Mercer Planning Associates (MPA), a boutique land-use planning firm based in Jersey City, seeks an individual with interest and/or experience in community outreach, economic development, and long-range planning. The MPA 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, conduct research and analysis, and produce educational programming and content.

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

MPA is open to hiring either a Junior or Senior level planner. Job responsibilities and expectations are commensurate with the level of the candidate’s experience.

Key responsibilities associated with this role:

  • Data Analysis:Collect, analyze, and interpret economic data to identify trends, opportunities, and challenges. Use data-driven insights to inform decision-making.
  • Data and Map Preparation:Prepare maps and graphics that help to effectively convey critical data and help tell important stories about communities.
  • Content Production: Prepare draft content for presentations to clients, stakeholders, and the public. Draft text for components of studies and plans and interim deliverables that are technically competent and accessible to the intended audience(s).
  • Community Outreach Tools: Implement community outreach processes and tools, including creating and maintaining stakeholder lists, developing focus group guides, constructing and analyzing 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.
  • Current Events: Stay up to date and highlight relevant legislation and policy initiatives that pertain to economic development, land use, and transportation.
  • Quality Control: Ensure tasks are completed to a high standard that exceeds client expectations.
  • Other duties as needed.


  • Organized and detail-oriented with superior analytic and research skills.
  • Tech savvy with the ability to learn new programs quickly. Proficient with ESRI desktop software and online products (Business Analyst experience a plus), proficient with Microsoft Office (including advanced data analysis in Excel), Google Suite, and Adobe Suite (visual design skills highly desired). Comfortable with the ZOOM platform. Experience with WordPress is a plus.
  • Works independently while understanding the necessity for communicating and coordinating work efforts with the manager.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • 1-7 years of experience in a planning or economic development position with similar duties. Project management experience is a bonus.
  • Degree in Planning, Economics, Public Policy, Urban Studies, or a related field (master’s degree preferred, but undergraduate degree considered for highly qualified candidates).
  • Bilingual candidates desired.

This is a full-time position. Reduced full-time hours are negotiable. The position is primarily 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. Unfortunately, MPA does not have the capacity to sponsor work visas.

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/MPAapplication). The position will remain open until filled. We anticipate interviewing in early February 2024.