NOW HIRING: Associate Planner

The Organization 

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a regional planning entity comprised of local communities and transportation agencies in the Des Moines, Iowa, metropolitan region.  The Des Moines Area MPO provides a regional forum to ensure coordination between the public and local, state, and federal agencies regarding planning issues, primarily transportation issues, and to prepare related plans and programs. The Des Moines Area MPO develops both long- and short-range multimodal transportation plans, selects and approves projects for federal funding based upon regional priorities, and develops methods to reduce traffic congestion.   

The Opportunity 

The Des Moines Area MPO seeks to fill an Associate Planner position on its staff.  An exempt, full time position, the Associate Planner will work under the general direction of the MPO’s Executive Director to perform a variety of professional transportation planning assignments and activities.  Duties will include, but not be limited to, the following: 

  • Developing plans, studies, and reports.  
  • Using GIS to develop maps and perform data analysis. 
  • Delivering presentations to boards and committees. 
  • Facilitating public engagement. 
  • Working with other MPO planners and/or with stakeholders from MPO member governments and partner agencies on transportation related issues. 

The position will be expected to: 

  • Enter data and prepare document text and graphics using word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software. 
  • Possess excellent written and oral communication skills, as the MPO staff regularly communicates with our member governments and their staffs, as well as the many agencies and organizations involved in the MPO’s planning process. 
  • Attend and facilitate MPO committees, subcommittees, work groups, and roundtable meetings. 
  • Use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to analyze various data and to produce maps. 
  • Complete other tasks, as assigned, including researching, summarizing, and using data collected from various sources, including the Internet, to prepare work documents. 

Education, Experience, and Skills Desired 

The ideal applicant should: 

  • Be a graduate of an accredited college or university, with major coursework in transportation planning, urban and/or regional planning, community development, public administration, geography, environmental studies, engineering, or closely related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.   
  • Be familiar with planning principles, concepts, techniques, and abilities; understand the relationship among interconnected regional systems, including transportation, built and natural environmental systems, affordable housing, and economic development. 
  • Have both technical skills, including a strong understanding of GIS software, and also public participation skills and the capability of explaining complex, technical information to a layperson audience.   
  • Be able to work both as a team member and independently, possess excellent verbal and written communication skills, handle a high volume of work in a busy and demanding environment, effectively prioritize and handle multiple projects simultaneously, and contribute to the success of those projects.  Accuracy and timeliness in completing assignments is extremely important.  
  • Have word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software knowledge. 
  • Be prepared to accomplish his/her work at the MPO’s office located in Des Moines, IA, including travelling to the office at his/her own expense. 
  • Expect to be working with computer applications for most of the workday. 
  • Understand that this position requires sitting for a majority of the work period, with intermittent standing, bending, or carrying of light items such as papers and books. 
  • Understand that employment with the MPO is contingent upon successful completion of a pre-employment physical and drug test. 
  • Understand that the MPO is a non-smoking, drug-free work environment. 
  • Understand that the MPO is a professional office where employees always adhere to a dress code and to a code of conduct, as outlined in the MPO’s Employee Handbook.  

Compensation and Benefits 

The position will have a starting salary range of between $50,000 and $65,000 depending on qualifications. The Des Moines Area MPO offers an excellent benefits package including the following:   

  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance. 
  • Participation in the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS) and a 457(b) deferred compensation plan with employer match up to 5%. 
  • 15 days starting vacation, paid sick time, 11 paid holidays, and flexible work hours. 
  • Free covered parking, a free transit pass, and free bike-share usage. 
  • Tuition assistance, professional membership dues, and registration/travel for professional conferences. 

How to Apply  

If interested in this internship, please submit the following, via mail or email, to the address below: 

Mail: Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization 

Attn: Dylan Mullenix 
Executive Director 
420 Watson Powell, Suite 200 
Des Moines, IA  50309 

The Executive Director will evaluate the submitted applications to determine applicants deemed best qualified to interview for the Associate Planner position, and the MPO staff will contact, by email or phone, any applicant selected for an interview.   

The Des Moines Area MPO is an equal opportunity employer. 

Qualified applicants with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations in order to attend the interview must inform this office before the interview date. 

Application Deadline:  Open Until Filled
Date Released:  April 30, 2024 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *