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 will possess the ability to cultivate diverse partnerships across sectors. The Department will spearhead financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable economic development that promotes equity and opportunity for all, 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.
Key Responsibilities: 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. The Director will lead the Department’s four operational divisions:
• Business Opportunity. This division includes the M/W/DBE and Small Business Solutions Center and the Economic Development Group.
• Worker and Community Benefit. This division will include functions in contract compliance and workers’ rights.
• Communications. This division and will include functions in community partnerships and engagement.
• Policy and Planning. This division includes the Equity Officer with functions in policy metrics, and strategic planning.
The Director will also be tasked with the following responsibilities:
• 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 residents.
• Establish and coordinate implementation of scalable programs and initiatives that further equitable 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:
o Expand equitable employment opportunities and participation of Minority and Women Business Enterprises/Small Business Enterprises/Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Harris County contracts;
o Enhance Harris County workforce development activities and occupational training opportunities;
o Strengthen and enforce Harris County worker protections and workplace safety standards;
o Monitor and enforce contract compliance, subcontractor utilization, and wage rate compliance; and
o 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.
• 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 team building and management, decision-making, consensus building, and community engagement.
• Minimum of two (2) years management and/or strategic planning experience.
• Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Demonstrated ability to drive organizational culture and build/manage high performing teams.
• Comfortability providing counsel to, interfacing with, and obtaining feedback from a diverse range of stakeholders, including at the executive level.
• 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 and manage 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 ten (10) years management experience in the public sector and/or a public-facing role.
• Background or demonstrated experience in economic development, workforce development, workers’ rights, M/W/DBE program management, 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 initiatives.
How to Apply:
• Email resume and cover letter to DEEOEDSearch@tipstrategies.com
• Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis
• TIP Strategies 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.
Harris County is an Equal Opportunity Employer https://hrrm.harriscountytx.gov/Pages/EqualEmploymentOpportunityPlan.aspx
If you need special services or accommodations, please call (713) 274-5445 or email ADACoordinator@bmd.hctx.net