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Economic Development Director

Harnett County - Lillington, NC , US

Job Description:

An employee in this position performs administrative, managerial, and regulatory work supervising the Economic Development Department of Harnett County. This includes: developing and presenting the annual budget for the Department; developing the Department goals and objectives; establishing new and modifying existing policies and procedures to ensure compliance on every level with federal, state, and County guide lines and regulations; and supervising assigned staff members including the recommendations for hiring, promoting, coaching, evaluating, and disciplining employees as needed.  This role also includes responsibilities in negotiating resolution of problems with contractors, landlords, owners, and tenants and in marketing programs and building rapport within the community.


  • Plans, organizes, and manages the operations of the Economic Development Department
  • Establishes, develops, and maintains effective working relationships with Department staff, municipal employees, local business owners, and the general public.
  • Coordinates and manages community growth projects with project developers by expanding economic development opportunities.
  • Develops Department goals and objectives, formulates policies and procedures, evaluates program effectiveness, and recommends enhancements.
  • Ensures program compliance with state and federal regulations.
  • Supervises staff to include hiring, assigning work, training, establishing performance standards, evaluating work, and providing guidance as necessary.
  • Tracks program performance.
  • Serves as liaison between the County and the US Department of Housing and Urban development.
  • Writes and administers grants and develops annual budget.
  • Analyzes data on fair market rates to ensure program competitiveness.
  • Establishes collaborative relationships with other agencies and non-profit organizations
  • Presents program information to community groups, County management, and other board and private sector entities.
  • Creates and maintains a list of local businesses to be contacted for business communication program.
  • Collaborates with business owners and prepares periodic reports concerning businesses.
  • Evaluates and monitors planned disposition of land owned by the County.
  • Collaborates with legal professionals to assist in the preparation of necessary documents.
  • Conducts special research and/or analyzes economic development program activities.
  • Responds to RFIs, RFPs, leads, and inquiries in a timely and professional manner.
  • Evaluates, updates, and enhances the Harnett County Economic Development website, making sure to clearly indicate the comprehensive strengths of the County, available sites and buildings, targeted clusters, and advantages of locating and working in Harnett County
  • Participates in the Economic Development Partnership of NC’s (EDPNC) cooperative marketing program.
  • Utilizes the RTP Partnership’s Marketing Program to enhance the County’s identity within the site selection community.
  • Partners with the NC Department of Commerce (NCDOC) in marketing and researching opportunities that augment the County’s economic development efforts
  • Develops sub-regional marketing and recruitment programs with contiguous counties, realtors, and utilities to promote available sites and buildings.
  • Promotes awareness of the County’s sites, buildings, and infrastructure strengths (i.e., water) to EDPNC, NCDOC, site selectors, and commercial realtors.
  • Works with utilities who serve the County and property within the County to enhance location strategy.
  • Works with commercial realtors who represent property in County to extend their marketing impact.
  • Investigates grant opportunities to assist with infrastructure development.
  • Utilizes public-private partners to identify future sites and buildings.
  • Establishes a formal partnership with Campbell University and Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) to jointly create jobs and investment.
  • Participates in events held by trade associations representing targeted clusters (i.e., NC Defense Business Association).
  • Promotes property to EDPNC’s business recruitment team (i.e., hosted tour).
  • Promotes the North Carolina’s incentives for tier 2 counties.
  • Promotes the County’s incentives program.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in urban planning, engineer, public administration, or a related field;
  • Seven (7) years of experience involving the administration and implementation of urban planning and development, community development, or economic development;
  • Or equivalent education and/or experience; 
  • Knowledge of program research, development, implementation techniques, loan applications and disbursement processes.
  • Knowledge of agencies and programs related to federal economic and urban development.
  • Knowledge of Department goals, objectives, programs and services, community resources, and development needs.
  • Knowledge of economic development principles and practices.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and County laws, regulations, policies, and procedures associated with the implementation and maintenance of community development programs.
  • Knowledge of the physical, economic, and social characteristics of the communities throughout the County.
  • Knowledge of budgeting and accounting principles and procedures.
  • Knowledge of application and administration of grant programs.  
  • Skill in communicating, both verbally and in writing.
  • Skill in using blueprints, codes, statistics, technical sketches, and graphics.
  • Skill in developing and delivering presentations.
  • Ability to analyze complex organizational, administrative, and service problems and to formulate effective resolutions.
  • Ability to gather, collate, and analyze a variety of data.
  • Ability to use independent judgement and discretion in making program decisions.  
  • Ability to be tactful and diplomatic.  
  • Ability to engage and leverage a broad range of resources and partners to accomplish the Department’s goals and to fulfill its mission.  


Must be able to perform sedentary work and occasionally exerting up to 10 pounds of force to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects.  This work also involves the physical abilities of grasping, handling, perceiving sounds at normal speaking levels, discriminating among sounds, lifting, having manual dexterity, using mental acuity, reaching, performing repetitive motion, reaching, speaking, stooping, expressing ideas by the spoken word, and walking.  An incumbent must also possess the visual acuity to prepare data and statistics, do extensive reading, observe facilities, and operate a computer.


The employee primarily works in an office setting but may also visit potential business sites which may subject the employee to outside differences in weather.

Contact Information

Kimberly Owens
P.O. Box 778
Lillington, NC 27546, US
Phone: (910) 893-7567 ext 6406
Fax: (910) 814-0350