Economic Development Officer – Westlock County

30 June 2023

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Job Description

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County of Westlock, AB

Economic Development Officer

Job Status: Permanent
Department Planning and Community Development
Reports To: General Manager of Planning and Community Development

Position Summary 
The Economic Development Officer (EDO) is a contract role that reports directly to the CAO. The EDO is responsible for the facilitation, development, and implementation of the County’s Economic Development Strategy. This role promotes economic growth in Westlock County through businesses attraction strategies, encouraging expansion or sustainability of existing businesses and create an attractive community atmosphere that stimulates residential growth, including leveraging destination tourism development opportunities. Initiatives are aligned with Council’s municipal strategies and priorities.

Duties and Responsibilities 
Under the supervision of the CAO, the duties and responsibilities of the EDO include, but are not limited to, the following:
Strategic Planning

  • Facilitate the development of Economic Development strategies, ensuring alignment with Council’s priorities
  • Lead the implementation of the Economic Development strategies through the development of an annual work plan that identifies priorities, goals, timelines and measurable deliverables, mitigating unforeseen liability for the County and leadership team
  • Identify, research and analyze data, local, regional and national, that would assist in identifying economic impacts on the community
  • Implement and maintain systems required for effective collection & reporting of relevant economic data
  • Develop and maintain an inventory of business community contacts for analysis, networking and partnership opportunities
  • Initiate, facilitate, review and award request for proposal (RFP) initiatives related to BR&E strategies and business development
  • Advocate, develop and implement policy that will foster and encourage growth and sustainability
  • Maintain an awareness of regional, provincial and federal economic planning programs and activities

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, preparation of policy documents, Council reports, community reports, business development, brand marketing and promotional items & and development of tourism collateral material

  • Forecast and develop (short and long term) annual budget for economic development & tourism department; monitor expenditures, analyze costs, payment reporting/sign off and ensure expenditures are within annual authorized limits
  • Work collaboratively with other municipal departments as required to provide support, industry insight/expertise, gain input, undertake collaborative projects or provide feedback, instilling a team environment
  • Maintain a deep understanding of concepts and process of municipal Bylaws (Land Use, Community Standards, etc.)                  
  • Assist in the facilitation of decisions on business development inquiries
  • Assist in the development of or modification of business or land related Bylaws

Business Retention and Attraction

  • Coordinate, liaise, and support local and external organizations, institutions, potential investors, developers, local businesses, First Nations and other partners to advance the County’s economic interests
  • Support local businesses in developing capacity to respond to business growth and tourism opportunities in Westlock County
  • Lead inter- and intra-departmental approaches to promote and market Westlock County tourism
  • Develop industry sector relationships that would support existing and attract new industry development
  • Primary point of contact for business development inquiries and facilitate relationship between the County’s planning and development departments
  • Pursue high-end leads, identifying opportunities and prospects, relating to various industrial and commercial lands and buildings for sale or lease. Assist in the negotiation of land sales or leases to increase assessment base and facilitate job growth
  • Undertake lead role for special projects as assigned by the CAO

Branding and Marketing

  • Ensure that economic development activities align with community branding efforts and marketing
  • Develop promotional strategies for both business development and regional tourism, building on brand for both short- and long-term growth
  • Create and deliver information to local business including; services, initiatives, and programs that enhance or stimulate business growth and sustainability
  • Collaborate with other inter-related departments through strategic marketing and branding initiatives

Community Engagement

  • Establish and maintain relationships with Industrial/Commercial/Investment realtors, landlords, developers, consultants and contractors to secure business development
  • Take a lead role in external groups/organizations with regard to investment meetings, seminars and trade shows to promote Westlock County’s economic development
  • Develop concepts for presentation at local and regional meetings and events promoting Westlock County’s economic development initiatives
  • Represent and advocate the County by actively participating in regional and local working groups, committees, boards, and industry forums related to BR&E and investment across multiple regional sectors
  • Establish partnerships and collaborate with local and regional entities for the purpose of promoting Westlock County as a destination for business and tourism development
  • Initiate, facilitate and attend community meetings for the purpose of education and information updates to the public at large, taking a lead role with conflict resolution when required
  • Consult with and maintain strong relationships with members of the public, staff at all levels, external organizations, members of Council and other departments to help achieve the goal of the team, division, and organization

Other Duties

  • Special projects as required
  • Ensure that Westlock County’s Health and Safety Program as well as Occupational Health and Safety’s standards are followed
  • Promotes a safe work environment/ ensuring compliance with all government regulations, and Health & Safety policies and practices, Participation on the County’s Joint Health and Safety Committee as required
  • This position may be called to perform duties as required by the Director of Emergency Management during a State of Local Emergency
  • Performs other related duties are required by the CAO

Minimum Requirements           

  • College or University Degree in marketing, business administration, or Certification from a recognized institute relating to economic development, project management, business development or commerce is preferred, however; an equivalent combination of experience and education may be considered
  • Equivalencies and/or experience may be considered 
  • Proficient in MS Office Suite


  • A strong knowledge of economic development theories and practices, business planning and business expansion strategies
  • Experience within a local government environment is considered and asset


  • Valid Class 5 drivers’ license with an acceptable drivers’ abstract
  • Criminal Records Check


  • Minimum of five (5) years of combined related experience with a demonstrated background in economic development, public relations, project management and/or business development
  • Ability to keep abreast of industry and regional trends and forecasting
  • Demonstrated experience in project management, business development, research, report writing, communication, problem solving
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and initiate projects from conceptualization to completion
  • Ability to develop and analyze business plans
  • Advanced skills in facilitation, negotiation, presentations, and public speaking
  • Ability to think and act strategically, foster positive partnerships and facilitating the development of collaborative relationships both internally and externally
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team-oriented environment
  • Excellent priority-setting, planning and organizational skills, with the ability to meet deadlines

Working Conditions 

  • Work normal business hours but may be required to do some work in the evenings or outside normal working hours
  • Working indoor, sitting for long periods of time, prolonged exposure to computer screen
  • Able to work on a computer for long periods of time
  • Required to work in a busy, open area office which may result in constant interruptions
  • Required to spend long hours concentrating which will require attention to detail and high levels of accuracy
  • Required to meet a number of deadlines which may cause stress
  • May travel to attend meetings, community activities, and conferences
  • High level of Social interaction, which includes interaction with the public
  • Varying levels of physical effort, including moderate lifting (up to 50 lbs) walking, standing, pushing and pulling, reaching, driving and carrying are required
  • Repeated motion of office tasks is also involved

Remuneration & Benefits This is an out-of-scope position. Compensation is commensurate based on skill and experience and includes a competitive benefit and pension package.
Applicants are invited to submit a cover letter and resume outlining their qualifications, relevant experience, and certifications.
CLOSING DATE: 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2022
Westlock County
 c/o Human Resources
10336 106 Street Westlock, AB T7P 2G1
Westlock County is proud to be an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.