Mercer Planning Associates (MPA), a boutique land-use planning firm based in Jersey City, seeks an individual with experience in community outreach, economic development, and long-range planning. The MPA Senior Planner will be mentored by the firm’s Principal and introduced to a network of planning and economic development professionals as they work to implement community engagement initiatives, design continuing education programming, and produce topical articles and other research-based content.

The current projects/clients include community engagement for several city and county-wide transportation planning initiatives, educational content creation for various clients, and management of an economic development-related non-profit organization (Downtown New Jersey).

Key responsibilities associated with this role:

  • Research: Conduct research and data collection on community conditions, trends, and case studies, and present information clearly and compellingly in multiple formats.
  • Map Preparation: Prepare maps and graphics that help to effectively convey critical data and help tell important stories about communities.
  • Community Outreach Tools: Develop and implement client community outreach processes and tools, including creating and maintaining stakeholder lists, developing focus group guides, constructing survey and interactive map tools, and developing in-person and virtual outreach materials.
  • Graphic and Process Materials: Prepare, review, and/or oversee the preparation of communications and outreach materials for planning processes, including designing print collateral and online communications tools, website design, online survey and interactive map tools, and other engagement tools.
  • Facilitation Support: Participate in and take detailed notes during public meetings, open houses, and other client outreach activities, and analyze public input gathered.
  • Produce Content: Prepare draft content for presentations to clients, stakeholders, and the public. Draft text for components of studies and plans and interim deliverables that is technically competent and accessible to the intended audience(s).
  • Current Events: Stay up to date and highlight relevant legislation and policy initiatives that pertain to downtowns and economic development. Curate quarterly newsletter of topical articles for Downtown New Jersey.
  • Programming: Assist in planning and executing monthly educational programming and the annual conference for Downtown New Jersey.
  • Quality Control: Ensure tasks are completed to a high standard.
  • Other duties as needed.

The ideal candidate:

  • Works independently while understanding the necessity for communicating and coordinating work efforts with the manager.
  • Has strong organizational skills and is detail-oriented.
  • Has strong communication skills both in oral and written form and the ability to communicate complex ideas to a broad audience.
  • Has remarkable interpersonal skills and is comfortable communicating and collaborating with diverse stakeholders.
  • Is technologically savvy with the ability to learn new programs quickly. Proficient with Microsoft Office (including SharePoint/Teams and data analysis in Excel), Google Suite products, Adobe Suite (visual design skills highly desired), ESRI desktop software and online products. Comfortable with the ZOOM platform. Experience with WordPress is a plus.
  • Has 3-6 years of experience in a planning position with similar duties. Project management experience is a bonus.
  • Has obtained a degree in planning, policy, urban studies, or a related field (master’s degree preferred, but undergraduate degree considered for highly qualified candidates).
  • Bilingual candidates preferred.

This is a full-time position. Reduced full-time hours are negotiable. The position is remote but requires travel to client meetings and outreach activities in New Jersey (mostly Northern/Central), as well as twice monthly travel to downtown Jersey City for in-person staff meetings and other periodic staff meetings as necessary. A laptop and job-relevant software will be provided. Occasional project-related travel within New Jersey is reimbursed at IRS rates. Flexible schedule and robust paid time off. Retirement match after 1 year in service. Salary commensurate with experience.

Please provide a cover letter and resume, representative samples of work, and 2-3 references to Courtenay Mercer, AICP, PP using our job application form (https://bit.ly/MPASrPlanner). The position will remain open until filled. We anticipate interviewing in mid-August 2023.