Thursday, February 6, 2014

Public Affairs Specialist, Rural Housing Service - USDA (Bozeman, MT)

US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

http://www.usda.gov/
Date Posted: 02/05/2014
Job Type: NON-LEGAL POSITIONS
Schedule Type: Full Time
Practice Areas: Environmental, Government/Regulatory Affairs, Homelessness/Housing/Landlord-Tenant

Job Description

Rural Development is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America by providing financial programs to support essential public facilities and services such as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities and electric and telephone service. Rural Development promotes economic development by providing loans to businesses through banks and community-managed lending pools, while also assisting communities to participate in community empowerment programs. Join the Rural Development team and make a commitment to America's rural communities.
This position is being concurrently announced under Merit Promotion procedures on MT-2014-4353MP. Disabled Veterans, candidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities can apply to the Merit Promotion announcement if they meet criteria for the above and include supporting documents.
Duties:
  • Develops, for dissemination through print and broadcast media, information concerning the mission, programs and accomplishments of USDA Rural Development in Montana.
  • Prepares and disseminates news releases and feature articles to the media, ensuring dissemination to minority media.
  • Briefs news media representatives on the agency's programs and activities and their impact on various public and private activities.
  • Interviews and confers with managers, supervisors, employees, and borrowers to obtain information for use in news releases, articles, and meetings with media.
  • Prepares responses to inquiries from the general public, public officials, and special interest groups concerning policies and programs
  • Writes articles and speeches for the State Director for both intermal and external use.
  • Coordinates agency's marketing strategy/activities with public relations events, news releases and conference attendance.

Qualifications

    KEY REQUIREMENTS
    • You must be a US Citizen or US National;
    • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service;
    • Background Investigation is required;
    • Successful completion of a one year probationary period.

      For the  GS-09 level: Applicants must have 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-07; or its non-Federal equivalent that demonstrates: supporting public awareness campaigns by performing tasks such as monitoring the status of planned media events or conferences, developing proposed brochures, flyers, etc.; developing information used by higher graded specialist to brief members of the general public; developing and disseminating factual information concerning an organization's programs or projects OR Master's Degree or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.B. or J.D., if related.  Equivalent combination of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.
      For GS-11: Applicants must have 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-09; or its non-Federal equivalent that demonstrates: writing, editing, and reviewing news advisories, releases, government/professional correspondence, talking points, or questions  and answers; implementing communication plans for an organization; developing written communication material concerning a range of subjects related to the organization's programs; analyzing information program materials and making recommendations for improving the delivery of program information OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.M., if related OR a combination of education as described and specialized experience.

      If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
      To be eligible for appointment to this position, the new hire must be cleared to come on board once the results of the fingerprint check, review of the OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and the candidate’s Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (eQIP) entries have been reviewed and determined to be satisfactory.  This position requires a favorable credit check as part of the background investigation.
      Occasional travel is required.

      Salary

      SALARY RANGE:
      $47,923.00 to $75,376.00 / Per Year

      Application Instructions:

      HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
      • The category rating procedure is used to rank and select eligible candidates. Under category rating, applicants who meet basic minimum qualification requirements established for the position and whose job related competencies have been assessed are ranked by being placed in one of the following categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles within each category.
      • You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies listed below:

        • Public Affairs principles and practices
        • Interpersonal Skills
        • Analytical Skills
        • Written Communication
        • Oral Communication
      We will review your application, including the online Occupational Questionnaire, to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by an HR Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your answers will be verified against information provided in your online resume and application. Be sure that your resume clearly supports your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position.
       Veterans' Preference:  Preference eligibles will be listed at the top of their assigned category, before non-preference eligibles in that category.  Preference eligibles who have a compensable service-connected disability of 10 percent or more (CPS, CP) are placed at the top of the Best Qualified category on the referral list.  XP and TP preference eligibles are placed above non-preference eligibles within their assigned category.  For additional information on entitlement see: http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx
      Note: If, after reviewing your resume and / or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your score can / will be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

      To view the application form, visit: https://rhs.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=ebe2cf48-38a4-475d-bca5-a2c300e26289

      HOW TO APPLY:
      Back to top
      Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
      The following instructions outline our application process.
      • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. 
      • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday).  If you cannot apply on-line, call the number listed under Agency Contact Information prior to the closing date to request a hard copy of the complete application package. Application packages will be sent to applicant. The completed package along with any required supporting documents must be received in the HR Office by the closing date of the announcement. No extension will be granted.
      • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us if you require this for any part of the application and hiring process.
      Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not already have one) at www.usajobs.gov. It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
      Step 2: Create a Resume with USAJOBS or upload a Resume into your USAJOBS account. You may want to customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. In addition, your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
      Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
      You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Simply log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.
      The DEU prohibits use of Government franked envelops [18 U.S.C. 1719].

      REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:
      You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement.  The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
      • Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience must including beginning and ending dates (mm/yy) of employment, work schedule and hours worked per week as well as title, series, and grade if applicable ; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
      • College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or you are substituting education for specialized experience and/or if you are using education to meet the criteria for the quality category. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty.
      • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference and VA letter. Veterans who have not yet been released from active duty must provide documentation from the armed forces that certifies they will be released from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days after the date of the documented certification.
      • Other required documents may include:
        • CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from. 
        • Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
        • Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.
      NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).
      AGENCY CONTACT INFO:
      LeaVannah Davis
      Phone: 314-457-5553
      Fax: 000-000-0000
      Email: leavannah.davis@stl.usda.gov
      Agency Information:
      USDA Rural Development
      Please Read Entire Announcement
      St. Louis, MO,
      00000
      USA
      Fax: 000-000-0000
      WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:
      If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful,  2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and  3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.