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Rural Development Specialist -South Central Region

Recruitment #181130-UNCE-396



Qualified applicants must submit a resume, cover letter and a list of reference sources to:

Human Resources
Send via email to 

Review of applications will begin immediately.

The deadline is Monday, December 31, 2018.


Rural Development Specialist (RDS) – South Central Region

DIVISION: Regional Development Team / Business Development Division
SALARY: $42,000 - $55,000

The South Central Regional Development Specialist (RDS) serves as the lead representative of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) to the 10-county South Central service region, composed of: Carter Cotton, Garvin, Grady, Jefferson, Love, Marshall, McClain, Murray, and Stephens Counties.

As a member of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) Regional Development Team, the RDS is responsible for coordinating and interfacing with local and regional community and economic development entities, private sector companies, local elected officials, workforce development, statewide partners/service providers, and regional partnerships in the South Central region. In conjunction with local economic development entities, the Commerce representative provides direct assistance to companies through a comprehensive business retention and expansion (BR&E) program, and delivery of state business incentives. In addition, the South Central RDS identifies resources and facilitates regional dialogue on community and economic development issues/goals, assists in the formation of regional partnerships, and works with municipalities (and others) to develop local community and economic development projects. The successful candidate will be familiar with the communities and economic development entities in the South Central region and have a sound working knowledge of community and economic development programs and practices, and live in the South Central service region. Candidates must possess experience and expertise in all aspects of BR&E, maintain a high degree of professionalism, personal initiative, and be capable of functioning independently.

• Work with private sector businesses to provide information on state business incentives to eligible companies.
• Work directly with businesses and communities in regard to delivering comprehensive business retention and expansion assistance, and establishing community-based BR&E programs, providing appropriate tools and resources to enhance their overall development needs.
• Provide timely updates of activities to the Regional and Business Development Director and input into the ODOC Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database.
• Connect public and private sector individuals and entities with appropriate resources designed to fit their needs.
• Provide technical assistance and resources to assist in the development and/or support of regional economic development partnerships.
• Provide resources and expertise to communities and regional entities to assist them in the development of comprehensive local entrepreneurship programs and small business development, including retail.
• Assist communities and regional entities in developing business attraction programs.
• Assist in workforce initiatives, connecting economic development professionals to workforce initiatives.
• Assist communities and local leadership with developing community and economic development projects.
• Provide presentations and other learning opportunities designed to educate communities on a wide range of community and economic development principles and practices.
• Assist other ODOC divisions with program outreach including Quality Jobs, Community Development, and Oklahoma Main Street Services.

The successful candidate will possess skills and experience in all phases of executing local/regional business retention and expansion assistance, including the development of regional and local business visitation programs. The candidate must also possess applied knowledge and expertise in the areas of workforce, entrepreneurship, and community and economic development, including a working knowledge of state and federal development and financing programs, including state incentives.

Must be an effective communicator with the ability to motivate others and build strong working relationships with business leaders, communities, and service providers. The position requires a high degree of flexibility, good listening and cooperative skills, facilitative expertise, and team building skills. In addition, candidates must possess a high degree of computer literacy and data entry skills, as well as strong written and oral presentation abilities.

The applicant must be available to work extended hours, traveling to communities throughout the South Central region and the State of Oklahoma.

A bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in a related field. Examples of related fields would include (but not be limited to) economic development, city planning, public administration, business administration, economics, finance, etc.

Applicants must have at least five years of professional-level experience in a similar profession. EDI graduates and/or direct experience in business planning, finance, business retention & expansion, community development, and economic development are preferred.



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