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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Information and Arts Student Trainee (Public Affairs)
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Natural Resources Conservation Service
Job Announcement Number:  MS-886359-YN

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$11.95 to $13.41 / Per Hour
Monday, May 06, 2013 to Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Full Time - Internships
1 vacancy in the following location:
Jackson, MS United StatesView Map
Student/Internship Program Eligibles


Be Remarkable! Make a Difference! Join the Natural Resources Conservation Service team and help us conserve our nation's Natural Resources! Visit our web site ( to learn more.

***Housing and Transportation expenses are NOT authorized.***


The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is a Federal agency under the Department of Agriculture. Our mission is to help private landowners conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment. We deliver technical assistance based on sound scientific practices and suited to a customer's specific needs. Participation in our programs is voluntary, with cost shares and financial incentives available in some cases. Most work is done with local partners, and our partnership with local conservation districts serves almost every county in the nation, plus the Caribbean and Pacific Basin. Find out more through our website at!


The Pathways Internship Program is a planned, progressive education program that provides for the integration of a student's academic studies with target positions in the Federal workforce. The internships allow students to gain real, paid work experience while pursuing a college degree in a particular career field.  Mississippi NRCS is specifically seeking students who are interested in doing professional Public Affairs work after graduation from college.


HOW DOES THE PATHWAYS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM WORK?   The Pathways Program provides hands-on experience for students that are in the specific discipline for which hired and is related to the student's academic program and career goals.  Positions are full time in the summer and full-time upon successfully meeting the requirements for graduation and the qualifications for the target position. At management’s discretion, students may be placed into non-pay status or part time status when they return to school each fall, then returned to full time the following summer. Students pursuing their Bachelor's degree may be promoted up to the GS-4 level as they progress through the program, and may be placed in permanent positions at either the GS-5 or GS-7 level (depending on qualifications) when they graduate. The full performance level for these positions is GS-11. If converted to a permanent position, at management's discretion students may be non-competitively promoted to that level when eligible. However, progression to that level is neither guaranteed nor required. Advancement is dependent upon successful performance in the position and satisfaction of time-in-grade and qualification requirements.




  • U.S. Citizenship required
  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Enrolled at least half-time course load as defined by the school
  • Must successfully complete a background investigation check
  • Must sign a Pathways Intern Participant Agreement


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The trainee positions advertised are developmental positions designed to provide intensive and specialized training in the field of work related to the student's major field of study. Work will become increasingly more complex as the student masters skills and assignments and progresses through the program.


Duties include, but are not limited to:


As an Information and Arts Student Trainee (Public Affairs) you will provide support to the Public Affairs Staff. The Public Affairs Office provides technical leadership, guidance, training, coordination, and other assistance in composing, editing, and disseminating information in support of the NRCS mission. Some of your duties will include writing, editing, and photography; assisting in conducting a variety of public outreach and education activities for Natural Resources Programs; assisting in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with groups interested in or affected by agency programs or policies; and assisting in maintaining photographic and audiovisual equipment.


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To be eligible for this program, applicants must be:


·         A degree-seeking college student enrolled for at least a half-time course load at an accredited institution of higher education. Major field of study may be in any discipline.

·         A student in good standing and having a record as a student that is in all respects predictive of graduation. Student must maintain at least a 2.0 overall grade point average on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent, and maintain a grade of "C" or better at all times in the major field of study.


To be eligible for grade GS-03 applicant must have completed 1 full academic year of post-high school study.  


To be eligible for grade GS-04 applicant must have completed 2 full academic years of post-high school study or an associate's degree.


For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. 


*** If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. ***

Veteran's Preference:


Veterans with service-connected disability of less than 10%, nonservice-connected disability, and Purple Heart recipients, as-well-as those claiming derived preference for a spouse, widow or widower, or natural mother, should refer to and submit a completed SF 15, "Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference," and required documentation with your application materials.


For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit


If you are a male applicant who was born after 12/31/59 and are required to register under the Military Selective Service Act, the Defense Authorization Act of 1986 requires that you be registered or you are not eligible for appointment in this agency.


NRCS provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us.  The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis. 


Applicants will be ranked based on three quality groups, as follows:


Best Qualified:  Applicant possesses all of the job related competencies identifies as important for successful job performance.

Well -Qualified:  Applicant possesses a majority (i.e., more than half) of the job related competencies needed for successful job performance.

Qualified:  Applicant meets the basic eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, but does not meet the definition of Well-Qualified or Best Qualified describe above.

After the vacancy announcement closes, applications are evaluated against the questionnaire responses and placed in the appropriate quality group. The best qualified group is the first to be referred to the hiring facility for further consideration and possible interview. The remaining groups may be referred based on the number of applicants available.


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USDA/NRCS offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:


The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at


This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.


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To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes: 

1. Your Résumé
2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
3. Additional Required Documents (see Required Documents section below)


The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.


To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account. Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process. 

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page using the following Vacancy ID 886359.  Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.


If you cannot apply online: 


1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire,

2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire, and

3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


**Application materials submitted directly to the Jackson, MS USDA/NRCS office will not be accepted, considered, nor returned. You must apply using one of the methods listed above. **


  • The following documents are required:


    ·         Résumé or application.  (We encourage you to use the USAJOBS resume builder to speed the application process. Although we do not require a specific format, certain information is required to determine if you are qualified, i.e. hours worked per week for each job list agency, salary, supervisor's contact information and indicate month/day/year employment began and ended).

    ·         College Transcripts or copy of High School Diploma to support Education requirements (photocopies or online printouts are acceptable and must be legible). 

    ·         Proof of enrollment or acceptance for enrollment as a degree-seeking student at an accredited university.  Note if you are submitting current transcripts those can serve as proof of enrollment; no separate documentation is needed.  If you do not yet have transcripts (high school senior accepted for enrollment, etc.) or do not have transcripts from your current institution you must submit other proof (notice from school, registration receipts, etc.)

    ·         Responses to the online questionnaire

    ·         Veterans Preference documentation if applicable (DD-214 or equivalent, SF-15 and VA Letter, etc, as appropriate)


    If your application package does not contain all required documents, you may lose consideration for the position.



Yolanda Nelson
Phone: (601)965-5205x2162
Agency Information:
MS NRCS State Office
Federal Building
100 West Capitol Street
Jackson, MS


After the closing date of this announcement, complete applications will be evaluated. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. You will be notified as to the status of your application. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Status notification normally takes 2-4 weeks.

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