Tides of Change Economic Development Officer Job opportunity

Job description

 Position: Economic Development Officer

Due date for applications: June 26, 2015 5:00pm

This is an exciting opportunity to be a part of history. As far as we know this is the first joint economic development plan between a municipality and a First Nation, and the first economic development position that works with both governments. Working jointly with these two governments provides a unique opportunity for an economic development professional to build their skills in both municipal and First Nations contexts.


 The ‘Namgis First Nation and the Village of Alert Bay are located on Cormorant Island, a short plane ride from Vancouver and a 5.5 hour drive north of Victoria.

Building on decades of successful joint projects, the two governments worked together on a joint economic development strategy in late 2014 and early 2015. Development of this plan – called ‘Tides of Change’ – involved hundreds of local residents and the plan has been approved by both Councils. It is now time to implement the actions in this plan.


 The Economic Development Officer (EDO) is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the ‘Tides of Change’ economic plan for Cormorant Island; taking a lead role in activities and initiatives that will attract business opportunities to the Island; actively leading business retention and attraction activities; and supporting local entrepreneurs.

Accountability and reporting structure

 The EDO is a joint position between the ‘Namgis First Nation and the Village of Alert Bay.  The EDO is accountable to, and will work closely with, the Cormorant Island Economic Development Steering Committee, but will report to a supervisor within the Village Administration. The Steering Committee is a small advisory group of Councillors, government staff and business people. This group is an extension of a Steering Committee that oversaw the successful development of the Tides of Change. The committee is accountable to the Joint Councils (Village of Alert Bay and ‘Namgis First Nation).

Additionally, the EDO will work with the administrations of the ‘Namgis First Nation and Village of Alert Bay, community members, funders, neighboring communities, government officials and others.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Lead responsibility for implementing the Tides of Change plan, working closely with the economic committee, administration, external partners, and the business community. Please see the ‘Tides of Change’ plan available online (http://cormorantisland.wix.com/cormorantisland).  Actions fall under five categories: marine/harbour expansion, tourism, quality of life, business and entrepreneur support, and downtown revitalization. 

  • Finding and securing grant funding to implement the Plan.

  • Develop annual and quarterly work plans, and report progress on implementing these work plans to the Committee and community on a regular basis.

  • Building and developing relationships with various public and private sector representatives in order to grow the local economy and support the economic goals of the two governments, as outlined in Tides of Change.

  • The EDO may be expected to represent the community at regional economic development meetings, trade shows, etc.  

  • Develop and maintain relationships with existing business owners in order to retain and expand the local business base.

  • Organize and facilitate meetings with stakeholders as needed.

  • Carry out the Monitoring and Evaluation strategy from Tides of Change to understand if the actions in the plan are being carried out and having the desired impact.

    Mentorship of selected trainee.

Education, technical skills and certifications required

  • A university degree in a related discipline

  • Economic development certification would be an asset

  • Computer skills (spreadsheets, word processing)

  • Demonstrated ability to find and secure grant funding

  • Excellent presentation, writing and analytic skills

 Experience and knowledge

  • At least 3-5 years experience in a similar or related position.

  • Demonstrated ability to implement plans of the same or similar level of complexity as ‘Tides of Change’

  • Project management

  • Knowledge of community economic development theories and practices

  • Demonstrated ability to be diplomatic, respective and have a ‘customer first’ attitude when interacting with leadership, community members, businesses owners, partners and colleagues

  • Understanding of local government and First Nations processes, legislation, funding streams, etc. an asset

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently with minimal supervision

  • Experience with, or interest in, Enterprise Facilitation is an asset, but not a requirement

  • Have sufficient leadership skills and confidence to be able to give recommendations to the economic committee, work with senior administrators and present to Councils as needed

  • Knowledge of the North Island an asset

Hours and location

This position is for 35-hour week, primarily Monday to Friday during regular working hours. The position is based on Cormorant Island.  


This is a 20 month contract position, with a strong possibility of renewal depending on the success of the incumbent in implementing the Tides of Change plan. 


Commensurate with experience. Please state salary expectations in your cover letter


Please send a resume and cover letter and three related references  to cao@alertbay.ca by 5pm on June 26, 2015 Questions can be directed to Heather Nelson-Smith 250-974-5213 cao@alertbay.ca.

Applicants chosen for an interview will be required to demonstrate their past experience through a presentation to the hiring committee.

Alert Bay and the ‘Namgis First Nation thank all applicants, but only those contacted for an interview will be contacted.