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Meet Jacob and Marissa: Our New Project Coordinators

By Bebe LeGardeur

June 8, 2021

We’re thrilled to welcome Jacob and Marissa to our team as Project Coordinators! They each bring unique skillsets and a passion for supporting the organizations and systems that support communities. Jacob will be supporting the Client Services team, drawing on his background in policy work, advocacy, and organizing. Marissa will apply her urban planning and design experience to support the Business Development team. Read on to learn more about our new team members.

Jacob Ertel

Jacob Ertel - Project CoordinatorJacob is a graduate student working towards his Master of Public Administration at Baruch College’s Marxe School of Public and International Affairs. He specializes in Policy Analysis and Evaluation, and is particularly interested in social welfare policy. This past year Jacob interned with New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). There, he researched eviction prevention programs in high-rent cities across the country. Before delving into the policy world, Jacob worked for two years as a union organizer, representing contracted employees at JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports. In this role he was also involved in lobbying for the largest increase to the prevailing wage for airport employees in the country. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Oberlin College.

Jacob was drawn to Public Works because of his dedication to addressing inequality and expanding access to New York’s most vulnerable populations. His role as Project Coordinator combines his twin passions for critical analysis and community engagement. Jacob is thrilled to be applying his skills to a wide array of projects on the Client Services team. He feels most at home when he is working on projects that engage those who often are left out of the planning process. He feels that everyone at Public Works has made his (mostly) remote onboarding seamless and already feels like a valued member of the team.

Outside of work, Jacob can be found canvassing, practicing the electric bass, or relaxing in his backyard while reading about the history of central planning. He can’t wait to enjoy his native New York’s live jazz scene again. He currently lives in Bushwick.

Marissa Garcia 

Marissa has always had a love for art, traveling, and the natural environment. These collective interests led her to pursue a degree in Urban and Regional Planning with two minors in Sustainable Architecture and Planning and Architectural Heritage Conservation at Texas A&M University-College Station. This degree led her to develop a directed focus in urban design. During her fourth year of her undergraduate education, Marissa participated in a semester study abroad program in Bonn, Germany where she realized the importance of public spaces in cities and the advantages of stakeholder engagement in the planning process. To pursue these interests, she decided to move to New York City to attend Pratt Institute, where she is currently a graduate student in the Urban Placemaking and Management program. 

She has had previous experience working as an intern for the City of San Antonio Neighborhood and Housing Services Department in the Affordable Housing Unit. Through this experience, Marissa was introduced to the inner workings of planning in a public agency. 

Marissa is excited to be joining Public Works Partners as a Project Coordinator with the Business Development team. She is thrilled to be contributing her skills to a company that works with a variety of agencies and collaborates with its clients to provide the best possible services and solutions. She plans to provide her design skills and planning knowledge to support the team. 

Outside work Marissa enjoys going to museums, parks, and trying new restaurants in New York City. She spends her free time reading, painting, scrolling through Tik Tok, or FaceTiming her friends and family. Marissa loves to travel and plans to continue visiting new destinations domestically and abroad when available. 

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