Planning and Economic Development Specialist

The Lee-Russell Council of Governments is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Planning and Economic Development Specialist within its Planning and Economic Development Department.  The PED Specialist is primarily responsible for assisting local and regional efforts related to community development, economic development and planning. 

The ideal candidate will have experience and working knowledge in several areas of local government administration: grant application development and grant administration, local and regional planning, community development and/or downtown development. 

This position requires an ability to perform research, prepare and assemble written materials and specialized plans, assist in the coordination and/or participation in regional environmental, growth and quality of life initiatives; and conducting other related activities such as data gathering, technical analyses and mapping as well as assist in various forms of community engagement. 


  • Demonstrated research and analytical skills
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Organizational and time-management skills
  • Ability to prepare and make public presentations in a variety of local government settings
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously with competing deadlines
  • Ability to work independently but also on project teams
  • Effective in working directly with elected officials, local government staff, state and federal government staff, and community stakeholders
  • Bachelor’s degree in Planning, Public Administration or closely related field


  • Master’s degree in Planning, Public Administration or closely related field 
  • Grant writing and administration experience
  • Professional experience with community development projects and/or plan preparation 
  • Experience in the use of GIS programs
  • One year of related work experience

This position reports to the Lee-Russell Council of Governments Planning and Economic Development Director.  The range for starting annual salary is $50,504-$75,755 (Grade 9) based on experience and qualifications. 

To Apply:  Send a complete resume, cover letter and references to Lisa Sandt, Executive Director, Lee-Russell Council of Governments, 2207 Gateway Drive, Opelika, Al  36801, Phone (334) 749-5264, or email  Review of applications will begin November 4, 2019 and continue until filled.  LRCOG is an equal opportunity employer. 

External/Open Posting Date:  October 15, 2019

External/Open Posting Closing Date:  Position will remain open until position is filled. 

Examples of Planning and Economic Development Specialist Duties:

  • Assist local government staff and officials in developing and submitting state and/or federal grant applications (including guidance for procurement requirements).  Provide grant administration assistance for funded projects. 
  • Conduct research on additional funding sources for local and regional government initiatives.  Prepare and submit applications as directed. 
  • Serves as the contact person for the Rural Planning Organization
  • Assist in the preparation and development of local and regional planning activities to include but not limited to comprehensive plans, special study plans, hazard mitigation plans.
  • Conducts community and demographic research and/or field surveys. 
  • Assist in preparing public communications for local governments, stakeholder groups and the public through electronic, voice and written means.
  • Advises other departments on contract and grant procedures.
  • Respond to questions and conduct follow-up research on state and federal programs
  • Attend workshops and trainings for professional development
  • Prepare written and graphic materials for meetings, presentations, and publications.
  • Performs related duties as requested by the Planning and Economic Development Director, Executive Director and members of LRCOG Leadership Team.