OBPA starts search for economic developer

Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority Commerce Park. Watertown Daily Times file photo

OGDENSBURG — The personnel committee of the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority will begin a search this month for a director of economic development.

The position was previously held by Deputy Mayor John A. Rishe, who retired from the OBPA earlier this year.

With the reopening of the Canadian border looming, the authority board of directors wants to be in position to start recruiting business, OBPA Executive Director Steven J. Lawrence said.

“We’re looking for someone who has an understanding of Northern New York and Southern Canada,” Mr. Lawrence said.

The board approved a job description at its June meeting.

“This position is responsible for building the Authority’s economic base, recruiting new business and re-imagining existing commercial space,” the description reads.

The duties of the economic developer include, among other things: working retention, expansion and attraction of commerce and light industry; developing infrastructure; developing short- and long-term economic development plans; establishing and maintaining relationships with various state and federal agencies as well as Canadian provincial and federal agencies; staying abreast of U.S. and Canadian trade laws and customs regulations; providing general marketing of all Authority entities; and representing the authority at civic, cultural, charitable, business and community activities.

Minimum qualifications include a bachelor’s degree, project management experience, five years of experience in planning, economic development, experience working with governments and international and Canadian trade knowledge.

The minimum salary for the full-time job is $65,000 per year.

The full board has to approve advertising and personnel committee search strategy at its August meeting before the search begins, Mr. Lawrence said.

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