Transportation Policy Associate
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) seeks a talented and committed individual to support our work on transportation policy, which seeks to improve the equity and sustainability of the transportation system. This position is primarily meant to support and learn from CNT’s longtime transportation leader, VP of Government Affairs Jacky Grimshaw, while positioning the Associate for growth in the field. This position is designed for an early-career professional.
CNT is seeking a motivated early-career professional with a strong commitment to the goals of transportation equity and meaningful community engagement, and an interest in achieving these goals by influencing government policies, practices, and investments.
This position is meant to build on the legacy of Jacky Grimshaw, who joined CNT in the 1990s and has greatly influenced both CNT’s own approach to transportation equity and the way the topic is treated on the national stage. Part of the Associate’s job will be to support Jacky by participating in meetings with her, noting internal and external follow-ups, and communicating with others at CNT to bring other organizational resources to Jacky’s priorities. The goal is to introduce the Associate to Jacky’s connections and build the Associate’s understanding of how change the transportation field is accomplished, as well as making Jacky’s time most productive.
The Associate will have responsibilities beyond the direct engagement with Jacky noted above. CNT is engaged with several project and coalitions that seek to influence transportation policy, and the Associate is expected to play a central and ultimately leadership position in them. Ongoing and upcoming projects include:
- Leadership of a national coalition meant to overcome institutional barriers that make it difficult to engage community-based organizations in transportation planning and decision-making. In particular, this group is trying to address the difficulty public agencies have in compensating CBOs appropriately for their time.
- National research on best practices in community engagement in the transportation field. Through several projects funded by both government and philanthropy, we hope to push standard practice in the transportation field toward more meaningful and accountable engagement of marginalized communities.
- In the Chicago region, regular advocacy to city, county, regional, and state officials about transportation equity and sustainability priorities. This sometimes includes work on contract with these agencies, and sometimes advocacy from the outside to push them in better directions.
We believe in working closely and equitably with local community-based organizations in ways that share power, knowledge, and resources. CNT has strengthened our commitment to racial equity in our mission, structure, and practices. The successful candidate will demonstrate an understanding of frameworks and practices surrounding justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency. One of our goals with this position is to diversify leadership in the transportation sector, and people of color and women are encouraged to apply.
Skills, knowledge, and abilities:
- Commitment to transportation equity, environmental justice, and sustainability.
- Strong communication abilities and willingness to engage with external stakeholders, including government, private sector, and the media, among others.
- Strong knowledge of the transportation equity field, matched with strong policy analysis skills, writing abilities, and attention to detail.
- Multi-disciplinary interest and knowledge of emerging issues in transportation, climate, water, and similar elements of the built environment, and understanding of their potential to affect our cities and broader society.
- Willingness to work in a mission-driven organization to accomplish challenging goals. Ability and willingness to work as part of a multidisciplinary and diverse team.
- Education in urban planning, transportation, public policy, social justice, or a related field. A Bachelor’s degree is required for this position.
This position is meant to be a two-year commitment. After that time, contingent on available resources, it is hoped that the Associate can join CNT in a permanent role. The Transportation Policy Associate position would then be filled by another early-career professional.
This position is designed for early-career candidates with no more than 2 years of full-time work experience.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has operated at the intersection of sustainability and equity since 1978. Our mission is to deliver innovative analysis and solutions that support community-based organizations and local governments to create neighborhoods that are equitable, sustainable, and resilient. CNT provides:
- Analysis - rigorous, interdisciplinary analysis of urban and regional problems to produce evidence-based solutions, including sophisticated data tools and online resources to make findings usable.
- Engagement and Empowerment - engagement of neighborhood partners and local government leaders, supporting and empowering them to improve their communities.
- Innovation - innovative and data-driven policy, financial, and technological solutions.
- Entrepreneurship - where there are gaps in service, entrepreneurial approaches to create new programs to solve problems we uncover.
CNT takes pride in our history of innovative and out-of-the-box thinking, with a willingness to explore untested approaches and a commitment to advance the priorities of community-based organizations. CNT programs address climate change, transportation equity, housing affordability, resilient water systems, and many other urban issues. CNT values the principles of environmental sustainability and racial equity, and candidates should understand that achieving these are the ultimate purpose of all of CNT’s projects.
Salary, Benefits, and Location
The salary for this position will be based on qualifications and in the $50,000-$60,000 range.
CNT offers 20 vacation days, 12 holidays, 5 sick days, and 2 personal days annually, and a competitive benefits package. We respect life-work balance and are supportive of staff with families. CNT permits all staff to work from home during COVID-19 according to their preference and will maintain a flexible schedule in the long term. CNT expects all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be willing to become vaccinated after their hire.
Our preference is for this position to be based in Chicago, but this is negotiable.
Employment Policy: It is the policy of CNT that all employees are employed at the will of CNT. Continued employment is subject to funding availability and job performance.
Anti-Discrimination Policy: CNT is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate against any employee or job applicant based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, veteran status, or marital status. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, termination, promotion, transfer, layoff, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
How to Apply
Please send cover letter and resume by December 14, 2022 to:
Human Resources/Center for Neighborhood Technology
17 N State, Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60602
or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please write “Transportation Policy Associate” in the email subject line. No phone calls please.
View CNT's diversity policy here.