Description of work: The Community Partnerships Resource Conservation and Development Council (Community Partnerships RC&D), a regional non-profit organization seeks to fill a grant funded Program Assistant position. This term position provides assistance to the landowners and land users as a representative of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in West Field Team 8. The incumbent will assist the field team with program eligibility, contract management, analyzing natural resource inventories, utilizing Customer Service Toolkit Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to enter and maintain conservation plans, input and retrieval of data for progress reports, coordinating supply and equipment ordering/inventory and other duties as assigned.
Duty Office Location: USDA-NRCS Bedford Office: 702 West Pitt Street, Bedford, PA 15522 * Work will include trips to the field, trainings and other field offices
Work Schedule: 40 hours per week. The term position is funded by an agreement between Community Partnerships RC&D Council and USDA-NRCS. This is a grant funded position with current funding into October 2019, future funding is expected.
Requirements: Background investigation will be required and a valid Driver’s License.
Qualifications: 1 year specialized experience or Bachelor’s Degree preferred. Good oral and written communications skills and computer proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite are also required. The candidate should have the ability to work in a team setting within a small office environment and the ability to walk and work in outdoor environments.
Specialized experience: Experience that has equipped the applicant with the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of this position. Examples of qualifying specialized experience include:
Gathering and analyzing data for the development of plans and contracts; collecting and filing program eligibility information for program applicants; accounting; Information Technology; project/contract management; quality assurance; providing administrative support to a work unit; use of office automation software such as Microsoft Office and GIS Proficiency.
This position serves in a developmental capacity, developing the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities for the full-performance level Program Assistant. The incumbent is primarily involved in performing work in support of program analysis functions and processes. The incumbent also provides technical support and program assistance to the field team which includes field and office work and travel to other team offices and various locations throughout all counties for field work.
Technical Support and Program Assistance (55%)
Provides assistance with ProTracts which may include, but are not limited to, the following duties: •Enters applicant’s address and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) information; •Enters applicant’s data, including correct 12-digit hydrologic unit codes (HUC), application type and fund code in order to assist in determining applicant’s eligibility; •Verifies applicant information is included in SCIMS and, if not, enters the data; •Assists in verifying applicant’s eligibility and notifying applicants of information they need to provide in order to document eligibility •Assists in ranking the eligible applications being considered for a contract; •Prepares contract documents and assembles contract case files; •Enters contract modifications, as needed; •Certifies and calculates payments and enters into ProTracts; •Reviews and edits obligations in preparation for administrative financial audits; •Tracks data in order to prepare required reports which may include such information as late practices, certified practices not paid, modifications not approved, contract status and ranking lists; •Tracks yearly contract review requirements and assists with the non-compliance notifications and 153 process •Prepares applicable correspondence utilizing the ProTracts software for matters such as contract reviews/practice reminder letters, late practices notifications, and annual application deferrals correspondence; and •Ascertains contract folders include all required information and are in proper sequence.
Plan Development and Practices (40%)
•Assists in the development of conservation plans for units of land in which the physical, social, and economic features involve clear-cut relationships. Tracks Farm Bill compliance requests and either completes determinations or forwards to appropriate technical specialists and notifies producer and FSA of final determinations. Helps manage PNDI and CR requests, outcomes and case file records. Collects and files program eligibility information for program applicants.
•Assists with surveys, prepares designs, assists with layouts and performs construction checks on planned conservation practices associated with specific land uses. Arranges for and assists qualified personnel with the application of the more complex practices.
•Utilizes Customer Service Toolkit, RUSLE2 and other agency planning tools to develop and update conservation plans. Completes the Contract Wizard and uploads plans from Toolkit into ProTracts.
•Provides assistance with Progress Reporting System by digitizing boundaries and fields using Customer Service Toolkit. This includes Customer Service Toolkit to identify fields. Works with offices in assigned work area to input and retrieve data. Uses State and Area PRS reports to track Team data and make sure team progress is reported.
•Schedules and presents informational programs on soil and water conservation.
•Provides administrative support to assigned field team. Gathers data for various reports, such as field office reports and field team activity reports, and prepares for distribution as requested. Files material in office manuals to ensure up-to-date information. Collects, prepares, reviews and inputs data. Locates and compiles data or information from files and performs support tasks.
•Contacts cooperators to follow up on the status of conservation plan progress and encourages landowners to apply the agreed-upon conservation measures.
•Collects and analyzes data in order to calculate FSA determinations. Carries out, as assigned, special studies and inventories of land and water use conditions for NRI and CEAP programs.
•Greets clients, such as farmers, landowners and partners. Utilizes professional and personal skills to assess the situation and determines to either correct or resolve the issue independently or forward the concerns and/or client to the proper staff.
•Maintains computer skills in utilizing Windows-based software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint and Outlook. Skills must be maintained in order to use the electronic mail and scheduling system in Microsoft Outlook, the internet browsers and other browsers to locate information. Also assists field team in development of databases as needed. Develops Excel spreadsheets, data entry forms, graphs and reports for NRCS program management, engineering references for field office use and engineering applications. Provide NRCS technical and field office staff assistance in use and maintenance of Microsoft Office software.
Performs other duties as assigned. (5%)
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
•Understand and applies personnel rules and regulations as they apply to the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Employment Programs to ensure their integration into recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, career development (including varied work assignments, details, and special developmental assignments), and other personnel actions. Emphasizes meeting the objectives of equal opportunity and affirmative employment plans and requirements. Ensures that these functions are carried out without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or physical or mental handicap.
•Serves as an incidental motor vehicle operator. This requires the operation of a motor vehicle on both public and private roads during daylight hours and occasionally after dark. A valid state driver’s license is required.
•Actively supports and participates in the safety and health program activities as required. Complies with all appropriate safety and health rules and regulations in the performance of assigned tasks.
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