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RW Ventures
Chicago, IL
United States
Professional Areas: 
Budgeting and Operations
Community Development
Community Engagement
Economic Development
Infrastructure Planning
Public Policy
Real Estate Development
Regional Planning
Urban Design
Experience Level: 
Entry Level

Position Overview:

We seek an innovative and motivated Associate with strong critical thinking and organizational skills to play an integral role in every aspect of the firm’s work, from research to product and strategy development to project management. The position provides the opportunity to learn and grow quickly, working with leading national experts on projects at the forefront of the economic development field. The firm’s project pipeline encompasses a wide variety of work, including staffing the SDA’s leading initiatives, spanning business support services, workforce development, industrial and commercial real estate development, and housing; conducting a market analysis of the Chicago region’s “blue economy,” leading to strategies to grow water-related industries, jobs, and investments; co-creating with key partners an initiative at the intersection of economic growth and climate change; and designing and launching a multi-partner initiative to increase the number, size and productivity of manufacturing firms owned by people of color.     


Working closely with the rest of the team, the Associate will:

  • Conduct research, literature reviews and market analysis of business, workforce, housing and other economic activity in neighborhoods and regions, utilizing quantitative and qualitative methodologies
  • Draft memos, papers, reports, proposals and presentations describing economic frameworks, analysis and research results; suggesting possible strategies; and analyzing varied economic opportunities
  • Co-invent new frameworks, products, initiatives and organizational models to address specific challenges and opportunities in inclusive economic development (e.g., manufacturing innovation, urban industrial land re-use, innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems), often tailored to specific industries and geographies
  • Organize, lead and participate in project and team meetings
  • Perform miscellaneous office management and administrative duties



  • Bachelor’s degree in economic development, economics, urban planning/policy or a related field
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to think critically and generate new ideas
  • Analytical skills to compare and draw conclusions from complex data and material
  • Organizational and time management skills to balance multiple projects concurrently
  • Capacity to rapidly acquire new knowledge and skills
  • Ability to work as member of a team in a low-structure environment
  • Strong computer skills, including intermediate-level skills in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint


  • Prior work experience or expertise in economic development or a related field
  • Advanced degree related to economic development and analysis, urban policy or a related field
  • Project management experience
  • Familiarity with statistical software such as Stata, R or SPSS
  • Familiarity with GIS software such as ArcGIS or QGIS
Published on:
April 28, 2021 - 11:07am
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