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Regional Planner II- Senior: Economic and Community Development

General Definition

The Regional Planner: Economic and Community Development performs advanced professional planning activities of high complexity and variety focused on community and economic development in the Regional Commission service area. This Regional Planner spends significant time developing and leading projects in our Economic Development Administration and Appalachian Regional Commission programs. Typical duties might include grant-writing, local comprehensive plan assistance and development, CDBG project management, state and federal stakeholder relationship management, rural project development, and more. This position will also lead our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) process, including coordinating the schedule and content of committee meetings, soliciting and managing project submissions, updating of the CEDS report and concordant website and online dashboards, and general relationship management with our EDA partners. Planners at this level exercise greater independence and judgment. This position is supervised by the Director of Community Development Programs.

View PDF of Job Description Here.

Salary Range

The salary range for this position is $45,000 to $60,000 based on education and experience

Why Work for the Regional Commission?

The Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission serves one of the best areas for outdoor amenities and natural beauty in Virginia, if not the country. The most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail, McAfee’s Knob, lies within our borders. Carvin’s Cove, the second-largest municipal park in the nation, contains over 60 miles of biking, hiking, and horseback riding trails within its 12,000 acres, and is part of one of our largest member governments, the City of Roanoke. Smith Mountain Lake, with over 500 miles of shoreline and boasting some of the fastest economic growth in the state, is part of our region. The Roanoke Valley Greenway Network contains over 400 miles of paved and unpaved trails within Roanoke’s urban footprint of Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Salem, and Vinton, including almost 26 uninterrupted paved miles along the Roanoke River. The James River in Botetourt and Alleghany Counties provides access to boating, tubing, camping, and more. Almost half of member government Craig County is part of the Jefferson National Forest. We have the Blue Ridge Parkway, and a mountain in the middle of our urban center with the largest, free-standing, man-made, illuminated star in the world, the Mill Mountain Star, on top.

The City of Roanoke is a League of American Bicyclists recognized Bicycle Friendly Community, and the Regional Commission was recently designated a Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business.

If you want to hike, ride, boat, camp, climb, or stargaze, working for the Regional Commission puts you in a place where you can access any of this in a short drive, and sometimes even right from your front porch.

Have a specific interest and want to know if there’s something here that meets it? Contact Get2KnowNoke at or us at and we’ll help you out.


In addition to market-competitive salary, the Regional Commission offers several additional quality-of-life benefits:

  • Flexible schedule, including up to two designated telework days a week, and flexible telework options to meet day-to-day family, professional development, and other needs.
  • Professional development and certification opportunities. The Commission covers the cost of achieving and maintaining appropriate certifications such as AICP and GISP. Attendance at one major industry conference a year is encouraged, and regular web-based or in-person training and skills-building opportunities are available.
  • As a public agency, employment at the Regional Commission may qualify you for student loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
  • For active transportation aficionados, as a Bicycle Friendly Business the Regional Commission provides on-site indoor bicycle parking and an e-bike is available for all staff.
  • Competitive health insurance through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.
  • Matching contributions to a 459 retirement plan that increases with your time at the Commission.
Typical Work Tasks
  • Manages the CEDS report updates and management of the CEDS committee to support regional economic development goals;
  • Performs advanced professional work related to variety of planning assignments;
  • Manages complex planning studies, development applications, and reviews consultant proposals;
  • Reviews and processes complex comprehensive plan amendments, rezonings, annexations, site plans, and plats;
  • Develops project budgets, verifies contract expenditures, and compliance;
  • Conducts research and prepares statistical reports on land use, physical, social, and economic issues;
  • Provides professional planning assistance to member communities on various projects;
  • Develops professional plans, studies, and analysis on a regional basis;
  • Schedules and conducts meetings with advisory boards and elected officials;
  • Presents reports and other findings to staff, working groups, and appointed and elected boards;
  • Attends substantial number of evening meetings;
  • Supervises more junior planners within the organization; and
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Represents the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission at various meetings in a professional manner in presentations, meetings, and interactions with the public and elected and appointed officials.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

The candidate must have:

  • Extensive knowledge of the philosophies, principles, practices, and techniques of planning;
  • Well-developed knowledge of one or more planning disciplines;
  • Ability to perform research and data collection;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills for preparing and presenting planning reports and projects;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills for facilitating relationships with elected/appointed officials or other decision‐makers;
  • Ability to work on several projects or issues simultaneously and effectively meet firm deadlines;

The ideal candidate will also have:

  • Familiarity with the CEDS process and EDA Partnership Planning program;
  • Familiarity with the Appalachian Regional Commission and its various programs and projects;
  • Experience with other Federal agencies and programs that support community and economic development, especially in rural areas;
  • Experience with ArcGIS;
  • Experience accessing and using Census and other data sources;
Preferred Education and Experience

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited college or university with a BA/BS degree in planning, geography, public administration, or business with a minimum of seven years of relevant experience; OR master’s degree in the aforementioned fields with a minimum of five years of relevant experience. AICP preferred.

Continuing Education

This position is a mid- to high-level of a professional development track. Dedication and willingness to continue education through attendance of conferences, participation in professional associations; and/or completion of courses, certificates, seminars, or distance learning modules is encouraged for advancement to subsequent positions of responsibility.

Physical Effort, Dexterity, Visual Acuity, Hearing, and Speaking

The physical exertion requirements of this job are classified as sedentary work. In general, lifting or carrying tasks are not more than 10 pounds. A certain amount of walking and standing is often necessary to carry out job duties. The job requires normal visual acuity, depth perception and field of vision. Individuals must be able to speak clearly in person and over the phone.

Equal Opportunity Employer

RVARC is proud to be an equal employment opportunity employer and to provide a work environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. Employment decisions at RVARC are based on agency needs, job requirements, and individual qualifications without regard to any status protected by law. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may come from a less traditional background. RVARC may consider an equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set for the role.

Submitting your Application

Send a resume and cover letter expressing your interest to Sherry Dean, Finance Director, at, or visit our employment portal at for this and other open positions.

Regional Planner II- Senior: Economic and Community Development

Cover letter and resume should be submitted to Sherry Dean, Director of Finance, at

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