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Transformative Development Fund: TDI Fellows Program – Call for TDI Fellow, MassTech

Transformative Development Fund: TDI Fellows Program – Call for TDI Fellow, MassTech Innovation District Manager, Holyoke

MassDevelopment is accepting applications for a candidate to join the second cohort of Transformative Development Initiative [TDI] Fellows. The Agency is looking for an enthusiastic, entrepreneurial, and accomplished mid-career professional with diverse experiences in public and private sector urban revitalization, and who is passionate about the economic, redevelopment, and community development opportunities in the Gateway Cities of Massachusetts. MassDevelopment will select one new fellow to serve as an Agency employee in Holyoke for a two-year period to advance TDI and the ongoing work of the Holyoke Innovation District (HID), on behalf of the HID Task Force and the key partners of MassTech Collaborative (MTC), the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) and the City of Holyoke. The existing cohort, with Fellows in Brockton, New Bedford, and Pittsfield, plus adjunct Fellows in Worcester and Peabody, have been serving their respective TDI Partnerships since May 1, 2016.

Interested candidates who meet the qualifications listed at the end of this application should submit their qualifications to fellows@massdevelopment.com. Applications for the special TDI Fellows Candidate Pool will be accepted until midnight, Friday, February 24, 2017. Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

The Transformative Development Initiative [TDI]  is a cross-agency program at MassDevelopment designed to accelerate redevelopment in the Massachusetts Gateway Cities. The Initiative provides a framework for a strategic focus on districts, supporting local public-private collaborative partnerships, and enhanced community engagement designed to build on localized planning efforts and increase community capacity for revitalization.

Holyoke was selected as one of ten TDI Districts, specifically identified as a focus area within the overall Holyoke Innovation District, in 2014. The Holyoke Innovation District is a stakeholder-driven economic development initiative formed in 2009 to promote innovation-based economic development strategies in Holyoke and the greater region, emanating from and leveraging the state’s investment in the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC).  It has been co-managed by a multi-sector partnership (the “Task Force”) focused on improving conditions for regional innovation and cluster growth for over six years. TDI is providing additional resources and support for existing efforts, and increasing the capacity of the day-to-day management of the district by expanding the HID Program Manager position from a part-time role to a full-time position, as a member of the TDI Fellows program.  The HID Program Manager role manages the Task Force, and its ambitions regarding the city and region, supporting the district in three ways: connecting innovation district residents with emerging economic opportunities; connecting companies, both start-up as well as existing businesses, to new business opportunities; and advancing other projects that further support the vibrancy of the district.

The TDI Fellows’ key activities focus on the district redevelopment by connecting various activities and investments in the district; identifying opportunities; recruiting new uses; structuring new partnerships; and reinforcing foundational relationships to support long-term strategic goals. The Fellow will both refine his/her role, in collaboration with the TDI Partnership/HID Task Force, and provide support in identifying funding and support for the long-term sustainability of the position.

Timeline and Fellows Selection Process:

Applications must be submitted by February 24, 2017.  The initial candidate pool of HID/TDI Fellow applicants will be considered during March 2017, and will join the second Fellows cohort by May 2017.

Fellows Responsibilities:

  • Objectives: Champion implementation of the strategic plan for the district, facilitate and finalize two-year HID/TDI Workplan, and provide ongoing support for priorities as determined by the TDI Partnership/HID Task Force. Work in collaboration with local public-private partnerships, MassDevelopment staff, and related regional, state, and federal stakeholders. Serve as an ombudsperson to facilitate district project progress.
  • Convening and Facilitation: Engage the influencers, community organizations, property owners, entrepreneurs, and private businesses in district activities—both ongoing and formal monthly meetings, as well as HID Annual Meeting. Manage engagement and ambitions of Task Force through regular monthly meetings and connect priorities to new opportunities as they arise.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Identify and incubate new partnerships, and secure new resources for redevelopment activities.
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Public Communications: Support information dissemination and communication to public and private stakeholders to enable better visibility of district and city opportunities. Support and/or maintain regular newsletter updates and curate website for both the HID and TDI District.
  • Reporting: Provide ongoing reporting functions to the Task Force (quarterly) and MassDevelopment TDI Program (weekly and monthly), produce HID Annual Report, and provide ongoing asset-mapping and data collection as required, consistent with other TDI DistrictsImplementation: Facilitate the related projects identified in the workplan including enhanced workforce development programs, increased small business development and entrepreneurship, increasing real estate development activities in district through supporting capacity building and increased visibility of opportunities 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 progressive program of statewide redevelopment policy.
  • Serve as steward for redevelopment of a focused district, working on behalf of a public-private partnership at the municipal level.
  • Engage in regular cohort-building activities including orientation, mid-year conferences, monthly cohort check-in, and partnership with external fellowship programs for urban development.
  • Support the advancement of innovation economy principles for both the HID and the TDI Program broadly.
  • Take part in ongoing professional-development opportunities such as regional leadership opportunities and real estate development capacity building.


  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 5-7 years of professional experience in urban planning, architecture, real estate, community development and/or organizing, and 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, ability to connect the dots, juggle multiple projects, and demonstrate a passion for tackling urban economic development issues
  • Demonstrated exposure to community development, economic development, and urban redevelopment
  • 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, planning, real estate, sustainability, or a juris doctor
  • Demonstrated familiarity with public-sector budgeting and real estate development finance. Candidates should identify any specialized skills in placemaking, retail recruiting, main streets, place-based or other asset marketing, innovative community engagement, technology development and/or visualization, and graphic or architectural design
  • 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.
  • Spanish language capacity preferred

Application Requirements:

  • Cover Letter: Introduction to primary interest in Fellows program, and what expertise and insight the candidate will provide to support strategic urban development work. Fellows should identify their knowledge and experience in any of the Gateway Cities, and familiarity with Holyoke.
  • Resume
  • 1-page Narrative Statement (maximum 400 words):
    • 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: up to three short writing samples and at least one sample public presentation



  • Holyoke Urban Renewal Plan Executive Summary


  • TDI Gateway City Economic Snapshot


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