Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Conservationist in Albany, Kentucky

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Summary

Do you want to work for a premier conservation agency whose mission is to “help people help the land?” For more than 83 years, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has worked in close partnership with farmers, ranchers, forest managers, non-governmental organizations, local and state governments, and other federal agencies to create and maintain healthy and productive agriculture.

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Responsibilities

The incumbent performs duties which assist the District Conservationist (DC) in developing and carrying out a coordinated natural resources conservation program tailored to customers' needs and meeting USDA and NRCS requirements. Incumbent provides technical assistance to local government bodies, tribal entities, state and Federal agencies, private landowners (i.e., individual farmers and ranchers), and the general public in the development, application, and maintenance of a coordinated natural resources conservation program.

  • Works with farmers and other landowners to develop conventional conservation plans addressing resource concerns; provides information concerning Farm Bill and State Conservation Programs; and develops conservation contracts according to the NRCS Conservation Program Contracting Manual.
  • Understands/applies applicable NRCS and Farm Bill programs available to address resources concerns and explains cost-share programs and payment procedures to applicants and contract holders.
  • Conducts regular follow-up on all scheduled practices assigned; develops operation and maintenance agreements for all structural practices planned and contracted; performs annual contract reviews on all assigned contracts to ensure contract schedules are followed and that practices are being maintained according to NRCS standards and specifications.
  • Recommends practices to farmers and ranchers which help control erosion and conserve soil and water.
  • Utilizes computer, web-based programs and technology tools in the documentation and management of conservation plans and technical assistance by the service center.
Travel Required

Occasional travel - Up to 20%

Supervisory status

No

Promotion Potential

11

  • #### Job family (Series)

0457 Soil Conservation

  • Requirements

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Requirements
Conditions of Employment
  • U.S. Citizen or U.S. National
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • A 1-year probationary or trial period may be required.

  • Motor vehicle operator: Must possess and maintain a valid state motor vehicle operator's license for the type of vehicle(s) operated to perform the duties of this position.

  • Physical Demands: This work requires regular and recurring physical exertion related to conservation work. This includes walking on rough terrain, jumping furrows, or climbing steep banks. This work also involves regular and recurring exposure to operating agricultural equipment including tractors, caterpillars and a wide variety of attached implements such as cultivators, discs, plows, etc. There may be exposure to snow and ice conditions as well as herbicide and chemical spray operations which will require safety precautions.

  • Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. The position may require a Public Trust background investigation at the time of appointment, and may be subject to reinvestigation every five years thereafter. A favorable adjudication of the clearance or 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.

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.
Qualifications

All applicants must meet all qualification (i.e. Basic Education Requiremement, Specialized Experience Requirement) and eligibility (e.g. time-in-grade, general restriction on movement after competitive appointment/time-after-competitive appointment) * by the closing date of this vacancy announcement.*

* Basic Education Requirement: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 1 above, including at least 12 semester hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science, plus appropriate experience or additional education comparable to a 4 year degree. 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.

Evaluation of Education: Education that provided specialized knowledge and skills in soil and water conservation is more valuable than education that imparted broad but general knowledge and skills. Courses in soil fertility, soil chemistry, soil genesis, plant physiology, plant science, and field crops are examples of specialized courses that contribute towards meeting the required 12 semester hours as described above. Courses in the physical sciences or engineering such as geology, civil engineering, and hydrology also meet the soils, crops, or plant science course requirements where such courses included a complete introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils.

Evaluation of Experience: Experience that included the application of techniques, principles, and methods from a variety of agricultural and natural resource fields is appropriate, given the interdisciplinary character of the soil conservation occupation. For example, experience gained in a specialized field such as soil science, forestry, or agronomy is as fully acceptable as experience directly obtained in soil conservation work.

In addition to meeting one of the Basic Requirements listed above, applicants must meet the following Minimum Qualification Requirement in order to be considered:

Specialized Experience to qualify for the GS-09 level: you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-07 level or higher in Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through federal service. This experience must include knowledge of the principles and theories of soil and water conservation and related sciences such as biology, agronomy, and forestry, in identifying conservation related problems. Examples of specialized experience include experience at the advanced trainee level:

  • Developing conservation plans to treat natural resource concerns;
  • Implementing and following up with conservation practices; and/or
  • Developing and managing conservation program contracts; OR Education Substitution: 2 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a master’s degree or master’s or equivalent graduate degree in a soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering; OR

Combination of Education and Experience: A combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy.

Specialized Experience to qualify for the GS-11 level: you must possess at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 level in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through federal service. This experience must include knowledge of the principles and theories of soil and water conservation and related sciences such as biology, agronomy, and forestry, in identifying conservation related problems. Examples of specialized experience include:

  • Providing technical guidance and assistance to groups and individuals on topics such as soil interpretations, erosion control measures, pest and invasive species control, water quality improvements, livestock management, wildlife habitat, and forest management;
  • Preparing conservation or resource management plans and providing financial or implementation assistance; and/or
  • Communicating and sharing general information and explaining issues related to natural resource conservation, problems, and solutions to landowners, residents, and land managers; OR Education Substitution: 3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in a soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering; * OR*

Combination of Education and Experience: A combination of graduate-level education and experience, as described above, may be used to qualify for this position. This combination must have equipped you with the necessary knowledge and/or experience to successfully perform the duties of this position. Combinations of experience and education must total at least 100% as outlined in OPM Qualifications policy.

Time-in-Grade: Applicants must have completed at least 52 weeks at the next lower grade (GS-7 for GS-09, GS9 for GS-11), or have held the same grade or higher grade level as the one advertised in order to be considered for this position.

* Experience Note*: 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.

Education

You must submit a copy of your college transcripts or a list of college courses with credit hours, dates completed, and grades received to verify all education requirements (i.e. substitution of education and/or basic education requirement). If a relevant course is not clearly qualifying (e.g. special topic, seminar, research, thesis, obscure or misleading course title, etc.), please submit an official course syllabi and/or detailed course description from the university/college for that particular course to ensure you are properly evaluated. Please note that qualifications determinations are based solely on the information submitted for each particular vacancy announcement. You must document all requirements on every vacancy; we cannot use previous determinations as a basis for rating. All required information must be received by the closing date of this announcement, and non-submission of all required documents/documentation will result in non-consideration. Unofficial transcripts will be accepted. This information must be received by the closing date of this announcement. Non-submission of these documents will result in non-consideration.

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. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation via this link. All education claimed by applicants will be verified accordingly. Important: 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 on this link for more information.

Additional information
  • Location Consideration: You may select up to a maximum of three locations.
  • Relocation expenses may be authorized as allowable by FTR and USDA policy for the following locations: Albany, KY; Salem, KY; Stanford, KY; Tompkinsville, KY; Spindale, NC; and Pittsfield, MA. The following location(s) are not authorizing relocation: Salt Lake City, UT.
  • The salary for each location may vary depending on locality. Locality tables my be found at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/
  • If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements & if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
  • Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veteran’s Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA). See:http://www.opm.gov/staffingportal/vetguide.asp#VeteransEmploymentAct1998
  • Special Hiring Options: Individuals eligible for under the Veterans Recruitment Act (VRA) or 30 percent disabled veterans, Disabled veterans who have completed a VA training program, Military Spouse, Certain Former Overseas Employees, and Schedule A Disabled may be considered under special hiring authorities. Click here for more information. https://help.usajobs.gov/index.php/SpecialHiringOptions
  • Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50, and proof of eligibility such as a Reduction in Force (RIF) separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/.
  • Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better. Reference: https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ47/PLAW-114publ47.pdf
  • This position is eligible for telework within the commuting area of the duty location of the position & other flexible work arrangements. Employee participation is at the discretion of the supervisor.
  • This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies.
  • 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

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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.

You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Occupational Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the competencies listed below:

  • Conservation Planning, Problem Identification, Defining Objectives, Oral Communication, Written Communication, Attention to Detail, Organizing & Prioritizing Work and Customer Service

We will review your application to ensure you meet the job requirements and assess your ability to perform this job. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume and supporting documents are reviewed by an HR Specialist to ensure that minimum qualification requirements are met.

Applicants who meet the basic minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Non-Competitive candidates need to meet minimum qualification requirements to be referred. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Deliberate attempts to falsify information may be grounds for not selecting you.

To view the application form, visit: https://nrcs.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid;=E50318F3-FA3F-4666-B187-A95A01125328

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Q - Nonsensitive

Drug test required

No

  • Required Documents

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Required Documents

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 & digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume should include: 1) personal information; 2) education; 3) work experience including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; and title, series & grade if applicable; 4) supervisors phone number, e-mail address for each work period listed, & whether we may contact reference checks; and 5) other qualifications.
  • College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or used as a substitute for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient; however, if selected, an official transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully completed & obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education website at http://www.ed.gov. All transcripts must be in English or include English translation.

You must submit the documents below if you claim any of the following:

  • Current & Former Federal Employees:
  • SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action(s), documenting that you meet the following: the advertised area of consideration; competitive status (if applicable); the highest grade (or promotion potential) held on a permanent basis; & position title, series and grade, etc. Please submit multiple SF-50s if needed to verify eligibility & do not submit an Award SF-50 unless it provides the necessary information; AND
  • Most recently completed performance appraisal/summary rating (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 or progress/midyear review.
  • Current Permanent FSA County Employees: Most recent non-award Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50/equivalent) showing highest grade or promotion potential held on a permanent basis, position title, series & grade.
  • CTAP/ICTAP: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 documenting separation or the position separating from. Workers Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50. Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456:Certification of special disability retirement annuity from the military or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50.
  • Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act: Eligible applicants must submit documentation of more than 24 months of service with their application. Include first & last SF 50 for each appointment AND documentation of successful performance of each appointment. Applicants are encouraged to combine all required documents into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping documents into files will simplify the application process. Failure to submit required documentation will result in loss of consideration.
  • Veteran Hiring Authorities: VEOA, VRA & 30% Disabled Veterans: DD-214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty showing dates of service & discharge under honorable conditions. Disabled veterans must include VA letter & SF-15 if claiming 10 pt. preference. Current active duty members must submit certification that they are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after date the certification is submitted.
  • Schedule A, Persons with Disabilities: Sch A letter from a physician, local, state or federal rehabilitation office citing eligibility under 5 CFR 213.3102 (u).
  • Miscellaneous Authorities Not Regulated by the Office of Personnel Management: (Postal Career Service, Postal Service Commission, GAO, US Courts, etc.) Current Notification of Personnel Action/equivalent that reflects eligibility.
  • Peace Corps Personnel: Documentation of no less than 36 months of continuous service without a break of 3 days or more & separated within the last 3 years.
  • Interchange Agreement with Other Merit Systems: Documentation of eligibility as listed in interchange agreement
  • Please review the "How to Apply" section for additional special hiring authority consideration and documentation.
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.

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

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How to Apply

CONTINUATION OF REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

  • Certain Family Members Eligible under E.O. 12721: Most recent non-award SF-50 & performance appraisal
  • Certain Military Spouses Eligible under E.O. 13473: Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders issued within the last 2 years, that lists you as authorized to accompany the military member to the new duty permanent station; OR verification of the members 100% disability (VA Letter); and/or verification of the members death while on active duty (DD-1300 & Death Certificate) AND verification of the marriage to the service member (i.e. marriage license or other legal documentation verifying marriage).
  • Foreign Service: Most recent Foreign Notification of Personnel Action, under an unlimited, career-type appointment AND have completed at least 1 year of continuous service without a break of a workday under one or more non-temporary Foreign Service appointments
  • Other Special Hiring Authorities: If claiming eligibility under a Special Hiring Authority not listed above submit appropriate supporting documentation 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)

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Agency contact information
Michelle King
Phone

817-509-3453

Fax

000-000-0000

Email

michelle.king2@wdc.usda.gov

Address

Natural Resources Conservation Service 1400 Independence Ave SW Washington, DC, 20250 US

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Next steps

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.

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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 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.

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/510954700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 09/14/2018 to 09/21/2018

Service: Competitive

Pay scale & grade: GS 09 - 11

Salary: $50,598 to $80,365 per year

Appointment type: Permanent

Work schedule: Full-Time