Open & closing dates
Opening and closing dates
06/30/2020 to 07/14/2020
Pay scale & grade
CO 4 - 7
$31,208 to $56,222 per year
3 vacancies in the following locations:
Columbia City, IN
Yes as determined by agency policy
This job is open to
U.S. citizens, nationals or those who owe allegiance to the U.S.
Clarification from the agency
This position is open to all US Citizens and US Nationals.
These are County Program Technician positions County Office locations are listed above.
Learn more about this agency
Major responsibilities for this position can be found below.
- Carrying out office activities and functions pertaining to one or more of the program areas administered in the county.
- Interpreting and explaining procedures, program regulations and forms to producers and other agency personnel.
- Utilizing various web-based software applications to maintain producer data and processing automated forms.
- Using a high degree of initiative and judgment in planning and carrying out assigned tasks and resolving problems encountered.
Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.
Conditions Of Employment
- You must be a US Citizen or US National.
- Males born after 12/31/1959 must be Selective Service Registered or Exempt.
- Subject to satisfactory adjudication of background investigation and/or fingerprint check.
- Successful completion of one year probationary period, unless previously served.
- Direct Deposit - Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to their financial institution.
- Successfully pass the E-Verify employment verification check. To learn more about E-Verify, including your rights and responsibilities, visit https://www.e-verify.gov/.
- Must be a high school graduate, or have a GED.
- Must be 18 years of age, or 17 years of age for high school graduates.
Qualifications are in accordance with requirements in Handbook 27-PM.
** Specialized experience is defined as experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and is typically in or related to the work of the position being filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least 1 year in the next lower grade level.
Applicants must meet all qualification and eligibility requirements by the closing date in the announcement, including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified below:
You may start at the CO-04 level if you have one of the following qualifications:
- Successful completion of two years of education above high school in an accredited business, secretarial or technical, junior college, college or university in any field in which high school graduation or the equivalent is a prerequisite may be substituted for experience. OR
- One year general experience of progressively responsible clerical, office work, or equal background in the operations of a farm or ranch that indicates the ability to acquire the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the duties of this position.
You may start at the CO-05 level if you have one of the following qualifications:
- Successful completion of four years of education above high school in an accredited business, secretarial or technical, junior college, college or university in any field in which high school graduation or the equivalent is a prerequisite may be substituted for specialized experience. OR
- One year specialized experience applying office methods and procedures to provide clerical and limited technical support to any farm or agricultural program.
You may start at the CO-06 level if you have one of the following qualifications:
- One year specialized experience applying office methods and procedures to provide clerical and limited technical support to process and service farm or agricultural programs.
You may start at the CO-07 level if you have one of the following qualifications:
- One year specialized experience applying office methods and procedures to provide clerical and limited technical support to independently perform a full range of farm program processes. Experience that shows your ability to perform progressively more complex, responsible, or difficult duties: and that shows your ability to learn the specific work of this position.
College Transcript: If you are qualifying based on education, submit a copy of your college transcript that lists college courses detailing each course by the number and department (i.e., bio 101, math 210, etc.), course title, number of credit hours and grade earned. You must submit with your application package evidence that any education completed in a foreign institution was appropriately accredited by an accredited body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. Education standards. You may submit an unofficial copy of the transcript at the initial phase of the application process; however, if selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Please refer to the "How to Apply" section for instructions on submitting the transcript.
- Veterans preference does not apply.
- Relocation expenses are not authorized.
- When promotion potential is shown, the agency is not making a commitment and is not obligated to provide future promotions to you if you are selected. Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.
- This is a Non-Federal, Non-Civil Service position.
- This announcement may be used to fill one or more vacancies.
- Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
- Optional - This position would be eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements in accordance with Department and Agency directives.
How You Will Be Evaluated
All applicants will be considered on the basis of their education, experience, supervisory appraisal, training, awards and education as it relates to the qualification requirements and on the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) listed below.
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONS CAREFULLY. During the online application process, you will be asked to address the following items:
- Describe your ability to communicate orally being sure to include specific examples.
- Describe your ability to communicate in writing being sure to include specific examples.
- Describe your ability to identify and resolve problems. Be sure to include specific examples explaining the situation you encountered, the action you took, and the resolution you achieved.
- Describe your knowledge of FSA farm programs and practices including details regarding how you obtained this knowledge.
- Describe your skill in using computers being sure to include software you are proficient with, specific tasks performed, and how or where you obtained these skills.
- Describe your customer service skills, and provide specific examples regarding various situations where you have utilized these skills.
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 may be adjusted to more accurately reflect your abilities, or you may be found ineligible. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on application documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.
Background checks and security clearance
The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
- Resume that includes: 1)personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; for current or previous Federal or FSA County employees, it should also include the title, Pay Plan, Series and Grade for each work experience entry; 4) supervisors phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications.
- For current or previous Federal or FSA County employees, you must attach a copy of your most recent Notification of Personnel Action (form SF-50 or SF-50B) that provides current position, grade level, and duty location. Award SF-50 or SF-50B will result in an ineligible rating.
- NOTE: THIS IS REQUIRED FOR BOTH PERMANENT AND TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES.
- Current USDA employees (both permanent and temporary) must submit your most recently completed annual performance appraisal/summary rating (dated within the last 18 months) which identifies the employee's official rating of record and is signed by the supervisor. If a performance appraisal/summary rating is not available, you must submit a statement advising why the performance appraisal/summary rating is unavailable.
- Former USDA employees (both permanent and temporary) must submit your latest annual performance appraisal/summary rating or a statement advising why the performance appraisal/summary rating is unavailable. Do not submit a performance plan. Failure to submit either a performance appraisal/summary rating or a statement regarding the reason for not submitting a performance appraisal/summary rating will result in an ineligible rating.
- If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
How to Apply
Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. 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.
Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact us at 515-331-8428 well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET on the closing date of the announcement to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact the Agency Contact to request this.
To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.
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. You must verify that uploaded documents 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. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g. SF-50s or veteran docs) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.
Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account at USAJOBS account to check your application status.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.
Legal and regulatory guidance