There are many different job descriptions, duties, and responsibilities relating to economic development officers. Each provincial association of economic development has a list of members, a code of ethics, and standards of expectations for economic developers.
Depending on their needs, a community may employ an economic development co-ordinator or officer. This person liaises between the administration, municipal council, economic development committee, business development organizations (such as the chamber of commerce), and the community.
An economic development officer’s duties can range from co-ordinating, running, and supervising economic development programs to matching business investment opportunities with investors. This job is not about creating new businesses or jobs. It is about creating an environment where business and investment can thrive.
In general, economic development officers:
- Connect with the local business community to support, encourage, and advise local businesses
- Market the community to existing or potential investors
- Act as liaison between the municipal council, economic development committee, and community
- Prepare strategic plans and carry out economic development initiatives by identifying and promoting new opportunities
- Compile and update demographic information to promote the community
- Prepare and share communication materials with the planning department and municipal council to keep decision-makers part of a pro-business environment
- Find resources that are relevant to businesses in the area
- Maintain contacts with relevant agencies at all levels of government
- Identify and promote government programs to help businesses, communities, or regions with economic development
- Go to meetings of government, community, and business groups
- Prepare, keep, and present financial and statistical records and reports
- Oversee support staff and volunteers