Community Planning Specialist - Department of Commerce - Helena, Montana

Position Title: 

Community Planning Specialist - (19141608)


The Community Development Division of the Department of Commerce is looking for a Community Planning Program Land Use Planning Specialist with rich experience in providing technical assistance and expertise in the field of land use planning to Montana's communities and administration of planning grants.

The Community Planning Specialist also provides training for local government officials and staff, development organizations, and consultants by organizing workshops and training sessions on topics ranging from the preparation of a growth policy to the development and adoption of local land use regulations.  As part of these technical assistance efforts,  this position assists in the preparation  and distribution of handbooks and templates on topics such as how to prepare and implement capital improvements plans, growth policies, subdivision regulations, zoning, and development permit systems.  Training and technical assistance is provided by telephone and internet communication as well as periodic regional workshops and onsite trainings as requested by local governments or organizations. Community Planning Program staff also maintain a library of relevant planning resources and sample policies and regulations available for loan, and prepares handbooks, model regulations, and reference materials that can be downloaded from the Department’s website. 

If you are a natural communicator with strong personal motivation, the ability to support operational goals, and the initiative to meet business objectives, this may be the opportunity for you.

All applicants selected for an interview will be required to complete an exercise related to the essential functions of the job as part of the interview process. Details about the parameters of the exercise will be provided in advance.

HOW TO APPLY: You are REQUIRED to attach a cover letter and resume at the time of application. In your cover letter please address the following question:

How has your professional career and education prepared you to meet the requirements of this position? 

In your resume, include all work experience you have held that would help you qualify for this position, including duties and dates of employment (month & year - start & end).

A complete state application is not required; however, you will need to initiate the application and attach the cover letter and resume in order to be considered for this position. Failure to attach the cover letter and resume will result in your application being incomplete and will not be considered further.

Only electronic applications will be accepted. Materials submitted but not requested will not be considered in the selection process.

All documents for Veteran or Disability preference must be received or date stamped by the closing date. You will receive an email with instructions on how to submit such documents.

If you need an accommodation with the application process, please contact the HR office.

For a copy of the complete job description send your request to


Minimum Qualifications:
Bachelor’s Degree in Planning, Public Administration, Business Administration, Accounting, Finance, Economics, Engineering, Architecture or other related area plus two (2) or more years of professional state government or other public sector grant and/or loan program involving compliance with state and federal requirements.   

A master’s degree in the above disciplines or a related area is desirable, as is professional certification from the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). 

Equivalent combinations of education and job related experience may be considered.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:


A thorough knowledge of land use planning best practices and community development concepts is expected of this position; knowledge of program planning, public administration, management and fiscal accountability practices is desired.  The successful applicant will have working knowledge of applicable federal and state public facility financing programs; public facility management techniques; capital improvement planning and financing; construction techniques; and general knowledge of local government administration.  Familiarity with grant program terminology, rules, guidelines, and procedures is beneficial, as is working knowledge of applicable state and federal laws and administrative rules that apply to grants projects, such as procurement and labor standards.



The Land Use Planning Specialist should have proficiency with computer systems and software in order to process and manipu­late documents, spreadsheets, forms, correspon­dence, reports, data tracking, maps and graphics.  The successful applicant must be skilled in Microsoft Windows-based OS, Outlook, Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat and have the ability to design charts and graphs, audiovisual presentations, workshop materials, and edit technical publications and reports.  Experience with Adobe Design Suite programs (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc.) is beneficial; working knowledge of, and past experience using ESRI software including ArcGIS, CommunityViz and other community planning and data analysis tools is strongly desired. 


The successful applicant should possess the following abilities:  Ability to work independently, to coordinate and supervise project activities under general guidance and direction.  Ability to develop and implement policies and procedures to attain various program objectives and compliance with various program requirements.  Ability to be sensitive to political issues and to keep Program Managers, Operations Manager, and Division Administrator informed of issues that arise.  Ability to analyze and interpret financial information, including grant and loan disbursement amounts, facility user fees, and bonded indebtedness.  Ability to conduct research and analyses.  Ability to negotiate, persuade, and take corrective action, when necessary.  Ability to exercise independent authority, to manage a large and complex workload, and to respond to non-routine situations. Ability to work under stress of short deadlines, multiple projects, and changing priorities, and to plan and complete work on a timely basis.  Ability to pay close attention to detail and follow oral and written instructions.  Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Ability to establish and maintain effective and positive working relationships with co-workers, local and state officials; local, state and federal agency staff; consultants; legislators; and the general public.  Ability to think critically and problem solve within the context of land use planning statutes, applicable regulations and professional best practices.  Ability to effectively communicate land use planning concepts orally and in writing to elected officials, members of the public, and laypersons outside of the profession.  Ability to travel for workshops, conferences, and as requested by the Operations Manager and Division Administrator.  

Applicant Pool Statement: If another department vacancy occurs in this job title within six months, the same applicant pool may be used for the selection. Training Assignment: This agency may use a training assignment. Employees in training assignments may be paid below the base pay established by the agency pay rules. Conditions of the training assignment will be stated in writing at the time of hire.

Job: Project/Program Management

Salary: $21.53 - 26.90 Hourly

Benefits Package Eligibility: Health Insurance, Paid Leave & Holidays, Retirement Plan

Number of Openings: 1

Employee Status: Regular

Schedule: Full-Time

Shift: Day Job

Travel: Yes, 25 % of the Time

Primary Location: Helena

Agency: Department of Commerce

Union: 000 - None

Bargaining Unit: 000 - None

Posting Date: Jul 9, 2019, 9:08:49 AM

Closing Date (based on your computer's timezone): Jul 30, 2019, 11:59:00 PM

Required Application Materials: Cover Letter, Resume


Contact Name: Penny Fassett | Contact Email: | Contact Phone: 406-841-2718 The State of Montana has a decentralized human resources system and each agency is responsible for its own recruitment and selection process. An employee or applicant who needs a reasonable accommodation during the application or hiring process should contact the state agency human resources staff identified on the job listing as soon as possible or use the relay service by dialing 711. Montana Job Service Offices also offer support services including assisting applicants with submitting online applications.

Montana State Government does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, or sexual orientation), age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, creed, political affiliation, veteran status, military service, retaliation, or any other factor not related to the merit and qualifications of an employee or applicant.

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