Program Officer – Economic Development

Company: Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Location: Chicago, IL

Job Function: Community Outreach


What We Do

With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families.


Strategies We Pursue

  • Equip talent in underinvested communities with the skills and credentials to compete successfully for quality income and wealth opportunities.
  • Invest in businesses, housing and other community infrastructure to catalyze economic, health, safety and educational mobility for individuals and communities.
  • Strengthen existing alliances while building new collaborations to increase our impact on the progress of people and places.
  • Develop leadership and the capacity of partners to advance our work together
  • Drive local, regional, and national policy and system changes that foster broadly shared prosperity and well-being.

Over the last 40 years, LISC and its affiliates have invested approximately $24 billion in businesses, affordable housing, health, educational mobility, community and recreational facilities, public safety, employment and other projects that help to revitalize and stabilize underinvested communities. Headquartered in New York City, LISC’s reach spans the country from East coast to West coast in 38 markets with offices extending from Buffalo to San Francisco and in 2,400 rural counties across 49 states and Puerto Rico. Visit us at


LISC Chicago is seeking a full time Program Officer to guide, execute and support our small business ecosystem and economic development efforts. The Program Officer will work closely with the supervising Program Officer and other staff to support the Business Development Organization network and the local and national initiatives that drive LISC’s equitable economic development strategy. The successful candidate must be proactive, well-organized, possess strong computer software skills, able to handle multiple tasks and complete work within given deadlines, have excellent oral and written communication skills, and be able to build trusting relationships with others.


Key Responsibilities

The Program Officer (PO) will work as part of the LISC Chicago team to advance programs and operations and the LISC Chicago Bold Goals, and will have responsibility to:

  • Support on building the programmatic capacity, sustainability and expertise of local Business Development Organizations and other partners in the small business ecosystem by identifying nationwide best practices, information sources, training opportunities and other resources, and sharing with BDO network and small business ecosystem partners.
  • Lead LISC Chicago’s work on supplier diversity, partnering with public agencies, training providers, and more to expand the pool of qualified minority suppliers for public contracts. Build new partnerships and relationships to expand and strengthen this work.
  • Lead LISC Chicago’s corporate partnerships, including grant programs through LISC National and local initiatives that benefit small businesses.
  • Coordinate with LISC local and national staff to meet small business goals and develop strategies for
  • Maintain mutually trusting relationships with small business service providers, financial institutions, funders, local government officials, consultants, contractors, community leaders, residents and other stakeholders to implement projects and programs.
  • As needed to support small business ecosystem improvement work, hire and manage consultants and their budgets; report to funders and other external and internal partners.
  • Process and monitor grants to BDOs and other non-profit organizations involved in the small business ecosystem.
  • Support fundraising for LISC Chicago’s economic development priorities.
  • Work with local communications team to strategically communicate program successes and raise the profile of LISC’s work with our partners.



  • The successful applicant will be a self-starter with strengths in some or all of the following areas: written and verbal communication, facilitation, training, project management, research, and budgeting.
  • Candidates should have an interest or a background in economic development with a focus on supporting small businesses.
  • Entrepreneurial or small business ownership (lived experience) is a substantial plus.
  • A strong commitment to furthering social and economic equity is required; experience in a non-profit environment is helpful.
  • Some travel to attend remote training opportunities will be necessary (1-2 times per month).
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required.
  • Minimum 5 years relevant experience in community development, community organizing, program management or a related field.
  • Working knowledge of the economic, political and social environments of the Chicago area preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple, complex matters and programs at various stages and to coordinate with multiple internal and external parties to meet deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal, writing and oral presentation skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite.

The position will be based in Chicago, Illinois. LISC offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package.


Compensation and Benefits

LISC offers a competitive salary and excellent fringe benefits.

LISC is an equal opportunity employer. LISC does not discriminate in employment on account of actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex or gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), gender identity or expression (including transgender status), sexual orientation, marital status, military status or veteran status, unfavorable discharge from military service, physical or mental disability, protected medical condition as defined by applicable state or local law, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws and ordinances.

We will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business.


How to Apply

To apply please submit your application using this link