PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALIST STUDENT TRAINEE
The U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) is a great place to work, and we aren't the only ones who think so. We were rated "Most Improved Small Agency" in 2013 by the Partnership for Public Service and ranked 6th overall in the 2016 Best Places to Work Index. An independent Federal agency, the Commission provides the President and Congress with high-quality analysis and technical support on international trade, tariff and competitiveness issues; hears and decides import injury cases, and publishes the United States' tariff schedule. You will find a working environment throughout the Commission that is dedicated to the development of your technical skills and a commitment to provide balance between your work and personal life.
This position is located in the Office of External Relations (OER), which is responsible for developing and maintaining an effective liaison program between the USITC and its varied external customers. OER is also responsible for managing the public information activities of the USITC, as well as the activities of the Trade Remedy Assistance Program. OER is an organizational unit with a small skilled staff that also draws upon the professional staff of other organizations units of the USITC. Outside of the USITC, the Office deals principally with offices in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; assistant secretaries, deputy assistant secretaries, and office directors responsible for trade policy and trade-related activities in Cabinet agencies of the Executive Branch; Committee and Subcommittee staff directors of oversight Congressional Committees; senior level officials of foreign governments and international organizations; private sector representatives; news/media professionals; and the general public.
- Not Required
You must meet all the requirements below by the closing date of the announcement and they must be clearly identified in your application, resume, or supporting documents. This includes any general and specialized experience, education, and/or selective placement factors mentioned. These are used to determine if you possess the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities to successfully perform in this position.
Student eligibility requirement: You must be currently enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, on at least a half-time schedule as a student at an accredited education institution in a certificate, degree or diploma program
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.
To qualify at the GS-9 level, you must have one year of specialized experience at a level equivalent to the GS-7 level in the federal service or private sector. Typically, we would find this experience in work in the journalism, public affairs, public relations, mass communications, or a related field. Specialized experience is defined as professional experience in a public affairs/public information capacity that included evaluating information requests from the media and general public, researching and assembling relevant materials, and drafting responses for oral and written delivery; planning and drafting routine news releases, news and feature articles, web content, and other public information materials; evaluating the news value of visual materials; assisting and editing the work of other writers and photographers; interviewing and interacting with a variety of officials and subject matter experts outside the public affairs function; analyzing audiences and suggesting effective communications techniques to reach them; and providing administrative and professional support to public affairs professionals OR master's degree or equivalent graduate degree in journalism, public relations, mass communications, or a related field; or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree; or LL.B. or J.D., if related.
COMBINING EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
To combine your experience and education, you must convert the figures to a percentage and add them together. The combined total percentages of your education and experience must equal at least 100% in order to qualify.
To calculate your percentage of undergraduate education, divide the number of undergraduate hours you've completed by 120. To calculate your percentage of graduate education, divide the number of graduate semester hours you've completed by 18. If your education is currently described in quarter hours, convert the quarter hours into semester hours by multiplying the quarter hours by the fraction 2/3. To determine your percentage of qualifying experience, you must divide your total number of months of qualifying experience by the required number of months of experience.
Finally, add your experience and education percentages. The two percentages must total at least 100% to be considered qualified.
Education May be Substituted for Experience as Follows
At the GS-9 level: Master's degree or equivalent graduate degree in journalism, public relations, mass communications, or a related field; or 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree; or LL.B. or J.D., if related.
For proof of education, you are required to submit a copy of your transcript(s) or list of courses with credit hours, major(s), and grade-point average or class ranking, as well as proof of enrollment. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if it has been certified. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Click on the link for a list of accreditation organizations recognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials: http://www.naces.org/members.htm.
Unofficial transcripts and proof of enrollment will be accepted when applying to the position. Official transcripts and proof of enrollment will be required if you are selected. Education is also verified as part of the background investigation.
All qualifications and time-in-grade requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement and clearly documented in your resume.
If you are appointed to this position you will be required to provide verification of citizenship identity and employment eligibility under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-603).
You must meet the definition of a student for the duration of your appointment. You will be required to provide proof of this during the course of your internship, as established in your Agreement. You must have and maintain at least a 2.5, out of a 4.0 scale, cumulative Grade Point Average or equivalent.
The incumbent provides services in support of the Public Affairs Officer, Office of External Relations. On occasion, the incumbent may also provide services in support of other OER activities. The incumbent responds, in oral and written form, to requests for information received by telephone and email from the news media and the general public. Incumbent determines the nature of the information required for response, collects and assembles appropriate material, and drafts the response. Following established templates, the incumbent prepares news releases and other recurring materials. The incumbent develops written materials, such as news and feature articles and fact sheets, to convey to non-technical audiences information about Commission decisions, actions, programs, reports, and activities. The incumbent assists other writers and photographers on story assignments within the agency and performs initial editing on the writing projects of other writers. The incumbent will play a strong role in developing content for the agency's web site. The incumbent assists with public affairs activities such as daily news media monitoring, organizing files, updating the web- based Daily Calendar, preparing historical materials for submission to the National Archives, drafting the internal monthly newsletter, and other projects as assigned. The incumbent provides backup coverage to front desk professional and Public Affairs Officer. The incumbent will perform other duties as assigned.