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City of Tacoma WA Intern- Long Range Comprehensive Planning Program in Tacoma, Washington

Intern- Long Range Comprehensive Planning Program


$16.28 - $19.78 Hourly


Tacoma, WA

Job Type


Job Number



Planning & Development Services

Opening Date


Closing Date

7/24/2024 5:00 PM Pacific

  • Description

  • Benefits

  • Questions

Position Description

SPECIAL NOTE: This is a temporary position expected to end January 2, 2025 unless extended.*

The City of Tacoma's Planning and Development Services Department is looking to hire a part-time intern to provide support for the City of Tacoma's Comprehensive Planning Program in the Long Range Planning Division. Under the supervision of staff, this position will play a vital role in supporting various initiatives within the Comprehensive Planning Program. This position offers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in long range planning and community engagement, focusing on several key projects including the Periodic Update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, One Tacoma ( . Additionally, this position will assist in updates to the Critical Areas Preservation code, the South Tacoma Groundwater Protection District (STGPD) code ( , as well as contribute to Picture Pac Ave Subarea Plan ( , Tideflats Subarea Plan ( and Home in Tacoma ( initiatives.

The Comprehensive Planning Intern will directly support the City's mission to provide high-quality, innovative and cost-effective municipal services that enhance the lives of our citizens, the quality of our neighborhoods, and the access and awareness of historic resources.

The goal of the Planning and Development Services Department is to guide community growth and development in a manner that protects environmental resources, enhances quality of life, promotes distinctive neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown, and involves citizens in the decisions that affect them. For more information about the department, go to

The internship will offer a unique and highly desirable opportunity to contribute to multiple Long-Range Comprehensive planning projects. It is anticipated that this internship will support the Periodic Update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan: One Tacoma. The Comprehensive Plan update provides an opportunity for an intern to engage in an area of their specific interest and skillset, with elements including: Urban Form; Design + Development; Environment + Watershed Health; Housing; Economic Development; Transportation; Parks + Recreation; Public Facilities + Services; Container Port; Historic Preservation; Engagement, Administration + Implementation; and Downtown. Specifically, the intern will have opportunities to contribute to outreach and events programming; learn about community and multi-stakeholder action planning; and work closely with advisory committees and other City departments. The intern will also gain a knowledge and understanding of key public processes that help shape and approve these comprehensive planning initiatives, these include public processes through bodies such as the Planning Commission and City Council. Additionally, the position will provide an opportunity to learn from staff and conduct independent research, contribute to policy white papers, and collect data and benchmarking metrics from peer municipalities.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Research, benchmarking, and writing policy papers or contributing to chapters in long-range planning documents and the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

  • Event coordination, staffing, and promotion to engage residents in the Comprehensive Planning Program’s ongoing initiatives

  • Assisting with preparing presentations, agendas, public notice, meeting minutes and related materials for community steering groups and commissions, and assist with coordinating and managing public outreach efforts

  • Documenting and researching best practices to support the development of Comprehensive Planning initiatives , including updates to the Critical Areas Preservation code, the South Tacoma Groundwater Protection District (STGPD) code ( , transit-oriented development, housing, and others as directed by the interns interest, experience, and skillset.

  • Coordinate support with other City of Tacoma departments and external partners

Educational Benefits:

Educational benefits to be derived by students in this job include: public speaking and facilitation, events planning, multi-stakeholder relationship management, analytical skills, and understanding of community planning and policy strategies involving public art, transportation planning, economic development, and housing. Students should consult with their academic program regarding receiving academic credit for the internship.

Hours and Terms of the Position: 500 hours.

The hours for this position are 18-24 hours per week, for a period of approximately 6-12 months. This position will require the incumbent to be available for a regular schedule that will include occasional evenings and weekends, with the understanding that the remainder of the time will be flexible based on the student's schedule.

Location and Physical Requirements of Position:

This position requires being able to work both outdoors and in an office environment, to include computer and phones. Must be able to lift at least 20 pounds.

City of Tacoma Recruitment Information:

Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.



  • Graduation from high school or GED equivalent


  • One (1) year of post-high school training.

*Equivalency: 1 year of experience = 1 year of education

Knowledge & Skills

  • Knowledge of research methodology.

  • Knowledge of community engagement and outreach, urban and community planning, and/or public policy.

  • Experience with meeting facilitation and event planning/coordination.

  • Skill in operating a personal computer and utilizing rudimentary software.

  • Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing, using language that is appropriate to both the complexity of the topic and the knowledge and understanding of the audience.

  • An interest and some experience in visual communication/graphic design.

  • Experience developing web-based content, engagement tools, and/or social media.

  • Effective problem-solving skills.

  • Self-motivation and ability to work with minimal supervision.

  • Ability to learn pertinent Federal, State, and local laws and ordinances.

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, governmental officials and representatives of private agencies and the community.

  • Ability to effectively collaborate and work with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Selection Process & Supplemental Information

SPECIAL NOTE: This is a temporary internship position expected to end January 2, 2025 unless extended.*

All interested individuals must attach the following:

  • Resume that includes past work experience

  • Brief cover letter stating why you want to participate in this internship

Applicants who have the strongest backgrounds related to the responsibilities of this position may be invited to participate in the interview process. Appointment is subject to passing a background check.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:

We primarily communicate via email during the application process. Emails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk email folders.

The online application system requires you to enter a substantial amount of information. Be prepared to spend at least an hour entering information. In order for your application materials to be considered, all information must be submitted by the closing date and time listed on this job announcement.

For assistance with the NEOGOV application process, or questions regarding this job announcement, please call Human Resources at (253) 591.5400 before 4:00 pm of the closing date of the job announcement.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision plans for the whole family; paid holidays and paid leave; participation in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System (alternate plan for Police/Fire); continuing education and advancement opportunities and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives.

Medical Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Dental Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Vision Coverage: For eligible employees and their eligible dependents.

Paid Leave: City employees are entitled to received paid holidays, sick/vacation leave or personal time off (PTO), depending upon union affiliation and appointment type.

Insurance Plans: Employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance plans are also available to employees. The State Industrial Insurance Act also covers employees.

Deferred Compensation: Income can be set aside on a pretax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income.

Retirement: All employees of the City, except members of the Police and Fire services, Tacoma Rail and certain project employees, are included in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200.

Other Employment Information

Direct Deposit: Employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule by direct deposit.

Salary Increases: Based on satisfactory job performance, the City provides for a regular progression of salary increases for most classifications according to the salary schedule.

Union Affiliation: Many job classifications are covered by union security provisions which require union membership, dues, or payment of equivalent service fees.

Note: The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice.


The Supplemental Questionnaire is part of the examination process; accordingly, it should be completed carefully. It must be submitted with your application. Responses to supplemental questions must be original content created by the applicant using their own words. The use of online tools or resources to create responses, such as Artificial Intelligence (ChatGPT, etc), Google, Bing, etc., or plagiarism in any form, is considered cheating and falsification of the application. Do not indicate "see resume" or copy unrelated content from your resume when answering these questions. Answer all information requested in each question. Failure to do so may result in rejection of your application. I certify that the information provided is accurate and complete to the best of my knowledge. I understand that any falsification may cancel any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

  • Yes

  • No


    How many years of education and experience do you possess? *Equivalency: 1 year of experience = 1 year of education

  • High School Diploma or GED AND one (1) year post-high school training.

  • Vocational School Certificate, or an Associates Degree, or higher education.

  • none


    Have you graduated from High School or possess the GED or home-school equivalent?

  • Yes

  • No


    Describe any experience you have in urban planning, urban studies, public policy and/or related fields. Please also list any experience with community-based planning and/or developing planning documents. If you do not have any relevant experience in this area, respond with "N/A".


    Describe any experience you have conducting research, working with data and spreadsheets, and synthesizing information into executive summaries, white papers, or research papers in a professional or academic setting.


    Describe any experience you have with event planning (including virtual events) and promotion, community outreach or organizing (especially with diverse communities), developing surveys or other feedback tools, meeting planning/facilitation, or related tasks. If you do not have any relevant experience in this area, respond with "N/A".


    Describe any experience you have using webpage design tools, graphic design software, GIS applications, and/or social media in a professional capacity. If you do not have any relevant experience in this area, respond with "N/A".


    Please tell us how you learned about this job opportunity.

  • City of Tacoma website

  • Internet search

  • College/university job information

  • Association of Washington Cities website

  • City of Tacoma job interest card

  • From a City of Tacoma employee

  • Word of mouth

  • From a community organization

  • From a professional organization

  • Other


    If you responded, "community organization", "professional organization" or "other" to the previous question, please tell us exactly how you learned of this job opportunity. Thank you, your response will help us promote future opportunities to the community.


    Notifications and updates to candidates are made through email to the email address you input on this job application. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders. It is recommended to double-check that you have written your email address correctly before you submit this job application. Check "yes" to show that you have read and understood this instruction.

  • Yes

  • No


    Did you remember to upload the following 2 required attachments to your job application: - resume that includes past work experience and - brief cover letter that explains why you want to participate in this internship

  • Yes

  • No

    Required Question


City of Tacoma


Human Resources Department 747 Market Street Tacoma, Washington, 98402-3764





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