The deadline to apply to be Pinal County’s first economic development coordinator, who will work within the economic and workforce development departments, is Sept. 2. The pay range is $53,619-$83,109 annually.
“This person will be working with both ... workforce and economic development. They will be focusing on small-businesses,” Tim Kanavel, Pinal County’s economic development program manager, said at a recent Pinal County Board of Supervisors meeting.
“As we have learned from our business-sustainability program, a lot of our small businesses are in trouble. You know, all of the excitement is usually generated around the big companies we get — the 1,000 employees, the 2,000 employees and rightfully so, we understand that. But everybody forgets about the small businesses in this county that have been here — some of them for decades — and they support us every day,” he said.
Minimum requirements for the job are, according to governmentjobs.com/careers/pinalcounty:
It’s a unique position that will involve a lot of traveling in Pinal County, Mr. Kanavel said.
The new hire will coordinate all of Pinal County’s programs between the economic- and workforce-development departments, he said.
“What we’ve been able to gather from all of the different COVID and all of the CARES Act money, there’s just a tremendous amount of new programs available — things that have been created — that are available, but a lot of these companies don’t know it,” Mr. Kanavel said.
“So this person’s job will be start visiting all these different companies — and it’s going to take a while to do it — but it’s just something, a program that we’ll get into, and eventually and certainly enhance,” he said. “We’ll start out right now, probably, with the folks within the unincorporated part of the county — that’s a little small group of folks — but anyway that person will be going and visiting these people and trying to assess their needs; a lot of this will be assessment of needs.... ‘What do you need help with? Do you need with financial help? Do you need help with workforce?’ (and) those kinds of things.”
There are 3,283 businesses in Pinal County, with most considered small businesses, he said.
“The only ones considered big business actually are anybody who has 1,500 employees or bigger. Anything below that, according to the Small Business Administration, is small business. We only have about three businesses that fit that larger size,” Mr. Kanavel said. “However, we’re also looking at the even smaller ones, those ones that were able to apply for the COVID funds and things like that.”
The Pinal County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 26 voted to create the job — full-time, merit protected and exempt — with the funding approved in the 2020-21 budget.
Vice Chair Pete Rios, District 1, asked how it could be merit protected and exempt.
“Well, to me, merit protected means you’re protected under personnel rules. If you’re exempt, you’re exempt from merit-protection. What am I missing?” he asked.
“Exempt to me is that this is a salary position, not hourly,” Mr. Kanavel said.
Supervisor Stephen Miller, District 3, said the new hire should help with retention of small businesses.
“There’s companies who have been here for a number of years. We need to call on them, we need to talk to them. They might want to expand and then maybe we can assist them in seeing their companies grow,” he said. “And I think retention is one of those things in economic development that gets overlooked. So I see this as an important step going forward.”