Water Resources and Municipal Outreach Consultant

Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC)

Chicago, IL, US

MPC is hiring a full-time or part-time consultant to support a number of critical projects related to water supply, stormwater and natural resources policy. MPC is seeking a highly motivated individual with a background in urban planning, land use, development, climate resilience, environmental policy, law, and/or public administration. This project will involve research, data analysis, stakeholder engagement and technical assistance projects with multiple local units of government, in particular within the Little Calumet and Lower Des Plaines watersheds. Strong relationship and project management skills, versatility and entrepreneurialism are absolutely essential, as is the ability to develop and maintain a working rapport with government staff, elected officials and concerned citizens.

 The position will report to Vice President Josh Ellis until a new Director of Water Resources is hired. This position will run from March 2020 until December 2020, with a possible extension into 2021 contingent on funding. If hired for a full-time opportunity, the consultant will be eligible for MPC benefits offered to employees. If hired part-time, the consultant will be ineligible for MPC employee benefits. 

Primary responsibilities may include:

  • Serve as the primary project manager for technical assistance to two municipalities as part of Drinking Water 1-2-3, an initiative to support Chicagoland communities to better manage their drinking water systems. Depending on relevant experience, the technical assistance projects could include assisting a community in conducting a water loss audit based on the American Water Works Association’s M36 manual, convening stakeholders to identify a municipality’s water priorities and produce a recommendations report, producing a lead service line inventory and plan for removal, or helping to facilitate a pilot study to equitably set water rates. Expertise in water supply is not necessary, but experience with municipal outreach is a plus.
  • Assist with data collection and analysis to establish an inventory of green stormwater infrastructure throughout the region.
  • Coordinate logistics and ensure timely follow-up and relationship management for regional stakeholder outreach for StormStore, an MPC and Nature Conservancy initiative to create a stormwater credit trading market place in Cook County. The consultant will help prepare and finalize marketing materials for the opportunity, and secure willing partners to take advantage of a pilot through MWRD.
  • Collaborate with Associate Justin Keller to establish a vision and plan the event series logistics for a 2021 Drinking Water 123 Academy, aimed at municipal officials and water-related staff.
  • Develop public education materials for Will County around water conservation needs.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

MPC seeks an organized, high-energy individual who thrives in a collegial work environment and can meet deadlines. The ideal candidate holds at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, and has at least three to five years of relevant work experience.  

A qualified candidate:

  • is a self-starter, able to prioritize, handle concurrent tasks and projects, and work in a fluid environment;
  • is a team player and project leader who is highly organized and brings an ability to see immediate task needs with an eye to the bigger picture desired outcomes;
  • is able to communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with staff colleagues and multiple external partners;
  • is passionate about the issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission, as well as developing her/his competency in diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • enjoys a fast-paced, challenging, intellectually-stimulating workplace;
  • is an excellent writer, and an articulate speaker in a range of settings;
  • is entrepreneurial, and executes timely and skillfully on assigned work;
  • has a working knowledge of relevant stakeholders and institutions in the Chicago region—particularly related to water management and stormwater institutions; and
  • has experience communicating complex ideas to diverse audiences.

MPC has a values-driven workplace and we are seeking candidates with a demonstrated commitment to—and willingness to have active conversations about—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 the Northeastern Illinois region 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.

How to apply:

Please send the following materials by email to: Skyler Larrimore, [email protected]

1) A letter detailing how your experience relates to the job being filled;

2) Your résumé; and

3) A short writing sample (2-3 pages)

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.