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Role Description

Do you want to work in a fast-paced environment where major decisions about the City are made on a daily basis? Like the idea of working with a wide range of Berkeley businesses? Enjoy learning about new, innovative technologies and apps being created right here in Berkeley? Then the Office of Economic Development has an awesome internship position available for you. The City of Berkeley Office of Economic Development (OED)’s mission is to assist businesses, entrepreneurs, artists and community organizations to access services, feel welcome in Berkeley, and thrive. OED provides assistance to new, growing and legacy businesses in Berkeley on topics such as: starting a business, commercial real estate, economic data, industry networks, outdoor commerce, financing, green business, and the local innovation ecosystem. OED also works closely with local and regional partners to support a vibrant economy that includes UC Berkeley, the Berkeley Lab, nine commercial districts, several award-winning theatre groups and trendsetting companies in fields from alternative energy to biotechnology to local food production.

Duties and Tasks: This paid internship will involve a variety of assignments related to a range of economic development activities including business outreach, marketing and communications, research, event planning, commercial district support, data analysis, and other clerical tasks. 

1.     OED research and report preparation: Assist with quantitative and qualitative research to create and update OED reports, databases, and presentations that inform city policies and programs, e.g., analyze employment and sales tax data, conduct interviews, prepare survey questions. Project examples could include helping with OED’s Commercial District and Economic Dashboards, which include analysis of commercial occupancy and sales tax data or synthesizing the results from OED surveys. (For examples of past OED reports, please view: 

2.     Innovation ecosystem support: Support implementation of the Berkeley Startup Cluster (BSC) workplan to make Berkeley a more vibrant, accessible and equitable place for startups to launch and grow. Manage BSC communications via monthly newsletters, social media posts, and the BSC website. Support the “Berkeley Ventures, Berkeley Values” campaign to help Berkeley’s innovation sector grow in a way that aligns with Berkeley’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Help with related innovation sector communications, event promotion, and stakeholder outreach.

3.     Support OED marketing initiatives: Conduct business outreach to understand and communicate the contributions that local businesses make to the City’s value and character. Design communications materials and help with marketing campaigns that support local shopping, community pride, and Berkeley business creation, expansion and retention. Examples include: the DiscoveredinBerkeley business marketing campaign, Manufacturing Day events for the community to learn about local producers, and the Outdoor Commerce Guide for Business Owners.

4.     Assistance with OED and Planning Department joint initiatives:  Analyze how Berkeley’s project and business review policies compare with those of surrounding communities, and help develop tools (e.g., checklists and infographics) for businesses navigating the permit process. Assist with special projects, as requested.

5.     Additional OED research, outreach or administrative assistance: Provide assistance to support COVID-19 economic recovery and ensure the efficient operation of OED’s day-to-day office needs. This may include answering phone calls, responding to emails, scheduling meetings and appointments, maintaining OED’s contact list, taking notes, managing chatboxes in Zoom calls (or other online forums), promoting OED’s small business retention programs or sector-specific events, and providing general support to local businesses, investors, community organizations, artists, property owners, real estate brokers, business networks, and more.

6. Desired Qualifications: OED is looking for a highly-motivated, self-starting, well-rounded individual with interests in communications (both written and social media), data analysis, outreach, event planning, and policy research. Additional interest in economic development, urban planning, business, entrepreneurship, public policy, graphic design, geography, art, creative placemaking, sustainability, transportation, innovation networks or technology is desired. Attention to detail and ability to work independently and professionally in the community is a must. Reliable transportation within the boundaries of the City of Berkeley (bus, walking, bike all ok) is essential.

Eligibility requirements: Paid interns must be a US citizen or legal permanent resident and either:(a) Be enrolled full-time or part-time in an accredited college or university in an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree program; OR(b) Have obtained a degree within the last twelve (12) months; OR(c) Be in the process of meeting the internship requirements as stipulated for an educational, certification, or licensure program.

Time commitment:10-20 hours per week for a minimum of 6 months, starting in Summer 2021