Economic Development

City Council to Consider Adding Development Posts

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – City Council tonight will consider creating three new positions in the city’s department of community planning and economic development.

The new positions – business development recruiter, fiscal officer and deputy director of planning and strategic development – will better integrate the different functions of the department, said T. Sharon Woodberry, director.

The department was created when voters approved a charter amendment in 2014 combining the city’s economic development department and Community Development Agency. Mayor John McNally named Woodberry, the city’s economic development director since 2008, as director of the new department.

“Tthe idea is to structure positions so that their objective is to look at things in a more well-rounded way and that we’re being efficient with our positions and limited resources,” Woodberry said.

The fiscal officer and deputy director of planning and strategic development positions split the functions of the eliminated comptroller position. The fiscal officer will take on the operations role while the higher level planning and administrative functions will go to the new deputy director.

“The idea is to hire an individual who can eventually transition into the CDA director’s position when the current director, Bill D’Avignon, retires next year, Woodberry said.

The business development recruiter will focus on the need for the city to market outside the area, she added.

That individual’s efforts will align with the strategic plan drafted with Youngstown State University and recruit “with the lens of what our assets are and how we have looked to plan in the future for business development,” she said. The recruiter will work with site selectors and go to conferences targeting areas that the city has strong foundations for, such as logistics and transportation.

Pay for the business development recruiter would start at $22.20 per hour or $46,176 annually at entry and rise to $23.30 hourly and $46,256 at Step 2 and to $24.20 hourly and $50,336 at Step 2. Pay for the fiscal officer would e $24.20 hourly or $50,335 annually. Pay for the deputy director of planning and strategic development is set at $26.64 hourly or just over $55.411.

Although Woodberry anticipates having the spots filled early next year, she has no timetable. “I don’t have a desire to rush this. Because we want to make sure we are getting a good pool of candidates for these positions,” she remarked.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.