Job Specification

Position Title:
Economic and Business Advisor - Bilingual (English / French)
Job Code:
12124 - Industrial Development Officer 3
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To provide business and economic development expertise in such areas as agriculture, food and community economic development, business support, research and business intelligence, and other resources that foster economic growth and support community and economic development and the agri-food sectors in Ontario.

Duties / Responsibilities :

1. Facilitates the development of economic strategies, action plans and initiatives to enhance and promote business and community economic vitality, economic renewal, and job creation/retention by conducting economic analysis through consultation with agriculture, rural, Indigenous groups and other key stakeholders.
2. Identifies and advises stakeholders of sources of financial and non-financial assistance/incentives such as funding and other assistance programs.
3. Provides clarification and interpretation of policies and facilitates consultations with stakeholders to solicit input on proposed policies and programs. Gathers information and opinions and reports back to ministry policy specialists on the potential impact of proposed policy changes on stakeholders. Collaborates with the team to develop recommendations that minimize or alleviate impacts and maximize positive outcomes.
4. Develops and implements reporting tools and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that allow for measurement
and monitoring of branch initiatives, programs and services and link activities to business and community economic development outcomes using an evidence-based approach that drives program effectiveness. Analyzes and interprets results for the development of recommendations for program and service enhancements.
5. Conducts research, environmental scans, and trends analysis to identify and conceptualize key issues affecting the agri-food sectors and to support Ontario's economy through community economic development and business retention activities. Synthesizes a range of information and data into actionable insights to support the development of client action plan, sector action plans, new program offerings, policy development, technology transfer/innovation, and leadership decision making.
6. Collaborates to develop stakeholder tools, products, activities, and other information resources to support and strengthen the Ontario economy.
7. Contributes to the development of stakeholder engagement and consultation with a specific focus on productivity, capacity building, innovative methods, trends, logistics, regulations, and workforce/labour to maintain awareness of business issues and barriers facing stakeholders. Remains cognizant of acting as a representative of the government and ministry during engagement activities.
8. Identifies innovative communications and stakeholder engagement solutions and assists in coordinating information gathering and dissemination across branch teams to enhance activities.
9. Maintains strong networks within the ministry, across government, and with government agencies, agricultural and economic development organizations, Indigenous groups and industry to promote information sharing and develop proactive, coordinated approaches to the development of business and community economic development services and programs.
10. Prepares or drafts a range of material (e.g., transfer payment agreements, procurement documents, briefing materials, etc.).
11. Represents the ministry on internal and external committees to coordinate the implementation and delivery of agri-food, Indigenous or economic development initiatives and programs; at stakeholder meetings, forums, educational workshops, and seminars; as well as at trade shows, conferences, and other sector-specific venues.
12. Provides expertise across all functions and can be assigned to any unit within the branch.
13. Conducts themselves in accordance with the OPS Vison, Mission, and Values, including reconciliation and diversity, equity and inclusion.
14. Additional duties as assigned by management.

Staffing and Licencing :

Valid drivers' license for travel throughout the province.

Knowledge :

Job requires knowledge of the following:
' Government, ministry and branch strategic directions, policy, legislation, and programs, to ensure that ministry objectives and directions are considered in the development of program outreach and marketing recommendations, and to provide information, advice, and consultation to stakeholders.
' Economic development theories, principles, and methodologies as they relate to policies and program issues impacting sustainable business and community economic development as well as the environmental factors which impact sector competitiveness and business operations.
' Economic, cost-benefit and financial analysis methods and techniques to gain a clear picture of the existing economic climate as it relates to the branch's initiatives and the ability of the Ontario economy to thrive.
' Indigenous groups development and governance principles.
' Policy and program development/evaluation methodologies to undertake policy and program research studies,
and to assess the effectiveness of new/changed policies and programs, and to provide recommendations on policy/program proposals.
' Business management principles, including strategy, business plans, and financial analysis to support program delivery, strategic account management principles
' Branch stakeholders, Ontario economy and the agri-food sectors and related industries and its significance and social/environmental importance.
' Understanding of the agri-food trade and investment landscape in Ontario and beyond (including domestic and export markets).
' Provincial and federal funding programs and sector development programs that meet the needs of the ministry's stakeholders.
' Performance measurement methods and techniques, including the development and reporting of output and outcome-based performance measures, including establishing baselines, and setting targets.
' Quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and data/information analysis to conduct research and environmental scans, analyze and interpret data to identify options and develop recommendations that assist branch leadership with decision making and policy and program development.
' Communications and dissemination techniques including alternative ways to inform stakeholders via written, verbal, digital and visual media.
' Computer operations and associated standard office and work-specific software and tools to: conduct research, prepare reports, spreadsheets, presentations, briefing notes, and correspondence.

Skills :

Job requires the following:
' Relationship management, stakeholder engagement and facilitation skills and the ability to interact well and manage relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders for effective consultation activities.
' Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
' Analytical and problem-solving skills with the ability to organize and interpret data/information to identify and
evaluate issues and trends impacting the sector to generate insights; identify business and community economic development opportunities; anticipate challenges and opportunities; evaluate a range of factors such as funding and start-up implementation issues.
' Evaluative skills to assess business and community economic development opportunities, interpret economic, geographic, and marketing data/findings, and assess their implications and significance for the development of program strategies and initiatives.
' Organizational, planning and time management skills to monitor progress of own work against performance standards and to adapt approach within guidelines or take action to improve performance to meet required deliverables and to complete work assignments successfully within a prescribed time limit.
' Project management skills and principles to create and maintain project tracking documents, schedules, databases, and tools for projects.
' Political acuity to anticipate and recognize sensitive political situations ensuring that activities do not impact negatively on the ministry or the government.
' Teamwork skills to work cooperatively and collaboratively and within the dynamics of the branch; contribute to the sharing of information and results across the branch.
' Written and verbal communication skills to represent the ministry; provide advice and recommendations to stakeholders; communicate information clearly, verbally and in writing to a wide variety of audiences individually and in groups; to prepare analysis and recommendations, briefing and presentation material.

Freedom of Action :

The position works under the direction of the Manager Lead and within the parameters of established legislation, frameworks policies, plans, and guidelines, with some discretion to determine approaches to responsibilities.
The position requires judgement and freedom of action to: develop, recommend, and implement approved business, Indigenous and community economic development program strategies; identify valid sources of financial and non-financial assistance/incentives; provide interpretation of policies to stakeholders; develop reporting tools and KPIs to measure effectiveness of programs/initiatives; conduct research to identify key issues affecting the agri-food sectors; and support business retention activities.
This position is relied on to develop new approaches to address emerging issues and guide the planning and delivery of consultation and engagement initiatives associated with the program. The challenges faced require analysis, evaluation, judgment, and problem-solving skills. Significant interpretative, evaluative, and developmental thinking is required, along with the ability to collaborate and understand complex relationships and facilitate decision-making processes involving stakeholders and decision-makers. Professional judgment and discretion is required given the sometimes politically sensitive information and issues dealt with and the often conflicting perspectives, requirements, and priorities of stakeholders.
The outcomes of work can have potential for significant stakeholder and cross-ministry impact. The position will integrate multiple stakeholder objectives and perspectives at all stages of planning, developing, and implementing associated strategies and frameworks. Securing and maintaining the participation and support of stakeholders is crucial to identifying and implementing innovative solutions to address challenges and trends with respect to the program.
Work performance is reviewed by the Manager Lead during regular performance management discussions
regarding work issues. The position seeks guidance from the Manager Lead or Team Lead on unusual issues that have the potential to be contentious or politically sensitive.

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