Planner - Rural Transportation Focus
Seeking generalist planner with a rural transportation focus to coordinate transportation planning for the Windham Regional Commission (WRC) in our 27-town, 920 square mile region of southeastern Vermont. Our region extends from the spine of the Green Mountains on the west to the valley and banks of the Connecticut River on the east, with considerable hilly terrain in between. We have a significant natural resource and tourism base, historic downtowns and villages, and outstanding cultural and recreational opportunities. The ideal candidate would have experience with rural community transportation planning and land use planning, and a related understanding of infrastructure planning for climate change resilience (especially flooding), and reducing carbon emissions associated with transportation. Must work effectively with citizens, local, state and federal officials, and professional organizations. Self-motivation, ability to manage one’s time, and comfort with taking on new tasks are a must, as is the ability to manage multiple assignments as part of an active and forward-looking team. The nature of our work with our member towns is highly collaborative. Regional and municipal planning in our region reflects the diversity of our towns and their needs, and as such our work is stimulating, challenging, and ever changing.
Skills: The candidate must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong analytical and problem-solving abilities, public engagement and participation skills, and an understanding of the use of GIS in planning applications. The ability to facilitate and manage public meetings is essential, as is the ability to establish and maintain professional relationships. Must be comfortable with Vermont driving conditions in all seasons.
Tasks: Under general supervision of the senior staff, the WRC transportation coordinator leads the updating and implementation of the regional transportation plan, implements and administers our annual Transportation Planning Initiative program (https://vtrans.vermont.gov/planning/policy-planning/regional), conducts technical analyses, writes reports, makes public presentations, works with town officials and the general public on local and regional planning matters, and provides technical assistance to member towns. Almost all of this work is supported by grants from the state and the federal government. Experience with good grant management practices is necessary.
Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree plus 3 years professional planning experience; master’s degree may substitute for 1 year experience.
Salary and Benefits: Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits, including health, life and disability insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation and holidays.
How to Apply: Please e-mail the following to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading Transportation Coordinator:
- a cover letter that includes salary requirements,
- your resume, and
- a brief (less than 1 page) summary of why this job appeals to you and how it fits your skill set and experience.
The WRC is an equal opportunity employer. For more information about the WRC visit our website at www.windhamregional.org.
Additional Context: The coordination of transportation planning in our region requires a broad array of both technical and interpersonal skills. During a given week, you might assist a town with a grant application to a state bicycle/pedestrian program; arrange for a traffic count in a downtown; advise a planning commission on traffic calming options in a village; organize local outreach related to a state bridge reconstruction project; plan the agenda for an upcoming meeting of the region’s road foremen; attend a meeting about transit service for the elderly and disabled; work with colleagues on a strategy to find funding to assist a town with the replacement of a culvert that exacerbates flooding and precludes aquatic organism passage; and lead the WRC Transportation Committee in a discussion about updating the regional transportation plan.
The position requires an understanding of transportation into and out of the region by interstate highway, transit, and rail; in small, dense regional centers that are urban in form; in small villages and hamlets connected by state and municipal highways; and across a vast network of paved and dirt town roads. It requires familiarity with vehicular, transit, rail, bicycle, pedestrian, and recreation trail systems and infrastructure. It requires the ability to work with towns that often have very limited administrative capacity, but which have road foremen or public works directors who are intimately familiar with their respective transportation networks.
Direct coordination between and among town and state officials and local stakeholders is foundational to this work. Work is in the office and in the field in all seasons and weather, with some evening travel for meetings in towns and at least monthly day trips to Montpelier to meet with fellow regional transportation planners and VTrans staff.
During times of disaster, the transportation coordinator is a key member of our response team, assisting with the collection of information about transportation infrastructure damage and assisting with recovery.
The ability to collaborate with colleagues across a broad spectrum of regional planning areas is essential, including land use, energy, natural resources and water quality, climate resilience and reduction of carbon emissions, community and economic development, and public health. Colleagues will look to the transportation coordinator to be visionary and take the lead on transportation elements of the work of the Commission as a whole.