Erin Layton, Assistant Vice President, Grants Management
What was your first job?
I worked as a barista in a small coffeehouse in Kirkwood, MO, a suburb of St. Louis. I was paid in cash (when it was available!) and since I was such a hard worker and didn’t know any better they asked me to do literally everything—including serving breakfast, opening and closing the café, and scrubbing down the floors and bathrooms—all on my own!
How did your previous roles lead you to NYCEDC?
I had been living in NYC for eight years when I was first hired at NYCEDC as an administrative coordinator. As a working actress and writer, I was used to temporary day gigs that lasted anywhere from six months to a year and was thrilled to be a full-time, salaried employee. Actors make the best admins. We know how to hustle hard to be our own best advocate, so doing that for other people at NYCEDC was a breeze and very satisfying.
What’s your day-to-day role?
Although my move to the Grants Management team is quite recent, I'm already assigned to an active portfolio of grant-funded projects, which will involve onboarding to new processes and procedures for pushing these vital citywide projects along. I'm working alongside some incredible people in the department and am steadily learning best practices from them for liaising between the City, the funder, and multiple NYCEDC project teams in order to maintain compliance with grant requirements. I benefit from a 12-year tenure at NYCEDC working in various capacities, recently with the Planning division, so I hope to bring a level of institutional knowledge that will best equip me to assist my colleagues.
What would you be doing if you hadn’t decided to follow this career path?
I would be throwing more focus into my writing and acting work which keeps my imagination alive! I might also be an international volunteer or arts teacher for Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem or somewhere in the West Bank—a wild corner of the world that I absolutely love and long to return to.
How has working for NYCEDC changed your perspective on NYC?
Nothing gets accomplished in this city without spirit, some degree of emotional investment, and lots of elbow grease and grit. I do not identify as an urban planner but I have gained so much respect from working with peers who are. The folks at NYCEDC care deeply about our projects and it makes me proud to show up to work every day knowing that NYC is served by people with such a fierce dedication to their work.