Open until filled
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), a nonprofit organization with more than 160,000 members and supporters, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, RTC’s national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
This position is located in Cameron County, Texas.
RTC seeks a multiyear, term-hire Project Manager (PM) for the Lower Rio Grande Valley Active Plan (or Active Plan), a blueprint for a 428-mile trail network that will link the rich natural, cultural and historical resources of the region—thereby creating a unified identity for outdoor tourism, promoting healthier lifestyles and generating a new sense of community pride for all residents of the area.
This position will be located in Cameron County, Texas, and will report to a senior member of the Trail Development team in Washington, D.C. The PM will represent RTC locally in Cameron County and will work closely with, and receive support from, staff in our Washington, D.C. office. Some of the responsibilities outlined below will be primarily accomplished by the PM. Other elements need special expertise, requiring the PM to facilitate the involvement of RTC staff with the necessary skills.
Specific responsibilities include the following:
- Build upon the ambitious vision outlined in the Active Plan. Working with local project leadership, and in concert with RTC staff, the PM will create and execute an annual implementation plan to advance the Active Plan’s objectives.
- Build upon the existing Active Plan Committee to develop a robust coalition of project stakeholders that collectively advocate for a common trail-network vision for Cameron County. This includes:
- Establishing a strategy in 2018 to guide the ongoing work of the coalition, including establishing a governance structure for the group to support plan implementation
- Building a strong network of community stakeholders who support and will advocate for the project in their neighborhoods and with local decision-makers
- Preparing for and facilitating community engagement, workshops and community meetings—and analyzing results and input
- Representing the project and the organization before a variety of public audiences and fielding challenging questions
- Identifying community needs and crosswalking how the trail network might address those needs
- Identifying and cultivating community and business leaders, and partner organizations, to serve as liaisons/spokespersons for the project
Close gaps in the existing trail network, with a focus on:
- Conducting ongoing field work and outreach to gather GIS data and info on current conditions of trails, rail corridors and other bike infrastructure
- Utilizing that data—with support from RTC mapping tools and RTC GIS staff—to visualize and prioritize gaps based on community needs and priorities
- Working with local partners, RTC Trail Development staff and external consultants to develop conceptual trail plans (as needed), and implement strategic land acquisition planning and program development that catalyzes accelerated trail development
- Identifying and cultivating appropriate partners from the economic development, tourism, local government and public health sectors to support filling priority gaps in the network
Advance creative policies and funding streams to support the Active Plan at the local and state level, including:
- Working in collaboration with the coalition and RTC’s policy team to grow and diversify financial support by securing public and private dollars to implement the Active Plan
- Playing a lead advocacy role, in coordination with RTC policy staff and local municipal leaders, in efforts to cultivate and engage decision-makers at the local and state levels
Build public awareness and use of the trail or trail project in collaboration with RTC’s communications staff and local leaders, including creating and implementing a communications plan for the project.
Manage grants, including:
- Partnering with RTC’s fundraising team to develop funding proposals and associated budgets
- Leading implementation of grant deliverables and reporting out on programmatic outcomes and impact
Qualified candidates will have a proven track record within one or more of the following areas of work: trail planning; bike-ped/transportation planning; urban planning; landscape architecture; public policy/administration; active tourism, natural resource planning; project management; organization; or nonprofit management.
The successful candidate will be an experienced self-starter—as well as a process- and goal-oriented individual—who is organized, proactive, efficient and able to consistently deliver professional quality work on time and on budget. He or she will be a strategic thinker with the ability to manage multiple tasks and a widely varied workload. Specific skills and attributes include the following:
- Excellent skills in building and maintaining collaborative and strategic relationships with local project stakeholders, colleagues, local government and other transportation, planning, recreation, conservation, economic development, health, corporate and community-based organizations.
- Strong people and group-facilitation skills and substantial experience building and working with successful coalitions
- A solid understanding of the process of moving a trail plan from concept through to the design-build phase
- Experience working with state and local governments, elected officials and agencies. Diplomacy and relationship-building are critical for PM success.
- Advanced PM skills and experience, including: ability to set short- and long-term planning goals in line with project priorities and available resources; task-oriented style, with a focus on achieving clear and ambitious goals; demonstrated ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization while delivering a high-quality work product and project deliverables; and the ability to develop and manage complex budgets
- Outstanding oral and written communication and strong interpersonal skills; ability to work at all levels of the organization
- Strong skills in establishing and coordinating partnerships, as well as problem-solving for technical and political hurdles
- Excellent presentation and facilitation skills, with demonstrated ability to develop strategic approaches for stakeholder involvement and meeting facilitation
- Proficiency in GIS and Excel (required)
- Bilingual (English and Spanish)
- Valid driver’s license
The following qualifications are preferred:
- Experience using the Adobe Creative Suite or other design software a plus
- Bachelor’s degree or above in Urban Planning or a related field
Local travel required, including some evenings and weekends, with occasional travel to Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C.
RTC reserves the right to revise, change or reclassify this job description at any time in accordance with RTC’s business needs. This job description is by no means an implied contract.
How to Apply
Please use one form of transmitting your résumé. No phone calls please, unless contacted for an in-person interview. Recruiters, please do not contact our offices.
Mail, fax or email cover letter, résumé and three professional references to:
Human Resources Manager
The Duke Ellington Building
2121 Ward Court, NW, 5th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20037
Commitment to Diversity
RTC is an equal opportunity employer and seeks qualified candidates regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or national origin. Women and diverse applicants are encouraged to apply. EOE