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2021 Smart Growth America Internship Program

24 Aug 2021 | Posted by | 0 Comments |
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Smart Growth America (SGA) and its transportation program, Transportation for America (T4America), are looking to recruit a minimum of two interns to support their technical assistance, research, and advocacy work.

Update 9/10: Applications are now closed.

About Smart Growth America
Smart Growth America envisions a country where no matter where you live, or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. We empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to realize this vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity.

About Transportation for America
Transportation for America is a national nonprofit made up of local, regional, and state leaders who seek a transportation system that safely, affordably, and conveniently connects people of all means and ability to jobs, services, and opportunity through multiple modes of travel.

T4America Project Description

The intern will be asked to work on a collection of transportation policy, research, and messaging projects aligned with their skills that will be fundamental to T4America’s extensive advocacy, thought leadership, and technical assistance portfolio. Specific topics of work that the intern may be involved with may include, but are not limited to:

1. Policy Research and Development

Fundamental to T4America’s work is understanding the legislative and regulatory framework underlying the design, implementation, and operation of the transportation system and how to reimagine it towards our three key principles. The intern will assist in analyzing legislative activity from the US Congress, prepare policy memos and briefs, draft legislative text, and engage in outreach and support to congressional staff. Furthermore, as part of T4America’s technical assistance work, the intern will provide research support for clients to better understand their transportation challenges and how they can be addressed towards a sustainable, equitable outcome aligned with T4America’s three key principles.

2. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Historical transportation practices and policies adversely affected many diverse, marginalized communities across the United States. As the country continues to reckon with its past, T4America looks ahead towards how to be a partner with racial and social equity groups to support equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) policies and outreach efforts that advance a transportation program that connects communities and provides a safe, sustainable space to live, work, and play. The intern will assist in research and in the development of resources spanning issues that will culminate in an EDI in Transportation Primer. The intern will also assist in cultivating partnerships with racial and social equity groups across other issues and disciplines (e.g. voting rights access, criminal justice) and help flesh out resources and talking points that connect those issues and disciplines with transportation.

3. Transportation Storytelling

Communicating about transportation and its importance in our everyday lives is daunting. Telling a story about the wonky aspects of the transportation program, policies, and how it operates, is rarely for the faint of heart. T4America strives to demystify the federal transportation program and its intersection with state and local implementation. T4America further works to boil down the essence of the transportation program and policies to the point that you can have a lively conversation at the kitchen table about them. The intern will assist in crafting messaging and visual concepts that effectively communicate the salient points in T4America’s advocacy and thought leadership. The intern will also assist in the product deliverable layout and editorial process.

Image from Piqsels

SGA Project Description

The intern will be asked to work on a collection of land use and development (LUD) policy, research, and messaging projects, aligned with their skills, that will be fundamental to SGA’s extensive advocacy, thought leadership, and technical assistance portfolio. Tasks and projects that the intern may be involved with may include, but are not limited to:

1. Technical Assistance

The LUD team works directly with local governments and community groups across the country to develop and advocate for land use and development policies that promote smart growth. The intern may support these projects by completing background policy research and/or participating in the development of deliverables such as reports and visual products.

2. Research

The LUD team is currently advancing research on a number of topics related to brownfield redevelopment, climate adaptation, equitable development and form-based codes. The intern may support any of these projects by producing research memos, composing literature reviews, and contributing to project management processes for research products.

3. Storytelling

Land use and development is a complex concept generally. Communicating about land use, development and its impact in our everyday lives is daunting. SGA strives to demystify land use plans and zoning codes and its intersection with development. SGA further works to boil down the essence of land use and development programs and policies to something where you can have a lively conversation at the kitchen table. The intern will assist in crafting messaging and visual concepts that effectively communicate the salient points in SGA’s advocacy and thought leadership. The intern will also assist in the product deliverable layout and editorial process.

Intern Skills

Interns seeking to work with SGA or T4America should strive to demonstrate the following skills and abilities:

  • Working knowledge of and passion for transportation, land use, development, and/or urban planning topics
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Strong research and writing skills, including experience with policy and literature reviews
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to display data, research, and policy concepts in a clear and relevant manner
  • Organized and able to work independently after receiving instructions
  • Able to conduct full analysis and research to develop recommendations based on findings
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite or similar for document preparation (memos, presentations, etc.)

SGA and T4America also strongly encourage interns with the following skills to apply:

  • Experience with digital storytelling tools 
  • Proficiency in visual graphic design editors (i.e. Photoshop or similar)

Educational Background

Undergraduate or graduate students in Urban Planning, Real Estate Development, Visual Communications, Public Policy, Sociology, or related disciplines are encouraged to apply. Key among intern applicants is an interest in land use and development or transportation policy and advocacy.

Working Environment

Prospective interns will be expected to supply their own computer and access to wifi as a result of working in a virtual environment. Interns will be expected to commit between 15-20 hours a week for a minimum of 12 weeks (with the opportunity to have their internship extended beyond 12 weeks). The intern will be paid a stipend throughout their tenure in the program. The amount of the stipend ranges from $3060 to $4800 over 12 weeks and will be dependent on the intern’s experience and level of study. All interns are expected to be insured by their school’s or personal insurance. The internship program does not provide health or liability insurance coverage for interns.

Application Instructions

Please email [email protected] with “2021 Internship” as the subject line, a resume, and a cover letter where you specifically address the following three questions:

  • What interests you about working for Transportation for America or Smart Growth America?
  • What key issues in transportation and/or land use and development will have the biggest impact on Americans, particularly low income Americans and people of color, and why?
  • How did you hear of this internship opportunity?

In the body of your email, please indicate which internship you are most interested in.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

SGA is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. SGA and T4America are committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from candidates of color.

Employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other protected characteristic as established under law.