Director of Public Works

The vibrant community of Urbana, Illinois (pop. 42,044) seeks a visionary leader to serve as our new Director of Public Works. Located in the heart of east central Illinois, Urbana prides itself on being a progressive, dynamic community and is internationally distinguished as the home of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the state’s flagship public university and one of the pre-eminent research institutions in the world.

The Public Works Department has maintained stable leadership under the same director for a quarter of a century and is eager to write the next chapter of its legacy. The individual selected for this role will demonstrate integrity, authenticity, and subject matter expertise, while challenging assumptions and encouraging innovation. A demonstrated commitment to fostering a positive, productive, and inclusive work environment is paramount.

Challenges & Opportunities
The next Public Works Director will be presented with a number of challenges and opportunities:

  • Establishing the strategic direction for the department, in alignment with City priorities.

  • Planning and implementing strategic initiatives relating to service delivery, infrastructure, and development.

  • Creating an inspiring, shared vision for the department that aligns with the City's mission and vision, and translating these messages in ways that are inspiring, motivational, and purpose-driven.

  • Addressing the needs of diverse and underserved communities.

  • Enhancing the morale of a large, diverse staff through a variety of strategies, including open communication, consistent recognition of contributions, development opportunities, and equitable implementation of talent management practices.

  • Developing professional development and career progression for Operations Division staff, specifically  the development and implementation of defined career ladders, to enhance recruitment, retention, and staff engagement.

Ideal Candidate
Our ideal candidate will bring exceptional management, interpersonal, and communication skills, keen organizational insight, an approachable and innovative leadership style, and the ability to develop credibility with multiple stakeholder groups. Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and ability is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

  •   Knowledge typically acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree in engineering, business administration, public administration, or closely related field; a master’s degree is preferred.

  •   At least ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience, at least six of which were at a management and supervisory level. Ideal candidates will have demonstrated exceptional management and leadership skills, outstanding communication ability, and a proven track record of delivering high quality services in a growing and diverse public service environment.


Total Compensation Package
This position offers a competitive salary with excellent benefits. Beginning salary will be negotiable DOQ. The City’s generous benefits package includes paid vacation, sick leave, holiday pay, outstanding health coverage options, pension plan through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), an optional deferred compensation plan, and a post-retirement medical savings benefits program.


To Respond
For immediate consideration, please submit a cover letter outlining your qualifications and your resume to: UrbanaPWDirector@urbanaillinois.us. In your cover letter, please describe your leadership and management experience as it relates to this position, as well as any experience identifying best practices and results-driven strategic outcomes. This position is open until filled; however, a review of applications will take place after August 30, 2019. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to submit materials prior to this date.


Persons who believe they are qualified under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) may request a reasonable accommodation to participate in the recruitment process. The request must be received by Human Resources with sufficient time prior to the application deadline to allow for the request to be considered through the interactive process.

The City of Urbana Welcomes Diversity!
We foster an environment that values and encourages mutual respect, inclusion of all people. We leverage our differences to achieve a richer and more vibrant organization. We welcome applications from diverse candidates and candidates who support diversity are welcome. EOE.

City of Urbana | 400 S. Vine St., Urbana, IL. 61801 | 217/384-2459

The City of Urbana Welcomes Diversity! 
We foster an environment that values and encourages mutual respect, inclusion of all people, and utilizing differences and similarities as an organizational asset. EOE.