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Community Development Specialist

Aug 23, 2021
seattle city
City of Seattle
For more information please see:

Position Description

The Office of Economic Development (OED) envisions Seattle as a vibrant, innovative, diverse city with an inclusive economy where Seattleites can thrive and share in the new opportunities of the future. Seattle’s Equitable Recovery plan aim to build a thriving City as a whole, by investing in and implementing intentional strategies that meet the varying needs of our neighborhoods and communities.

We have opportunities for multiple Community Development Specialists to join OED in a long term, benefits eligible temporary assignment. You will be working directly with small businesses and the most impacted communities to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and positively rebuild and rebound. You will join an office with a dedicated, mission-driven team and have an opportunity to work on new programs and create new approaches towards our goal of an inclusive economy that works for all.  

Job Responsibilities

We have multiple temporary opportunities for Community Development Specialists who will focus on specific aspects of the Seattle’s economic recovery. We will be hiring separate roles to individually focus on the following areas:

  • Tenant Improvements by supporting small businesses and nonprofit organizations to complete tenant improvement projects and other commercial space activations such as popups and incubators. This role will coordinate permitting needs and oversee consultants providing design support and construction contractor oversight as well as oversee tenant improvement grants. This role will participate in outreach to inform small businesses and our neighborhood partners of our tenant improvement funding. This role will work with small business grantees to confirm their completion of conditions necessary to disburse funds. Also, this role will assist in gathering data regarding the effectiveness of our investments.
  • Business Recovery Navigation and working directly with local businesses in their efforts to re-open and assist with such tasks such as permit navigation and obtaining leases. 
  • Business Financing and working on subsidized loans for businesses most impacted by the pandemic. This role will participate in outreach to inform small businesses and our neighborhood partners of our business financing programs. Also, this role will assist in gathering data regarding the effectiveness of our business financing programs.
  • Neighborhood District Recovery / Only in Seattle and working with community to evaluate proposals and support their economic recovery projects and associated activities. 
Generally, as the Community Development Specialist, you will have the following responsibilities

  • Managing community economic development projects, performing a variety of activities, including administrative, developing project plans and budgets, and evaluating program effectiveness. 
  • Coordinating project related activities and providing technical assistance to community groups and organizations, City staff and other agencies. 
  • Organizing and assisting community, nonprofit, and other groups with various projects.   
  • Developing, monitoring and guiding various recipients of grant funds and agency contracts to ensure their effectiveness.
  • Supporting grantees to communicate with consultants, contractors, and community members as needed. 
  • Representing the department at various meetings; preparing and delivering presentations; informing the public of community development projects and coordinating the community review process. 
  • Preparing a variety of written materials including correspondence, financial reports, briefing papers and manuals. 
  • Preparing Requests for Proposals and grant applications and developing program guidelines as requested by State or Federal agencies.   
  • Evaluating technical reports and proposals, provide comments, and recommend modifications; coordinate responses of other agencies or divisions.
  • Directing the consultant selection process and coordinate consultant activities as needed.  
Your effectiveness in this role will depend on your ability to: 

  • Collaborate with BIPOC, immigrant and refugee communities, advocacy organizations, community groups, and/or business associations
  • Recognize how institutional racism and government has contributed to inequality and the wealth gap between white people and black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)
  • Effectively manage projects, including the ability to produce, track and manage multiple deliverables with overlapping deadlines and adapting easily to changing priorities to meet deadlines in a fast-paced, team-oriented and political environment
  • Develop and maintain mutually respectful relationships to fostering collaborative approaches to problem solving
  • Commit to listening, creating space for diverse perspectives, and the pursuit of inclusive and just outcomes. Respect people’s lived experience and reflect a deep understanding of race, social justice, and equity in your interactions and work
  • Produce, track, and manage multiple deliverables with overlapping deadlines
  • Communicate with clarity and tact at all levels, create trusted partnerships, and demonstrate strong interpersonal skills
  • Be accountable for results and innovation
  • Work independently and be self-directed
You will be prepared to take on this role if you have:
  • Experience in outreach, community building, communication, and collaboration with various stakeholders 
  • Worked to eliminate structural racism in programs, processes, or policies 
  • Microsoft Office software, such as Excel, Word, MS Teams and PowerPoint 
  • Other software applications such as databases, survey tools, and customer relationship management 
  • Provided leadership and been accountable within a community of color-led and focused organization or effort
  • Experience in real estate, construction and/or commercial property management would be beneficial for Tenant Improvements focused role
  • Experience in opening up and/or running businesses as well business permitting would be beneficial
  • Business financing experience would be beneficial



In addition to the ability to perform the tasks described above, you will need to possess the below required qualifications:
Two years of experience in planning, research, architecture, real estate, program management, or related experience, AND a bachelor’s degree in business or public administration, urban planning or architecture 

 Three years of experience in planning, research, architecture, real estate, program management, or related experience, AND an associate’s degree in business or public administration, urban planning or architecture 
 Four years of experience in planning, research, architecture, real estate, program management, or related experience

Additional Information

These temporary positions are classified as a Community Development Specialist*. These assignments are expected to last between one to three years.  

Please note this job ad is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.  
Application Process:

In addition to completing the application please upload:
* A cover letter explaining your interest and capability to perform this job.
* A PDF resume which illustrates your related skills and abilities.

Who may apply: This position is open to all qualified applicants that meet the minimum qualifications. The City of Seattle values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The City encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experience.
Questions? Please contact Nicolette Hornbeck at
To learn more about the Office of Economic Development, please visit:

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