The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is seeking to hire one full-time employee to help advance natural and environmental resource related goals, particularly water resources, within the Local Technical Assistance (LTA) and long-range planning programs. This position will be filled at the Assistant or Associate level. CMAP was created in 2005 to integrate planning for land use and transportation in the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. CMAP is our region’s official comprehensive planning organization. The agency and its partners are developing ON TO 2050, a new comprehensive regional plan to help the seven counties and 284 communities of northeastern Illinois implement strategies that address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues. See www.cmap.illinois.gov for more information. For detailed information about our benefits, please go to http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/about/careers#benefits.
This position is expected to contribute to water, natural, and environmental resource goals of the LTA program and the development of ON TO 2050. For more information, visit http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/onto2050.
The LTA program was initiated in spring 2011 to create new resources for technical assistance and coordinate with existing technical assistance activities. It has resulted in a series of innovative local projects in the Chicago region that support livability principles, implement GO TO 2040, protect and enhance natural and environmental resources, and build capacity in local communities. Over 130 projects have been completed to date, with 50 more underway. Projects include comprehensive plans, corridor or subarea plans, zoning or other ordinance revisions, watershed plans, studies of special topics such as housing, stormwater management, or economic development, and similar planning activities. To obtain more information on the LTA program, please visit www.cmap.illinois.gov/lta. The agency’s water resources work is also supported via the LTA program, and includes watershed planning, water quality planning, water supply planning, stormwater management, and related projects. For more information about the agency’s water resources work visit http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/livability/water.
The position will also to contribute to ON TO 2050, which is due in October 2018. ON TO 2050 is meant to build on the recommendations of GO TO 2040, address new issues, and provide more specific and actionable guidance for implementation. The plan development process is currently in its early stages but is projected to be one of the agency’s major activities over the next 2 years. For more information, visit http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/onto2050.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Familiarity with the purpose, scope, and practice of regional planning.
- Knowledge of or familiarity with local planning practice in northeastern Illinois, including plan and ordinance preparation, and the role of appointed and elected officials.
- Understanding of the links between transportation, land use, housing, economic development, community development, environment and natural resources, and governance.
- Ability to provide technical assistance, conduct trainings and workshops, and develop innovative, collaborative solutions to build local capacity.
- Ability to conduct research, perform quantitative and qualitative analysis, elicit ideas and concerns from stakeholders, and develops coherent and implementable recommendations for action.
- Experience or interest in working with elected officials, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and other partners in designing and implementing policies, strategies, and regulatory approaches that support sustainability and address socioeconomic inequities.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Experience with Microsoft Office or other word processing, spreadsheet graphing and analysis, and/or presentation software
- Interest and ability to interact with partner agencies, local governments, and the general public.
- Ability to manage and contribute to complex projects and to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
- Knowledge of Federal and State water-related grant programs and requirements is a plus.
Beyond these general qualifications, the position is expected to help advance the natural and environmental resource goals, particularly those related to water resources, of the LTA program and ON TO 2050. Specific desired qualifications and skills for the position include:
- Ability to immediately take on assignments related to a variety of natural and environmental resource topics such as watershed planning, green infrastructure, stormwater and flooding, drinking water supply, water quality, aquatic and terrestrial habitat, the effects of climate change on natural resources, and others.
- Educational training or experience in natural or environmental science, water resources, biology, or other technical, science-based field.
- Additional training or experience in planning, public policy, public administration, or other related area.
- Ability to work on region scale analysis and policy related to environment and natural resources.
- An understanding of laws and regulatory programs related to environmental resources, such as the Clean Water Act and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit program.
- Educational training or experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping and analysis.
- Ability to conduct field work in a variety of conditions.
Education and/or Experience
A Bachelor’s degree in planning, natural/environmental science, or a related discipline is required, and a Master’s degree is preferred for both the Associate and Assistant level. At least 3 to 5 years of work experience in planning is required for the Associate level; candidates with less than 2 years of experience qualify for the Assistant level.