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Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania Job Announcement

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service / Plant Protection and Quarantine
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT

You can make a difference! USDA is currently reacting to an outbreak of the Spotted Lanternfly in the locations below. Join our team and gain valuable experience working in the field to stop this invasive species from harming our nation’s agriculture. View the PPQ website and learn more about our program. Be part of a program that protects the health and agriculture of the American people. Join our team!

Position(s):

Plant Protection Aid (GS-3/4)
Plant Protection Technician (GS-5/6/7)

Salary:

Your qualifications determine your grade level and grade (see qualification section; ($11.04 to $29.51/hr)

Locations:

Pennsylvania: Lancaster; Pottsville; Glenside/Abington, Easton

Type of Appointment:

Temporary/Full Time lasting up to 180 days from start of employment


WHO MAY APPLY:  

This announcement is open to all United States citizens. 

WHO ARE WE?

We are a component of the federal government, specifically, USDA, Animal Plant Health Inspections Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program. In PPQ, we safeguard U.S. agriculture and natural resources against the entry, establishment, and spread of economically and environmentally significant pests, and facilitates the safe trade of agricultural products.

WHAT ARE THE DUTIES?

  • Collaborate with public and public properties to secure permission to conduct survey and inspection.
  • Trap insects
  • Conduct post-treatment follow-up inspections
  • Use GPS or other approved tools for surveys
  • Inspect trees for exotic plant pests
  • Identify trees for treatment or removal
  • Collect survey and inspection data
  • Maintain daily records; work accomplishments
  • Collaborate with other federal agencies

SPECIAL CONDITIONS:

  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with the selective service
  • Must have a valid drivers license
  • Must be able to travel overnight occasionally.
  • Must be willing to work independently or as part of a team
  • Selected candidates will be exposed to a variety of environmental conditions typical of southeastern Pennsylvania, with expectations to work outdoors throughout the year.
  • Typical environmental conditions may include: cold, heat, sun, rain, snow, wind, biting/stinging insects, poison ivy, etc.

QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS:

Grade 3: Six months general experience OR Successful completion of 1 year of study that included at least 4 semester hours in courses listed below.
Grade 4: Six months general experience & six months specialized experience (see grade 4 examples below) OR successful completion of 2 years of study that included at least 8 semester hours in courses listed below OR a combination of experience and education.
Grade 5: 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade 4 (see grade 5 examples below) OR 4 year course of study above high school leading to a bachelor’s degree with 16 courses related to the courses below OR a combination of experience and education.
Grade 6: 1 year of specialized experience to the grade 5 (see grade 6 examples below) OR Successful completion of 1 year of graduate education (18 semester hours) in courses listed below OR a combination of experience and education.
Grade 7: 1 year of specialized experience to the grade 6 (see grade 7 examples below) OR Successful completion of 1 year of graduate education (18 semester hours) in courses listed below OR a combination of experience and education.

Courses: Biology, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Zoology, Botany, Forestry, Chemistry, Agriculture, or Physics.

General Experience: (GS-3) Any type of work that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position

Specialized Experience:
Grade 4: Inspecting nursery plants for the presence of a specific plant pest. Surveying areas for specific plant pests or for the presence of alternate plant hosts. Developing rough maps showing control or eradication treatment completed, areas surveyed, or pest finds located. Performing survey control or eradication procedures in a local pest control program. Answering questions regarding plant pest control procedures, harmful side-effects of pesticides to other living organisms, etc. Inspecting vehicles in the enforcement of plant quarantine regulations. Performing laboratory work involved with raising and/or sterilizing various insects.
Grade 5: Working knowledge of plant pests including signs and symptoms of infestation. Contacting stakeholders, (i.e., landowners, tenants, managers, etc.) to obtain permission to conduct surveys on private property. Using maps to locate commercial and residential properties for survey. Collecting data from daily survey and treatment records. Experience involving tree identification.
Grade 6: Working knowledge of forest health pests common to the Northeast, including signs and symptoms of infestation and methods for control. Communicating program and agency information in a clear and organized manner to facilitate cooperative relationships with industry and the public. Collecting data from daily survey and treatment records and preparing reports on activities accomplished. Experience applying dendrology and plant taxonomy.
Grade 7: Applying principles of biological science to analyze and take action to prevent the establishment and/or artificial spread of plant pests. Enforcing plant quarantines and regulatory orders which restrict movement of plant, plant products and equipment into or out of regulated areas. Identifying program pests in all of their life stages. Address public concerns regarding pest control and eradication procedures. Proficient with electronic files and database usage in order to analyze data and generate reports.

Note: Education must have been obtained in an accredited business or technical school, junior college, college or university

WHEN TO APPLY:  Applications being accepted immediately.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS FOR APPLICATION:

  • Current Resume (for each position, please list dates and duration of employment, number of hours per week)
  •  Official College Transcripts (if applicable)

SEND APPLICATION TO:

USDA, APHIS, PPQ
Attn: Pamela Williams
401 E. Louther Street, Suite 102
Carlisle, PA 17013
Email to: PPQ.OPS.PA.SLF@aphis.usda.gov

Veterans' Preference:
When applying for federal jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must:


  • Provide a legible copy of your DD-214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.).
  • If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation.


For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit https://www.fedshirevets.gov/job-seekers/veterans-preference/  

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 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.
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