Cambridge Job Alert: Community Planner Positions with USDOT

Job Summary:

An innovative, fee-for service organization, the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center), part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT’s) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an internationally recognized Federal center of transportation innovation with a world-class, multidisciplinary technical team with expertise across all modes of transportation.

The Research and Innovative Technology Administration coordinates the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) research programs and is charged with advancing the deployment of cross-cutting technologies to improve our Nation’s transportation system.

They are seeking to fill a full time permanent Community Planner at entry-level, mid-level, or senior-level (grades GS-09, GS-11, and GS-12). The chosen candidate will be assigned to the Transportation Planning Division.

The ideal candidate is a self-starter and a team player with interest in developing, planning, and implementing guidance, tools, strategies, policies, plans, and programs related to transportation planning, environmental stewardship, realty, and transportation research. As part of their teams, you will help increase the level of expertise of transportation professionals within their clients’ organizations; support better-prepared transportation plans that serve national, state, regional, and local needs; and advance professional capacity building initiatives across federal and state agencies. The ideal candidate will demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams both within his/her organization and crossing organizational boundaries. You will work with several teams contributing to major projects, and lead other smaller projects.

This is a great opportunity for professionals with varying levels of experience in transportation planning, professional capacity building, and strategic and community and stakeholder involvement.

You must have superb analytical, communications, and problem-solving skills, and be able to excel in an entrepreneurial, fast-paced environment. Transcripts are required. You will be required to submit writing samples if you are invited to interview.

Key Requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen and meet specialized experience or education.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM EST on November 25, 2015.
  • Review Required Documents Section as documents are required by November 25, 2015.
  • Job announcement may be used to fill similar positions within 30 days.
  • Emailed applications will not be accepted, you must apply on line.
  • Announcement also advertised to status applicants: OST.RVOLPE-2016-0015.


  • Conducts studies of transportation planning, addressing the relationships between transportation, community development, and economic development.
  • Designs and implements stakeholder engagement strategies and communications, outreach efforts, educational and technical assistance activities, and tools and materials, including strategic communications products – such as web sites, brochures and reports – that disseminate information to key stakeholders and build the professional capacity of practitioners across the nation.
  • Identifies and develops techniques and strategies for improving transportation project delivery, planning, and decision-making, and developing effective program planning and evaluation documents.
  • Is responsible for developing problem statements and technical approaches, preparing schedules, conducting the work, monitoring progress and budget adherence, and ensuring quality control in the reporting of results.
  • Participates in meetings with sponsors and other interested parties to discuss important issues related to planning and related topics. The employee maintains contacts with other transportation professionals working in related areas for the purpose of information exchange.

Mandatory Education Requirements:

In order to qualify for this series, you must meet the following education/experience requirements: You must have completed a full 4-year course of study at an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s or higher degree in community planning or a related field such as urban affairs, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, sociology, geography, economics, political science, or public administration that included at least 12 semester hours in the planning process, socioeconomic and physical elements of planning, urban and regional economic analysis, and development finance, from an accredited college or university. Note: Applicants with degrees in related fields, such as those listed above, who do not have the 12 semester hours of specified course work must have had at least 1 year of work experience in community planning acquired under the supervision and guidance of a community planner.


You must have a combination of education and experience–courses equivalent to a major in one of the above disciplines, or a combination of related courses totaling at least 24 semester hours in any combination of the above disciplines of which at least 12 semester hours were in the planning process, and socioeconomic and physical elements of planning, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Conditions of Employment:

  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • DEU REQUIREMENTS: Applicants selected under delegated examining procedures may be required to successfully complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
  • BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION: Position is subject to background investigation.
  • TELEWORK: Telework is available

How You Will be Evaluated:

If you meet the qualification requirements, your application will be placed in one of four categories: Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze, which is based upon your responses to the vacancy questions. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran’s preference that have provided supporting documents will receive selection priority over non-veterans. The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. The answers you select in the on-line process must be substantiated in your application package. If upon review, it is determined that your described work history, competencies, and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, you may not be referred to the selecting official. Please ensure that your work history provides enough details to support your answers.

To preview questions please click hereTo view the entire job posting, click here

How to Apply:

You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents) no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.

  • To begin, click the “Apply Online” button on the job announcement posting.
  • Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.
  • You may review your saved application(s) at

If you are having difficulty applying online, please contact the DOT Automated Staffing Office during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET) at (202) 366-1298. You may also email us at



Automated Staffing Office
Phone: 202-366-1298
Fax: 571-258-4052
Agency Information:
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE / HAHR-50
Washington, DC 20590



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