Job Opportunities

Research and Communications Specialist

Code: 229-2019
Posted On: Thursday, 26th July 2018
Job Type: Full Time
Duration: State/Grant Funded
Travel: Periodic, primarily within the Southern Va Region

Job Description:

The Southern Virginia Regional Alliance (SVRA) is based at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), Danville, VA, and works with the city of Danville, and counties of Halifax, Patrick and Pittsylvania.  Promoting the region through collaborative marketing and public relations efforts, together they create a strong economy that benefits the citizens of the Southern Virginia Region.  

The Southern Virginia Regional Alliance (SVRA) Research and Communications Specialist conducts research, categorizes and mines data on the region’s assets, conducts due diligence on prospects, suppliers and competitors, and communicates and markets assets to support economic development in the Southern Virginia Region. This position will report to the SVRA Executive Director. 

Duties & Responsibilities (inclusive, but dependent upon project assignment):

  • Conducts research by collecting and analyzing data for the region 
    • Assists with conducting research on demographics, industry sectors, and locality and prospect profiles 
    • Researches and remains up-to-date on local, regional and industry issues
    • Collects and analyzes data for prospects: inclusive of demographics, industry sectors, preferences, needs, customers and suppliers in order to identify potential location choices and factors affecting choices
    • Develops methods and procedures for collecting data, such as surveys, opinion polls, & questionnaires, and/or arranges to obtain existing data 
  • Maintains a database of information for review and analysis
    • Maintains a business registry of companies in the region, their suppliers and competitors – aiding the region in economic gardening 
    • Seeks and provides information to assist SVRA in assisting companies in determining their ideal location in the region
  • Assists with marketing initiatives for the region, and aides in communicating information through various avenues, including social media
    • Promotes SVRA assets, as well as those within a designated radius of the region, to existing and prospective industries within the SVRA footprint
    • Prepares reports of research findings, illustrating data graphically, and translating complex findings into a concise written format
    • Develops economic profiles of the region and the localities, inclusive of demographics and econometric information 
    • Assists with marketing the region through utilization of social media, including the SVRA website, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
    • Assists with newsletter preparation and other publications
  • Gathers and benchmarks other regional and local economic development materials, industry data on competitors and suppliers, and analyzes their assets, products, location and distribution channel.
    • Studies and identifies sectoral opportunities for economic development
    • Monitors industry statistics and follows trends in trade literature
    • Forecasts and tracks marketing and sales trends, analyzing collected data
  • Assists with meetings and events
    • Attends networking events and staff conferences; provides management with information/proposals concerning the promotion, distribution, and design of regional assets inclusive of workforce, industry, quality of life, and site/building information inclusive of infrastructure 
    • Assists with planning, marketing and implementing meetings and events
  • Evaluates methodologies
    • Measures and assesses customer and employee satisfaction.
    • Measures the effectiveness of marketing, advertising, and communications programs and strategies.
  • Ensures that confidential information is protected and works with partner organizations to support their protocols for handling confidential information
  • Completes other projects as assigned

Preferred Skills:

  • Minimum of one year of experience in economic development, local planning, public relations/marketing or a related field preferred.  
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Statistics, Finance, Accounting, Business Administration, or related field preferred.  
  • Demonstrated ability to use expert analytical thinking and make use of logical procedures to solve work related issues and problems required
  • Effective time management skills and ability to triage work load and remain flexible to meet demanding priorities.  
  • Ability to communicate on diverse levels and maintain confidentiality are essential to the performance of assigned duties.  
  • Technology Skills/Software applications include:  analytical or scientific software; business intelligence and data analysis software; data base user interface and query software; enterprise resource planning ERP software; working knowledge of Microsoft Office, inclusive of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, as well as Joomla, WordPress or similar website development and maintenance tools
  • Experience in utilizing social media to include FaceBook, Twitter, Website, YouTube, LinkedIn, Constant Contact and others
  • Experience with collecting and disseminating data into briefing format

Essential Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to travel periodically from location to location; primarily within Southern Virginia Region 
  • Must be able to speak well in public settings; to effectively converse verbally and in writing 
  • Ability to process vague, abstract verbal and written instructions
  • Ability to work under stress, interruptions and tight deadlines
  • Must be able to operate and manipulate a keyboard
  • Light physical work may be required

Hours:  IALR hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  Work hours outside of normal IALR operating hours may be required and is based on business need. 

Resume, cover letter, and IALR application are required for consideration.  Interested applicants may submit their information by email or mail to the contact information listed below.  The position will remain open until filled and the review of candidates will begin immediately.  

Institute for Advanced Learning & Research
Human Resources
150 Slayton Avenue
Danville, VA  24540

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

IALR is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of age, color, sex, disability, national origin, race, religion, or veteran status.

Any person having difficulty reading the information necessary to apply for IALR's posted position(s) should contact IALR's Human Resources Department at 434-766-6700, ext. 6747.

The Institute for Advanced Learning & Research is a drug free workplace.

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