Community Development Specialist

Upper MN Valley Regional Development Commission

Appleton, MN United States

Are you interested in work that makes a difference in rural Minnesota? Anxious to apply what you know in new ways? Interested in a career change that allows you to contribute to rural communities? If so, we want YOU to join our small, creative, professional team!

The Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) is looking for two (2) energetic community development specialists who would develop and manage diverse programs and projects with cities, counties and other organizations in the five-county UMVRDC region of Big Stone, Swift, Lac qui Parle, Chippewa and Yellow Medicine Counties.

Candidates that are passionate about their work, who are curious to find options and solutions for locally identified issues, and who relish in the idea of working on a diverse portfolio of work are ideal for this position. Employees who demonstrate strong initiative and character will have opportunities for growth!

Join an office culture that has great flexibility to achieve your ideal work/life balance. Join the office wellness committee to plan monthly office health challenges. Want to work from home part time? Use our office technology to stay connected. Desire to share what you learn or are working on? Help plan the next lunch and learn for employees. Join the fun committee to propose the next employee team building event.  Be a part of a team who is pioneering rural practices and tactics inside our office and in the communities, we work with.

Want to learn more about our agency? Check out our agency hiring video  and the UMVRDC website or review our most recent annual report. Want to know more about our area of the state? Check out our  Western Minnesota Prairie Waters websites. You can also check out our social media channels by searching for UMVRDCPrairie Waters, or Get Rural MN on Facebook.

  • Preferred education includes a degree in planning, urban studies, recreation planning, public administration, project management, geography, environmental studies, economics, political science or a related field.
  • Two to five years of related experience preferred.
  • American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Certification preferred.
  • Occasional night meetings and regular travel is required.
  • Valid Class D Driver’s License required.
  • Fluency in English language sufficient to communicate effectively with internal/external stakeholders and public both verbally and in writing
  • Knowledge and applications in the use of Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint).
  • Knowledge in the use of GIS technology for planning, research and analysis preferred.
  • This position requires the individual work 40+ hours per week.
  • All finalists considered will be subject to a criminal background check.

Salary $46-67,000 depending on experience.  $1,000 signing incentive!

GREAT BENEFIT PACKAGE! Benefits include employer paid health insurance and family coverage cost sharing, dental, significant health savings account employer contributions, pre-tax flexible spending account, matching contribution toward tax deferred retirement savings programs, life insurance, PERA, paid holidays, 529 plan savings incentive, generous paid vacation, sick, parental leave and more.

Work responsibilities:

  1. Establish and implement annual goals, strategies for the agency and community development program.
  2. Research, write, and implement grants.
  3. Create project proposals and contracts.
  4. Regularly report program progress to individual local units of government, regional development commission board, and other local committees as determined.
  5. Work with city, county, tribal, school district, township, state and federal agency staff in developing and implementing projects.
  6. Work on projects in both an individual and team environment.
  7. Coordinate and facilitate public meetings or leading public engagement processes.
  8. Utilize GIS technology for planning, research and analysis.
  9. Demonstrate strong oral and written communications skills, including those related to collaboration, influencing, relationship building and strategic integrative thinking
  10. Promote the utilization of services at the UMVRDC through various means of community outreach (web, email, mail, personal visits, newsletters, press releases).
  11. Utilize strong computer-based skills (MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Access, social media) to write and develop technical professional plans, reports, and documents.
  12. Researching, compiling and analyzing data.
  13. Develop and implement community surveys.
  14. Primary responsibilities will include project development and management in the following topic areas
  • Transportation Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Comprehensive Plans
  • Zoning
  • Hazard Mitigation Plan
  • Safe Routes to School Plans
  • Economic Development
  • Capital Improvement Plans
  • Broadband
  • Housing
  • Recreation development

The following additional resources are available for this position on our website at :

Agency Profile

Detailed job description

The UMVRDC utilizes a three-part candidate screening process:

  1. Candidates must submit a resume and cover letter showcasing three things their education and/or experience can contribute to this position. This information should be sent to:

UMVRDC Executive Director
323 West Schlieman Ave.,  Appleton MN 56208

2. Select candidates will be asked to complete a full application and provide responses to a list of areas of expertise related to this position.

3. Select candidates are interviewed.

This position will remain open until filled.   The UMVRDC is an equal opportunity employer.

Experience Level
Entry (0-1 year)
AICP Level
Transportation Planning
Salary Range

Contact Information

323 W Schlieman Ave