Blacksburg is a beautiful town located in the New River Valley of Virginia, nestled on a plateau between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. Blacksburg serves as the hub of the Roanoke/New River Valley region. Established in 1798, Blacksburg has grown from a town of a few dozen families to a population of over 45,000 people, making it one of the largest town’s in Virginia. The town is comprised of a healthy, highly educated and diverse population, making it a very progressive community with a high quality of life. Blacksburg has activities that appeal to young professionals, families and seniors. There are numerous parks to choose from, making the town an excellent venue for the outdoors lover.
Downtown Blacksburg contains a unique collection of specialty retail and dining establishments, art galleries, and performance halls. Wide brick sidewalks line streets flanked on each side by decorative street lamps, hanging flower baskets and park benches.
At the core of Blacksburg’s vibrant and engaging downtown is Virginia’s largest land-grant university, Virginia Tech. The university continues to position itself as a major research institution. The presence of Virginia Tech as a corporate citizen brings significant advantages to the economy of the town. The combination of approximately 35,700 students and 13,000 faculty, administrative staff and support positions brings significant buying power to the merchants and tax base of the town. Growth in technology-based research and the spawning of businesses from the university’s research park, the Corporate Research Center, reflect well on the area. The wealth of resources offered by a major academic institution makes the town an attractive venue for businesses.
The Town of Blacksburg is part of the Montgomery County School System. The public school system in Blacksburg includes four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The public school system enjoys a reputation of graduating well-prepared students, and has a low teacher to student ratio offering each child an opportunity to obtain the best education possible. Several private schools also operate facilities within the region.
Since 1952, the Town of Blacksburg has been organized under the Council-Manager form of government. Council members are elected for four year terms and are elected on a staggered basis, with elections held every two years. The Blacksburg Town Council, comprised of seven members, serves as the legislative body of the local government and is responsible for adopting all ordinances and resolutions, approving the annual operating and capital budgets, setting all tax rates, approving the five year Capital Improvement Program, setting all user fees, making land use and zoning decisions, and establishing long-range plans and policies. The mayor is elected and has the right to vote on matters brought before the governing body. The council appoints the Town Manager to act as the administrative head of the town. The council also appoints the Town Clerk to perform a wide variety of clerical and administrative work. The 2023-24 Operating Budget totals $97 million for all funds.
The Town of Blacksburg is seeking a Director of Engineering & GIS. The Director leads a team of experienced professionals to deliver professional engineering and GIS services and support to the Town of Blacksburg organization and community. The Director will provide technical assistance to the Town Manager, Town Council, Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Historic Design Review Board to guide land use policy development and decision-making. The Engineering Department has 13 employees, with an annual budget of approximately $1.3million.
The Director reports to the Deputy Town Manager-Community Development and ultimately to the Town Manger and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department, supervising employees, developing work schedules/programs, ensuring compliance with safety regulations, and developing and administering the annual department budget. The Director is responsible for managing personnel issues in the department, along with filling staff vacancies. The Director is a member of the Town’s leadership team of department heads who are responsible for the delivery of a wide array of services to the citizens of Blacksburg.
Current Focus and Opportunities.
The Town Manager has identified the focus and opportunities for the new Director to work on, including the following:
• Actively work with the Engineering and GIS team, the Director of Planning and Building and external stakeholders to continuously update and review town ordinances, codes and policies as development evolves in the community
• Continue the process of updating engineering specifications and policies as related to utilities and transportation
• Continue to ensure Federal/State environmental regulation and policy (erosion and sediment control and storm water) compliance on private development and Town projects
• Proactively work with Engineering and GIS staff to manage capital projects to bring them to completion on-time and within budget
• Support recent technology upgrades in the department (Open Gov platform and electronic plan review) to create operational efficiencies and enhanced customer service
• Provide proactive leadership to ensure timely and accurate development plan reviews
• Serve as a member/liaison to various Authority boards as necessary
• Serve as Staff Professional Engineer on Federally funded transportation projects under the VDOT Locally Administered Projects Qualification Program. Obtain certification as a qualified person from VDOT
• Collaborate with the New River Valley Regional Water Authority and the Blacksburg VPI Sanitation Authority on the implementation and enforcement of Federal/State regulatory requirements and operational requirements
Qualifications, Education and Experience
The following education and experience factors outline the qualifications for successful performance:
• Bachelor's degree with coursework in engineering. Master’s degree in a similar discipline is preferred
• Licensure as a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in the Commonwealth of Virginia or reciprocity from another state and the ability to secure Virginia P.E. with 12 months of employment
• Ten years of progressively responsible professional engineering experience with a minimum of five years of supervisory and project management experience
• Demonstrated ability to actively participate in and lead a dynamic team of professionals
• Ability to successfully navigate an environment where public stakeholders, developers, elected and appointed officials have differing views on policy issues and projects
• Demonstrated ability to work successfully in a team environment, functioning for the good of the organization and the community over the individual
Our ideal candidate:
• Professionally competent and strategic thinker who is confident in their job knowledge and able to adapt to changing priorities and navigate a sophisticated environment
• Practical problem solver and decision maker who is customer-focused
• Ability to assess social cues and maintain situational awareness
• Demonstrated ability to effectively manage people and programs and to provide clear direction and establish accountability
• Ability to prioritize, organize, and manage multiple projects
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to listen effectively and understand differing views
• Engaging and collaborative style, setting a departmental vision to implement effective processes and schedules
• Effective and efficient manager, sharing the workload while maintaining departmental leadership, motivating employees, and supporting teamwork across other departments
• Comfortable operating in a constantly changing environment and demonstrated ability to lead change where needed
Compensation and Benefits
Compensation for the Director of Planning and Building is dependent upon qualifications and experience within a starting range of $125,275 to $152,710 annually. The successful candidate will be provided the Town’s benefits package including participation in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), health/dental/vision insurance, vacation and sick leave, professional development support, and other benefits provided for all Town employees.