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Key Industries & Workforce Development Manager

Nov 24, 2021
seattle city
City of Seattle Office of Economic Development
Position Description

The Office

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 aims to build a thriving City as a whole, by investing in and implementing intentional strategies that meet the varying needs of our local industries, neighborhoods, and communities.
OED works at all levels of our local economy to: 

  • support small and micro-businesses,  
  • partner with neighborhood business districts,        
  • support creative business sectors and workers,        
  • partner with key industries that drive innovation, job growth and global competitiveness, and  
  • invest in our local workforce with an emphasis on young people, low-income, as well as un-and under-employed adults. 
OED supports the City's economic agenda by delivering programs that support local talent development, provide technical assistance and financing opportunities, support Seattle's neighborhood business districts, and develop policies supportive of an inclusive economy.

The Job: 

OED is recruiting for a Key Industries & Workforce Development Manager to join the team. In this role, you will be responsible in the oversight of the Key Industries and Workforce Development (KIWD) Team in the development, implementation, and management of economic development programs with the overall vision that sees current and future workers are employed and trained in opportunity sectors that are resistant to automation and have middle and high wage-earning potential. You will be responsible for the oversight of the KIWD staff developing, communicating, and implementing policies that assist the growth of diverse and BIPOC businesses, work with growing businesses / sectors to become more inclusive, and create workforce pipelines for BIPOC into living wage careers with the goal of creating community and generational wealth.
This position reports to the Program Division Director and manages the Key Industries and Workforce Development Staff that consists of 4 employees. 


Job Responsibilities

Here is more about what you’ll be doing:

  • Lead the KIWD team in the development of key industries and workforce development policies, strategies, and recommendations. Provide strategic vision and programmatic oversight for the KIWD team.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with Interdepartmental, Workforce Development Council, and other high level key industry stakeholders as well as city, regional and state workforce development partners in developing, recommending, and implementing policies, collaborations, and connections to create career pathways for youth, young adults, and adults. 
  • Serve the City of Seattle as a subject matter expert and serve as an authority in workforce development work as it pertains to economic development, economic recovery, and economic impact.
  • Oversee the development and implementation of workforce programs, services, courses, etc., that are designed to meet the needs of our increasingly diverse population with an emphasis of doing targeted outreach to the populations that have experienced the most disparities.
  • Develop public/private partnerships with a focus on promoting increased BIPOC representation in the private sector workforce and in engagement of and investment in diverse small businesses and key industries. 
  • Work effectively with colleagues and partners from the full range of differences reflected in our community, including but not limited to: ableness/disability, age, economic/social class, English proficiency, ethnicity, family status, gender identity and expression, national origin/citizenship status, race, religion/spiritual expression, and sexual orientation.
You will be successful if you feel passionate about:
  • Working to advance access to economic opportunity for underrepresented workers and communities in Seattle by thinking and operating through the lenses of youth and adult empowerment, equity, and race and social justice. 
  • Making living-wage jobs accessible to youth in Seattle and the Puget Sound Region, particularly youth of color.
  • Influencing regulatory, procedural, and policy changes to support local economic job growth and reinvestment 
  • Working with business and community and driving outreach efforts to promote workforce development initiatives and programs. 
  • Working with the community and key stakeholders and doing outreach to promote Seattle’s industries as a business or career path.
Your effectiveness in this role will depend on your ability to:
  • Navigate and nurture complex agency, community, and political relationships to promote workforce development initiatives and strategies in the region.
  • Engage people to create change and facilitate groups to action. 
  • Hold teams accountable in the challenging work of removing barriers to economic equity and empowerment. 
  • Build strategic and trusted partnerships with a variety of stakeholders from diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. 
  • Facilitate strategic planning and lead major change projects. 
  • Cultivate a work culture that embraces transparency, accountability, and collaboration. 
  • Adapt easily to changing priorities to meet deadlines in a fast-paced, team-oriented, and political environment. 
  • Honor the leadership of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color, and other marginalized communities. 
  • Recognize that systemic racism through the investments and policies by government and the private sector have caused generational harm and resulted in harm and violence to Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. 
  • Understand institutional barriers youth of color and people of color. 
  • Understand key economic success factors and ability to analyze and communicate trends.



A successful applicant is an experienced and effective Workforce Development professional and a change agent for economic equity. They focus all of their work through a racial equity and social justice lens, are a creative thinker, and an effective collaborator, supervisor and project manager. Strategic management, effective communications and relationship building are central to their professional practice. They will have had experience in policy development and implementation as it pertains workforce development, economic development, economic recovery, and economic impact. They are an experienced people manager who compassionately holds teams accountable and celebrates their work. The candidate must have a reputation for exercising a high level of tact, good judgment, discretion, and diplomacy and have cooperative working relationships with diverse groups of people. Additionally, the successful candidate must have the ability to:

  • Navigate and nurture complex agency, community, and political relationships 
  • Supervise, facilitate, and support a group to achieve tangible outcomes 
  • Analyze situations with a racial equity lens. 
  • Effectively resolve conflicts to the benefit of all parties 
  • Build strategic and trusted partnerships 
  • Facilitate strategic planning and lead projects 
  • Cultivate a work culture that embraces transparency, accountability, and collaboration 

Click here to learn more and apply.

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