Economic Research Director
The Research Director develops, directs, and coordinates research on economic development, industry, labor market information, and business trends; supervising analysis of key issues, trends, and reports; and manages the WEDC portfolio of research tools. The Research Director provides oversight and guidance which produces high quality reports and presentations for leadership and external partners to make data-driven decisions, as well as provides support and training to staff and partners on various analytical resources.
The Research Director will spend the majority of their time in these activities:
- Lead the work of the Research Team.
- Manage and direct research and monitoring of economic development, labor market information, and business trends.
- Direct research, statistical analysis, verify data, and maintain statistical information reporting systems on the local, state, national and global business climate.
- Provide expertise in economic modeling tools and techniques for determining return on investment to assist in funding determinations.
- Preside over the preparation of detailed and customized company profiles and research to facilitate the contact by WEDC personnel and external partners.
- Guide sound, concise, and timely recommendations and reports based on research to advance WEDC and its investment strategies.
- Manage and develop professional staff within the Research Team who are responsible for the successful implementation of requests for information, labor market information and proactive data analysis for WEDC.
- Lead in identifying opportunities for tool improvements and assist in finding potentially new application areas.
- Responsible for the coordination of WEDC research tool procurement and oversee the catalog of WEDC research tools.
- Administer identification, collection, analyzation, verification, and maintain data sets.
- Maintain mastery and continue to develop skills with various databases, staying abreast of data and tools that continue to become available.
- Coordinate and facilitate meetings of the WEDC Research Roundtable.
- Maintain effective relationships cross functionally within the organization to ensure effective lines of communication.
- Represent WEDC in speaking engagements and participate in activities, seminars, and conferences.
- Other duties as assigned.
Education and Experience:
- Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Economic Development, Community Development, Urban or Regional Planning, or related field; Master’s degree preferred.
- Minimum of seven years of experience in economics, statistics, business analysis, urban or regional planning, public policy, or related field.
- At least one year of management experience.
- Certified Economic Research Professional (CERP), Certified Economic Developer (CEcD), or Economic Development Financial Professional (EDFP) preferred.
Skills and Talents:
- Understanding of economic development theory and practice.
- Advanced and refined research skills using a range of sources.
- Versed in economic tools to analyze labor market information and other types of data (e.g. Economic Modeling, Shift Share Analysis, Location Quotients, and Regression Analysis).
- Strong quantitative, qualitative, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
- Leadership skills and ability to motivate others.
- Ability to think strategically, systemically, and creatively.
- Proficiency in navigating public resources to attain labor market and business intelligence information.
- Highly structured, organized, and attentive to detail.
- PC applications including word processing, spreadsheet, database management and Windows software.
- Strong project management and organizational skills.
- Strong research, writing, and communication skills.