Job Details

Community Engagement Specialist (2 positions)

Metro, Portland, OR

Job - Government

Close Date: 07/15/2019

Position summary
Two full-time positions are available. These positions will be filled at the associate or senior level depending on the qualifications of the successful candidates. The salary ranges listed below reflect a 2.5% increase effective July 1, 2019. Appointments are typically made at or near the beginning of the salary range.

Associate pay range: $60,590.40 - $81,244.80 annually
Senior pay range: $70,158.40 - $94,057.60 annually

Are you passionate about elevating community voices and ensuring the future decisions at Metro include the opinions of people from all backgrounds? You could help influence how the future of greater Portland is planned as one of Metro's next Community Engagement Specialists.

You understand that the essence of community engagement involves building and nurturing relationships. You keep a strategic eye on how decisions are made to ensure that the public's voice is considered. As part of Metro's community engagement team, you will show up, remain open, listen and then respond to what's most important to the people Metro serves.

You will help plan land use and transportation programs for more than 1.6 million residents of greater Portland in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.

You engage the public in rolling out the region's first affordable housing bond. Your work will help plan for future transportation investments, advise on decisions about how the region grows, evaluate new transportation technologies and update Metro's 50-year vision for greater Portland.
You will also help shape Metro's ongoing community engagement practices by providing strategic guidance on key partnerships, community relationships and coalition-building activities. Metro's strategic plan to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion directs Metro staff to meaningfully engage communities of color and other historically marginalized groups, which includes strategies such as: co-creation of engagement plans, working with youth, investing resources for contracting and partnering, and more.

The ideal candidate will bring fresh ideas –and a track record of activating and energizing communities. Metro is looking for somebody who has both big-picture vision and the ability to coordinate project teams, track budgets and execute details. A strong candidate will have experience working with communities of color, immigrant populations, rural populations or other disadvantaged populations around greater Portland.

Be prepared to develop and manage partnerships with community organizations; support elected officials, senior leadership, committees and staff; and facilitate discussions and organize workshops. An understanding of communications best practices is important, as well as the ability to identify opportunities to advance community engagement through web content, social media, advertising, media outreach and other channels. This position will work with engagement and communications strategists with experience in housing, land use and transportation planning, so that experience is a plus but not required. The position will work closely with and take direction from Metro planning staff so an ability to collaborate and work as a team is important.

Strong consideration will be given to candidates with demonstrated capabilities in project management, creation of in-progress written reports to management teams, and experience developing and administering vendor contracts and procurement processes in either a nonprofit, corporate or government institution.

Metro hires a workforce representative of the communities we serve, understanding that a diverse workforce strengthens our organization. We value diversity and support a positive and welcoming environment where all our employees can thrive.

Application Requirements
1) Electronic application, 2) answers to supplemental questions, 3) a work sample 4) and a cover letter describing your qualifications as they relate to the duties of this position.

Essential Job Duties
An employee in this position must be able to perform all of the essential job duties listed below with or without reasonable accommodation; however, this list is not intended to include all of the specific tasks which an employee in this position may be expected to perform.

Associate Public Affairs Specialist

Implement community engagement strategies to generate community and partner input for policies, long-term plans and community investments
Generate marketing and storytelling opportunities
Study the objectives, policies and needs of a planning project and work with team members to identify audiences, engagement needs and evaluation methods
Evaluate and summarize information and feedback gathered from the community to inform decision-making processes. Uses multiple methods to connect senior staff and elected officials to integrate community findings into decision making process
Demonstrate an understanding of historic marginalization and that impact on communities of color in Portland
Ensure that all engagement plans address the needs of culturally specific communities and other underserved audiences
Develop and coordinate community partnerships that help deliver on engagement strategies through strong, long-term relationships.
Suggest community partnerships and coalition-building activities
Contribute to staff teams by collaborating with a diverse group of communication professionals.
Identify new and creative ways to engage community members throughout the region
Plan and manage community events or activities to support engagement
Advance public engagement strategies through social media, advertising, media outreach and other channels
Write website or outreach content about project goals, process and public engagement efforts, with minimal editing needed
Give input on the formation of project advisory committees and facilitate committee meetings
Organize, analyze and summarize community feedback and produce reports and presentations with the results
Develop and analyze public opinion research to support engagement efforts
Partner with Metro's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team and Metro-wide Community Relations team to improve agency practices to engage and elevate the voices of historically marginalized communities
Coordinate translation of materials for LEP and non-English speaking communities
Evaluate the effectiveness of engagement efforts over time

Senior Public Affairs Specialist
All essential job duties listed for the Associate Public Affairs Specialist, plus
Create community engagement strategies and lead their implementation to generate community and partner input for policies, long-term plans and community investments.
Lead the identification of key audiences for large, complex planning policy and projects, the right level of engagement, key messaging, the methods for delivering and collecting information and the timing to ensure that community feedback influences important decisions
Facilitate and lead the management of complex events, online engagement and other engagement activities
Manage complex partnerships and build new relationships with leaders in other organizations
Lead marketing campaigns and storytelling efforts for planning projects
Engage directly with media, identifying ways to support Metro's planning projects/programs
Project manage community engagement activities and support the varying communication needs of multiple programs/projects looking for opportunities to leverage existing relationships and connect engagement efforts on multiple Metro initiatives.
Advise management and project teams on potential community impacts of proposed changes to Metro programs, policies and operations.
Develop scopes of work and manage contracts or grant programs with community-based organizations or private communications firms.
Make regular presentations to the public, Metro Council, Metro committees, staff from local cities and counties and planning staff.

This position is represented by AFSCME Local 3580 and is classified as either an associate public affairs specialist or senior public affairs specialist (click to read the full classification). Classification descriptions are typically written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.
Minimum Requirements
At least two years (for Associate) or five years (for Senior) of professional experience doing community engagement; and a Bachelor's degree in communications, public affairs, community development or related field; or any combination of education and experience that provides the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the job. A valid driver's license and good driving record, with ability to load and drive Metro vehicle to meetings and events is required. The ability to speak Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese or Russian is a plus.

An ideal candidate would:

Be comfortable engaging directly (in person, by email, and on the phone) with a wide-range of people from different cultures and lived experiences to understand their unique perspectives
Have experience implementing engagement strategies that involve a variety of people and partners, including culturally specific communities and other underserved groups
Demonstrate interest and/or experience with housing, land use or transportation
Have experience with government, public policy, land use or transportation planning
Have skills developing and nurturing relationships with leadership and staff of community-based organizations serving communities of color, immigrant populations, rural populations or other disadvantaged populations around greater Portland

Knowledge, skills and abilities

Associate Public Affairs Specialist
Knowledge, understanding and concern for economic, social and environmental equity.
Knowledge of culturally-responsive data collection methods, analysis and program evaluation.
Skill managing events and ability to coordinate all aspects of public meetings, workshops or community events
Skills for designing and implementing innovative community engagement strategies
Skill in verbal communication, including public speaking
Skill in writing, editing and messaging (website, social media posts, talking points, factsheets, engagement reports)
Skill in time management, organization and problem-solving
Skill in developing media, marketing and storytelling ideas to advance community engagement
Skills designing graphic materials to explain data or complex concepts is a plus
Ability to develop and managing partnerships with community organizations
Ability to professionally represent an organization at community meetings and events
Ability to explain complex concepts in simple, accessible language
Ability to work independently with minimal oversight
Ability to work occasional evenings, weekend or holiday shifts
Ability to lift up to 40 pounds and set up and break down tables, tents, banners and other event equipment
Ability to use Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel proficiently
Ability to use Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator or other design software a plus
Ability to understand and apply strategies that address how communities of color and other marginalized groups are impacted by our public policies and programs; apply strategies to overcome traditional barriers to participation by COC and other marginalized communities

Senior Public Affairs Specialist
All knowledge, skills and abilities listed for the Associate Public Affairs Specialist
Knowledge of community engagement/pubic involvement principals and best practices
Knowledge of government, public policy development, land use or transportation planning
Skill for leading project teams, including facilitating meetings and directing team members
Skills in group facilitation, leading decision-making processes and conflict resolution in large groups
Skills in direct media relations
Skills for managing contracts and budgets with public engagement firms or vendors or managing grant programs with non-profit organizations
Knowledge of local, State and Federal public involvement statutes and reporting requirements
Ability to design strategic community engagement plans and formulate policy for government-led programs and projects in collaboration with program/project staff (including engagement budgets, capacity/resource management and timelines)
Ability to manage all aspects of large, complex communications projects
Ability to train and lead other professionals
Additional Information
Online applications: Metro accepts job applications online. If you need assistance or accommodation with your application, or access to a computer, call 503-797-1570.

Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is available to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this process. To obtain confidential assistance please contact Human Resources (503) 797-1570.

Public Employees Retirement System (PERS): New employees will pay the employee portion of the PERS contribution.

Veterans' Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for veterans' preference when applying for Metro positions. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for a veterans' preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents as instructed during the application process.

Criminal background check: In order to protect the wellbeing of its employees, the public and agency assets, Metro may conduct criminal background checks on candidates selected for Metro positions. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude employment and will be considered on a case by case basis. A background check will only be conducted if you are selected as a finalist for a position. If selected as a finalist, you will be contacted by Human Resources prior to the initiation of a background check.

Equal employment opportunity: All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made or any other status protected by law. Assistance will be gladly provided upon request for any applicant with sensory or non-sensory disabilities.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer

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