This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Public Affairs Specialist

Department:Department Of Agriculture

Agency:Natural Resources Conservation Service

Job Announcement Number:WV-13-938985-DB

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$57,408.00 to $89,450.00 / Per Year


Monday, August 19, 2013 to Friday, August 30, 2013




Full Time - Permanent




1 vacancy in the following location:
Morgantown, WV United StatesView Map


United States Citizens


The mission of the Natural Resources Conservation Service is to serve as the nation's lead agency for natural resource management and soil and water conservation on private lands.



This is an "All Sources" announcement, applicants with Status or Special Hiring eligibility should also apply to the Status Announcement WV-13-945342-DB that runs concurrent to receive broad consideration.   


This position is located in the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Office, Morgantown, West Virginia.   Incumbent will serve as the Public Affairs Specialist responsible for developing, coordinating, and carrying out a sound public information program to communicate agency policies, programs, services, and activities throughout the state. 

Relocation expenses are authorized.


  • U.S. citizenship required
  • Males born after 12/31/1959, must be registered for Selective Service
  • Must possess a valid state driver's license
  • Travel Required (6-10 nights per month)
  • Satisfactory completion of a background investigation, fingerprint check.


Back to top

Plans, develops, and provides coordination needed to carry out a comprehensive public affairs program and to communicate and market NRCS strategic goals and objectives, programs, and priorities to a diverse clientele, and to represent the agency during disasters and emergencies.

Works with technical and program specialists to obtain the necessary information to explain complex conservation programs and activities in a straightforward manner using clear, simple,  and concise plain writing techniques, graphics, and other communications tools and the dissemination of information suitable for the given audience.

Coordinates, researches, and produces or utilize contracts to produce appropriate communications products and tools (e.g., news articles, presentations, newsletters, videos, displays, exhibits, brochures, and other materials) to reach target audiences.  Coordinates communications campaigns for statewide benefit using both traditional and emerging communications methods to best address the needs of a diverse and evolving public.

Establishes and maintains effective relationships with a wide variety of agricultural and conservation agencies, groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and others.  Provides guidance and training to state program and field office employees to reach traditionally under served clients including women, minorities, Tribes, producers of specialty or organic livestock or crops, or others who have not been equitably served by the Agency.

Works effectively with the news media to forge positive relationships that result in strong collaborative efforts informing the public of conservation programs and goals.


Back to top

At the GS-11 Level:   A Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree (in course work which would provide the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the job);  


One year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in the Federal Service.  Experience must clearly demonstrates knowledge of, and skill in applying, a wide range of oral and written communication principles, practices, techniques, methods and interpersonal relations practices sufficient to carry out a comprehensive public affairs program using a variety of media (i.e., radio, television, newspapers, magazines, etc.).   Applicant must have experience working with supervisors' and other management officials in analyzing and evaluating a public affairs program to ensure effectiveness of program delivery, applying and acting upon directed improvement actions to adequately develop and disseminate informational materials with the aim of enhancing the understanding of an organization's programs among the general public and specialized groups.    

At the GS-12 Level:   One year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-11 grade level in the Federal Service.  Experience includes marketing an agency or organizations strategic goals, objectives, programs and priorities using multiple information tools, such as developing newsletters, videos, posters, websites and exhibits.  Experience using graphic design and layouts to develop different types of communication tools.  Experience conducting tours, trainings and presentations.  Experience analyzing and identifying communication approaches and developing informational tools to reach a key audience with specific message.  Experience developing communication tools to reach unique or traditionally underserved clients.  Experience working effectively with the news media. 



This position does not have a positive education requirement.
If you are including education on your resume, report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

 You must be a US Citizen or US National.


CATEGORY RATING:  Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating.   Qualified candidates will be placed into one of the three categories as described below:    

·        Best Qualified Category: Meets the minimum qualification requirements and possesses all of the job related competencies as identified as important for successful job performance. 

·        Well-qualified Category:  Meets the minimum qualification requirements and possesses a majority (i.e., more than half) of the job-related competencies needed for successful job performance.  

·        Basically-Qualified Category:  Meets the minimum qualifications and basic eligibility requirements, but does not meet the definition of Well-qualified or Best-Qualified as described above.   

Within these categories, applicants eligible for veterans' preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans.  (Additional points are not added for veterans' preference.)  For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit

Only those candidates in the Best-Qualified category will be referred to the selecting official.  Category placement will be determined based on the applicant's quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

1. Knowledge of Public Affairs principles and applications.

2. Ability to use communication techniques to reach key audiences.

3. Knowledge and skill to use computer software and social media tools to disseminate information.

If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and/or experience, your rating may be adjusted and/or you may lose consideration for this position.  Please follow all instructions carefully.  Errors or omissions may affect your eligibility.  False statements or attempts to conceal information may be grounds for not hiring you or for removal after employment begins.  To preview the questions, click:  View Assessment Questions 


Back to top

Working for NRCS offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).  Additionally, NRCS offers FlexiWork, Transportation subsidies, and a family-friendly work environment.  The following web address is provided for your reference


View Occupational Questionnaire


·        A 12-month probationary period is required if this is your first competitive appointment.

·        E-Verify:  This employer will provide the Social Security Administration and, if necessary, the Department of Homeland Security with information of each new employee's Form I-9 to confirm work authorization.

·        Reference Checks:  Are likely to occur, often in advance of an interview.  Applying for this announcement gives consent to these reference checks.


Back to top

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package, which includes both of the following parts:

1.      Your responses to the Assessment Questionnaire, and

2.      Your résumé, transcripts and any other documents specified in the Required Documents section of this job announcement.

Use Application Manager for convenience and quickest processing. Track your progress to a Complete Application Package using the My Application Packages checklist and status displays in Application Manager. Your Application Package status must be Complete by Friday, August 30, 2013

Option A:  Application Manager

To begin, choose one of these options:

·         If your résumé is going to come from the USAJOBS Resume Builder, you begin the process by clicking the Apply Online button near the bottom of this page. Your résumé will be attached only to the Application Package you complete and Submit immediately after you click the Apply Online button for this job announcement, not to any Application Packages you may already have created.

·         If your résumé is going to be one you prepared outside of USAJOBS Résumé Builder, click this link to begin the process:  Online Questionnaire

To return to Application Manager at any time, use whichever one of the links  you used to begin as described above, or simply go to

Option B:  Paper Qualifications Questionnaire

If it is not possible for you to use Application Manager, you can write your answers on paper.  Follow these steps:

1.      You can print a copy of this job announcement so that you can read the questions offline.

2.      Obtain and print a copy of the OPM Form 1203-FX, which you will use to provide your answers. You can obtain the form at this URL or by calling USAJOBS by Phone at (703) 724-1850; after the introduction, press 1, and listen for instructions.

3.      You may submit the Form 1203-FX, resume, and any supporting documents either by fax, by mail or in person.


·         By Fax: If you are faxing a Form 1203-FX, do not use a separate cover sheet. Simply make sure the Form 1203-FX is on top of any other documents you are faxing. If you are faxing any documents without the Form 1203-FX on top, always use the official cover sheet which is here -- -- and be sure to fill it out completely and clearly.  The fax number is 1-478-757-3144.  Feed all documents into your fax machine top first so that we receive them right-side up.

·        By mail or in person: 

       USDA, NRCS, West Virginia State Office

         Human Resources

         1550 Earl Core Road, Suite 200

         Morgantown, WV  26505

          ATTN:  Diana Bokoch; 938985 


The complete Application Package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, August 30, 2013

The following documents are required:·   Résumé, clearly stating your experience related to this position as described in the "Major Duties", "Qualifications", and "How you will be Evaluated" sections of this announcement.

·    Responses to the on-line Occupational Questionnaire.

·    Transcripts (if applicable)

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

·   SF-50 (or equivalent) Notification of Personnel Action if you are a current or former Federal employee 

For more information on veterans' preference, see:

If you are eligible for ICTAP or CTAP benefits, see:  To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors and be rated and determined to be well-qualified or above based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section.

As a Review, the required minimal documents are:  Resume and Occupational Questionnaire.  Transcripts if using for qualification.  Prior-Status Government Employees must submit last SF-50 - Notice of Personnel Action to include Series, Grade, etc..   Veterans must submit DD-214 or equivalent, SF-15 and VA letter as appropriate.  For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit

Limit Resume to 10 pages or less, unsolicited materials, such as copies of position descriptions and publications will not be considered in the review process.  Failing to submit a complete package directly impacts ability to be considered for this position.


Diana Bokoch
Phone: (304)284-7599
Agency Information:
1550 Earl Core Rd
Suite 200
Morgantown, WV


You may track progress of your application package via your USAJOBS account.  The questionnaire will assess your qualifications for the job and will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration for possible interview and selection.  We will notify you via your USAJOBS account of the outcome after each of these steps has been completed.  Log into your USAJOBS account at to check your application status.

EEO Policy Statement:

Reasonable Accomodation Policy Statement:  http://www/

Veterans Information:

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:

Back to top
Print Preview

Job Announcement Number:


Control Number: