Federal Railroad Administration Public Affairs Specialist in Washington, District Of Columbia

  • Duties

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Duties
Summary

FRA is committed to fostering a diverse, highly skilled workforce capable of meeting or exceeding our strategic goals with efficiency, innovation, and a constant focus on better serving our customers.

This position is located in the Office of the Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration(FRA), in Washington, DC. The candidate works closely with FRA Administrator and other high-level executives, managers, and staff in serving as an advisor on public affairs activities and programs. Uses expert communications skills to proactively engage with a range of media and external stakeholders to communicate and distribute data and information about the agency's mission, vision, organizational structure, operations, strategic goals, policy objectives and priorities, program activities, decisions, and actions.

The* ideal candidate* has proven media relations experience and served as a spokesperson for a governmental agency, corporation trade or industry association, or worked for a public relations firm or an elected official. He/she is motivated, a self-starter, uses sound judgment, able to work under tight deadlines and multi-task, and is a skilled writer who can distill and explain complex public information.

This position is eligible for ad hoc telework (on a supervisor approved intermittent basis) in accordance with FRA’s Telework Policy (FRA Order 3600.3b) and implementation plans.

PLEASE NOTE: A writing sample will be requested from applicants who are determined as qualified and referred to the selecting official.

This Vacancy may be used to fill similar positions within 90 days for these locations.

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Responsibilities

As a* Public Affairs Specialist,*you will:

  • Serve as an official spokesperson for the organization who responds to day-to-day media request for information, data and moment. Develop and transmit informational materials by a variety of communication channels to public and diverse stakeholder, to promote and enhance understanding and acceptance of FRA programs and activities.

  • Monitor press coverage and current affairs of interest to FRA. Draft, edit and review written materials including press releases, talking points and statements, intended for various constituent audiences. Examine and review documents, correspondence, memoranda, and other draft materials submitted by other FRA offices for accuracy, completeness and conformity with the request made and directives issued.

  • Participate in meetings as a representative of the Agency or Office and keep accurate records of such proceedings.

  • Plan, develop, coordinate and implement wide-ranging, short and long-term FRA public information, programs, projects and events, as well as related internal communication materials.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Some travel is required.

Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential

13

Who May Apply
This job is open to…
  • Current Federal Employees
  • Former Federal Employees
  • Overseas Employees
  • Merit Promotion
  • Status Candidates
  • CTAP
  • ICTAP
  • Schedule A
  • Individuals with Disabilities
  • Military Spouses
  • Peace Corp
  • AmeriCorps
  • Vista
  • VRA
  • VEOA
  • 30% Disabled
  • Fulbright Fellows, Gilman Scholarship, and Critical Language Scholarship Program alumni

Questions? This job is open to 7 groups.

  • #### Job family (Series)

1035 Public Affairs

  • Requirements

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Requirements
Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a status candidate and meet specialized experience.
  • Submit application and resume online by 11:59 PM ET on the closing date.
  • Provide all required documents by closing date.
  • Announcement also advertised to U.S. Citizens: FRA.OA-2018-0004.

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:

  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered for the Selective Service.
  • PROBATIONARY PERIOD: You must complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
  • *GOVERNMENT TRAVEL CARD: *You must be able to obtain and retain a Government contractor-issued travel card to be used for official business as a condition of employment. If unable to obtain and/or retain a card, you may be subject to removal. Those who fail to meet this condition of employment will have our offer of employment rescinded.
  • TIME-IN-GRADE:Federal applicants must have served 52 weeks at the next lower grade to satisfy time-in-grade requirements contained in 5 CFR 300, Subpart F.
  • DECLARATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT: The selectees for railroad safety positions will be required to complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation.
  • RELOCATION EXPENSES: Expenses related to relocation (e.g. travel and transportation) will not be paid.
Qualifications

To meet the minimum qualifications for this position, you must meet either the education or experience qualifications for the grade at which you are requesting consideration.

To Qualify For the GS-11,

* On Education,*you must have:

  • Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree OR
  • 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree OR LL.M., if related.

On Experience, you must have one year of specialized experience equal or equivalent to the GS-09, it must include:

  • Experience writing materials, such as speeches, news releases, news and feature articles, responses to inquiries that effectively convey information concerning programs and functions to any major organization.
  • Experience developing and maintaining effective working relationships with members of the news media and external stakeholders.
  • Experience gathering and interpreting data and making recommendations on public affairs strategies and policies.

You can also qualify on a combination of higher level graduate education and matching experience.

To Qualify For the GS-12

On Experience, you must have one year of specialized experience equal or equivalent to the GS-11, it must include:

  • Experience developing and implementing national public information media campaigns and programs.
  • Experience developing and implementing strategic communication plans for agency, association, or company-wide initiatives
  • Experience identifying opportunities for external outreach events to spotlight the Organization's programs.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

**For additional information about applying to Federal positions, please click on the following link: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-policies/#url=e4

Students enrolled in a qualifying degree program can apply if the anticipated graduation date is within six months of closing date of the announcement. Graduation transcript must be received before start date.

Other applicants must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of this announcement.**

Education
Additional information

Displaced employees may be eligible for ICTAP or CTAP priority consideration. For more information, please review the OPM Employee's Guide to Career Transition.

SENIORITY RIGHTS - LEAVES OF ABSENCE - RE-EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS: The FRA has determined that seniority rights, leaves of absence, and reemployment rights from prior railroad employment generally constitute an actual or an appearance of a conflict of interest. New employees may be required to divest themselves of such rights immediately upon hire if these rights are determined to constitute an actual or appearance of a conflict of interest. If new employees are permitted to retain such rights, which is generally the case for Railroad Safety positions, the rights must be divested at the end of the one year probationary period which begins with the date of appointment. Divestiture is a requisite to continued employment with the Federal Railroad Administration. No waivers will be granted of the divestiture requirement. Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. Parts 2635.403 and 6001.104, all FRA employees (or spouses or minor children of FRA employees) are specifically prohibited from holding railroad stock (including shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. which owns 100% of BNSF), whether held outright, in an IRA, or in a 401(k) or other plan. (Employees may hold a mutual fund which invests in railroad stocks, so long as the mutual fund does not invest more than 30% of its assets in such prohibited investments.) Employees having a prohibited financial interest must divest themselves of railroad stock within 90 days after their appointment to their positions. Neither the rule against holding railroad stock, nor the divestiture period, is in any way affected by the existence of re-employment rights which employees might have with railroad companies. Nor is there any monetary threshold for applicability of the rule against ownership of railroad stock; all dollar amounts are prohibited.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE: PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume/ application does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s). Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Please ensure that your resume contains specific information such as position titles, beginning and ending dates of employment for each position, average number of hours worked per week, and if the position is/was in the Federal government, you should provide the position series and grade level.

If you meet the qualification requirements, your application will be scored based upon your responses to the vacancy questions. The top rated applications will be reviewed for the quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position.

Your application will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education and training relevant to the position. The answers you select in the on-line process must be substantiated in your application package. If upon review, it is determined that your described work history, competencies, and/or supporting documents do not support your answer choices, your application may be updated or you may not be referred to the selecting official. Please ensure that your work history provides enough details to support your answers. If referred, all relevant documents including performance appraisals and awards submitted with your application package will be forwarded to the hiring official for review. The Automated Staffing Office is ultimately responsible for determining your final rating.

To preview questions please click here.

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

  • Required Documents

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Required Documents

*ALL Applicants must provide a resume that fully supports the required specialized experience and was created within USA Jobs Resume Builder and respond to the vacancy questions by the closing date of the vacancy. *

*The following is a list of documents that are only required based on the type of position and consideration for which you are applying. *

TRANSCRIPTS - Transcripts are REQUIRED if there is a stated education requirement for the series OR if you are substituting education for experience. The transcripts need not be official, but must show that you meet the stated education requirements, including specific major or class requirements.

  • If you are applying to an engineering position and are qualifying based on possessing a current Professional Engineer (PE) license, or passing the Engineer in Training (EIT) exam, please provide a copy of PE license or written documented proof of passing the EIT.
  • If you have previously held a government position in the same series as this position, you may be able to provide an SF-50 showing that you have already qualified and worked in the federal service in this series.

PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS/INCENTIVE AWARDS: If applicable, performance appraisals and/or Incentive award documentation may be submitted and will be forwarded to the selecting official as support in consideration of your application in the evaluation process. To receive due weight, you must submit a recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) showing the official rating of record, signed by a supervisor, or statement why the performance appraisal is unavailable (do not submit a performance plan) and/or incentive award documentation dated within the last 18 months (i.e. superior performance awards, special act or achievement awards, quality step increases, etc.).

VETERANS: Your last DD214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty, that shows the type of discharge and all dates of active duty is required to verify your eligibility. It need not be official.

  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened to all US Citizens under category rating and wish to be considered as a preference eligible, you need to submit a copy of your DD214.
  • If you are claiming preference eligibility as a disabled veteran, you must submit proof of entitlement of this preference which is normally a valid letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the present existence of the service-connected disability and indicating the percentage of your disability. An SF-15 is desired, but not required.
  • If you are applying to a vacancy opened Status and you are requesting consideration under Veteran's Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) (https://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/shav/#veoa), you need to provide a copy of your last DD214, which verifies your military service dates, reason for separation, OR certification of separation that shows a discharge date within 120 days of the closing of this announcement, and eligibility for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act.

STATUS APPLICANTS: If seeking eligibility consideration as status/agency/DOT employee, you must provide proof of eligibility in the form of an SF-50. Your SF-50 must verify the highest grade held competitively, full performance level of position, and eligibility as a status applicant. Please do not submit an Award SF-50, as these are often incomplete and do not verify grade or status eligibility.

NON COMPETITIVE APPLICANTS: If requesting concurrent consideration for Non-competitive (NC) appointment eligibility, you must provide the appropriate SPECIAL APPOINTING AUTHORITY DOCUMENTS, such as PCS orders (military spouse) describing move & marriage certificate; letter from VA or DD214 describing 100% disability of spouse; letter from State Vocational Office certifying disability (schedule A), etc. For more information, visit military spouse NC appointments or Persons with Disabilities NC appointments.

DISPLACED EMPLOYEES: If requesting consideration under the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency CTAP program (ICTAP), you must meet the well qualified standards for this vacancy (meeting minimum requirements for position and scoring at least an 85 or falling in the Gold Category) and provide all of the following documents:

  • your most recent performance appraisal,
  • the proof of eligibility letter from the Agency, and
  • your most current SF-50, displaying current series and grade.

Failure to submit any of the required documents by the closing date of the vacancy will result in your removal from consideration for this position. Please review your application prior to final submission and ensure you have submitted all appropriate documents. Uploading documents to USAJobs does NOT ensure inclusion with your application to our system. You must verify that the documents are in the system with your application prior to final submission.

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.

  • Benefits

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Benefits

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.

Review our benefits

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

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How to Apply

You must submit a complete application package (including resume, vacancy questions and supporting documents) no later than midnight Eastern Time on the closing date of the announcement.

  • To begin, click the "Apply Online" button on the job announcement posting.
  • Follow the directions to register, submit all required documents and complete the assessment questionnaire.
  • You may review your saved application(s) at https://my.usajobs.gov.

If you are having difficulty applying online, please contact the DOT Automated Staffing Office via email us at *Transjobs@dot.gov*

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Agency contact information
Automated Staffing Office
Phone

000-000-0000

Fax

000-000-0000

Email

TRANSJOBS@dot.gov

Address

DOT, FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION Submit Application and Documents Online 1200 New Jersey Ave SE / HAHR - 50 Washington, District of Columbia United States

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Next steps

You may check your application status by logging into your USAJOBS account. Within two weeks of the closing date, your application will be reviewed and rated. Ratings will be determined based on the documents and information received by the closing date. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration. If you are selected for an interview, the hiring manager will contact you directly. Once a hiring decision is made, we will notify all applicants of their final status.

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  • Fair & Transparent
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.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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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 and hiring process 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.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/499815400. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 05/17/2018 to 05/30/2018

Salary: $68,036 to $106,012 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 11 - 12

Work schedule: Full-Time - Full Time -

Appointment type: Permanent