Associate Director of Veden Center for Rural Engagement
Full-time, 12-month, annual renewal position based on funding and performance starting May 1, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The Associate Director of the Veden Center/Director of the EDA University Center reports to the Chair of the Veden Center for Rural Engagement. They are a key member of the small strategic initiative group that meets frequently to develop, innovate and implement ideas and change.
* Coordinate identifying and implementing rural economic development and strategic initiatives among various stakeholder groups
* Manage communities of practice engaged in pressing issues facing rural communities and their citizens.
* Serve as director of the EDA university center and initiatives, which focuses on training, trade, and technology with an emphasis on bettering the economic and social environment of rural communities.
* Support and prepare grant applications, proposals, white papers, and status reports
* Conduct community forums and need assessments to identify growth opportunities and pressing issues, especially in the agriculture and processing sectors.
* Be a conduit among systems wide units with a specific focus on developing new partnerships and collaborations ensuring the maximized public engagement efforts surrounding economic development.
* Nurture and expand relationships with prospective university, community and industry partners across the country.
* Develop intelligence around and connections to University faculty, capabilities, activities and connections,
* Identify opportunities that have industry/market relevance; organize working sessions, and effectively connect and shepherd the relationships.
* Maintain knowledge of education and recruiting needs of industry, as well as of specific firms.
* Requires a Bachelor's degree with at least 10 years of experience.
* A successful track record of leadership, and demonstrated ability to coordinate teams on campus and in the various communities. Understands the implication of decisions and actions on the organization.
* Experience in consultative and economic development, business development, and/or innovation/partnerships function. Track record of professionalism, with strong communication skills and ability to work with and support a wide range of constituents, e.g., clients, customers, teams, donors, and volunteers.
* Significant experience working with the rural and agriculture sectors.
* Ability to analyze data (e.g., market, technical, customer) and lend technical expertise to establish priorities, and develop and implement strategies with increasing complexity.
* Evidence as a self-starter who can work independently, as well as be a team contributor in a complex and fast-paced organization.
* Master's degree or 15 years of experience leading economic and community development efforts.
* Experience working with multiple partners around issues related to engagement in economic and workforce development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and/or community engagement, especially in agriculture.
* Proven champion and advocate for university engagement with the economy and communities.
* Existing relationships with key stakeholders in government, business and community contexts
* Strong understanding of the economic and societal impacts of economic development initiatives as they relate to rural businesses and communities.
* Strong understanding of available public state or federal programs that can be leveraged to enhance public engagement
* Strong knowledge of rural culture and systems, especially in central and northern Minnesota.