Economic Inclusion Fellowship

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Funded by JPMorgan Chase AdvancingCities, the Economic Inclusion Fellow will support inclusive growth strategies within Syracuse Surge by ensuring community members participation in programs and discussions around technology, business and community development inform CenterState CEO’s work. The Fellow will play a major role in planning and executing community events and create timely and relevant communications that build relationships and ensure diverse voices, especially those from underrepresented neighborhoods, are heard. During the twelve-month position, the Fellow will also conduct and present a research project on an agreed upon topic related to diversity in the tech ecosystem in Central New York. The successful candidate for this role will be curious about deriving change and social justice in an urban environment. This position is designed for someone seeking a professional opportunity through which they can grow and gain experience in economic development, business, policy and social justice. This position is for one year and includes benefits. The Community Engagement Fellow will report to CenterState CEO’s Director of Community Engagement and Empowerment.


 Community Engagement (45%)

  • Collaborate to develop and implement strategies that increase awareness and engagement with JPMC AdvancingCities funded initiatives. 
  • Coordinate outreach and communication efforts leading to strategic partnerships with community organizations and expanded program opportunities and participant outreach related to Syracuse Surge.
  • Plan and execute Tech & Culture events including a conference, gaming competitions and community conversations, coordinating with other CenterState CEO portfolios as appropriate.
  • Support data collection and evaluation for Community Engagement activities 
  • Seek out/create new opportunities to engage with the community.

 Research (25%)

  • The fellow will design and lead a specialized research project related to technology, culture and diversity. Research will address an economic inclusion challenge or issue. Topics will be illuminated through engagement with community and business leaders, events and activities, and/or program evaluation.
  • In Q2 the Fellow will begin to work on an outline, project planning, and research resulting in the creation of a research plan. Research topics will be approved by the Director of Community Engagement and Empowerment and should relate to the Fellow’s area of interest. 
  • At the end of the fellow’s term they will submit a 25-30 page written report and oral presentation to a group of stakeholders

Communications (20%)

  • Working with the Manager of Communications and Collaboration, coordinate with CenterState CEO’s Communications Department to prepare communications collateral and assist with public relations related to community engagement efforts.
  • Generate content for use in social media, newsletter and and other platforms as needed
  • Promote community engagement activities and encourage maximum participation in events

Logistical & Administrative Support (5%)

  • Provide administrative and planning support for Community Engagement and Empowerment meetings and events as needed.

Other (5%)

  • Perform administrative, and other tasks as needed.

 Job Requirements

Candidates must demonstrate the following:

  • A commitment to the mission of CenterState CEO and the values of the Economic Inclusion division
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to navigate ambiguity and different work and cultural styles with agility
  • Experience managing collaborative projects involving diverse stakeholders, including multiple funders and incorporating feedback and learning loops
  • Experience and the desire and ability to work with socioeconomically diverse communities, particularly those living in low-income and distressed neighborhood.
  • A “team-oriented” approach, in which s/he is motivated by the success of the organization and the accomplishments of her or his colleagues.
  • Ability to perform to a high standard while working independently and as part of a team.
  • Bachelor’s Degree or leadership experience in the community with a proven record of accomplishment for driving change
  • Knowledgeable about community projects, politics or business
  • Proficient with Microsoft Suite
  • Experience with Community Engagement and/or community outreach
  • Experience with graphic design a plus


Syracuse Surge & the Tech Ecosystem

In 2018, CenterState CEO was awarded a $3m JPMorgan Chase AdvancingCities grant to fund inclusive growth strategies within the tech sector in alignment with the City’s Syracuse Surge initiative. AdvancingCities activities include strategic planning, workforce training, XBE business development and community engagement programming. This position is funded through AdvancingCities and will be dedicated to implementing community engagement strategies to support the diversification of the tech ecosystem in Syracuse. 

Syracuse Surge is a newly formed initiative dedicated to driving inclusive growth in the New Economy. At the heart of Surge is an unprecedented series of investments in tech infrastructure that will position Syracuse as one of America’s ‘smartest’ cities and a global leader in the New Economy. Surge was initiated by The City of Syracuse, who in collaboration with Onondaga County and leading local institutions, is working with New York State to advance Surge to translate imminent economic growth into shared prosperity among all residents. CenterState CEO is a critical partner in the Surge initiative, particularly in developing workforce and small business development solutions for a wide range of tech related businesses, that require a range of aptitudes and skills, across a wide swath of industries (e.g. software development, financial services, manufacturing, etc.).

CenterState CEO and Its Economic Inclusion Division

CenterState CEO is an independent and forward-thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce, dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. CenterState CEO’s work occurs across four major divisions: Business and Economic Development; Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Research Policy and Planning; and Economic Inclusion.

The Economic Inclusion (Inclusion) division at CenterState CEO, formed in 2015, is dedicated to creating thriving communities through increased prosperity for all Central New York residents. To do this work, the Inclusion team convenes and supports partnerships that bring together business and community leadership to address issues of poverty and economic disparity in the region. The work ultimately seeks to translate economic growth into economic opportunity, increased wealth, and improved quality of life within low-income communities.

Application Instructions

Interested applicants should submit a résumé and cover letter addressing why they are a good candidate for the fellowship and potential research interests. Please submit all application materials Lori Dietz,