City Of Tacoma

Tacoma , WA
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Community and Economic Development Director

City Of Tacoma
Tacoma, WA Full time
Posted on March 13, 2018

Position Description

The City of Tacoma is recruiting candidates for the executive position of Community and Economic Development (CED) Director. The CED Director is a key member of the City's Executive Leadership Team with a critical leadership role in advancing the City's economic development strategy. The CED Director is expected to perform highly complex, innovative work resulting in positive, significant impacts to Tacoma and the regional community.

The CED Director has a broad range of strategic, analytical, administrative, and project management duties. The position plans, organizes, manages and provides administrative direction and oversight for all functions and activities of the City's CED Department.  The CED Director also develops strategic partnerships with community representatives, external agencies, and other organizations to guide economic strategic planning.

The Community

Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city that sits along the Puget Sound with a population of nearly 210,000. The third largest city in the state of Washington, it is a diverse, progressive international gateway to the Pacific Rim.

Propelled by significant development such as the University of Washington Tacoma, the Tacoma Link light rail system, the restored urban waterfront of the Thea Foss Waterway, the expansions of both the MultiCare and Franciscan health systems, and a significant influx of foreign direct investment in its downtown core, Tacoma has evolved considerably since the 1990s.  

Tacoma boasts the state's highest density of art and history museums, and is home to a flourishing creative community of writers, artists, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, chefs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who each add their unique flair to the city's vibrant commercial landscape. The iconic Tacoma Dome has endured as a high-demand venue for some of the largest names in the entertainment industry.

A magnet for families looking for affordable housing options in the Puget Sound area, Tacoma also draws those who prefer to live in a more urban downtown setting with competitively priced condos and apartments that feature panoramic mountain and water views.

Tacoma's natural beauty and proximity to the Puget Sound and Mount Rainier draws hikers, runners, bicyclists, and maritime enthusiasts to the area. Its lively social scene is infused with energy by thousands of students attending the University of Washington Tacoma, the University of Puget Sound, the Evergreen State College Tacoma campus, and Tacoma Community College, as well as a number of local trade and technical colleges. Its prime location – just 20 minutes south of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 30 miles north of the state capital in Olympia, and within 10 miles of the U.S. Department of Defense's premier military installation on the West Coast – only adds to Tacoma's desirability. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Guided by City Council and community input, develops an economic development strategy for the City to include short and long range planning.
  • Advises the City Manager and Council on emerging and existing economic development issues.
  • Collaboratively and cooperatively works with the Mayor, Council members, City Manager, department directors and other senior managers to analyze organization and community needs, and takes action in response to those needs.
  • Proactively monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of economic development policies and programs, while identifying opportunities for improvement.
  • Fosters external partnerships (locally, regionally and internationally) to further the City's economic development goals.
  • Directs the development and administration of budgets, policies, projects and programs of the department to effectively and efficiently deliver high quality services to the City and the community. Ensures department operations conform to local, state, and federal government regulations, and other applicable rules and policies.
  • Manages, administers and implements the economic development strategy and programs for the City.
  • Leads the City's business recruitment, retention, and expansion activities, with a focus on bringing living wage jobs to the City of Tacoma.
  • Leads the development of economic development marketing strategies to positively represent the brand and identity of the City in cooperation with related City departments and external partners.
  • Develops and implements strategies for workforce and entrepreneurship development in coordination with local and regional partners.
  • Assists in planning, organizing, evaluating, and recommending changes to City housing policies and programs to optimize housing opportunities for all income levels and generations.
  • Assists developers and local businesses with local activities and approvals necessary for project completion including, but not limited to, zoning matters, financial incentives, construction and general coordination activities with City Departments.
  • Hires, disciplines, and evaluates employee performance; investigates and resolves grievances; and coordinates other human resources actions.


Candidates for this position must possess a bachelor's degree (or equivalent experience) from an accredited four-year college or university and have eight or more years of progressively responsible related experience in community and economic development, strategic planning, and project management. The position requires experience in managing, planning, organizing and administering community and economic development, in a sophisticated business environment. A successful candidate will have demonstrated competencies and significant accomplishments from prior work experience.

Knowledge & Skills

Economic Development

Understand local and regional market influences and trends; ability to deal with businesses on individual situations, while maintaining a macro-perspective on the City's economy; understand tax and other incentives, and maximize economic impact of City policies and regulations.

Jobs and Housing

Understand City's existing workforce and educational institutions, use collaboration to target job creation; understand current housing inventory and relationship between housing and economic development and equity. 

Organizational & Political Awareness

Use knowledge and understanding of the organizational and political climate to make decisions and take actions that satisfy diverse interests and contribute effectively to organizational goals.

Strategic Planning

Logically integrate various ideas, intentions and information to form effective goals, objectives, timelines, actions plans and solutions.

Relationship Building

Build constructive working relationships characterized by a high level of acceptance, cooperation and mutual respect.

Communications Effectiveness

Convey clear, timely, written and verbal, persuasive messages that positively influence the thoughts and actions of others.

Performance Leadership

Create and nurture a performance-based culture that supports efforts to accomplish the organizational mission and goals.