Digital Equity Manager - Washington State Broadband Office

Posted By: Karen Anderson Job Postings,

First review of applications begins 10/10/2022.  Click to APPLY ONLINE  

At the Department of Commerce (Commerce), we are creative, collaborative, and trusted. We identify opportunities to deliver critical funding and services to strengthen communities, we cultivate an environment in which we continuously learn, and we own our work. Commerce works with local governments, businesses, community-based organizations and Tribes to strengthen communities. Commerce’s diverse portfolio of more than 150 programs and effective public and private partnerships promote sustainable community and economic development to help all Washingtonians thrive.

This exciting and important Digital Equity Manager role will develop and advance efforts to close the digital divide in Washington state so that all individuals have access to affordable, quality broadband and the tools and skills needed to survive and thrive in digital environments. This position is directly responsible for coordinating with local governments, tribes, public and private entities, nonprofit organizations, and consumer-owned and investor-owned utilities to develop strategies and plans promoting deployment of broadband infrastructure and greater broadband access.

The Digital Equity Manager reports directly to the Deputy Director, State Broadband Office within the Local Government Division (LGD). This office works in collaboration with other local, state, and federal agencies to meet the goals of providing equitable access to affordable broadband to all Washington State residents. The primary responsibility of the Office is to encourage, foster, develop, and improve affordable, quality broadband in order to drive job creation, promote innovation, improve economic vitality, and expand markets for businesses.

The Local Government Division (LGD) partners with local governments, nonprofits, and others to strengthen the ability of all forms of local government and community based organizations to fund and develop critical services to their citizens. The division provides leadership in local government finance and statewide infrastructure initiatives that help create and retain jobs. We also provide grants, loans, and planning and technical assistance to local governments for community development needs, infrastructure improvements, and economic development opportunities.

Duties

The Digital Equity Manager has the authority to make decisions on the design and delivery of programs, the programmatic and unit processes and procedures, and the allocation of unit resources. This position develops the strategic direction for the unit, including program work, staff deployment, legislative requests, grant programs and awards, and partnerships with other state agencies and stakeholders. Here are some other duties performed in this leadership role.

  • Develops policy: independently anticipate, recommend and research complex public policy issues related to broadband needs, including inter- and intra-agency and multi-party policy frameworks. This position will assist with development of long-term strategic policy direction. This position is expected to communicate and help advance policy initiatives within and outside the agency.
  • Advise and Consult: Serve as expert advisor to the director of broadband, the agency, and programs on technical and politically sensitive issues, opportunities and challenges associated with broadband policy. This position will initiate and analyze proposed legislation and legislative initiatives, needs and issues.
  • Technical expert in the deployment of broadband program funds to support digital equity strategies and initiatives throughout the State. Develop and oversee the State Broadband Office's digital equity strategies and initiatives.
  • Develop and manage legislative and policy recommendations as they relate to disparities in broadband access, adoption, and other areas as required by the Director.
  • Establish a successful partnership with the Governor's Office of Equity to ensure alignment of state equity goals and messaging.
  • Design and lead research projects and data analysis to assess digital equity needs and program progress.
  • Provide the SBO Director and the Commerce Executive Leadership Team with strategic advice and consultation, and communicate key accomplishments, needs, questions, and issues to ensure coordination across the agency.
  • Support digital equity-related efforts and programs of other Department of Commerce divisions and state agencies.
  • Manage effective partnerships with external stakeholders that facilitate improved broadband adoption and outcomes for unserved, underserved, and BIPOC communities.
  • Coordinate with telecommunications service providers, community members, and stakeholders who seek to address disparities in broadband access and adoption.
  • Identify and pursue new funding opportunities from state, federal, or private entities that promote digital equity.
  • Manage outreach and public awareness efforts of existing resources for technology access, adoption, or digital literacy training.
  • Coordinate efforts with the SBO Grants and Contracts manager to develop and maintain a portfolio of digital equity-related grants, contracts, and RFPs.
  • Represent the work of SBO and Commerce at city, state, and national forums.
  • Supervise, train, and guide a team of three Commerce Specialists and coordinate staff development as it relates to this content area.
  • Provide fiscal information and assistance for unit, division, and agency budget and financial meetings.  Respond to fiscal information requests from the Office of the Governor, the Legislature, OFM, and agency Executive Management.
  • Act as the recognized subject matter expert. Represent the State Broadband Office, Digital Equity unit, and the agency at local, state, regional and national meetings, including legislative work sessions.

Qualifications

Required Qualifications:  

  • Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Business, or Information Technology (experience may substitute for education). A Master’s degree may substitute for one year of experience.
  • Five or more years of experience in any combination of the following:
    • Community economic development
    • Community outreach
    • Experience facilitating community groups 
    • Leading programs that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, addressing economic disparities, and experience working with historically marginalized groups.
  • Two years of supervisory experience in a professional setting.

Preferred/Desired Education, Experience, and Competencies.

  • Master’s in Public Administration, Business, or Information Technology.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Leadership certification or advanced coursework.
  • Knowledge of Washington state laws, policies, and regulations and the legislative environment.
  • Experience working on issues related to digital equity or bridging the digital divide, including Internet access or digital literacy gaps.
  • Language proficiency other than English

Supplemental Information

To be considered for this position the following are needed:  

  • A complete and detailed online application
  • A Cover letter (enter online);
  • At least three (3) professional references (enter online).


The initial screening will be solely based on the contents and completeness of your application. All information may be verified and documentation may be required. For questions about this recruitment, please contact Lindsey Henderson at lindsey.henderson@commerce.wa.gov 
 
Work From Anywhere
This position may be located anywhere within Washington state though occasional travel to a Commerce office building or in-state travel to attend events or meetings may be required. If selected, you will need to travel to pick up equipment and receive instruction. Many Commerce employees work remote or have a hybrid schedule. However, it is anticipated that interviews for this position will be held using virtual videoconferencing. You will work with your supervisor to identify an appropriate work schedule and balance, including telework and reporting to a duty station for work activities, if needed.  

Important Notice
Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14 (Download PDF reader) , state employees must be fully vaccinated prior to your first day of employment.  Your vaccine status will be verified prior to an offer of employment.  Please reach out to Human Resources Specialist Jimmie Wimberly at jimmie.wimberly@commerce.wa.gov if you need information on medical or religious accommodation.
 
Additional Information:
The Washington State Department of Commerce is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application, testing, or interview process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call Human Resources at (360) 725-2650. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.