Economic Development Specialist – Port of Bellingham

    • Full Time
    • Anywhere

    Website Port of Bellingham


    Under the general direction of the Director of Economic Development, the Economic Development Specialist plans, organizes and completes the economic development efforts and coordination of these efforts with public agencies and the private sector to generate employment and investment activity in Whatcom County.  This position will focus primarily on the technology market sector and have strong connection with the outdoor recreation market sector.


    As the lead contact, provide recruitment, expansion, retention, and local support. Develop and manage efforts to influence technology and recreation companies to relocate to the region as well as support existing technology and recreation companies and their growth strategies.  Serve as a passionate advocate to the technology, outdoor recreation and other targeted industry clusters.

    Analyze, research, and maintain information on economic and market trends, development issues, job markets, and other economic inputs, and integrate these factors into economic development programs.

    Develop and maintain contact with existing county employers, primarily in manufacturing and higher-level services, to respond to needs to grow and retain their business (retention/expansion).

    Maintain contact and knowledge of real estate professionals, service consultants, community profile and infrastructure information, permitting and regulatory information, incentives and funding resources.

    Network with resource entities such as real estate brokers, financial entities (private capital and public sources), transportation, and infrastructure providers to support business growth.

    Provide support for a Regional Economic Development Strategy.

    Collaborate with Regional Cities and the County on common goals and funding levels.

    Develop and manage public agency collaborative efforts to support economic development advocacy and projects (Partnership, State Commerce and Federal relationships).

    External support to local government partners (Small Cities, Bellingham, County, PUD).

    Collaboration with local economic development service providers, including managing specific service contracts with those providers.

    Establish private sector partnerships to promote economic development and support growth. Explore new approaches that focus on collaborations between private and public sectors.

    Identify and provide outside funding assistance and incentives for public or private entities, from public and private sources, for economic development projects.  Advise local partner agencies in the county on financing opportunities.

    Provide internal support to Port Operating divisions (Real Estate, Maritime, Aviation).

    Communicate funding opportunities to Port and external partners, and assist with funding applications.

    Manage consulting contracts and interlocal agreements for designated economic development division services.

    Work collaboratively with colleagues; serve on Port interdepartmental teams for business retention, expansion and attraction projects on Port properties. Serve in an advisory role to port management regarding new business opportunities and in client retention and development.

    Manage other projects and responsibilities that the supervising director deems appropriate.


    Minimum five years of experience in economic development, marketing or a related career is required.

    Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, public administration, or related field is required. Additional years of experience may be considered in lieu of a degree.

    Experience in, knowledge of, and personal connections within the technology industry is required.

    Must have excellent written, verbal and electronic communication skills and negotiating skills.

    Must have excellent skills working in the MS Office suite.

    Demonstrated skills at public speaking and giving professional presentations is required.

    Enthusiasm around the outdoor recreational industry is a must. Experience in the outdoor recreation industry is a plus.

    Financial acumen in order to administer the Industrial Revenue Bonds and the EDA Revolving Loan fund is required.

    Experience and knowledge of public and private partnerships is preferred.

    Public sector experience is preferred.
    Experience developing and managing operating and capital budgets is preferred.

    Must be a self-directed and independent person who is able to identify issues, make decisions and implement as needed. At the same time, must participate with the Economic Development Team and support team members.

    Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment where priorities may change rapidly. Must be able to handle multiple projects at the same time with enthusiasm, positive energy and accuracy.

    Valid Washington State driver’s license is required.


    Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with persons and organizations holding diverse political, cultural, social and economic views both within and outside the Port of Bellingham.

    Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in a team environment with both internal Port staff and other partner organizations and agencies.

    Act consistently with the principles and practices of local and regional economic development, including business and public finance, real estate, business attraction and retention, community revitalization, planning and research.

    Work independently and make good decisions with sound judgment.

    Possess excellent writing and presentation skills suitable for a wide variety of audiences, including government officials, elected officials, business executives or owners, entrepreneurs, and community members.

    Ability to travel and work flexible hours including evenings and weekends.

    Ability to work within tight deadlines and remain calm under pressure.


    Visit for more information. Position open until 8/8 @ 5pm.

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