Planning Research Coordinator (Grade 26. 12726)
OPENING DATE: 05/29/19
CLOSING DATE: 06/26/19 11:59 PM
For over 90 years, The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) has enjoyed a national reputation for excellence in planning and, today, serves the culturally diverse populations of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties on the border of Washington, D.C. The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of M-NCPPC, provides county-wide planning functions including long range planning as well as reviews of development applications in a diverse built environment of downtown urban districts, suburban communities and agricultural areas.
The Montgomery County Planning Department has pioneered nationally-modeled programs in agricultural preservation, inclusionary housing, and transit-oriented design. Montgomery County is evolving quickly as a model of new suburbanism, shifting away from traditional suburban greenfield development to a greater emphasis on infill redevelopment and urbanizing areas around transit and key corridors. The links between mobility, land use and the jobs/housing balance will be critical in determining the future sustainability of the County.
The Research and Special Projects Division (R&SP) is looking for an urban planning and policy researcher with extensive experience in data analysis, particularly using demographic, economic, housing, employment, and real estate data sources, to lead a range of applied research and special studies in support of land use planning policy initiatives. The ideal candidate must demonstrate strong writing skills and be able to communicate ideas through graphics and narrative to non-technical audiences. The Planning Research Coordinator will be responsible for identifying issues warranting further study, developing sound and creative methodological approaches, collecting and analyzing statistical and spatial data, and drafting reports and other written projects that present findings to non-technical audiences. The role will include collaboration with planning staff and other agency partners. One major initiative over the next year will be the update to the County's 30-year General Plan. This role will support the economic health theme by building on previous research to develop recommendations to enhance economic growth in the county. The candidate should also be a strong synthesizer of information across urban planning and policy disciplines to help the department break down silos and present comprehensive research that influences a wide range of internal and external audiences.
EXAMPLES OF IMPORTANT DUTIES:
The Planning Research Coordinator will be expected to perform the following activities:
- Develop and conduct applied research studies to inform land use related policy decisions, including designing sound methodological approaches, collecting and analyzing data, and drafting concise reports with salient findings. Topics will change based on trending issues, but are expected to cover economy, employment, real estate markets, small businesses, demographics, health, etc.
- Use expertise in the latest data analysis methods, including spatial analysis, to help the Division develop new and creative approaches to analyzing data. Provide guidance on data analysis and research methods. Provide support for quality control and ensure data accuracy.
- Write white papers, reports, short policy briefs, blog posts, etc. to communicate findings from studies to broad audiences. Length of research projects will vary from comprehensive multi-month studies, to shorter one-off requests for data.
- Support the update to the General Plan, specifically focused on economic issues facing the County.
- Collaborate with department staff to provide data to support master plans, other policy initiatives, and Research division publications.
- Build relationships and coordinate with partner agencies, such as Small Business Services, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, etc.
- Oversee management of key databases, software, and other technical resources that support the Planning Department's research function.
- Provide informative information and expertise through presentations to the Planning Board, County Council, County Executive, County Departments, and other key regional stakeholders.
- Periodically, manage work of outside consultants conducting additional studies.
ADDITIONAL DESIRED SKILLS
- Extensive experience with SPSS or other similar data analysis packages
- Experience with managing large databases, such as Census public use files, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and property assessment data
- Experience with real estate market analysis
- Familiarity with ArcGIS
Master's degree in planning, architecture, parks, engineering, environmental science, or equivalent disciplines related to job function and three years of progressively responsible professional level planning experience at the journey level; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Individuals with backgrounds in economics, public policy, and/or statistics are encouraged to apply.
The Montgomery County Planning Department is conveniently located in downtown Silver Spring. Accessible by the Metro and MARC trains. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission offers excellent benefits and competitive salaries.