Employment - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC is currently accepting applications for a Transportation Associate

MPC offers unpaid Research Assistant positions. We are accepting applications for Summer 2017 positions through March 31 (details below). In 2017, MPC is also offering one paid fellowship: The Allard Fellowship. The fellowship will take place from July 1 – December 31, 2017 (details below). 

Transportation Associate

About MPC:

For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area’s toughest planning and development challenges.  MPC is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with an established tract-record of high-quality research, advocacy and demonstration projects to help our region and its local communities thrive. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems—with a focus on economic development, vibrant neighborhoods, quality housing and transportation choices and well-managed natural assets—and we think ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow.

With a current professional staff of 20, five Senior Fellows/Advisors and a team of volunteer Research Assistants MPC’s 2017 budget is $4.1 million.  More information on MPC can be found online at: www.metroplanning.org

The position:

MPC is hiring a full-time Associate to support current and future work on a range of projects at the intersection of transportation and land use. This individual will be a core member of the Transportation team, and will contribute analysis, mapping and writing on land use and zoning issues to support other MPC initiatives. The position will support advancing policy change through research and advocacy. The Associate will assist with conducting research, performing transportation and data analysis, developing GIS maps, preparing study reports, and coordinating meetings with the Regional Planning and Investments Committee comprised of regional business and transportation leaders. 

Additionally, within the Great Rivers Chicago initiative and within other MPC initiatives, including our Equitable Transit-Oriented Development programming, Cost of Segregation study, and transportation and housing policy work, this individual is anticipated to focus on the intersections between transportation, land use, urban design, economic development, accessibility, and sustainability.

MPC is searching for a highly-motivated individual with knowledge of transportation and skills in project management, quantitative analysis, and group facilitation. Candidates should be comfortable in a range of settings from community forums to one-on-one meetings with business leaders and government officials across the region’s geography.

The position will report to MPC Transportation Director Audrey Wennink.   

Primary responsibilities:

  • Support the director in conducting transportation research including analysis of transportation data sets
  • Manage and conduct analysis of transportation and land use data
  • Conduct advanced GIS analysis including network analysis
  • Develop creative means of engaging diverse audiences in planning for transportation infrastructure and operations.
  • Support planning for technical Roundtable luncheon events and Think and Drink events.
  • Provide guidance to multiple units of government on urban design standards, zoning and land use changes, accessibility needs, and other policy concerns.
  • Work with MPC’s communications team to write about and share materials with a variety of audiences, including via social media.
  • Assist MPC colleagues with translating lessons learned from outreach into policy reform recommendations, to be communicated through original reports, policy briefings, and dialogue with elected officials.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

MPC seeks an organized, high-energy individual who thrives in a collegial work environment and can juggle multiple deadlines at once. The ideal candidate holds a master’s degree in urban planning or a relevant field, and has at least three years of relevant experience.

A qualified candidate:

  • is an analytical and creative thinker able to help expand MPC’s impact;
  • is experienced with GIS programs such as ArcMap or QGIS and online mapping libraries (Google maps, Cartodb, etc.); strong spatial analysis and mapping skills;
  • has knowledge of national and regional transportation data sources including transit, vehicle, Census, and land use data;
  • has experience with creative and impactful methods for visualizing data for non-technical audiences;
  • is knowledgeable about multimodal transportation issues and how they intersect including freight, transit, highway, waterways, non-motorized, and shared use mobility;
  • is knowledgeable about zoning and land use, and able to bring transportation expertise to those issues and vice versa;
  • is a self-starter, able to prioritize, handle concurrent tasks and projects, and work in a fluid environment;
  • is able to communicate directly and work collaboratively with staff colleagues and external partners;
  • is passionate about the body of issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission;
  • enjoys a fast-paced, intellectually stimulating workplace;
  • is an excellent writer and an articulate speaker in a range of settings;
  • is both entrepreneurial and executes skillfully on assigned work;
  • has a working knowledge of relevant actors and institutions in the Chicago region; and
  • has experience communicating complex ideas to a diverse audiences.

How to apply:

Please send the following materials by email to:

Angie Leyva
Metropolitan Planning Council 
140 S. Dearborn, Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60603

  1. A letter detailing how your experience relates to the job being filled;
  2. Your résumé and salary history; and
  3. A short writing sample (2-3 pages)
  4. Three references  

No phone calls please. For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

Allard and Wayfinding Fellowships

The Allard Fellowship, named for longtime MPC President Jean Allard and generously seeded by Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal in her honor before Allard passed away in 2012, is designed to attract a talented emerging professional not currently in a position to volunteer at MPC. Competitive candidates will submit applications and nomination letters that establish why they deserve and need a paid fellowship at MPC and what they hope to accomplish during their fellowship. This fellowship is designed for candidates who reflect the economic and racial diversity of the Chicago region.

For the Allard Fellowship, the applicant must submit:

  • current CV;
  • writing sample (1-2 pages);
  • any other supporting evidence as the applicant sees fit (e.g. evidence of quantitative analysis, GIS work, renderings, articles, etc.);
  • cover letter that articulates specific interest in MPC, how this Fellowship opportunity will position the applicant for professional growth, and why, but for this Fellowship, the applicant would not be in a position to volunteer at MPC; and
  • nomination letter by a non-family member. The nomination letter should be included in the application materials, should articulate the nominee's potential for a career in urban and regional development policy, and shouldestablish why the nominee deserves and needs a paid fellowship at MPC.

The fellow will work three to four days per week for six months, compensated by a $10,000 stipend. The fellow will benefit from structured and informal networking and mentorship opportunities with MPC staff and volunteers, as well as recognition on MPC’s web site.

How to Apply

The Metropolitan Planning Council is accepting applications through April 15, 2017. The fellowship will take place from July 1 – December 31, 2017. Please send the above materials by e-mail to Josh Ellis, program manager and research assistant coordinator, at jellis@metroplanning.org.

No phone calls please. For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

Research Assistant

We are accepting applications for Summer 2017 positions until March 31, 2017. 

Current needs: 

Research assistants play an important role at MPC, offering essential support for our projects, working with staff on a daily basis, attending meetings, and learning about how planning policy works in the real world. We especially like RA applicants who are talented writers, investigators, communicators, and/or GIS users.

We’re currently recruiting RAs for summer 2017, particularly for the following priority projects:

Great Rivers Chicago. This project is working to implement an exciting vision for the next 100 years of Chicago’s rivers. Community engagement, GIS, research, writing, and design skills needed.

Cost of Segregation. This project is looking to quantify the negative impacts of our economically and racially segregated region. GIS, qualitative and quantitative research and writing skills needed.

Transform Illinois. This project is identifying ways to make our governmental bodies more effective by streamlining delivery and consolidating services. GIS, qualitative and quantitative research and writing skills needed.

Equitable transit-oriented development. This project works to encourage more of the region’s development to occur in areas near our public transportation lines, so as to reduce congestion, eliminate pollution and boost economic development. We are currently examining opportunities for infill station development and suburban TOD. Community engagement, GIS, research and writing skills needed.

Stormwater management: This program includes a number of discrete projects, including facilitation of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative, research into stormwater infrastructure financing and more. GIS, qualitative and quantitative research and writing skills needed.

Overall program: 

MPC’s volunteer research assistants are a vital part of the organization’s success. Depending on the project at hand, RAs conduct original research, write blog posts and case studies, organize community meetings, perform GIS and quantitative analysis and a range of other work.

You may apply for an RA position at any time, but as a general guideline new RAs start around May 1, September 1 and January 1. Candidates receiving school credit or compensation through a fellowship program will receive preference in staffing decisions, but all are welcome to apply. Fall and winter RAs are expected to commit at least two full days of work per week, and summer RAs at least three.

How to Apply: 

Applications are considered on a rolling-basis, and most of our Research Assistant positions for Spring 2017 have been filled. If you are interested in a position for Summer 2017, please send the following materials by e-mail to Kara Riggio, manager and research assistant coordinator, at kriggio@metroplanning.org, by March 31, 2017:

  1. A current resume;
  2. A cover letter articulating your specific interest in MPC, the current projects you have the most interest in and what you believe you can add to them, and a proposed schedule; and
  3. A short (2-3 page) writing sample, and if applicable, examples of geospatial analysis or design work

No phone calls please. For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

Notices for available positions at MPC are posted here.

Submit applications by e-mail or mail only; no phone calls please.

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

This page can be found online at http://www.metroplanning.org/about/Employment0.html

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616 info@metroplanning.org

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