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Economic Data Specialist

Rural Innovation

2 months ago

Job type: Full-time

Remote (USA Only)

Hiring from: USA Only

Category: Data

Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc (RISI) is a social enterprise working to advance inclusive economic opportunity and investment in small towns across the country. We are seeking an entrepreneurial economist or data scientist who is passionate about rural America and wants to use their talents to build tech economies in rural communities.

Our committed and collaborative team uses data-driven strategies to build capacity for a nationwide network of local change agents committed to creating sustainable digital economy ecosystems in their communities. These ecosystems center around innovation hubs that offer digital-job skills training for the “future of work,” coworking spaces, remote/distributed work opportunities, support for entrepreneurs scaling tech-enabled startups, access to capital through the CORI Innovation Fund, and strategies to build local amenities and cultural resources.

As part of our community technical assistance team, the Economic Data Specialist will be responsible for integrating economic and demographic analysis into our work. This will include conducting analysis, developing presentations and reports, and engaging community leaders in discussions that draw upon data and analysis to inform strategic decision making. This position will also contribute to envisioning new data products, tools and services to support our work, along with contributing to our thought leadership efforts which aim to broaden the conversation about what’s possible in rural America.

While the candidate will be asked to regularly spend time at the Hartland, VT headquarters once normal business travel resumes, this is a remote position and will be part of a distributed team.

Key responsibilities:

  1. Integrate economic data analysis and data tools into our work with communities to develop tech based economic development strategies informed by data insights.
  2. Develop new data products to generate value for both CORI and RISI—both in terms of helping to achieve our mission and by generating new revenue.
  3. Contribute new analysis and insights on topics including understanding rural digital economies, increasing access to capital for rural entrepreneurs, driving equitable economic development that is inclusive of marginalized communities, and understanding the migration patterns of remote workers.
  4. Collaborate with our Mapping and Data Analytics team to identify, process, and analyze new data sets, and contribute to the development of data management processes and systems.
  5. Ongoing analysis and review of our approach to using data in our work with communities. This includes collecting and distilling feedback from participants, identifying core learnings for national audiences, and analyzing the usage of our tools and services.
  6. Support RISI’s efforts to build a thriving network of rural innovation hubs to increase local capacity, enable collaboration among innovation hubs, and facilitate investment in rural communities and entrepreneurs.

You’ll enjoy working at CORI/RISI if:

  • You like strategizing in a converted general store building conference room, over an outdoor beverage, or while grabbing lunch at the new downtown cafe
  • You value an entrepreneurial culture that encourages teammates to think boldly, take risks, and learn from experience
  • You appreciate an independent work environment that supports diverse work styles and preferences
  • You want to be part of a collaborative and interested team that finds opportunities to engage each other and have fun (whether in the office or dialing in)
  • You like the idea of an open and transparent organization that embraces honest conversations and new ideas


Strong candidates should have most of the following knowledge, skills, and experience:

  • Expertise working with regional economic and demographic data, ideally in a rural context
  • A commitment to and understanding of how equitable economic analysis can be a tool for advancing prosperity in historically marginalized communities
  • High degree of comfort with data cleaning, wrangling, and analysis in R; similar experience with Python or SQL nice-to-have
  • A strong foundation in data visualization techniques, particularly mapping
  • Demonstrated success in using data insights to inform strategy and decision making
  • Experience working in economic development, urban/regional planning, public policy, and/or research
  • Product and/or project management experience in blended teams (e.g., business side and technologists/data scientists)
  • Graduate degree from an accredited college or university with a focus on economics, geography, demography, urban planning, sociology, or public policy. A four-year degree with extensive professional experience will be considered in lieu of a graduate degree.
  • Ability to plan, scope, and execute analytics projects with little oversight

Note that the CORI team is currently working remotely due to COVID-19, but this position will be based in the Hartland, Vermont, office after onsite work is safe to resume.


  • Personal and professional development opportunities
  • Health Insurance
  • Employer matched 401k
  • We offer competitive compensation. The salary for this position is $70,000-$85,000 depending on experience.

CORI/RISI is an Equal Opportunity Employer—people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. We are committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities. We are interested in your ambitions, personal experiences, great ideas, and passions, and believe that everyone’s unique story and perspective adds value to our organization.

Before you apply, please check if any restrictions apply in terms of time zone or country.

This job has a geo-restriction in place: USA Only.

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