Fourth Economy

Community & Economic Development Associate
 
About Fourth Economy

Fourth Economy Consulting is an innovative community and economic development consulting firm – we recently celebrated our 10th anniversary and have a strong brand as demonstrated by the engagement we have from our network. We envision a world where people are empowered to be co-creators of a sustainable future. We equip change agents with the tools to build better communities and stronger economies. Our clients include community and economic development organizations, local and state governments, innovation intermediaries, colleges and universities, and businesses. For more information on the types of work we do, please see our project portfolio. Two projects that we are particularly proud of are One Macon and Hazelwood Initiative

In early 2021, Fourth Economy joined Steer, a global management consultancy, to support our growth and expansion of services. Fourth Economy’s partnership with Steer complements Steer’s global economic development offering, and strengthens their already successful boutique consultancy, Steer Economic Development based in the UK. Collectively, we now offer a comprehensive approach that embraces people, skills, enterprise, infrastructure, mobility, and innovation to deliver sustainable, inclusive and equitable economies.

Steer is an employee-owned consultancy with 21 offices across North America, Latin America, UK, Europe and India. Since 1978, the firm has provided pioneering planning, design and advisory services to government and business – with a particular focus on projects that develop cities, infrastructure and transport.

About the Role 

We are looking for a driven, entrepreneurial, passionate, and rigorous professional to join our collaborative, and growing team. You will drive innovative problem solving for clients, manage complex client and stakeholder interactions, produce industry-enhancing thought leadership, and ensure the excellence of client deliverables.

We are especially looking for individuals that are interested in advancing non-traditional models of community and economic development to join our team of dynamic consultants. Our work encompasses a variety of issues/topics (economic resilience,  inclusive and equitable development, job growth/decline, talent attraction, civic infrastructure, affordable housing, sustainable development) that intersect with communities and economies at different scales (neighborhood to regional). 

 

The Community & Economic Development Associate will support client projects including research, engagement and writing. The associate will conduct stakeholder interviews, facilitate meetings, research best practices, conduct surveys and work with the rest of the project team to develop strategies and recommendations for clients. 

Who You Are
  • Convener. You recognize that a well-prepared and supported community can achieve far more than a single, highly talented individual. You can bring together thought leaders and facilitate conversations to identify the best/most creative ways to build a community that is both nurturing and generative. You enjoy removing barriers to our partners coming together. 

  • Mobilizer:  You’ve got that rare mix of vision and tactics that makes other leaders admire you. You've managed multiple teams on a range of different projects, but you're not afraid to roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches yourself.

  • Resourceful & Adaptable: You’re at ease with ambiguity and rapid change. You possess a positive, can-do attitude, and are adept at identifying creative solutions to obstacles. You can juggle many important responsibilities at once and you’re rigorous about prioritizing.

  • Committed to Inclusion: You're always asking “whose voice is not at the table?” You have experience working with diverse teams and successfully navigating cross-cultural communication in both local and global contexts, and you deeply value creating a workplace that is supportive of difference. 

Your Skills & Competencies

This work is analytical, collaborative, and challenging. The Community & Economic Development Associate will be a self-starter who is committed to their learning and growth and possess the following skills and competencies:

  • Strategic Thinking: You’re a strong conceptual thinker, who can easily grasp and navigate a range of abstract concepts, relate them to one another, and translate those concepts into strategies and practical actions.

  • Implementation of Complex Projects: You’re a confident project manager, leading and executing a portfolio of interconnected projects with high attention to detail across multiple stakeholders.

  • Research and Data Synthesis: You have a strong ability to independently recognize learning opportunities, design and conduct research, gather data, structure quantitative and qualitative analyses, and draw and apply actionable recommendations.

  • Written and Verbal Communications: Your written and verbal communication skills are excellent, with an ability to independently create original public content and deliver verbal presentations in multiple settings.

  • Self-motivation: You proactively take the initiative, identifying problems and opportunities across your portfolio, developing recommendations, and taking action on those recommendations.

  • Adaptability: You thrive in an ambiguous environment where you have the autonomy to drive your work.

  • Learning Mindset: You desire continuous improvement, have an innate sense of curiosity and are grounded by a foundation of self-awareness that provides space for learning and growth. 

  • Passion for Social Change: You are driven by the desire to contribute to making change in our society, making the economy work for all people. You’re interested in system integration and social change theories and putting those theories into practice.  

What You’ll Need

1-2+ years of overall professional experience in roles that include:

  • Experience in the field of community and economic development

  • Analytical, critical thinking and creative problem-solving abilities to assess organizational challenges and propose solutions

  • Familiarity with common sources of demographic and economic data and ability to work with spreadsheets

  • Strong time management skills to complete multiple projects within tight deadlines

  • Ability to make connections between partners, projects, ideas and objectives to develop impactful recommendations for clients

  • Strong listening, speaking and writing skills to effectively communicate with team members and clients

The Application Process

When you apply, we kindly ask you to remove your schools from your resume. There is no need to reformat your resume and leave your degree as is, just simplify it to “B.A. Economics” for example. Just remember to remove any undergraduate and graduate school name references where possible. This “bias blind” process is aimed at opening this opportunity to more candidates; reviewing applicants on performance assessments instead of resume proxies (e.g. where you went to school).

This evaluation process will follow best practices shown to reduce bias in decision making and may be different from other application processes you have experienced.

Send Cover Letter and Resume to pia.bernardini@fourtheconomy.com

Working at Fourth Economy

Fourth Economy is as much an approach as it is a company. We work to advance the recognition that the economic and community development actions of the past have failed many and we all must do better. People who thrive at Fourth Economy share a set of values that define our actions and attitudes. These values include:

  • Curiosity: consulting provides us an opportunity to be curious as we get to know communities and their issues. 

  • Creativity: there is not a template that drives us rather we are driven by the opportunity to provide original impactful strategies.

  • Collaboration: to truly improve our communities and economy requires collaboration between actors with different lived experiences, expertise, ideas and passion. 

  • Empathy: we must recognize the variety of perspectives that people may hold as they engage in planning work.

  • Fun: we are a social group that appreciates the opportunity to celebrate our shared success. 

 

We believe that Fourth Economy can be a platform for personal exploration and growth while creating positive change throughout the country.