Regional Planner - Borders
San Diego Association of Governments - San Diego, CA

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The Long-Range Transportation and Binational Planning section addresses planning issues from three perspectives: the binational perspective with relation to our international border with the Republic of Mexico; the interregional perspective regarding issues with our neighbors in Orange, Riverside, and Imperial County; and collaboration with tribal governments within San Diego County. Guiding principles serve as a framework for the development and implementation of policy objectives and actions to help advance important initiatives and enhance the crossborder region. Fair and equitable planning with consideration of interregional impacts, shared infrastructure, and efficient transportation systems help to align planning initiatives with the needs of neighboring counties, tribal governments, and the Republic of Mexico.

A major focus for this program is coordinating with key stakeholders in both the U.S. and Mexico for a number of activities, including meetings with public officials and staff, shared planning projects, co-sponsorships of joint binational and interregional seminars, meetings, and studies, including borders initiatives for inclusion in long-term strategic plans such as San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan.

Regional Planner - Borders Role

The Regional Planner will participate in special studies and planning projects that support the short- and long-term policies and strategies designed to improve collaboration and coordination between the San Diego region and neighboring jurisdictions, develop and maintain relationships and dialogue with the local binational community and adjacent counties, and provide information and assistance to member agencies, policy and advisory committees, and the public.

Job Responsibilities

This position is ideal for an entry to mid-level planning professional with a strong interest in furthering his or her expertise in inter-regional planning including binational planning. We anticipate significant career development will occur while working on the types of duties and responsibilities described below and through mentoring and close collaboration with senior staff. Examples of primary responsibilities include:
  • Provide assistance with a broad range inter-regional projects, programs, and studies such as the Border Health Equity Transportation Study and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation Access Study of the California/Mexico Land Ports of Entry (POEs).
  • Conduct research and analysis that support recommendations related to effective inter-regional and binational initiatives for inclusion in long-term strategic plans such as San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan; draft policies and strategies for consideration by regional decision-makers.
  • Conduct research, collect and compile information, and prepare reports to support the implementation of planning initiatives including preliminary research and analysis of social, economic, demographic, transportation, land use, and environmental data and trends.
  • Assist with the preparation of written, oral, and visual reports to policy and other committees, member agencies, community groups, private organizations, and members of the public; prepare staff reports as required.
  • Provide technical expertise related to inter-regional and binational coordination matters to agency staff; participate in project teams or committees involving other departments, member agencies, local, state, and federal agencies, and the public to assist in the formulation of inter-regional coordination policies.
  • Provide staff support for policy and advisory committees including SANDAG's Borders Committee and the Committee on Binational Regional Opportunities (COBRO); assist with the preparation and coordination of agendas, meeting materials, reports, and meeting summaries; participate in the development of staff recommendations.
  • Establish and maintain effective and cooperative working relationships with representatives from member and partner organizations.
  • Research funding opportunities for inter-regional and binational planning programs through local, state, and federal grants; participate in the development of grant proposals and coordinate submission of funding applications; prepare status and final reports.
  • Support the development of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) including project plans, scopes of work, project budgets, and consultant selection criteria; assist with the evaluation of consultant proposals, contract oversight, reporting requirements, invoicing, and reviewing deliverables.
  • Compile, analyze and report the results of current programs and the effect of new policies or legislation.
  • Assist with English/Spanish translation of documents, letters, and other materials as required.
  • Attend meetings and gather information on programs that may benefit the organization.
  • Provide assistance to senior level staff and executives.

Experience and Qualifications

Numerous factors contribute to an individual’s ability to be successful in any given role. For this position, we are searching for a candidate with an aptitude for analytical thinking and problem solving who is responsible, organized, and demonstrates initiative. Excellent oral and written communication skills, the ability to work collaboratively, and the use of sound judgment are important.

The minimum education, training, and experience qualifications include a bachelor’s degree with major course work in urban, regional, or inter-regional planning, or a related field, and one to two years of career experience in urban/inter-regional planning with an emphasis on borders/binational issues. An advanced degree is desirable.

The following information describes the specific types of career experiences that are most relevant to this position:
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and some experience with the principles, practices, and current trends related to inter-regional planning and coordination and the development and implementation of comprehensive strategic plans.
  • Familiarity with pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, and regulations related to inter-regional and binational land use and transportation planning; familiarity with current political trends and issues related to these areas is desirable.
  • Experience participating in technical research and planning studies, evaluating alternatives, and preparing draft policy recommendations for decision-makers.
  • Experience collecting, compiling, and analyzing data from a variety of sources for use in planning programs and projects; ability to prepare clear and concise reports that present research results and recommendations, including the interpretation of data, trends, maps, charts, and tables.
  • Ability to determine essential elements and regional significance of inter-regional and/or binational coordination and other planning issues.
  • Familiarity with grant administration processes and procedures; experience researching funding opportunities and assisting in the development of grant proposals.
  • Experience working in a collaborative work environment with comprehensive planning and special projects related to long-range planning.
  • Experience assisting and supporting the development of RFPs, scopes of work, budgets, and schedules, consultant selection, and contract administration.
  • Experience providing staff support for committees and/or working groups, including assisting with the preparation of agendas, reports, and meeting summaries.
  • Ability to communicate with various audiences with divergent viewpoints, using interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills; proficiency with the Spanish language, both oral and written, is highly desirable.
  • Experience establishing and maintaining productive working relationships with local, state, and federal agencies, government officials, community groups, and the public
  • Effective time management and organizational skills and the ability to prioritize multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment; ability to exercise good judgment and work independently.
  • Demonstrated computer software proficiency using various programs from the Microsoft Office Suite, conducting research on the Internet, and other PC-based applications.

Salary and Benefits

SANDAG rewards the efforts of its employees with a comprehensive compensation package. Competitive salaries are supplemented with a flexible offering of health, financial security, and time-off benefits to meet the work and life needs of employees and their families.

This Regional Planner position will be filled at the Planner I or II level depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. The annual salary ranges are: Planner I - $44,837 to $71,739 per year; Planner II - $49,432 to $79,092 per year.

Our benefits include traditional health, dental, and vision insurance as well as employee assistance, wellness, and work/life balance programs. Retirement and financial security benefits are provided through a pension plan and deferred compensation program. To support the need to rest and rejuvenate, employees are provided with a bank of paid time off in addition to paid holidays.

How to Apply

We encourage all interested candidates to apply for this position by completing a SANDAG Employment Application form. Resumes, cover letters, and work samples may be submitted in addition to the Employment Application but are not a substitute for this document.

The Employment Application can be downloaded in PDF format from the SANDAG web site. Alternatively, a copy can be requested by calling (619) 699-1900 or emailing . Completed applications and related materials can be submitted via email, fax, regular mail, courier, or delivered by hand. See our Careers / How to Apply web page for additional information.

Applications for the Regional Planner position will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, October 4, 2013.

Applicants requiring an accommodation due to a disability should state their needs in writing when submitting an application.

Application Supplement

To help us further evaluate the skills and experience of individuals interested in this position, applicants are asked to respond to the Supplemental Questions below. The information can be up to 500 words per question and should be submitted with the Employment Application. This is considered a required component of the application; applications received without a response will be screened out of the selection process.

Supplemental Questions

1. Describe the role that borders planning plays in developing regional plans that support collaboration and coordination between the San Diego region and neighboring jurisdictions.

2. Identify some of the challenges that SANDAG and local jurisdictions may face in implementing binational projects in the San Diego region.

Candidate Selection and Notification

Following the close date for applications, all candidates will receive written confirmation that their application was received. The hiring manager will begin reviewing and evaluating applications within a few days of the close date. The best qualified candidates will be invited to continue in the selection process. All candidates will receive written notification as to the final outcome of their application.

Further Information

The SANDAG web site contains a wealth of information about our various project and program areas. The Careers section of the site lists all of our current Job Openings as well as information on how to apply for positions and Frequently Asked Questions about our recruitment process.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States.

SANDAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer