The Pathways Internship Program is for current diploma/certificate/degree-seeking students and is designed to attract students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions with paid opportunities to work in USDA/NRCS and explore Federal careers while still in school. This program exposes students to jobs in the Federal civil service by providing meaningful developmental work while completing their academic requirements. For more information on the Pathways Internship, please visit https://www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads.Learn more about this agency
Location Consideration: You may select up to a maximum of three locations. Please only select locations that you can report to no later than July 8, 2018.
Locality Pay: The salary for each location may vary depending on locality. Locality tables may be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/.
Student Trainees will perform the following duties under direct supervision. Assignments will be developmental in nature and will assist the employee in gaining the competencies necessary for a career:
- Receives intensive and specialized training in all phases of soil and water conservation and related natural resource conservation programs.
- Assists in program and conservation planning for a variety of soil and water practices such as terraces, diversions, waterways, farm drainage systems, and others.
- Learns to perform surveys and set construction stakes for a variety of practices. May operate rod or chain or other specialized instruments to lay out simple practices.
Occasional travel - As required to perform the duties of the position and complete the requirements of the pathways Program.
Who May Apply
This job is open to…Students who are currently enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis at a qualifying educational institution in a certificate, degree, or diploma program.
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
- U.S. Citizen or U.S. National
- Be at least 16 years old at time of appointment
- Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
• Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. The position may require a background investigation at the time of appointment, and may be subject to reinvestigation every five years thereafter. A favorable adjudication of the background investigation at the time of appointment and on reinvestigations is a condition of employment.
• If you are newly hired, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS "E-VERIFY" system. Federal law requires the use of E-VERIFY to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. Under this system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
• Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
• Depending on the location selected, if students work for more than one year, they may be required to be mobile and work in other locations within the state selected thereafter.
• Must sign a Pathways Agreement.
PLEASE NOTE: In the interest of filling these positions as efficiently as possible, we are requiring the following:
- If called for an interview, applicants must be available to interview within 3 business days of being contacted.
- If a tentative job offer is extended, selectee will have 2 business days in which to accept or decline.
QualificationsAll applicants must meet the eligibility, education and qualification requirements listed below by the closing date of the announcement.
To be eligible for a Pathways Internship, applicants must:
• Be enrolled (or accepted for enrollment) as a certificate or degree-seeking student at a qualifying accredited educational institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education;
• Be enrolled at least half-time as defined by your educational institution;
• Be in good academic standing, as defined by your academic institution;
• Not graduate prior to Fall, 2019 or if you are graduating prior to this date, you must maintain current enrollment (without a break) in another qualifying certificate or degree;
• Be planning for or pursuing a certificate or degree in, or related to, the internship opportunity being advertised. Examples of relevant educational fields for this position include but are not limited to: Agriculture, Soil Conservation, Soil Science, Plant Science, Crop Science, Agronomy, Forestry, Rangeland Management, Ag Engineering, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, or other natural resource-related disciplines that will allow applicants to qualify for the conversion requirements listed below.
• Meet and document Office of Personnel Qualification Requirements for the grade level posted.
Below is the education requirement to be qualified for this position:
GS-3 - Completion of 1 full academic year of post-high school study.One full academic year of undergraduate education is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours or the equivalent as defined by the accredited college or university. One full academic year of graduate education is defined as 18 semester hours or the equivalent as defined by the accredited college or university.
Conversion Information: Candidates selected from this announcement may be eligible for non-competitive conversion to a term or permanent position in the competitive service provided that all terms of the Internship Program are met and there is an available position. Conversion is not mandatory or guaranteed and is at agency discretion.
Pathways Interns may convert to permanent or TERM positions in the same line of work they were initially appointed. To be eligible for conversion, you must satisfactorily complete all Pathways Program requirements:
• Complete at least 640 hours of work experience prior to graduation;
• Complete all mandatory training requirements;
• Meet performance expectations and be recommended for conversion;
• Meet suitability requirements; and
• Meet the position’s Qualification Requirements, to include the Basic Education Requirement below:
Degree: soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering. The study must have included 30 semester hours in a natural resource or agricultural field, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science. Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3 semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science; OR
Combination of education and experience: at least 30 semester hours in one or more of the disciplines as shown in A above, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3 semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science.
All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see http://www.ed.gov/ or http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search.aspx.
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. Click HERE for more information.
• Physical Demands: Work requires regular and recurring physical exertion such as walking on rough terrain, jumping ditches and furrows, climbing steep banks, or negotiating other terrain features.
• Work Schedules: Selected Interns will be expected to work full-time (40 hours per week) during school summer breaks, and may be allowed to work part-time during the school year, depending on location/state selected.
• Promotion to the next higher grade may occur without further competition once all legal and regulatory requirements are met to include management’s certification of the continuing need for performance of duties at the higher grade level.
• Depending on budget, you may be authorized a housing stipend for the summer if the location selected for is outside the local commuting area of your temporary or permanent address. You may also be provided reimbursement for out-of-pocket transportation expenses necessary to get to and from duty station at the end of the work period (summer). Availability and the gross amount will vary by location; not all work locations offer these benefits.
• This position may be eligible for occasional telework within the commuting area of the duty location of the position and/or for other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
• Depending on the location selected, if students work for more than one year, they may be required to be mobile and work in other locations within the state selected thereafter.
• It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: http://www.chcoc.gov/transmittals/TransmittalDetails.aspx?TransmittalID=6465
• Additional selections may be made from this announcement.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Application materials received by the closing date will be used to determine whether you meet eligibility criteria for Pathways Internship Program and the extent to which your responses to the Questionnaire satisfy the requirements.
All applicants who meet basic eligibility and qualification requirements will be referred to the selection official in veteran’s preference order. Preference will be given to applicants claiming veteran’s preference based on the supporting documents submitted.
Attempts to falsify information; inflate your qualifications or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may be grounds for disqualification. If selected providing inaccurate information on federal documents could also be grounds for dismissing you from the position/agency. Please review and follow all instructions carefully.
To view the application form, visit: https://nrcs.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=DE251E45-EEC2-494A-9D28-A8AB010A1453
Background checks and security clearance
The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents in English may result in loss of consideration.
- Resume: Please include: 1) personal information; 2) education; 3) work experience including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 4) supervisor’s phone number, e-mail address for each work period listed, and whether we may contact them for reference checks; and 5) other qualifications.
- Transcripts: A copy of your most recent transcripts is required, preferably showing field of study, school name, student’s name, current GPA or academic standing, past and current course work, degree program, and major/concentration. Please be sure to submit all available transcripts to help ensure that you are properly evaluated for the qualification requirements of this position. If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements, your transcripts must document that you have completed the required coursework hours for the GS-3 level as listed in the Qualifications section of this job announcement. Note: An unofficial copy of your transcripts is sufficient with this application; however, if selected, official college transcripts will be required prior to entering on duty.
- Enrollment Verification: If your transcripts reflect current/in-progress enrollment, separate enrollment verification is not required. If your transcripts do not reflect current/in-progress enrollment, you must provide proof of current enrollment or acceptance in the form of letters, records, or statements issued from an authorized source (i.e. University Registrar’s Office).
- Academic Verification: If your transcripts do not reflect current Academic Standing/GPA, please provide proof of your academic standing in the form of letters, records, or statements issued from an authorized source (i.e. University Registrar’s Office).
- Veterans: If claiming veteran’s preference, you must submit a DD-214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and character of service. To gain access to your DD-214 online please visit: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/about-service-records.html.
- If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veteran’s preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran’s preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
- If claiming 10-point veteran’s preference based on a service connected disability or purple heart, you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), and the VA letter. The SF-15 should be included but not required with the initial application, but if selected you will required to complete the SF-15. If claiming 10-point derived preference, i.e. spouse, widow/widowers and mothers, you must submit the SF-15 at the time of application submission. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans’ preference please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
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. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
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. Learn more about federal benefits.
The Federal Government offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at: http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/enrollment/new-federal-employee-enrollment/
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
Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.
- 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.
- We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order 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 us if you are requesting this.
Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at www.usajobs.gov. It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX)
Agency contact information
AddressNatural Resources Conservation Service
1400 Independence Ave, S.W.
Washington, DC, 20250
If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Normally, a final job offer to the selected candidate is made within 30-60 days after the issuance of the certificate.
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.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/494847700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.