Travis County Texas Planning Project Manager - Economic and Strategic Planning in Austin, Texas

Job Summary

This is a professional position in Travis County's new Economic Development and Strategic Investments Division in the Planning and Budget Office. This division provides an array of professional services to the County to promote informed decision-making, providing project management and support for economic development, real estate portfolio management, site redevelopment, and capital planning and investments. The goals are to promote the efficient use of public resources and create long-term value to Travis County through collaboration and innovation.

The Planning Project Manager is a senior, multi-faceted staff position charged with research, planning, and management of complex county projects, ranging from campus plans to redevelopment proposals to affordable housing policies. Tasks range from full project management services to organizing and leading citizen work groups, facilitating public engagement, serving as county spokesperson for areas of expertise, and creating materials, graphics, maps, and reports to support these efforts. This position also participates in capital planning, strategic planning, and facility planning for Travis County.


This classification is within the Planner/Management/Research job family and is the most senior planner with expertise in a specific planning area, representing the department in Commissioners Court proceedings and the County in public forums. This classification requires minimal supervision, exercises independent judgment and initiative, and requires managing high-level, complex projects while simultaneously completing advanced planning work. It is distinguished by the requirements to lead staff on project work; manage multi-disciplinary county and/or consultant-staffed teams; contract and manage consulting services; initiate policy and work directly with senior management for its adoption and implementation; and plan and develop large programs and facilitate their approval.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Evaluates and coordinates projects and programs, and serves as project manager overseeing major projects. Monitors project and program issues, and reviews plans and strategies for future project and program planning requirements. Leads staff in scoping work, defining deliverables, identifying tasks, developing work methods, identifying resource needs, and monitoring progress. Plans, develops, and implements new, enhanced, improved, or revised existing projects, training, information systems or related technologies, or related short-range and/or long-range goals and objectives, strategies, strategic plans, standards, policies and procedures, continuous improvement, and budgets for highly complex advanced projects and programs. Assists in ensuring work meets management and elected officials' expectations, and ensures work is completed within specified budget and time frame.
  • Formulates policies in area of expertise for investing public dollars and advises senior management and elected officials on strategic initiatives for addressing growth-related challenges. Responsible for site-specific, system-wide, and comprehensive planning and oversees development and funding of large capital improvement or other programs. Negotiates scope and fees and participates in the procurement of consultant contracts, and manages professional planning services.
  • Participates in or manages highly advanced and complex projects and programs with broad scope, and implications for public health, safety, or welfare of County patrons. Maintains responsibility for administration and recommendations for the complex research, rules, directives, policies and procedures, planning issues, operations, related budget issues and efficient methods, plans and designs. Oversees the analysis, operational issues, development and integration. Completes comprehensive plans that establish policy for investing public dollars in programs such as the county's parks initiatives and associated capital improvement programs and health and human services initiatives. Assists with development of strategic plans which may include identification, development and/or achievement of County goals in concert with overarching departmental goals.
  • Identifies horizon issues in the planning area of expertise and develops first-of-their-kind, prototypical plans and programs to address constituents' demands for new county services as they arise in Travis County.
  • Interprets and applies planning standards, principles, policies and procedures, practices, codes, Federal, State and Local applicable laws, codes, rules and regulations.
  • Performs complex project and program research and effectiveness evaluation, including statistical analysis, performance measures, goals accomplished, timetables, outcomes, and outputs to include selecting appropriate research design methods, techniques and procedures, setting up data for compiling and managing data, and data manipulation and analysis. Prepares and produces written summaries, documents, and statistical and other reports to include conclusion and recommendations. Coordinates the development of and conducts presentations of complex analysis results before the public, Elected Officials and Commissioners Court.
  • Interacts by working in partnership, on a regular basis, with community representatives or groups, departments, and outside agencies to obtain information, assessments, identify needs, and determine and ensure effectiveness and consistency of planning and meeting expectations. Ensures project phases are implemented according to timelines.
  • Plans and manages planning professional service contracts.
  • Leads capital improvement and other planning and funding requests for various programs: presents needs assessments and project priorities to court-appointed advisory committees and the general public; facilitates advisory committee assessment and prioritization of projects; and assists with reports to the Commissioners Court for voter-approved bond packages. Serves as county spokesperson for various programs; presents to groups including, but not limited to, state, regional, and local agencies, organizations, boards, and committees.
  • Facilitates development and adoption of policy and establishment of programs for administering policy with Elected and Appointed Officials and Department Heads, department management and staff, County Attorney, and Citizen Work Groups.
  • May perform database management. Maintains databases and tracking and reporting systems.
  • Uses complex computer applications and management information systems.
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Requirements

Education and Experience**:**

Bachelor's degree in Urban Planning, Regional Planning, Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Public Policy/Administration, Government, Criminal Justice, Business Administration or a directly related field AND five (5) years increasingly responsible Senior Planner experience. Two years demonstrated experience in project management;


Master's degree in Planning, Engineering, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Public Policy/Administration, Government, Criminal Justice, Business Administration or a directly related field AND three (3) years increasingly responsible Senior Planner experience. Two years demonstrated experience in project management.


Any combination of education and experience that has been achieved and is equivalent to the stated education and experience and required knowledge, skills, and abilities sufficient to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of this job.

Licenses, Registrations, Certifications, or Special Requirements:

None required.


Certification by the American Institute of Planners.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of:

  • Public Administration and County governmental agencies, purchasing policies and practices.
  • Legislative process.
  • Issues pertaining to area of assignment.
  • Sources of information, current literature, and recent developments.
  • Project management methodologies, practices, and techniques.
  • Specialized planning methodologies and practices and funding mechanisms.
  • Professional planning and job-specific methodologies, practices, and techniques.
  • Horizon issues and economic, environmental, and demographic conditions impacting county planning.
  • Applicable Federal, State, and Local and County laws, rules, regulations, and guidelines.
  • Administrative and related business principles.
  • Business letter writing, grammar and punctuation, and report preparation.
  • Computer applications for word processing, spreadsheets, database management, statistical analysis, presentations, job-specific analysis, desktop publishing, and related software applications. Skill in:

  • Developing short-range and long-range comprehensive plans in development of innovative solutions.

  • Program planning, developing and implementing.
  • Statistical analysis, policy research and analyzing and evaluating data, policies and technical issues.
  • Setting up systems for conducting analysis and compiling for reports.
  • Conducting interviews and group meetings.
  • Effective written, verbal, and visual communication of complex information for high-level decision-making and public presentations.
  • Research, data collection, and insightful statistical and non-statistical analysis.
  • Leadership, collaboration, and negotiation techniques.
  • Identifying stakeholder interests, engaging in dialogue, and managing expectations.
  • Defining scopes of work and developing schedules, work methods, and processes for completing work, monitoring progress, and controlling quality of work.
  • Strategic, innovative problem solving and implementation planning.
  • Effective use of finite resources. Ability to:

  • Apply knowledge to data, policy, and process analysis.

  • Reach sound conclusions and make recommendations.
  • Manage complex projects to successful conclusion.
  • Reason, think critically, convey complex information, and rationally influence high level decision-making.
  • Manage time well and perform multiple tasks, and organize diverse activities.
  • Formulate broad perspectives on issues.
  • Interpret planning and program objectives to groups and public.
  • Bring together several viewpoints into a balanced position.
  • Maintain appropriate records, compile data and write clear and comprehensive reports.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with departmental clientele, representatives of outside agencies, other County employees and officials, and the general public.
  • Develop prototypical plans, programs, and processes to improve existing or provide new county services.
  • Plan at the local, community, and regional level.
  • Motivate team members and inspire enthusiasm for planning initiatives.
  • Set and maintain high quality planning standards.

Work Environment & Other Information

Physical requirements include the ability to lift/carry up to 5–20 pounds occasionally, visual acuity, speech and hearing, hand and eye coordination and manual dexterity necessary to operate a computer and office equipment. Subject to standing, walking, sitting, repetitive motion, reaching, occasional indoor/outdoor activities, climbing stairs, bending, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, pushing, pulling, balancing, client/customer contact, squatting to perform the essential functions.

This job description is intended to be generic in nature. It is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities. The essential duties, functions and responsibilities and overtime eligibility may vary based on the specific tasks assigned to the position.

Work Hours: 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.; Monday through Friday Works some nights

Department: Planning and Budget

Location: 700 Lavaca St., Austin

Education and employment background check required

Salary: $63,638.43 - $82,729.92 Annually $63,638.43 - $82,729.92 Annually

Job Number: 15-03322

Location: Austin, TX

Job Type: Full Time

Department: Planning And Budget

Agency: Travis County

Address: 700 Lavaca Street, Suite 420 Austin, Texas, 78701.

Phone: 512-854-9165