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Community Development Director
Village of DeForest

Summary:

The Village of DeForest has partnered with The QTI Group to recruit their next Community Development Director. The Community Development Director performs a variety of administrative and professional work in development, planning and implementation of comprehensive plans, downtown redevelopment, community development, industrial development, historic preservation and zoning/permitting (economic development initiatives). They will assist local businesses and industry to insure a healthy business climate and job retention in the Village. The Community Development Director promotes Village of DeForest businesses and properties and encourages existing firms to expand their facilities and new industries and businesses to locate in the Village. The Director is responsible for implementation of short-term, mid-term and long-term economic development strategy in the categories listed below.

The Community Development Director may also be asked to assist with understanding of potential law changes proposed by Federal, State, County and other oversite entities that may impact the Village. The Director may be asked to meet with legislators and staff to promote the Village Board’s position regarding proposed or existing legislation.

The general position duties will be carried out within four specific categories, which reflect the current strategic direction of the Village. 

Responsibilities:

Development Planning and Implementation:

  • Understand and execute the economic development strategy for the Village. Such strategies are in written form through Tax Incremental Financing District Plans, Downtown Redevelopment Plan & Village Comprehensive Plan and in less formal forms such as Village Board and Village Administrator directives and past practice.
  • Implement all major economic development and redevelopment projects in DeForest. Oversee land use planning and related engineering contracts.
  • Initiate negotiations for redevelopment and development deals on behalf of the Village and ensure positive results from investment of public resources. The Village Administrator/Finance Director will be involved as needed.
  • Develop clear standards against which projects will be evaluated by the Village Officials and staff with particular attention to how projects will expand the Village’s tax base and capitalize on existing community assets.
  • Using the aforementioned standards, director should be able to articulate the costs/benefits of development proposals to the Village Officials.
  • Facilitate environmental remediation process in support of the economic development goals of the Village.
  • Work with the Administrator/Finance Director and Public Services Director in the administration of the Village’s TID programs.
  • Keep abreast of developments in local, county, state, and federal legislation and programs that could impact economic development activity in DeForest.
  • Responsible for developing and maintaining research and data collection utilizing GIS and other information gathering techniques to compile community & economic development data including land availability and site selection, demographic information, community profile, business feasibility, trade ring analysis, workforce data, trends in development, etc.

Development Funding:

  • Actively pursue state and federal grants, loans and other financial incentives to support DeForest’s economic development efforts.
  • Develop a funding program to consolidate potential sources of funding for businesses, simplifying funding requests.
  • Link power of the Village to land use and funding tools. Develop the use of TID and other economic development tools in fulfillment of the overarching economic development strategy.

Business Recruitment/Retention:

  • Identify key opportunities in DeForest for business recruitment and market these opportunities whenever possible.
  • Develop and maintain a Village wide economic development marketing strategy that identifies industries/businesses for the Village and activities for retaining or recruiting these firms, including the development of promotional materials.
  • Link the economic development strategy to the zoning and permitting process to facilitate transparency and efficiency.
  • Ensure efficient approval process for economic development entitlements, zoning, and incentives. Guides businesses and developers through these processes.
  • Establish clear channels of communication between partners. Define responsibilities for economic development among and between partners. Solicit the involvement of the private sector in economic development planning and implementation for DeForest.
  • Develop relationships with the business community to gain understanding of local economy and assist in business development as necessary (business expansions, grant/loan applications, networking).
  • Develop contacts with the local financial institutions, utilities, construction, and real estate companies to facilitate business start-ups, expansions, and the site selection process.

Strategic Partnerships:

  • Create strategic alliances with regional development entities. Serve as liaison to DeForest business and industrial community.
  • Serve as liaison to DeForest Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Serve as an information resource to business and industry seeking information or financial assistance and keep an updated list of appropriate business owners’ names and addresses. Become knowledgeable on existing businesses, especially those in industrial/manufacturing uses in order to better network businesses with those in the DeForest Area community.
  • Maintain an up-to-date inventory of existing businesses and available industrial and commercial sites and buildings throughout the Village.

Other Functions:

  • Oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operation of economic development in the Village including budgeting of resources and expenditures; complete and maintain required reports and attend necessary meetings, events, seminars/workshops with the Village Administrator’s approval.
  • Monitors development projects and agreements in the community and reports on the progress or status of these projects to the Village Administrator or Village Board.
  • Continuously monitor Economic Development web page on the Village website to ensure it is updated and current.
  • Attend committee, commission, and board meetings as required.

Qualifications:

  • Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in economic development, planning, real estate development, or a related field; three years’ experience in economic development, municipal planning; or any equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ability to negotiate on behalf of the Village including an understanding of the impact of negotiated items on Village/TID financial position in the short-term and long-term.
  • Thorough knowledge of real estate, finance, and promotional techniques; as well as laws, statues, and regulations governing economic development programs.
  • Knowledge of the structure, function and operations of municipal government.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with Village officials, department heads and staff, business representatives, community representatives, outside governmental agencies, local media and the general public.
  • Positive and professional oral and written communication skills. Ability to maintain confidentiality of the department.

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