Assistant Regional Planner - Data Science at Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

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Assistant Regional Planner - Data Science at Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is seeking a skilled, energetic, and team-oriented professional for the position of Assistant Regional Planner, focusing on data science. This position seeks someone with an understanding of analytical and programming skills in the context of supporting complex regional planning issues.

The Modeling and Forecasting department is responsible for model software development and enhancement, model input setting and quality control, model run operation and monitoring, model output process and analysis, and model result summary. One of the tools developed and utilized in the Modeling and Forecasting department is the SCAG Scenario Planning Model (SPM). The SPM is a comprehensive web-based land use sketch planning tool used for scenario development, modeling, and data organization developed to support a collaborative and seamless local and regional plan development process. The primary purpose of SPM is to enhance the Region's ability to address complex issues and evolving challenges by providing better information about alternative future scenarios and by building an improved linkage between local and regional planning. For more information on SPM, please visit

This position will work closely with senior department staff to support various tasks in the enhancement and operations of SCAG's Scenario Planning Model (SPM), including but not limited to: model input setting and quality control, model run operation and monitoring, model output process and analysis, and model result summary. This position will also support transportation and land use data collection and analysis, local outreach for technical assistance, and perform other duties assigned. This position provides a great opportunity for entry-level planners to develop and expand professional capacities through involvement in many innovative projects at SCAG.

When you join SCAG, you can expect a culture where collaboration and teamwork is fostered. SCAG's workforce is passionate and committed to innovation that improves the quality of life for all Southern Californians. SCAG is proud to support a work environment that promotes meaningful work while encouraging work/life balance.

At SCAG, we are committed to ensuring employee safety and well-being. Therefore, all SCAG staff are working remotely until further notice.


  • Support Scenario Planning Model operation in the analysis of transportation/land use plans and strategies.
  • Assist in the calibration and validation of Scenario Planning Model's analytic modules.
  • Assist in the enhancement, maintenance and monitoring of Scenario Planning Model, including front-end user interface, system software and hardware and database.
  • Compile, collect and organize input data related to the Scenario Planning Model.
  • Provide technical support to internal staff and external stakeholders.
  • Assist in transportation and land use data collection and statistical analysis.
  • Perform transportation related data research and analysis, including "Big Data".
  • Develop and provide presentations for the technical committees.
  • Coordinate with outside agencies and other SCAG departments to maintain consistency, reliability, and validity of the regional plan analysis process.
  • Other related duties as assigned.


Equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in computer science, transportation planning/engineering, civil engineering, urban planning, geography or a related field. A Master's degree or PhD can substitute for one year of the required experience.

One year of experience in  data analysis and programming.


The ideal candidate has:

  • A background in quantitative analysis with an understanding of programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, R, PostgreSQL/PostGIS, and the ability to process and analyze large datasets to provide meaningful recommendations
  • Knowledge and some experience using GIS and spatial analysis with ability to compile and analyze technical information
  • Knowledge of web-based tools and applications
  • Strong time management and organization skills with a high attention to detail and accuracy
  • Effective communication skills both orally and written, with the ability to communicate model concepts and information effectively in oral and written format
  • The ability to learn new technical skills and procedures quickly and efficiently
  • Strong critical thinking skills and is a creative problem-solver
  • The ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment with the ability to complete projects in a specified timeframe and meet short deadlines

Knowledge of: Theories, principles and practices of regional planning and transportation/land use modeling; computer programming (Python, JavaScript); database development and maintenance (SQL); advanced quantitative analysis and statistical methods (SAS, R); GIS programming/application and spatial analysis (ArcGIS, PostGIS) and spatial analysis (GDAL, GeoPandas); land use and built environment; demographics and economics; technical writing methods; web application development

Ability to: Compile and analyze transportation and land use related data and technical information; meet deadlines by creatively developing technical approaches and effectively utilizing available resources; ability to learn new model methodology, concept, and technical skill rapidly; independently plan and coordinate multiple assignments; analyze complex problems and identify logical solutions; independently investigate data collection and analysis problems; communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; prepare and produce clear, effective, and accurate reports and presentations; respond to public inquiries and data requests; perform professional work with a minimum of supervision; establish and maintain working relationships with co-workers to achieve common goals; and work effectively in a team environment.

Important Applicant Information: Candidates must fill out the application and supplemental questions completely. Incomplete applications including references to see the resume for qualifications are incomplete and will be disqualified. Candidates are encouraged to provide accurate answers as SCAG will verify the qualifications for each candidate.

SCAG is an equal opportunity employer. SCAG's policy is to provide employment opportunity for all qualified persons.  All applicants will be considered without regard to race, religion, sex (including gender, gender identity, gender expression and pregnancy), national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition, genetic characteristics or information, marital status, age, sexual orientation, military and veteran status.

The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute a contract, expressed or implied, and any provision contained in this job announcement may be modified or revoked without notice.

To apply, visit:

This listing closes on 5/12/2021 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada).