail Towns initiative. Under a 20-month contract, the Economic Development Specialist will provide technical assistance throughout the Haw River region to augment opportunities in the retail, accommodation, food and beverage, tourism, outdoor recreation, and entertainment sectors to help them recover from the COVID pandemic. The position will have an office in Graham (Alamance County), Pittsboro (Chatham County), and Durham, (Triangle J Council of Governments), in addition to hybrid opportunities as able.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to;

  • Conduct outreach with businesses along the Haw River and work alongside them to create proactive business recovery and expansion plans. In places where a trail is not yet built, the Specialist will work with nearby businesses to develop strategies that maximize economic potential and prioritize infrastructure needs for future development.
  • Identify what gaps are missing along recognized trail towns and ways to broaden new or existing markets for products and services.
  • Identify strategies to help build and deploy needed capital to nearby trail town businesses and local governments.
  • Track and evaluate efforts throughout the process that quantify success and highlight what did not work. Indicators will be relevant, replicable, and measurable, and will be used beyond the life of the grant award.
  • Assemble strategies related to support for trail town startups and how to best implement and encourage the advancement of innovative products and services to full-time jobs and businesses.
  • Work on building upon a concentrated effort that pulls in government representatives, stakeholders, and businesses along the Haw River to lengthen the impact of the Haw River Trail Towns in years to come.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The Economic Development Specialist should have a basic understanding of the economic development discipline and practices, in addition to a general interest in asset-building and nature-based community development. The position requires effective communication skills in both oral and written forms. This includes presentations to elected officials and the public, and an ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with elected and appointed public officials, members of the public, and other stakeholders. The selected individual must be able to maintain cooperative relationships with businesses and developers and should demonstrate an ability to effectively evaluate and recommend the implementation of improved practices to local communities, businesses, and stakeholders, in relation to trends and needs. Independent judgment and initiative, with limited supervision and creativity are required in the performance of duties. The selected candidate must be able to serve as the liaison between multiple project partners, providing organization of project assignments and materials. The position requires knowledge of the use of common programs such as Microsoft Office, Teams, and Adobe and possession of a valid North Carolina driver’s license is required.

Education and Experience
 Geographic Information System (GIS) skills are a plus but are not required. 

Required: Any combination of training, education, and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in Economic Development, Community Development, Business or Public Administration, Urban and Regional Planning, Marketing, Research, Analytics, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, or a similar field or an equivalent combination of training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities. 

Starting Salary & Benefits

Hiring Range: $ 45,858 - $48,150

(Employee will be eligible for a 5% increase after serving a 6-month probation period.)

Benefits: The Triangle J Council of Governments offers a generous benefits package including paid vacation and sick leave; NC Local Government Retirement System; 5% 401(k) employer contribution; employer-paid health, dental, vision and life insurance; health spending account, flexible spending account for child/dependent care expenses; and flexible schedules and hybrid work environment.

*This position will require on-site travel to Alamance County at least two times per week and Chatham County at least two times per month. The rest of this position is open for hybrid work opportunities depending on meeting schedules.

Our Organization

Providing a platform for collaboration among local governments, stakeholders, and partners in our diverse region of NC. See the kind of work we do at

How to Apply:

  1. Download TJCOG employment application at: opportunities.aspx
  2. Send completed application package (cover letter, completed application and resume) by email to with the subject Planner I – Economic Development

 Incomplete applications will not be considered. Position is open until filled; initial review of applications begins June 6, 2022.

All employment offers will be within the stated hiring range.

TJCOG is an Equal Opportunity Employer and designated Best Workplace for Commuters.