Program Manager Job Description

1. Work Objectives

The Program Manager coordinates activity within a downtown revitalization program which utilizes historic preservation as an integral foundation for downtown economic development.

He/She is responsible for the development, conduct, execution and documentation of The Downtown Project. The Program Manager is the principal on-site staff person responsible for coordinating all project activities locally as well as for representing the community regionally and nationally as appropriate.

2. Full Range of Duties to be Performed

a. Coordinate activity of The Downtown Project committees, ensuring that communication between committees is well established; assist committees
with implementation of work plan items.

b. Manage all administrative aspects of The Downtown Project, including purchasing, record keeping, budget development and accounting, preparing all reports required by the state The Downtown Project, assisting with the preparation of reports to funding agencies and supervising part-time employees or consultants.

c. Develop, in conjunction with The Downtown Project's Board of Directors, strategies for downtown economic development through historic preservation utilizing the community's human and economic resources. Become familiar with all persons and groups directly or indirectly involved in the downtown commercial district. Mindful of the roles of various downtown interest groups, assist The Downtown Project's Board of Directors and committees in developing an annual action plan for implementing a downtown revitalization program focused on four areas: design/historic preservation, promotion, organization/management and economic restructuring/development.

d. Develop and conduct ongoing public awareness and education programs designed to enhance appreciation of the downtown's architecture and other assets and to foster an understanding of The Downtown Project's goals and objectives. Through speaking engagements, media interviews and appearance, keep the Program highly visible in the community.

e. Assist individual tenants or property owners with physical improvement projects through personal consultation or by obtaining and supervising professional design consultants; assist in locating appropriate contractors and materials; when possible, participate in construction supervision; provide advice and guidance on necessary financial mechanisms for physical improvements.

f. Assess the management capacity of major downtown organizations and encourage improvements in the downtown community's ability to undertake joint activities such as promotional events, advertising, uniform store hours, special events, business recruitment, parking management and so on. Provide advice and information on successful downtown management. Encourage a cooperative climate between downtown interests and local public officials.

g. Advise downtown merchants' organization and/or Chamber of Commerce retail committees on The Downtown Project activities and goals and assist in the coordination of joint promotional events, such as seasonal festivals or cooperative retail promotional events, in order to improve the quality and success of events to attract people downtown; work closely with local media to ensure maximum event coverage; encourage design excellence in all aspects of promotion in order to advance an image of quality for the downtown.

h. Help build strong and productive working relationships with appropriate public agencies at the local and state levels.

i. Utilizing The Downtown Project format, develop and maintain data systems to track the process and progress of the local Downtown Project. These systems should include economic monitoring, individual building files, thorough photographic documentation of all physical changes and information on job creation and business retention.

j. Represent the community at the local, state and national levels to important constituencies. Speak effectively on the program's directions and findings, always mindful of the need to improve state and national economic development policies as they relate to smaller communities.

3. Resource Management Responsibilities

The Program Manager supervises any necessary temporary or permanent employees, as well as professional consultants. He/she participates in personnel and project evaluations. The Program Manager maintains local Downtown Project records and reports, establishes technical resource files and libraries and prepares regular reports. The Program Manager monitors the annual project budget and maintains local financial records.

4. Job Knowledge and Skills Required

The Program Manager should have education and/or experience in one or more of the following areas: architecture, historic preservation, economics, finance, public relations, design, journalism, planning, business administration, public administration, retailing, volunteer or nonprofit administration and/or small business development. The Program Manager must be sensitive to design and preservation issues. The Manager must understand the issues confronting downtown business people, property owners, public agencies and community organizations. The Manger must be entrepreneurial, energetic, imaginative, well organized and capable of functioning effectively in every independent situation. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential. Supervisory skills are desirable.