The city of Fayetteville is close to adding a business recruitment specialist to focus on attracting and retaining business investment.
Devin Howland, director of the city’s Department of Economic Vitality, said the position was “conceptualized” about a year ago and approved by the City Council. The position is advertised on the city’s website with a salary range of $61,400 to $75,000.
(Full disclosure, Howland is married to Alex Howland, who is the events director for Arkansas Business Publishing Group.)
Howland said the city received approximately 25 applications and has conducted phone interviews with the top six candidates. In-person interviews with city officials should begin this week.
“We’re ready for this guy to come in and hit the ground running,” said Howland, who said economic development season begins in the spring. “We’re really close.”
Howland said having a specialist on staff would complement the partnership work done with the city’s Chamber of Commerce and Startup Junkie to promote economic development. Howland said recruitment specialist positions are common in other economic development organizations in the country.
The position is not about getting fast-food restaurants open but attracting businesses that will add significantly to the quality of life and tax revenue of Fayetteville.
“Retail is important for multiple reasons,” Howland said. “We brought retail recruitment to the forefront because it’s incredibly important. It needed its own position.”