Employment - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC is currently hiring for a Director of Environmental Policy, Engagement Manager Consultant, and Research and Evaluation Manager (Consultant) for the project Together We RiseThe priority application deadline for the Director of Environmental Policy position is January 22, 2021. The priority application deadline for the Engagement Manager Consultant position is January 31, 2021. The priority application deadline for the Research and Evaluation Manager (Consultant) is February 5, 2021

MPC offers paid and unpaid Research Assistant positions, including a Development Intern position. We are now accepting applications for research assistant positions Winter 2020-21

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.

Director of Environmental Policy

The Opportunity:

Over the past two decades, MPC’s environmental programming has evolved and expanded, and now is in need of new leadership, both to steward existing initiatives and to build for the future. MPC has a particularly strong program, team, and track record in multiple facets of water resources management. At the same time, MPC has built momentum and intersections in a range of broader spheres–climate resilience, environmental equity, public health—and specific topical areas, such as air quality.   

MPC spearheads policy change at multiple levels of government, facilitates multi-sectoral collaboratives, provides direct on-the-ground technical assistance, engages in original research, and more. MPC is increasingly called upon to share the lessons of our work nationally, and throughout the Great Lakes region, in particular. The Director is expected to lead a strong team in all facets of MPC’s environmental policy work.

The full spectrum of our environmental agenda requires policy and programmatic coordination by multiple partners across municipal, county and state borders, as well as the communication of complex technical issues to a variety of audiences, including the media. More than ever, this work requires consistent commitment to partnerships with frontline community-based organizations and environmental justice advocates in order to advance solutions that are restorative to ecosystems and people. 

The Position:

MPC is hiring a full-time Director of Environmental Policy. The Director will inherit a highly successful water resources program and team, and is expected to advance current priorities, such as launching a stormwater credit trading program and advancing state legislation mandating the replacement of lead pipes. The Director will also scope and continue to build the organization’s broader environmental policy and programming. The Director will also build on MPC’s organizational commitment to anti-racism in the process and outcomes of our environmental initiatives. The ideal candidate will have the ability to manage the existing work plan while envisioning and building toward greater impact, which will include collaborating with other staff at MPC working transportation, land use, housing and other planning topics. The Director will also supervise multiple staff and consultants engaged in a variety of types of work – research, advocacy, technical assistance, and beyond. The Director will be a primary spokesperson for the organization, able to convey MPC’s priorities and values through a variety of media, and able to communicate complex intersections between environmental policy, racial justice, government capacity and more.

2021 priorities will include leadership within multiple legislative efforts targeting lead pipe replacement and water justice issues, strengthening the Illinois State Water Plan process, and working with multiple state agencies to embed environmental equity into their processes and funding. The Director will also lead advocacy efforts to stand up an Environmental Equity Working Group for the City of Chicago, to contribute to MPC’s broader efforts to inform the structuring and priorities of the We Will Chicago citywide plan, and to establish a clear and impactful role for MPC in regional climate resilience and other regional sustainability strategies beyond Chicago.

While this Director will inherit the existing momentum of MPC’s water resources work, those efforts cannot stand alone. It is imperative that this work be integrated seamlessly with other organizational priorities and rooted in our organizational values (see below).

The position will report directly to MPC’s Vice President Josh Ellis and will work closely with others on staff in multi-disciplinary project teams. 

Core duties include:

  • Supporting or managing MPC’s legislative efforts, including major 2021 activity lead pipe replacement at multiple levels of government;
  • Working directly with units of government, community organizations and other stakeholders on local technical assistance projects, such as through MPC’s Drinking Water 1-2-3 initiative;
  • Deepening relationships with current and prospective funders to sustain and grow the program through multiple forms of fundraising;
  • Communicating MPC’s work, priorities and thought leadership community-based organizations, , elected officials, funders and the media;
  • Developing opportunities for integration of work across program areas and, therefore, versatility, inquisitiveness and creativity are essential to success.
  • Supervising and mentoring multiple staff and consultants, and guiding the projects those individuals in turn manage;
  • Participating actively on MPC’s Management Team; and
  • Other duties depending on the background and expertise of the individual hired.

 The Candidate:

MPC seeks an organized, high-energy individual who thrives in a collegial work environment and can juggle multiple deadlines at once. The ideal candidate has at least three years of relevant experience and:

  • Is a self-starter, able to prioritize, handle multiple tasks and projects, and work in a fluid environment;
  • Is a creative thinker, able to help build MPC’s environmental programming, and integrate it with other emerging MPC initiatives;
  • Is able to work collaboratively with staff colleagues, external partners and contractor/consultant relationships;
  • Is passionate about the body of issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s entire mission;
  • Has an academic and/or professional background public policy, advocacy, law, urban planning, sustainable development, and/or environmental management;
  • Has knowledge of regional actors and institutions in Illinois (and ideally, northwestern Indiana);
  • Has demonstrated the ability to work effectively with diverse constituencies, including government officials, developers and community-based organizations;
  • Is patient and eager to learn;
  • Is passionate about developing his/her/their own as well as MPC’s competencies in diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Has a sense of humor; and
  • Is an excellent writer and public speaker.

 How to apply:

Please send the following materials by email to: Ame Esterline, manager@metroplanning.org

 1) A cover letter articulating your specific interest in the role and what you will bring to it;

2) Your résumé;

3) A short and relevant writing sample (2-3 pages); and

4) Three professional references 

No phone calls please.

For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

Engagement Manager Consultant

Contract Term: ASAP to June 30, 2021, Full-Time

Contract amount: $37,500

The Metropolitan Planning Council is partnering closely with the Chicago Community Trust and New America to craft a stakeholder engagement process for Together We Rise, compile community- and city-level baseline data and create an evaluation structure to measure impact overtime.

As part of this effort, MPC will retain an Engagement Manager (Consultant) to collaborate with Together We Rise Staff at the Chicago Community Trust, project partners and the Together We Rise Steering Committee to shape this initiative. This person will report to MPC’s Director of Community Development and Engagement and work closely with New America Chicago staff to execute the engagement process.

The Consultant should be a skilled project manager and facilitator with a knack for designing and leading highly participatory virtual and in-person coalition and partner meetings, and conducting grassroots community outreach and engagement. The individual or firm should have a strong grounding and track-record in racial equity principles and applying equity frameworks to policy and process. The Consultant should have a deep knowledge of the Chicago social, civic and political landscape, and a commitment to authentic relationship building, transparency, cross-sector collaboration and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Consultant roles/responsibilities:

  • Co-design and facilitate critical Together We Rise partnership meetings in consultation with the TWR Executive Director and project design team
  • Co-design and implement an engagement strategy to complement existing channels for input, and develop a framework for inclusive decision-making with the TWR Steering Committee and partners
  • Map and conduct outreach to existing, critical stakeholder coalitions, organizations and collaboratives which will inform the Together We Rise effort
  • Support the engagement team in conducting key stakeholder interviews, focus groups and other outreach with people and organizations in Black and Latinx communities to shape the Together We Rise outcomes
  • Synthesize results from intensive public and stakeholder focus groups in January
  • Participate in the onboarding of new and engage all Steering Committee members in the initiative, creating a shared sense of purpose and tapping their skillsets and networks to advance the work
  • Represent Together We Rise publicly, as needed
  • Support efforts to gather resources (both financial and pro-bono) to scale the engagement activities and impact of Together We Rise, as needed

Project Description: Together We Rise

The pandemic has dealt the Chicago region a devastating set of interrelated health, economic and social crises. Nowhere are its effects felt worse than in Black and Latinx communities, where disparate financial and health outcomes were already the norm after decades of disinvestment, systemic racism and structural inequities. If economic rebuilding shuts out Black and Latinx families and communities once again, we cannot, in all truth, call it a recovery. And we will all pay a steep cost for it.

TOGETHER WE RISE is an unprecedented coalition, uniting partners from across philanthropy, business and communities to accomplish two goals:

  1. Accelerate equitable economic recovery for Black and Latinx communities by pooling and distributing philanthropic resources.
  2. Reform and re-envision policies and business practices to ensure our region invests more equitably moving forward.

This initiative represents private corporations and public entities coming together to ensure that Chicago not only recovers from this pandemic but reinvents itself as one of the most diverse and thriving regions in the U.S. over the years to come. Together We Rise will focus on key priorities for the city to achieve this shared vision, particularly increasing employment, strengthening small businesses, and spurring catalytic development in underinvested neighborhoods.

For more information about the Together We Rise initiative, visit www.cct.org/togetherwerise

To apply for this independent contractor consultant role please send the following materials to Ame Esterline, MPC Manager of Finance and Administration at manager@metroplanning.org:

  • A letter detailing how your experience relates to the position being filled;
  • Your résumé;
  • A short and relevant writing sample (2-3 pages); and
  • Three professional references

Applications from consulting firms will be considered as well.

No phone calls, please.

For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org

MPC is an equal opportunity employer.

Research and Evaluation Manager (Consultant)

Term: ASAP to June 30, 2021, Full-Time

Contract amount: $37,500

The Metropolitan Planning Council is partnering closely with the Chicago Community Trust and New America to craft a stakeholder engagement process for Together We Rise, compile community- and city-level baseline data and create an evaluation structure to measure impact over time.

As part of this effort, MPC will retain a Research and Evaluation Manager (Consultant) to collaborate with Together We Rise staff at the Chicago Community Trust, project partners and the Together We Rise Steering Committee to shape this initiate. This person will report to both MPC’s Director of Research and Chicago Community Trust’s Senior Director of Learning and Impact.

The Consultant should be a skilled project manager and facilitator with a knack for designing and leading multi-faceted process and outcome evaluations that involve multiple stakeholders. Familiarity with evaluating community and economic development, coalition, and stakeholder engagement efforts is required. The individual or firm should also have a strong grounding and track-record in racial equity principles and applying equity frameworks to policy and process. Familiarity with metropolitan Chicago’s social, civic, political, and philanthropic landscape is preferred.

Consultant roles/responsibilities:

  • Co-design process evaluation related to stakeholder engagement and TWR Steering Committee/partner collaboration with MPC Director of Research and CCT Senior Director of Learning and Impact
  • Co-Design evaluation of first round of TWR impact investments against regional equity metrics
  • This will include tracking outputs and outcomes across investment categories and multiple organizations which receive funding from TWR
  • Implement and monitor data collection across all partners
  • Synthesize and summarize learnings from process and outcome evaluations to be shared regularly with TWR Steering Committee and partners
  • Summarize evaluation findings into a final report to be shared publicly
  • Represent Together We Rise publicly, as needed

To apply for this independent contractor consultant role please send the following materials to Ame Esterline, MPC’s Manager of Finance and Administration, at manager@metroplanning.org:

  • A letter detailing how your experience relates to the position being filled;
  • Your résumé;
  • A short and relevant writing sample (2-3 pages); and
  • Three professional references

Applications from consulting firms will be considered as well.

Research Assistant

We are now accepting applications for Winter 2020-21 research assistant positions. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. MPC’s priority deadline for research assistants is December 11, 2020, but applications will be considered after that date until all positions are filled. 

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

Winter 2020-21 needs: 

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 Winter 2020-21, particularly for the following priority projects:

Land Use and Planning: This project is working to advocate for land uses that create vibrant and thriving neighborhoods. Current work includes research opportunities for changes to policy around how land is planned for and used across the region, with a specific focus on the City of Chicago. Strong GIS, research, and writing skills necessary.

Transportation: MPC works on a wide range of transportation issues and advocates for strong regional policies.  This RA position will work on projects including implementation of a report on universal accessibility of transportation, advocacy related to sustainable transportation funding, and developing of transportation policies for a post-COVID environment.

Housing and Community Development: Projects include research to support policy recommendations that promote equitable affordable housing production, distribution and preservation, tenant protections, and equitable development practice. As well as supporting a diversity, equity, inclusion cohort and our technical assistance tool, Preserving Affordability Together and supporting the advancement of other Our Equitable Future recommendations. Required skills include community outreach and project coordination, qualitative and quantitative research, GIS, strong writing and communication. 

Equitable transit-oriented development:  Equitable transit-oriented development (eTOD) prioritizes the land around transit as model locations for holistic community development partnering with locals leaders to shape projects that are responsive to the social, cultural, economic and environmental needs of the neighborhood.  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. MPC is currently conducting an analysis of TOD development since the TOD ordinance passed in 2013, and preparing to lead a community engagement process in East Garfield Park and Washington Heights. An RA would support Elevated Chicago work and general TOD education and outreach. Skills needed some knowledge of community development principles,  data analysis,  GIS, research and writing skills, community outreach and logistics coordination.

Government outreach and legislative tracking: Supports work to develop relationships with policymakers at multiple levels, develop and advance legislative initiatives, and increase overall organizational capacity for policy change.

Water Resources management: MPC uses research, advocacy, education and technical assistance to: 1) ensure clean, equitable and abundant drinking water; 2) prevent flooding and improve water quality; 3) facilitate and encourage stewardship of our natural assets; and 4) foster social, economic and environmental benefits within communities. We are currently seeking two RAs to support our Water Resources work: 

  1. This position will involve municipal and local stakeholder engagement and education related to our Drinking Water 1-2-3 Academy initiative. This position will also help with the administration of the Calumet Stormwater Collaborative. Qualitative research and writing will be required, and knowledge of both water supply and stormwater management is a plus. 
  2. This position will involve public and private stakeholder engagement, especially institutional, nonprofit, and for profit developers, engineers and planning consultants, and community stakeholders. Fluency with qualitative research, writing for a public audience, and soft skills of initiating and facilitating calls and meeting are required. Intermediate to advanced GIS mapping and database management is preferred, though not required.

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 2. 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 2020-21; 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: 

We are now accepting applications for Winter 2020-21 research assistant positions. 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. 

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 all in the greater Chicago region

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 works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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