Regional Planner with the Blackhawk Hills Regional Council

Daniel Payette, Executive Director
Blackhawk Hills Regional Council
(815) 625-3854

Job Category: Temporary, Full-Time Project Coordinator
Experience Required: Master’s degree in urban and regional planning, public policy, or related field At least one to two years of experience working with the public in community and economic development
Compensation: $23.08 per hour + benefits
Hours per Week: 40
Duration: September 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022

About Blackhawk Hills Regional Council (BHRC)
Based in Rock Falls, IL, BHRC is a not-for-profit regional planning organization that serves various governments and other stakeholders in Carroll, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, and Whiteside counties in Northwest Illinois. We are located within two hours of the following metro areas: Chicago, Rockford, DeKalb, Milwaukee (WI), Madison (WI), Dubuque (IA), and the Quad Cities (IA + IL).

About the Position
The Regional Planner supports BHRC’s efforts to help Northwest Illinois respond to and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 on the region’s economy.

Working Environment
The Regional Planner works out of the BHRC office, located at 309 1st Ave in Rock Falls, IL, and remotely. Occasional regional travel is anticipated.

Essential Functions
• Further develop the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for Northwest Illinois and ensure that the plan incorporates new statistical data, contains updated goals and objectives, and builds on approaches to regional resiliency

• Organize and attend all Regional CEDS (RCEDS) Committee meetings and provide RCEDS Committee-related support

• Analyze gaps in walkability (addressing community accessibility and ADA compliance), childcare, housing, etc. that influence the region’s economic recovery potential for all residents and visitors

• Conduct site visits, distribute surveys, conduct data analyses, and pursue other research to assess local needs (in public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, as well as the needs of officials, workers, and businesses)

• Provide technical assistance to local governments as needed, including counties and
municipalities, in the following areas:
o Comprehensive and greenways/trails planning
o Scenario and other forms of strategic planning
o Resiliency-focused and hazard mitigation planning
o Place-based planning
o Project development; grant writing and administration

• Track implementation progress (including for the CEDS) and report regularly using standardized

• Work closely with BHRC staff and its Board of Directors

• Other responsibilities and tasks as assigned

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

• Working knowledge of regional planning, community and economic development, mobility, livability, and disaster resiliency

• Interest in people and an inclination towards empathy; familiarity with rural regions and the Midwest

• Capable of analyzing complex information, producing accurate analyses, and drawing data-based conclusions

• Conscious of deadlines and able to submit project deliverables in a timely and organized manner

• Exhibits creativity and possesses confidence; able to use sound judgement, exercise discretion, and act independently

• Conversely, able to take direction, receive/adjust to criticism, maintain discretion, and work collaboratively

• Excellence in oral and written communication skills; able to communicate succinctly and tailor approaches to a diverse group of stakeholders

• Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word proficiency

• Proficiency in Adobe CC, SPSS, GIS mapping, business analysis applications, and scenario planning software a plus


• Unencumbered driver’s license and access to a reliable vehicle