Job Overview


About the Agency

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R) coordinates the US DOT’s research programs and is charged with advancing the deployment of crosscutting technologies to improve our Nation's transportation system. The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, part of DOT/OST-R in Cambridge, MA, has been helping the transportation community navigate the most challenging problems for more than 40 years. Volpe’s mission is to improve transportation by anticipating and addressing emerging issues and advancing technical, operational, and institutional innovations across all modes. Visit our website to learn more:

We are seeking a full-time permanent Human Resources Assistant to be part of our Office of Human Resources, Workforce Acquisition and Staffing Branch.   You will be responsible for providing technical and administrative support and assistance to the team in recruitment and staffing functions, with overall responsibility for researching, coordinating, and processing personnel actions using automated systems.  You will also be responsible for assisting in the administration of intern and entry level programs (i.e. Pathways Programs) and will assist in the coordinating attendance at various recruitment and outreach events.  You will be responsible for establishing, maintaining, and retiring official personnel files in accordance with recordkeeping regulations and practices.  You will also coordinate the Volpe Center’s security and onboarding process by sending and receiving appropriate forms and tracking progress.   The employee takes initiative to identify and resolve staffing and processing related issues.

The ideal candidate has experience assisting with recruitment, interviewing and onboarding of new staff and with researching and analyzing human resources and payroll guidelines to initiate actions or help resolve issues, and works well with diverse individuals within and outside the organization. The ideal candidate has excellent communication, writing and computer skills and demonstrates great attention to detail. If you like working in a fast-paced, dynamic and team environment, than this is the job for you.

Please carefully read and follow the instructions described in the “How to Apply” tab in this announcement.


The Human Resources Assistant:

  • Applies an extensive body of human resources rules, procedures, and operations to perform a wide variety of interrelated and/or non-standard HR support work.   Develops and applies technical and practical knowledge of a wide range of Government-wide, Department of Transportation, and Volpe Center regulations, rules, procedures, policies, and priorities related to Staffing, Recruitment, Employee Relations, Benefits, and Employee Development in order to plan, implement, and coordinate a variety of Human Resources support activities.
  • Receives, reviews, and takes action on incoming electronic SF-52, Request for Personnel Action in Federal Personnel Payroll System (FPPS).  Processes and releases FPPS actions which require the correct coding of each type of personnel action consistent with the nature of each action.  Processes corrections and cancellations of personnel actions and coordinates these actions with the Payroll Office.
  • Establishes official personnel files for all new hires and transfer employees for subsequent scanning into our electronic Official Personnel Folder (eOPF); and requests OPF files from other Federal agencies and from the National Records Center for hires with prior Federal government service.  Assists in the reviews of these files to ensure that proper credit is given for prior government service including military service. Computes Service Computation Dates (SCD's) adjustment for employees to reflect credit for all applicable Federal government service.
  • Assists HR Specialists in preparing documents for Merit Promotion, Delegated Examining Unit and OPM announcements and posting of these job announcements on websites. Assists applicants with inquiries regarding posted vacancy announcement, provides information to applicants on the status of the announcement and selection process. Establishes, maintains and closes out official Merit Promotion and other recruitment files.
  • Communicates with a variety of employees and managers across the Volpe Center to complete assignments, assist with HR functions and programs.  Identifies, responds and explains staffing and processing related issues to employees and managers.  Communicates with applicants concerning inquiries regarding posted vacancy announcements, status of application, and selection process.  Arranges interviews and meetings in order to obtain information.  Discuss issues with other assistants and specialists to resolve issues and determine preferred course of action. 

Travel Required

  • Occasional Travel
  • Some travel is required.

Relocation Authorized

  • No