TDI Fellow, Chicopee

MassDevelopment is accepting applications for a Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) Fellow in Chicopee. The Agency is looking for an enthusiastic, entrepreneurial, and accomplished mid-career professional who is passionate about the economic, real estate, and community development opportunities in the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts. MassDevelopment will be extending its commitment to additional cities this year, and is looking for a Fellow to serve for two years to advance TDI in Chicopee’s West End district on behalf of a local collaborative public-private partnership.

Interested candidates who meet the qualifications listed below should submit their applications to

MassDevelopment will begin interviewing for the position on June 26 2019.

MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) is a program for Gateway Cities designed to accelerate growth in focused districts. The program works with cross-sector partnerships to engage citizens in actionable planning, implement local economic development initiatives, and spur public and private investment. MassDevelopment invests through a toolbox approach that includes technical assistance, real estate investments, small grant programs, and fellows who work directly in the individual districts. TDI also serves as an urban innovation lab, as lessons learned within the program help shape economic development resources and assistance offered statewide.

TDI Fellows are the lead community organizers for economic development in TDI Districts. The Fellows’ key activities focus on redevelopment of a specific district by connecting various activities and investments in the district, identifying new redevelopment and business opportunities, undertaking technical assistance, recruiting new uses, structuring new partnerships, and reinforcing foundational relationships to support long-term strategic goals.

The Fellows work as full-time employees of MassDevelopment on behalf of TDI partnerships. TDI partnerships vary by city, but they all include a mix of local public, private and nonprofit entities whose physical presence or mission and work impact the district. The TDI partnerships are responsible for collaboratively developing and continually updating the TDI District workplans that articulate the goals and objectives that all members of the Partnership, including MassDevelopment, work to advance.

The Fellows report to and receive direct day-to-day supervision from the Director of Transformative Development. The Fellows work collaboratively with local stakeholders and partner agencies, and with MassDevelopment regional staff. The Fellows serve as a conduit between local activities and MassDevelopment and the Commonwealth.

Chicopee TDI District

The TDI Fellow will have a two-year commitment to Chicopee’s West End Live/Work/Play District. This district has been working with MassDevelopment for the last year to build and strengthen its TDI Partnership and identify priority workplan items, and will be starting as a full TDI District in summer 2019. The District represents a five-minute walkshed in the urban core of Chicopee Center, including its City Hall, the former library, and the vacant Rivoli Theater, and is home to transit connections, high-profile events, anchor institutions, and latent assets. The TDI Partnership envisions the district becoming a vibrant community that provides a high quality of life for its residents and visitors by supporting local entrepreneurship, hosting cultural events and recreational opportunities, and establishing an array of housing, dining, and shopping options within walking distance. The priority short-term outcome in the district is the activation of vacant storefronts and increased activity on major district commercial corridors. The priority long-term outcome the TDI Partnership seeks is the retention and recruitment of local high-skilled workers and homegrown entrepreneurs resulting in a thriving local economy and vibrant district.

Timeline and Fellows Selection Process:

MassDevelopment will begin interviewing for the position on June 26 2019.

MassDevelopment will select finalists for the TDI Fellow position after initial interviews. Finalists will interview with Chicopee TDI Partnership members, who will have the final decision in selecting their fellow. The TDI Fellow program will begin shortly after the selection process concludes.

This position is best suited for candidates that have broad expertise in urban development, including familiarity or experience in multiple spheres of redevelopment (public, private, and nonprofit). Successful candidates will be outgoing and have a collaborative community-building approach, as well as a passion for small cities and their opportunity for economic growth.

Fellows’ Responsibilities:

  • Work in collaboration with local public-private collaborative partnerships, MassDevelopment staff, and related regional/state/federal stakeholders to develop, champion, and facilitate a strategic work plan for the Chicopee TDI District.
  • Engage local influencers, community organizations, residents, property owners, entrepreneurs, and private businesses in district activities.
  • Identify and incubate new partners to build upon the core district partnership.
  • Working with TDI Partners and MassDevelopment staff, identify and scope TDI Technical Assistance projects and manage these projects or coordinate with project managers.  
  • In collaboration with partnerships, identify and advance economic development projects or opportunities that MassDevelopment and partner agencies can support with programs or resources, including but not limited to: TDI Equity investments, TDI Cowork, and TDI Local. 
  • Help secure new resources for redevelopment activities and projects that have been identified within the workplan and do not fit the specific TDI tools.
  • Serve as an ombudsperson to facilitate district project progress.
  • Support information dissemination and communication to public and private stakeholders to enable better visibility of district/city opportunities.
  • Work collaboratively with the MassDevelopment regional teams and real estate project managers who are working in the district.

Special Features of Fellows’ Program:

  • Be part of a unique cohort of redevelopment professionals within a network of dynamic, diverse, and engaged cities.
  • Participate in and shape a new and progressive program of statewide redevelopment policy.
  • Serve as steward for the redevelopment of a focused TDI District, working on behalf of a public-private partnership at the municipal level.
  • Engage in regular cohort-building activities, including orientation, mid-year conference, monthly cohort check-in, and partnership with external fellowship programs for urban development.
  • Take part in ongoing professional development opportunities.
  • Enjoy an accelerated professional development experience that broadens skill sets and provides opportunity to hone practice in a dynamic setting.

Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

Minimum Selection Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree 
  • 5-7 years of professional experience in urban planning, architecture, real estate, community development and/or organizing, or economic development in the public or private sector
  • Entrepreneurial, self-directed, and able to thrive in ambiguous, fast-paced, and stimulating urban environments
  • Creative problem-solver, resourceful, able to connect the dots and juggle multiple projects
  • Demonstrated passion for tackling urban economic development issues
  • Demonstrated familiarity with public-sector environments
  • Demonstrated experience with setting and managing a budget
  • Excellent communicator who possesses strong verbal, written, and presentation skills
  • Flexible and adjustable to changing conditions, expectations, and contexts
  • Passion for smaller cities and unique opportunities in urban development

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A mix of public and private sector experience in urban development
  • A master’s degree in public policy, economics, business, architecture, urban planning, real estate, sustainability, or a JD
  • Demonstrated experience in shaping and building support for a new program
  • Demonstrated familiarity with real estate development finance 
  • Specialized skills in any of the following: placemaking, retail recruiting, main streets, place-based (or other asset) marketing, innovative community engagement, technology development (and/or visualization), and graphic or architectural design
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing benchmarks and metrics for reporting progress on innovative projects
  • Recognition that this type of role may require unique hours and multi-stakeholder engagement, and a demonstration that the candidate can meet these conditions
  • Some relationship to the Gateway Cities, or passion/interest in similar-sized cities or urban neighborhoods of larger cities
  • Bilingual English/Spanish proficiency

Application Requirements:

  • Cover Letter: Introduction to primary interest in TDI Fellows’ program and what expertise and insight the candidate will provide to support strategic urban development work. Additionally, the prospective TDI Fellow should identify their knowledge and experience in any of the Gateway Cities.
  • Résumé 
  • 1-page TDI Fellows Narrative Statement (maximum 300 words). Choose ONE: 
    • Describe a situation experienced in a professional environment where the candidate faced a challenge, identified key issues, found a solution (process and technical response), and what they learned from the experience, OR
    • Identify a particular place-based urban economic development challenge the candidate has encountered, and how s/he might propose to address and measure the progress/outcome  
  • Attachments: a short writing sample and one sample public presentation

Applications should be directed to

Equal Opportunity Employer - MassDevelopment is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.