$57,969.60 - $100,755.20 Annually
Arlington *METRO-accessible*, VA
Arlington County is seeking a Communications and Public Engagement (CAPE) Manager to lead the centralized Communications Office within the Department of Environmental Services (DES). DES is a large and complex service-focused operational department with a full range of public works, transportation, facilities, and support operations.
The CAPE Manager is primarily responsible for planning and implementing communications and engagement initiatives to inform and educate the public, news media, internal staff, and community groups about DES services, programs, projects, and events. This includes directing a robust multi-faceted department-wide communications and public engagement program; supervising professional Communications and Engagement staff; and providing matrix management of all communication, marketing, media relations, public affairs, social media, web content, and outreach and engagement programs and activities throughout DES.
The CAPE Office is located in the DES Director's Office and this position reports directly to the Department Director.
Areas of responsibilities and specific duties include:
Strategic Communications: Develops long-term strategic communications plans and short-term objectives by:
- Overseeing the development of specific initiatives to ensure that they are in concert with departmental and countywide communications and community engagement philosophies, evaluating department communication and engagement programs and services, and identifying program needs and gaps in service;
- Coordinating internal communication and engagement plans to inform and engage DES staff in potential organizational, policy and program changes;
- Educating staff on how and what to communicate in emergency situations, and serving as the DES spokesperson for incidents;
- Training program managers on effective presentation strategies and assisting with the preparation of materials for public meetings;
- Ensuring the integration of all communication and engagement services throughout the department and identifying existing communications that might be used as an opportunity to publicize other programs or services;
- Guiding the development and implementation of specific engagement plans with project and program managers, and clarifying the levels of engagement at various project phases to build and maintain trust with affected community members throughout the project lifecycle.
Public Relations and Engagement: Manages large public relations campaigns and maintains public engagement with DES customers and stakeholders by:
- Developing and implementing a communications and public engagement program mission and philosophy by maintaining an awareness of all DES agency initiatives, programs, and projects to anticipate communication and engagement needs, anticipate potential problems, and guiding DES management on appropriate public relations and engagement strategies;
- Producing and editing content for press releases, internal newsletters, news and special feature articles, web-pages, calendar listings, internal documents such as policies, speeches, and talking points;
- Managing the department's social media presence on various platforms such as Twitter and Facebook;
- Managing community outreach and engagement for initiatives including developing community forums, education materials, and presentations for plans, projects and programs.
- Representing DES in advisory groups, civic associations and other community meetings and events;
- Coordinating public meetings, pop-ups, engagement forums, and community events both in person and online;
- Strategizing engagement methods to ensure equitable access and outcomes for all members of the community regardless of barriers; and
- Assisting in the design and coordination of DES special events such as groundbreaking ceremonies for important DES capital projects ranging from facilities to transportation to stormwater to water and sewer utility projects.
Management and Operational Support: Manages a team and provides other operational and departmental support by:
- Supervising a full team of communication and engagement staff including overseeing the day-to-day duties and work product of decentralized outreach staff throughout DES;
- Selecting contractors and vendors, and coordinating the work of contractors hired to provide printing, public relations, marketing product design, and other services;
- Developing and maintaining relationships with internal teams and key stakeholder groups, including hard-to-reach, diverse, and under-represented communities; and
- Providing departmental leadership, technical expertise, guidance, and quality assurance.
Minimum: Bachelor's degree in Marketing, Communications, Business/Public Administration, Journalism or related field plus considerable professional experience in one or more communications fields, such as marketing, public relations, speech writing, employee communications, journalism, or other related area.
Substitution : Additional qualifying experience may substitute for the education requirement on a year-for-year basis.
Desirable: Preference will be given to applicants with one or more of the following:
- Leading a team of communications, public relations, or marketing professionals;
- Community engagement project planning, design, and construction;
- Serving as a spokesperson and responding to media inquiries;
- Working in an environment providing services related to public works, capital improvement projects, urban development, or other government services; or
- Composing web content, fact sheets, e-newsletters, social media, press releases, graphics, flyers, and digital and print presentations.
COVID-19 Vaccination: Arlington County Government is committed to the health, safety and wellness for all staff. In support of that commitment, all current and newly hired employees are required to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination. For those qualified employees with a disability or sincerely held religious belief which prohibits them from receiving a vaccine, you will be able to contact the Office of Human Rights to request a reasonable accommodation. Adherence to this policy is a condition of employment.
Work Hours: This is a full-time position with core work hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Occasional evening or weekend work may be required depending on community meetings, engagements, or emergencies requiring a communications response. Flexible work schedule and telework opportunities available upon supervisor approval.
This position is listed as "open continuous", where applications will be reviewed on a continuous basis until a hire is made or when a sufficient number of applications have been received . Interested applicants are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible.
Each section of the application must be completed. A resume may be attached; however, it will not substitute for the completed application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Your response to the Supplemental Questionnaire is considered part of the selection process. Do not give "see resume" as a response to the question.
Arlington County Government employee benefits depend on whether a position is permanent, the number of hours worked, and the number of months the position is scheduled.
Specific information on benefits and conditions of employment can be found on the Arlington County Human Resources Department website: (see application details)
Permanent, Full-Time Appointments
All jobs are permanent, full-time appointments unless otherwise stated in the announcement. The following benefits are available:
Paid Leave : Vacation leave is earned at the rate of four hours biweekly. Leave accrual increases every three years until eight hours of leave are earned biweekly for twelve or more years of service. Sick leave is earned at the rate of four hours biweekly. There are eleven paid holidays each year.
Health and Dental Insurance : Three group health insurance plans are offered - a network open access plan, a point-of-service plan, and a health maintenance organization. A group dental insurance plan is also offered. The County pays a significant portion of the premium for these plans for employees and their dependents. A discount vision plan is provided for eye care needs.
Life Insurance : A group term policy of basic life insurance is provided at no cost to employees. The benefit is one times annual salary. Additional life insurance is available with rates based on the employee's age and smoker/non-smoker status.
Retirement : The County offers three vehicles to help you prepare for retirement: a defined benefit plan, a defined contribution plan (401(a)), and a deferred compensation plan (457). The defined benefit plan provides a monthly retirement benefit based on your final average salary and years of service with the County. You contribute a portion of your salary on a pre-tax basis to this plan. General employees contribute 4% of pay; uniformed public safety employees contribute 7.5% of pay. Employees become vested in the plan at five years of service. The County also contributes to this plan.
For general employees, the County also contributes 4.2% of pay to a defined contribution plan (401(a)) . The County also matches your 457 contribution, up to $20 per pay period, in this plan. The 457 deferred compensation plan allows you to set aside money on either a pre-tax (457b) or post-tax (457 Roth) basis up to the IRS annual limit. New employees are automatically enrolled with a pre-tax contribution equal to 2% of your base pay.
Other Benefits: The County also offers health, dependent care, and parking flexible spending accounts; long-term care insurance; tuition assistance; transit and walk/bike to work subsidies; a college savings plan; wellness programs; training opportunities; and a variety of other employee benefits.
Permanent, Part-Time Appointments:
Part time employees who work ten or more hours per week receive paid leave and benefits in proportion to the number of hours worked per week.
Limited Term Appointments:
Benefits are the same as permanent appointments except that the employees do not achieve permanent status.
Temporary Regular Appointments:
Temporary regular employees who work 30 hours or more per week are eligible for health, dental, and basic life insurance as described above. They are also eligible for vacation, sick leave, and paid holidays.
Temporary Seasonal and Occasional Appointments:
Temporary employees who work on a seasonal basis or variable hours receive sick leave, but do not normally receive other paid leave or benefits. Exceptions are noted in individual announcements.