Employment: Resilient Neighbourhoods Regional Resource Developer
Metcalf Foundation’s Resilient Neighbourhoods seeking Regional Resource Developer
POSITION: Regional Resource Developer, Resilient Neighbourhoods
TYPE: One year renewable contract position
BACKGROUND: Resilient Neighbourhoods
Resilient Neighbourhoods is a new, multi-year pilot aimed at improving the opportunities available to low-income people in the economies of two Toronto neighbourhoods. The initiative will catalyze and support creative efforts that build on pre-existing local work by linking motivated people to key resources at the neighbourhood and city level, and by providing (small sums of) financial support to initiatives that nurture emerging opportunities. The initiative will enhance and strengthen the working web of connections that enable local communities to creatively respond to current economic needs, and build new intelligence and approaches to effectively adapt to changing economic circumstances.
We know many ideas, initiatives, aspirations, and capacities within local communities are not realizing their full potential. For example, in one community a group of women who have small enterprises face challenges selling their goods in the neighbourhood park due to a city by-law. These women also lack access to broader city-wide markets because of their limited networks. A corporation based in a neighbourhood wants to offer a suite of business planning services pro bono to local entrepreneurs but the local community agency had very limited resources to facilitate this. Renewal of aging apartment infrastructure in another neighbourhood provides potential to improve the material conditions of the residents that live within it by repurposing the use of certain spaces for business incubation but resources are required to explore the feasibility of doing this. We envision that the Resilient Neighbourhoods initiative will help build the “connective tissue” required to address these types of situations amongst others.
Resilient Neighbourhoods is an initiative of the Metcalf Foundation, in collaboration with the Centre for City Ecology, Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, East Scarborough Storefront, and partners in two Toronto neighbourhoods. The initiative will support people working on the ground to strengthen and lever opportunities that currently exist within each neighbourhood and to help remove obstacles. It will also support a Regional Resource Developer with sustainable economic development experience who will work at the city-region level to bring learning, resources, and opportunities into the two neighbourhoods, and to connect residents up with opportunities more broadly across the city. This initiative is part of the Metcalf Foundation’s Inclusive Local Economies Program, the aim of which is to support people and organizations to develop the ideas, the strategies, and the policies that can improve low-income peoples’ economic livelihoods and access to quality jobs.
ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The Regional Resource Developer’s main task is to boost the effectiveness of efforts at the neighbourhood level. They will accomplish this by working directly with the local community to address issues and challenges and also by engaging in strategic networking in order to connect the neighbourhood to those in the city region (and beyond) who can provide critical resources and guidance. This support (direct and indirect) falls into four broad areas:
Regional Context: What are the current dynamics of the regional economy? How can local strategies build on regional dynamics?
Identification of Opportunities: What opportunities, resources, and programs exist in the in the for-profit, governmental, and non-profit spheres that could support neighbourhood efforts?
Diagnoses & Field-building: How is this neighbourhood similar to neighbourhoods elsewhere? What strategies have succeeded in these environments? What promising but unfamiliar approaches could be imported and adapted from other cities around the world? How can we engage a broad range of interests in this work locally?
Data Analysis: What do we need to know from the data to make progress? What are the skill levels of local job seekers, workers and entrepreneurs, and how are they changing? What are the current and future needs of local employers? What data can help evaluate the progress of local efforts?
We’re looking for someone creative, entrepreneurial, and whose professional goals and aspirations align with our mission to create economic opportunities and generate wealth for low-income neighbourhoods. This individual will have strong interpersonal skills and be a clear communicator, in person and in writing. Our ideal candidate has a background – academic and/or professional – that allows them to work well in business, policy, and community environments, and they enjoy building bridges between these spaces. While they probably have an interdisciplinary graduate degree in fields that relate directly to this work, such as business administration, another important aspect would be their comfort with working in a complex, dynamic environment. The ideal candidate possesses a set of networks and relationships that they could draw on that will contribute to the success of this initiative. They get energized, not discouraged, by tough challenges that require unconventional approaches. They are more committed to the impact of their work than the credit they receive. We expect this selection process will be competitive– only serious applicants, please.
Compensation Type: Salary
Contact by: Email
Job Contact Information
Heather Dunford, Grants Manager
174 Avenue Road
Toronto, Ontario M5R 2J1
Closing Date: November 25, 2011