We seek an innovative and motivated Associate with strong critical thinking and organizational skills to play an integral role in every aspect of the firm’s work, from research to product and strategy development to project management. The position provides the opportunity to learn and grow quickly, working with leading national experts on projects at the forefront of the economic development field. The firm’s project pipeline encompasses a wide variety of work, including staffing the SDA’s leading initiatives, spanning business support services, workforce development, industrial and commercial real estate development, and housing; conducting a market analysis of the Chicago region’s “blue economy,” leading to strategies to grow water-related industries, jobs, and investments; co-creating with key partners an initiative at the intersection of economic growth and climate change; and designing and launching a multi-partner initiative to increase the number, size and productivity of manufacturing firms owned by people of color.
Working closely with the rest of the team, the Associate will:
Conduct research, literature reviews and market analysis of business, workforce, housing and other economic activity in neighborhoods and regions, utilizing quantitative and qualitative methodologies
Draft memos, papers, reports, proposals and presentations describing economic frameworks, analysis and research results; suggesting possible strategies; and analyzing varied economic opportunities
Co-invent new frameworks, products, initiatives and organizational models to address specific challenges and opportunities in inclusive economic development (e.g., manufacturing innovation, urban industrial land re-use, innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems), often tailored to specific industries and geographies
Organize, lead and participate in project and team meetings
Perform miscellaneous office management and administrative duties
Bachelor’s degree in economic development, economics, urban planning/policy or a related field
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Ability to think critically and generate new ideas
Analytical skills to compare and draw conclusions from complex data and material
Organizational and time management skills to balance multiple projects concurrently
Capacity to rapidly acquire new knowledge and skills
Ability to work as member of a team in a low-structure environment
Strong computer skills, including intermediate-level skills in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint
Prior work experience or expertise in economic development or a related field
Advanced degree related to economic development and analysis, urban policy or a related field
Project management experience
Familiarity with statistical software such as Stata, R or SPSS
Familiarity with GIS software such as ArcGIS or QGIS
Additional Salary Information: Salary commensurate with experience. Generous benefits and bonus opportunities.
About RW Ventures, LLC
RW Ventures, LLC Overview:
RW Ventures, LLC specializes in creating products and enterprises that drive inclusive economic growth within industries, neighborhoods and regions. Based in Chicago, the firm is recognized as a national leader in market-based economic development. RW Ventures manages large-scale, complex economic growth projects by assembling interdisciplinary teams of national experts, including partners such as the Brookings Institution, LISC and the MacArthur Foundation. Illustrative projects include:
• Developing economic growth plans in more than ten regions through the Metropolitan Business Planning initiative;
• Creating the Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network, an inclusive cluster organization for food and beverage manufacturers;
• Developing ScaleUP Sacramento, an overarching economic development strategy with recommended initiatives to make Sacramento an inclusive and prosperous place to work, live and play; and
• Inventing and deploying sophisticated analytics, financial products and deal-brokering capacity to drive neighborhood change through Chicago TREND, a social enterprise focused on catalyzing leading-edge urban retail development.
The ...firm has also designed and launched new organizations, such as the New Growth Innovation Network (NGIN), a national, practitioner-led institution driving innovation in the field of inclusive economic growth, and the Southland Development Authority (SDA), a ground-breaking development authority model charged with driving comprehensive, transformative and inclusive economic growth in the South Suburbs of Chicago. In all our projects, we seek to bridge the gap between theory and practice, driving rigorous research from a practitioner perspective, and translating results into practical programs. For more information on the firm, its partners, clients and projects, please visit our website: www.rw-ventures.com.