Harris County is searching for an experienced, dynamic, and motivated leader to serve as the very first Director of the Harris County Department of Economic Equity & Opportunity (“Department”), which the Harris County Commissioners Court voted to establish in 2019. This role has the potential to serve as a platform for public-sector policy innovation and represents an exciting chance to build the most robust local-level economic opportunity department in the country. The successful candidate will be an entrepreneurial and resourceful leader with a passion for social justice and curbing economic inequity, and possess the ability to cultivate diverse partnerships across sectors.
The Department will spearhead financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable economic development, community business development, workforce development, job training, and workers’ rights strategies. It will facilitate initiatives that aim to create business and workforce opportunities, as well as develop and implement policies and programs that create economic pathways for Harris County residents who have been historically disenfranchised and marginalized.
The Director will report directly to Harris County Commissioners Court, which serves as the administrative head of Harris County government.
The Director will collaborate with TIP Strategies and other consultants contracted by Harris County,* along with community members, businesses, government agencies, experts, and other relevant stakeholders, to establish an inclusive vision for the Department that aims to enhance economic mobility and opportunity for all Harris County residents, while advancing the continued strength, resilience, and dynamism of our region’s economy.
* Harris County has contracted with consultant, TIP Strategies, for a period of eleven months to conduct a comprehensive assessment of its current activities related to economic opportunity and economic development, provide recommendations for consolidating any such existing activities, and propose additional activities or initiatives for implementation by the Department.
The Director may also be tasked with the following responsibilities:
Manage the Department of Economic Equity & Opportunity
Oversee and direct the functions of the Department to achieve departmental goals
Establish a long-term economic development plan for Harris County that meets the needs of our
Establish and coordinate implementation of scalable programs and initiatives that further economic development, community business development, workforce development, job training, and workers’ rights in the fulfillment of Harris County contracts and services, including programs and initiatives that:
Expand equitable employment opportunities and participation of Minority and Women Business Enterprises/Small Business Enterprises/Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Harris County contracts;
Enhance Harris County workforce development activities and occupational training opportunities;
Strengthen and enforce Harris County worker protections and workplace safety standards;
Monitor and enforce contract compliance, subcontractor utilization, and wage rate compliance; and
Facilitate access to capital, loans, or grants for businesses and nonprofits that serve a significant need (e.g., businesses in food or bank deserts).
Measure and report on outcomes of policies, programs, and initiatives implemented by the Department
Establish and implement a community engagement plan to inform the Department’s work.
Develop strategic partnerships with government stakeholders, business leaders, advocacy organizations, and experts to facilitate and support the Department’s objectives.
Inform Commissioners Court about the initiatives, programs, and activities of the Department.
Perform any additional duties as delineated by Harris County Commissioners Court related to the objectives of the Department.
How to Apply:
Email resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis
PFM Group Consulting has been retained by Harris County to coordinate and facilitate the recruitment process for this position
EMPLOYMENT IS CONTINGENT UPON PASSING A BACKGROUND CHECK AND DRUG SCREENING. Harris County HAS AN EMPLOYMENT AT WILL POLICY.
CLOSING DATE: Open Until Filled
A heavy volume of applications may cause positions to close prior to the advertised closing date.
Employment is contingent on passing a criminal background check.
Upon receiving a conditional Offer of Employment, all applicants are screened for the presence of illegal drugs.
Bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited college or university.
Background in equity, economic opportunity, and/or economic development.
Minimum of five (5) years full-time, paid related-professional experience with a delineated progression in job responsibilities, including related to decision-making, consensus building, and community
Minimum of two (2) years management and/or strategic planning.
Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Comfortability interfacing with and obtaining feedback from a diverse range of stakeholders.
Ability to continuously learn about other areas affecting economic opportunity in Harris County, including, but not limited to, transportation, education, infrastructure, and criminal justice.
Ability to build a team with expertise in relevant areas, including, but not limited to, procurement contracting, subcontractor utilization and/or wage rate compliance experience.
Graduate degree in a related field from an accredited university
Minimum five (5) years management and/or strategic planning
Background or demonstrated experience in workforce development, workers’ rights, community business support, and/or community development
Experience evaluating data and/or an ability to communicate key details about data to stakeholders unfamiliar with analytics
Experience leading and implementing diversity and equity initiatives in the workplace
Experienced and/or trained in cultural competence and/or implicit bias
Demonstrated success implementing community business programs and/or workforce development development initiatives
About Harris County, TX
Harris County is the third-largest county in the country. Its population of more than 4.5 million rivals that of the entire state of Colorado. Harris County is governed by Harris County Commissioners Court. The Court is composed of a County Judge and four Commissioners. Commissioners Court conducts the general business of the County and oversees financial matters. The County Judge is the County’s chief executive and a voting member of Commissioners Court. According to state statute, the County Judge also is the County’s Director of Emergency Management.
The Harris County Judge and Commissioners oversee a $4.3 billion budget that helps fund key County services and institutions. As the main governing body of Harris County, Commissioners Court plays a critical role that is part administrative, part legislative, and part judicial. Its many responsibilities include adopting a budget; setting tax rates; calling for bond elections; building and maintaining county infrastructure such as roads and bridges; and overseeing county courthouses, jails, libraries, parks, and the Harris County Flood Control District. Harris County currently has more than 75 departments with over 15,000 employees.