Economic Development & Planning Director

Top of Alabama Regional Council of Government (TARCOG)
May 22, 2023
Huntsville, Alabama
Job Type


The Top of Alabama Regional Council of Government (TARCOG) is looking for an energetic, tenacious, directed, and organized Economic & Development Planning Director to lead and manage government and grant funded projects in our five-county service area (DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison, Marshall).

The Economic Development & Planning Director leads a team of six professionals (Principal and Associate Planners (2), Community and Economic Development Specialist, Grant Administrator) is responsible for promoting and nurturing economic development and planning and help foster the strategic and economically supportable alliances and partnerships, providing technical assistance and consultation among government members in TARCOG's five county (Dekalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison, Marshall) service area. Specific objectives include, but are not limited to:


  • Reviews, writes, and manages grants, contracts, and related regulations awarded to TARCOG for economic development and planning to plan/schedule work assignments and to become familiar with regulations so that tasks are accomplished, and programs are administered in accordance with applicable guidelines. Maintains records/files of grants and contracts and related activities to document such activities for monitoring by awarding agencies and to prepare timely reports as required by awarding agencies.
  • Reviews and approves all technical written material and reports produced by ED&P staff to assure timeliness, accuracy, and quality of acceptable standards prior to publication. Updates Executive Director on program status, balance of work to be performed, and plans for accomplishing work.
  • Performs monthly budget and project reviews to ensure status/updates and to prepare and submit necessary reports in a timely fashion.  Coordinates information with the Finance Director concerning expenditures, status of accounts, and status of invoices for ED&P contracts to establish and maintain budget expenditures and to ensure that invoices are being paid by appropriate agencies.
  • Supervises ED&P staff using meetings, memoranda, reports, conversations, etc. to assign and coordinate tasks and GIS functions, review work, solve problems and conflicts, determine training needs, counsel employees on performance, set goals, etc.


  • A Master’s Degree in Planning, Urban Studies, Public Administration, Economics, Business Administration, or a related field, with at least four years of related work experience, OR a Bachelor’s Degree and at least two years post graduate work in one of the above areas with at least five years of experience in the field of planning and/or economic/community development.
  • Three (3) years of supervisory or management experience preferred.
  • Exceptional writing skills, with both grant writing and grant administration experience.
  • Exceptional oral communication skills for preparing and presenting plans, grant reports, and other related projects to elected officials and local, state, and national partners/partner organizations.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills for facilitating relationships with local government officials and other regional stakeholders.
  • Capacity to work on several projects or issues simultaneously while maintaining a high level of attention to detail and time management.
  • Ability to conduct or facilitate surveys or public hearings throughout the five-county region to acquire program input and determine priorities.
  • Presents periodic reports to the TARCOG Board of Directors, member governments, community leaders and other organizational partners to provide summaries of programs, introduce new programs, and respond to requests for information.
  • Ability to attend workday and evening meetings throughout the five-county region.
  • Ability to work independently or in a team environment as needed.
  • Driver's license and good driving record required.
  • Three (3) years of supervisory or management experience.

Please visit for more details about TARCOG.

This is a full-time, in-person position located at TARCOG offices in Huntsville, AL. This position is not eligible for full-time remote work.

Salary (based upon qualifications and experience): $72,000 - $100,000; Full benefits package.

To apply, submit a résumé and brief cover letter to TARCOG’s HR Manager at [email protected] by Friday, June 2nd, 2023.

TARCOG is an equal opportunity employer (EOE).

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2023 Impact Awards

The primary applicant must be a NADO member. Project partners, both NADO and non-members, can be recognized under "Project Partners" below.

Primary Project Contact:
This person will be the designated point of contact for all future awards-related correspondence and will receive the printed award certificates and other hardcopy materials should the project win an award.

Organization Address

Project Location (if different from Organization Address)

Executive Director

Additional Organizational Information
Please upload your organization's logo which will be included on the winning project award certificate.

Project Information
This title will be printed on the award certificate for winning projects and in all 2022 NADO Impact Award materials and cannot be changed.

Project Summary & Questions
Please craft clear, thoughtful, and engaging responses to the following questions. Use the following sections to tell us how your project has made an impact, such as its use of creative funding mechanisms, efforts to create efficiencies or reduce costs, unique partnership models, and emphasis on building resilience and/or enhancing your region's quality of life.

For award-winning projects, the information provided below may be used verbatim to inform project descriptions that will be published in the 2023 NADO Impact Awards materials and included on the NADO website.

Please submit at least one photo showing your project in action. Please keep file size to a minimum (<2Mb) and use JPEG format. If uploading multiple files, ZIP files prior to submitting. If you have trouble uploading images they can be directly emailed to Brett Schwartz at [email protected] Include the project title they correspond to in the subject line of your email.

Note: Submitted photos may be used in NADO Impact Awards materials and in other NADO published materials with credit to your organization. Please also consider submitting photos for NADO's 2023 Photo Contest, which will be held this summer.

Your application is not submitted until you are directed to a confirmation page. If you have any questions or are unsure if your application has been submitted, please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected]

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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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