Economic Development Director

Description :

Wright County, Iowa is accepting applications for the position of Economic Development Director.  Wright County is located in a strong agricultural, business, historical, and outdoor recreational landscape of north central Iowa, about one-and-a-half hours north of the Des Moines metro.  With the construction of Prestage Foods of Iowa, a new, rural employer in Wright County anticipated to bring 1,000 jobs to the area in 2018, as well as other manufacturing and value-added agriculture possibilities in the works, Wright County has become a resurgent, exciting and dynamic county, and is looking for the same with this position.

Wright County is on the edge of numerous economic and housing opportunities, and the ideal candidate is one who possesses the desire and ability to coordinate with developers to see these opportunities through to fruition. 

The Wright County Economic Development Director will be expected to conceptualize and implement business retention and expansion projects, manage business relocation projects, brainstorm ideas, and negotiate incentive and assistance programs for applicable projects. Main duties include facilitating and managing projects, conceptualizing future land use developments, drafting fiscal budgets and capital campaign for marketing programs, as well as maintaining communication with key stakeholders, partners, investors and the public. The successful candidate must be able to think creatively and communicate in all types of environments and circumstances. The individual shall also be expected to work with the Wright County Economic Development Marketing Specialist throughout day-to-day operations. This person will be expected to manage projects and events from concept to completion. This role plays an important position in supporting the different community’s economic activities.

The duties and responsibilities:  
  • Implements a systematic and realistic approach to expanding and diversifying Wright County’s business sector.
  • Coordinates with all development groups in the county through regular contacts with local officials.
  • Drafts annual general fund, marketing, and project-specific budgets.
  • Implements a comprehensive program of supplemental financing for the Department, with all possible assistance from public and private sources.
  • Negotiates Development Agreements, Incentive packages, Revolving Loan Financing terms, etc.
  • Administers and submits qualifying grant opportunities.
  • Assists in the coordination of business/site visits. 
  • Implements programs to encourage new entrepreneurs
  • Develops, manages, and seeks future opportunities to enhance the awareness of Wright County Economic Development and its products and services.
  • Coordinates and assists in fulfilling Request for Proposals (RFP) or Request for Information (RFI) as needed.
  • Prepares and manages timelines for projects.
  • Assists in the drafting of the WCED Annual Report and the coordination of the WCED Annual Meeting.
  • Prepares monthly Marketing Fund report.
  • Prepares claims for payment and invoices.
  • Provides assistance and resources for communities and local Development Corporations.
  • Represents Wright County Economic Development at various events.
  • Aides Wright County Charitable Foundation and Wright County Housing, Inc. as needed.
  • Processes Intermediary Revolving Loan payments, documents, applications, files, etc.
  • Reconciles disbursements, loans, revenue & expense sheets, general ledger, revolving loan fund, etc.
  • Completes payroll reporting.
  • Travel may be required.
  • Other tasks as directed.
Preferred skills and specifications:  
    • The ideal candidate has experience in negotiating and structuring a Development Agreement.
    • The ideal candidate understands the development process and resources available to assist in business relocation, expansion or retention.
    • The ideal candidate should have experience working with Tax Increment Financing and other forms of public financing measures.
    • The ideal candidate has knowledge in public finance, fiscal budgets, and budget accountability.
    • The ideal candidate has developed project plans, timelines, and prioritized critical programs and elements necessary to achieving objectives on a consistent basis.    
    • The ideal candidate has experience working across departments and organizations effectively.  
  • The person needs to have completed a Bachelor’s degree. A specialization in public administration, management, marketing, or related field is highly desirable. The ideal candidate should have over 2 years of applicable experience.
  • Compensation range will begin at $50,000 and increase based on qualifications. Benefits will follow Wright County policy. These include IPERS, health insurance assistance, dental and vision assistance, paid sick and vacation time. 
Wright County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This organization does not and will not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, natural origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law. Hiring, transferring and promotion practices are performed without regard to the above listed items.

Contact :

Please submit resume and cover letter by January 19, 2018 to Sara Sheller at or can be sent to the following address:

Wright County Economic Development 
115 N. Main Street
PO Box 214
Clarion, Iowa 50525

For more information, please contact Sara Sheller, Wright County Economic Development Marketing Specialist, at (515) 532-6422 or by emailing


Deadline for Applying : Open until filled