The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) seeks candidates for Chief of Economic Development, who will join the agency’s Land Use Department. This is a management position supervising four to five economic development planners. The Chief of Economic Development will oversee and grow MAPC’s economic development practice; will collaborate with other MAPC staff to incorporate economic development into multi-faceted planning processes and policy initiatives; and will identify innovative new policies, programs, and projects that will lead to sustainable and equitable economic development consistent with MAPC’s smart growth mission.
The Chief of Economic Development will also play a significant role in the implementation of MAPC’s regional plan, MetroCommon2050, over the next ten years. Shorter term focus will be on COVID19 recovery and resilience, with the goal of leveraging federal stimulus funding to advance an equitable and resilient recovery. MAPC expects these funds to be a major source of funding for a series of exciting and impactful projects. The Chief of Economic Development will report to the Director of Land Use.
This position requires expertise in policy, planning, and economic development, as well as prior experience supervising and managing both staff and projects.
This is an opportunity to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and innovative environment with professionals who are committed to building a more sustainable and equitable future in Metro Boston.
MAPC is the Regional Planning Agency (RPA) serving the people who live and work in metropolitan Boston. Our mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. We are guided by MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region, our regional policy plan for a more sustainable and equitable future, which was adopted in 2008. We are currently finalizing a successor regional plan, MetroCommon2050: Shaping the Region Together, which we expect to complete in Fall 2021.
MAPC has been operating remotely through the pandemic, but people are now beginning to return to the office. We anticipate the office will reopen fully after Monday, October 4, 2021, although we expect that most staff will work a hybrid schedule, combining time in the office with remote work.
MAPC encourages all of our staff to develop new ideas to make MAPC’s planning and policy work more relevant and impactful, and to adapt to changing times. We strongly support the professional development of each staff person, believing their growth to be consistent with the best interests of MAPC and the region. For more information about MAPC, MetroFuture, and MetroCommon, please visit www.mapc.org.
Examples of Duties
- Oversee and grow the economic development program at MAPC, focused on the implementation of the region’s new regional plan, MetroCommon2050;
- Short-term work will include an emphasis on use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and other federal funds to assist local municipalities, small businesses, and non-profit organizations with economic recovery and resilience, with an emphasis on equity, and including activities such as (but not limited to):
post-COVID small business development
downtown revitalization and development
- Build and maintain relationships with key economic development stakeholders in the region, including but not limited to federal and state agencies, regional chambers of commerce, workforce development organizations, corporations, institutions, and nonprofits;
- Oversee MAPC’s status as an Economic Development District (EDD) of the US Economic Development Agency; develop annual and 5-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS); assist local stakeholders to obtain EDA funds; implement special EDA-funded COVID relief programs; and maintain contact and collaboration with other EDDs;
- Assess development potential in various parts of Metro Boston by analyzing build-out potential, demographics, zoning, market feasibility, and impact assessments to understand the potential for new retail, commercial, and industrial development in the region;
- Develop and manage economic development planning projects from inception to completion, including scopes of work, managing budgets and staff, and maintaining clear communication with project partners; projects include downtown economic development plans, cultural economic development plans, commercial corridor analyses, transit-oriented development plans, workforce development plans, downtown revitalization plans, digital access plans, small business recovery and resilience plans, and economic development elements of larger master plans;
- Develop and implement interdisciplinary projects with other MAPC departments and divisions, such as Public Health, Municipal Collaboration, Housing, Clean Energy, and Arts & Culture;
- Oversee and expand MAPC’s activities in the area of workforce development; support staff members’ participation on MassHire Workforce Boards; provide technical assistance to those boards, municipalities and other stakeholders in the creation of workforce development strategies that address barriers to employment, especially facing BIPOC and low-income communities;
- Work with municipalities and state agencies to promote mixed-use development, with jobs, homes, services, and schools close to one another, consistent with smart growth principles;
- Collaborate with Government Affairs Department to research and implement sustainable, equitable, and smart-growth oriented economic development policies and advocate for the implementation of these policies through collaboration with federal and state agencies, local governments, or through the legislative process;
- Build coalitions, achieve consensus, mediate disputes, educate the public, produce written documents, and speak publicly in regard to post-Covid recovery and resilience, economic equity, sustainable economic development and other land use/economic development issues;
- Supervise and mentor staff working on economic development projects; help them to scope and budget projects; monitor and review their work products and final reports;
Evening meetings, occasional weekend meetings, and local travel are a responsibility for this position.
Candidates for this position must have one of the following:
- Master’s degree in planning, public policy, public or business administration, or similar degree/concentration, with training in regional economics, community economic development, workforce development, land use, regional planning, or related field; plus at least 6 years of relevant professional experience in the field of sustainable economic development, with a focus on local projects, issues, or policies and evidence of increasing responsibilities, project management, and staff supervision.
- Bachelor’s degree in planning, public policy, public or business administration, or similar degree/concentration, with training in regional economics, community economic development, workforce development, land use, regional planning, or related field; plus at least 8 years of relevant professional experience in the field of sustainable economic development, with a focus on local projects, issues, or policies and evidence of increasing responsibilities, project management, and staff supervision.
Successful candidates for this position will demonstrate all or most of the following:
- Experience in supervising and mentoring staff for at least part of the candidate’s career;
- Experience developing or implementing programs, plans, zoning, bylaws/ordinances, permitting, or strategies to support local and regional sustainable economic development (experience in Massachusetts is a plus);
- Familiarity with key economic development tools of federal, state, and local government, such as business retention and recruitment, workforce development, and infrastructure development; understanding of federal stimulus packages and experience in programs designed to address or mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 is a plus;
- Strong research, writing, and communication skills, including ability to use data and GIS effectively; ability to analyze data and discern trends in fields such as demography, real estate, local markets, and impact analysis;
- Strong organizational skills and ability to work effectively with community groups and government officials, especially local elected and appointed officials;
- Strong skills and flexibility in public process, facilitation, and collaboration; ability to work with the public and to articulate planning and policy issues to a wide variety of audiences; ability to build coalitions, achieve consensus, and resolve disputes in complex public policy situations;
- Ability and interest in advocating for greater equity throughout Metro Boston, especially in economic development, housing, employment, environmental justice, and other land use issues;
- AICP certification is preferred, but not required.
Compensation and Benefits
Starting salary ranges from $80,000 – $95,000, depending on qualifications and experience.
This is a full-time exempt position. MAPC offers excellent Massachusetts state employee benefits as well as a flexible, supportive, and family-friendly work environment and a commitment to ongoing professional development. Our office location is in downtown Boston, in a transit-oriented and bicycle-friendly environment.
How to Apply
Apply online at www.mapc.org/jobs. The position is open until filled, and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. Candidates selected to interview will be asked to submit three (3) references plus a sample of relevant writing or work product. Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA and a valid driver’s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region. MAPC participates in E-Verify, which is a federal program that helps us to determine work eligibility in the United States.
MAPC is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. We believe that a staff with a range of perspectives, experiences, and skillsets strengthens our work. We are committed to building a more equitable workplace that allows staff with diverse backgrounds and identities to thrive, grow, and lead. For more information on MAPC’s culture of equity, see our Equity at MAPC page.