Employment - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Employment

The Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) is expanding, and we’re seeking passionate colleagues to make positive change.

Our world is evolving and so are we, increasing the amount of staff and leveraging smarter ways to work to strengthen our deep commitment to advance meaningful regional change to better meet the challenges of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Following the turbulence of 2020 and deepening of the inequities laid bare by the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re more committed than ever to shaping a stronger, more resilient region where everyone can thrive.

At MPC, we’re changemakers, conveners, researchers, planners, and policy experts – a diverse staff all committed to advancing the region we all call home. Join our team: Director of Equitable and Sustainable Communities, Research Manager, Equitable and Sustainable Communities Manager, Research Assistants (paid and unpaid – we are now accepting applications for Fall 2021 positions)

MPC is carefully following CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health safety guidelines due to COVID-19. The organization has implemented a work from home policy for all staff and research assistants. 

Director of Equitable and Sustainable Communities (apply here)

This role will lead across-programmatic team advancing community development and sustainability projects. The position will report directly to MPC’s Vice President and will work closely with others on staff in multi-disciplinary project teams. 

The Director will provide program oversight, team building, supervision, and coaching for teams as well as strategic guidance for implementation of project goals through research, advocacy,and technical assistance. The Director will function as part of MPC’s leadership team.

Key Responsibilities

  • Utilize strong technical knowledge, community networks, and collaboration skills to build MPC’s broader community development and sustainability agenda
  • Manage the existing work plan while envisioning and building toward greater impact, which will include collaborating with other staff at MPC working across other planning topics
  • Act as organization spokesperson to convey MPC’s priorities and values through a variety of media
  • Communicating MPC’s work, priorities and thought leadership and strengthening external networks including community-based organizations, elected officials, and advocacy groups
  • Develop staff with professional and technical skills to meet current and future community needs
  • Help build a strong and inclusive culture where all employees can do their best work
  • Supervise and mentor staff and consultants, guiding the projects those individuals manage
  • Continually strengthen relationships with current and prospective funders to sustain and grow programmatic work

Knowledge/Skills/Abilities

  • Strong history of community development project experience
  • Experience leading community and municipal projects focused on sustainability and resilience
  • Ability to identify and navigate complex intersections between development policy, racial justice, government capacity and other key areas
  • Knowledge of and a high level of interest inaddressing water resources issues
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities
  • A nimble and creative mindset with emotional intelligence, compassion, patience, and a sense of humor
  • Interpersonal communication skills strong enough to test and embrace new ways of working

Education & Experience

  • At least five years of relevant experience in public policy, advocacy, urban planning, sustainable development, and/or environmental management
  • A bachelor'sdegree in public policy, urban planning, sustainable development, and/or environmental management is preferred, with a post graduate degree highly desirable
  • A combination of education and experience or depth of experience may be substituted for formal or degree certification
  • A strong track record leading diverse teams
  • The proven ability to act in a leadership capacity at different types of external tables (e.g., coalitions, task forces, state agencies)
  • A strong history of building relationships and networks with policy makers
  • Past experience building relationships in community development and resilience/environment space
  • Knowledge of local and regional actors and institutions in the Chicago region leading equitable and sustainable development initiatives is a plus

Working Environment

MPC is a collaborative organization. This position is based in our Chicago Headquarters with remote and office-based work in response to current Covid advisories. We respect work life balance and strive to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all employees. Given the nature of our work and the demands associated with remote and social-distanced working models MPC looks first to keep our employees safe and productive. Travel is expected to be local as needed, with future travel expectations to shift based on safe travel advisory and business needs.

EEOC/Diversity Statement

MPC is an equal opportunity employer. We stay true to our mission by celebrating the differences among us. We are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our workplace and encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and abilitiesto apply. We will not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or retaliation of any kindand we promote a climate of mutual respect for our employees.

Research Manager (apply here)

This role will support our programmatic and organizational research and evaluation projects. This position will report directly to the Director of Research & Evaluation and will work closely with others on staff in multi-disciplinary project teams.

The Research Manager will act cross-functionallywith programmatic teams to help scope and plan research projects from methodology to staffing, acting as a contributor where needed. This role will also contribute to developing and managing collaborative research that supports the development of policy interventions aligned with MPC’s organizational priorities.

Key Responsibilities

  • Coach and provide guidance to program teams to develop a scope of work, methodology and implementation plan for research and evaluation
  • Assess internal research & evaluation requests and coordinate the appropriate level of support required
  • Support the development of MPC’s policy priorities and aligns research priorities acrossprograms
  • Manage the pipeline for external research requests and helping to phase them appropriately
  • Set and monitor timelines for organizational priority projects and tracking and reporting key milestones
  • Perform varying levels of qualitative and quantitative analysis, data collection and evaluation design
  • Contribute to scholarly writing producing research reports and summaries for the general public, targeted audiences and policy makers
  • Provide supervision and guidance to contracted research assistants 

Knowledge/Skills/Abilities

  • Project Management: Ability to manage multiple prioritiesand organize efficient work processes, collaborating and managing projects and peers, setting and managing deadlines, tracking outcomes and identifying when work needs to change or move in a different direction
  • A nimble and creative mindset with emotional intelligence, compassion, patience, and a sense of humor
  • Interpersonal communication skills strong enough to test and embrace new ways of working
  • Experience managing complex data sets and translating analytic insights into practical recommendations that can inform policy decisions
  • A strong track record working with and managing diverse teams; direct supervisory experience is preferred

Education & Experience

  • At least three years of relevant experience managing participatory research and evaluation projects, as well as contributing to original research
  • A bachelor’s degree in public policy, urban planning, sociology, or other relevant fields is preferred, with a post graduate degree highly desirable
  • A combination of education and experience or depth of experience may be substituted for formal or degree certification
  • Experience utilizing advanced data visualization tools is highly desirable

Working Environment

MPC is a collaborative organization. This position is based in our Chicago Headquarters with remote and office-basedwork in response to current Covid advisories. We respect work life balance and strive to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all employees. Given the nature of our work and the demands associated with remote and social-distanced working models MPC looks first to keep our employees safe and productive. Travelis expected to be local asneeded,with future travel expectations to shift based onsafe travel advisory and business needs.

EEOC/Diversity Statement

MPC is an equal opportunity employer. We stay true to our mission by celebrating the differences among us. We are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our workplace and encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and abilities to apply. We will not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or retaliation of any kind and wepromote a climate of mutual respect for our employees.

Equitable and Sustainable Communities Manager (apply here)

This role will support cross-programmatic team efforts advancing community development and sustainability projects. The position will report directly to the Director overseeing projects within the equitable and sustainable communities impact area and will work closely with staff onmulti-disciplinary project teams.

The Manager will work to enrich existing housing policy initiatives and relationships. They will manage technical assistance partnershipsand contribute tothe alignment ofexisting and new lines of work that drive equitable community investmentand increase health and resilience whilepreservinghousing choice and affordability.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage MPC partner relationships &advocacy for housing and community development policy priorities
  • Provide leadership and content expertise to support MPC’s local and state legislative agenda on housing and community development
  • Manage and contribute to community development focused technical assistance projects including Preserving Affordability Togetherand the Corridor Development Initiative
  • Engage in advocacy activities including developing and delivering testimony, and interacting with lawmakers, other public officials, and advocacy organizations
  • Convene and facilitate internal and external work groups to support policy development, research and consensus building for policy and process change

Knowledge/Skills/Abilities

  • Substantial ability to coordinate with different partners to advance objectives with a focus on community development and its intersections with housing, land use and sustainability
  • A relationship builder who can cultivate and maintain strategic relationships
  • High level of capability with policy and programmatic coordination involving multiple partners
  • Strong history of engagement with problem-solving and consensus-building on challenging issues partnering with stakeholders ranging from heads of government to community residents
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and organize efficient work processes, collaborating and managing projects and peers, setting and managing deadlines, tracking outcomes and identifying when work needs to change or move in a different direction
  • Strong project and meeting facilitation skills both in-person and on-line
  • A nimble and creative mindsetwith emotional intelligence, compassion, patience, and a sense of humor
  • Interpersonal communication skills strong enough to test and embrace new ways of working

Education & Experience

  • At least three years of relevant experience managing community development projects or collaborative advocacy processes
  • A bachelor'sdegreein public policy, advocacy, urban planning or community development is preferred, with a post graduate degree highly desirable
  • A combination of education and experience or depth of experience may be substituted for formal or degree certification
  • Knowledge of local and regional actors and institutions in the Chicago region leading equitable and sustainable development initiatives is a plus

Working Environment

MPC is a collaborative organization. This position is based in our Chicago Headquarters with remote and office-based work in response to current Covid advisories. We respect work-life balance and strive to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all employees. Given the nature of our work and the demands associated with remote and social-distanced working models, MPC looks first to keep our employees safe and productive. Travel is expected to be local as needed, with future travel expectations to shift based on safe travel advisory and business needs.

EEOC/Diversity Statement

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.We stay true to our mission by celebrating the differences among us. We are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our workplace and encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and abilitiesto apply. We will not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or retaliation of any kind and we promote a climate of mutual respect for our employees.

Research Assistants 

We are now accepting applications for fall 2021 research assistant positions. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. MPC’s priority deadline for research assistants is September 12, 2021 but applications will be considered after that date until all positions are filled. Research assistants (RAs) 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 urban planning/policy works in the real world. We especially seeking RA applicants who are talented writers, investigators, communicators, and/or GIS users.

We’re currently recruiting RAs for fall 2021, particularly for the following priority projects:

Transportation: MPC works on a wide range of transportation issues and advocates for strong regional policies. Responsibilities for this part-time, 4-6 month position include:  

  • Implementation of MPC’s report on universal accessibility of transportation
  • Advocacy related to sustainable transportation funding, and developing of transportation policies for a post-COVID environment
  • Policy research skills general knowledge of urban planning and policy issues necessary. GIS skills preferred but not required.

Stakeholder Engagement:

The community engagement team at MPC is working to connect stakeholders through various projects, including an equity learning cohort and stakeholder engagement roundtables. MPC seeks a research assistant to activate a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) cohort which aims to strengthen equity across city departments and agencies. Additionally, the team member will help facilitate a series of bimonthly virtual stakeholder engagement roundtables to build a broader strategy and vision for community engagement in Chicago. Research assistant will provide administrative assistance to Community Engagement staff in the facilitation of various community engagement initiatives and projects. Responsibilities for this part-time, 3-month position (with possibility to extend) include the following:

  • Project management - ability to juggle multiple projects and timelines
  • Community and stakeholder engagement - understanding of equitable engagement, coalition building, and ability to work with diverse partners and ideas
  • Understanding and application of DEI, racial justice, and equity
  • Willingness to experiment and learn about thoughtful community engagement and human center design
  • Background in urban planning and public policy is a plus

Marketing Communications: The Communications team leads the organization’s communications and marketing strategy that focuses on delivering relevant and informative messages that distill the wealth of MPC data, expertise, and solutions. The team executes organization-wide messages, program-specific communications, and MPC events. The Marketing Communications Creative Support Assistant is a full-time position with a duration of 6-months to 1 year and is responsible for the following but not limited to:

  • Website support, email support, events logistics, social media image design, and other lightly designed materials
  • Previous experience writing blogs, social posts, and marketing email copy is considered a plus. A successful candidate is thoughtfully creative, a clear communicator, eager to learn and experiment with new techniques, and good with deadlines

Overall program: 

Candidates receiving school credit or compensation through a fellowship or work-study program will receive preference in staffing decisions, but all are welcome to apply. MPC will have a very limited number of paid Research Assistant positions available in 2021-2022; please indicate in your application if you are seeking a paid or unpaid position. RAs are expected to commit at least three days of work per week. 

How to Apply: 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. If you are interested in a position, please send the following materials by e-mail to manager@metroplanning.org:

  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.
  4. Compensation or credit:
    1. Compensation from MPC: Please note if you are applying for an unpaid Research Assistant position, or if you require compensation from MPC. 
    2. External compensation: Note if you are seeking Federal work-study compensation or external funding from your college/university or an outside program to fund your position at MPC. 
    3. Please note if you are applying for this position to receive college/university course credit, or fulfill an internship requirement. 

No phone calls, please. 

About MPC

Dedicated to shaping a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone, Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) believes that every neighborhood has promise. Every community should be heard. And every person can thrive. Since 1934, this independent, nonpartisan organization has served metropolitan Chicago’s communities and residents to change perceptions, reimagine conversations, and defy the status quo. Through thoughtful collaboration with local communities, businesses, and governments, MPC is a bold change-maker, addressing the region’s toughest planning and development challenges. We believe that strong partnerships rooted in respect and trust are critical to creative and effective problem-solving. 

MPC is a values-driven workplace, and we are seeking candidates with a demonstrated commitment to creating a region that is:

  • Equitable: For MPC, equity means that every individual and community in our region has the opportunities they need to thrive. Promoting equity means that we recognize the harm that discrimination and racism have caused and continue to pose to our lives and neighborhoods. That’s why we drive policies, investments and ideas that ensure all current and future residents can reach their full potential.
  • Prosperous: For MPC, prosperity means that both metropolitan Chicago and all of its people are economically healthy and prepared for growth. MPC is focused on ensuring that everyone who lives and works in our region can provide for themselves and their families. We support commitments that bring resources, development, and fairly paid and quality jobs to all communities.
  • Sustainable: For MPC, sustainability means that our region meets the natural, human and financial needs of the present while improving conditions for future generations. MPC’s agenda supports ecological vitality, residents’ health and economic stability for the long term, and ensures that as things change, our region adapts.
  • Engaged and Responsible: For MPC, civic participation and effective government are cornerstones of our region’s viability. We drive policies that strengthen the participation and impact of residents in local and regional decisions. We also promote adaptive, collaborative, just and transparent governance at all levels.

EEOC/Diversity Statement: 

MPC is an equal opportunity employer. We stay true to our mission by celebrating the differences among us. We are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our workplace and encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and abilities to apply. We will not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or retaliation of any kind and we promote a climate of mutual respect for our employees.

Notices for available positions at MPC are posted here.

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

MPC is proud to be 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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Shaping a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone

For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

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