Agricultural Research Service Maintenance Mechanic Leader in Manhattan, Kansas

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The position is responsible for performing a range of maintenance mechanic, plumbing, and welding work to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), Facilities Operation and Management Unit in Manhattan, KS.

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As a leader, assigns work, sets the pace of the work, provides technical guidance, demonstrates proper work methods, ensures safety rules are followed, checks work in progress and upon completion, and reports work status and delays to the supervisor. Interacts with supervisors to properly coordinate cross utilization of personnel with specific skills to accomplish maintenance or modernization tasks, including directing employees that may be temporarily assigned to the section. Leads 3 or more employees in the Unit who perform plumbing work; and directs other lower graded employees and helpers in accomplishing assigned tasks.

Performs plumbing systems repair and maintenance work on plumbing systems that are in biocontainment environments. These systems include large, industrial scale water and waste water handling equipment such as chillers, boilers, tanks and pumps. Directs the maintenance and repair work of complex equipment and plumbing systems in a manner that does not compromise biocontainment. This requires experience with decontamination processes and related regulatory requirements. Complies with all requirements that are established to prevent release of infectious agents that can cause disease in both animals and humans; carefully coordinates with the scientific program staff, other maintenance personnel and the biorisk manager to prevent unintended adverse events; and observes NBAF and agency safety requirements and precautions while working in areas where the subject regulations apply.

Constructs, installs, repairs, alters, and tests high pressure piping systems and equipment (i.e., gas, water, steam, air and drainage) constructed of steel, cast iron, transite, copper, brass, and plastic materials, Installs steam traps, automotive control valves, backflow preventer valves, float-control valves, pressure-reducing valves, filters and other work needed; joins and seals systems and equipment using welding (makes difficult welds on various and dissimilar metals), brazing, soldering, etc. Repairs pumps and installs new pumps of all kinds. Locates defects and malfunctions in gas, water, stem and sewage systems and repairs by repacking of replacing parts or lines or whatever is necessary for proper circulation, flow, pressures, leak-free joints and operations. Expected work includes operation and repair of automated flow controls and integration of such in to an integrated facility control system.

Cleans sewer drains and works on all types of drain cleaning equipment, including manual and motorized cable cleaners and high-pressure jet cleaning equipment. Installs and maintains animal waterer and center potable and industrial water distribution systems. Prepares assemblies for installation, performs cutting, threading, welding, pipe hanging, laying concrete, clay or iron pipes and connects valves and pressure gauges. Selects materials needed for installation or repair jobs.

Uses testing equipment to determine proper operation of steam traps, pumps and equipment. Selects materials and parts to be used and may contact vendors for technical performance and troubleshooting information as well as availability of parts and supplies.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Drive to the different facilities on the grounds.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


  • #### Job family (Series)

4749 Maintenance Mechanic

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • Satisfactory background investigation and/or fingerprint check
  • Work in biocontainment facilities - level BSL3
  • Must have State of Kansas Backflow Prevention Certification
  • US Citizenship is required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/59.
  • Pre-Employment Medical Exam
  • Asbestos Certification
  • Valid State Driver's License
  • Must be a licensed plumber.
  • May be required to push, lift and carry up to 75 lbs or more

To comply with USDA personnel security requirements and requirements of the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) for access to areas with Biological Select Agents and Toxins (BSAT), including Tier One Select Agents at NBAF, the incumbent must meet the following:

  • Participation in and adherence to the facility’s Occupational Health Program;

  • Participation in and adherence to the facility’s Personal Reliability Program;

This position requires the selectee to undergo a Special Agreement check (SAC), Security Risk Assessment (RA), and a full background investigation (Moderate Risk/Public Trust – Minimum Background Investigation (MBI). Any offer made is considered a tentative job offer pending the outcome of the SAC. Retention in the position is contingent on a favorable SRA and full background investigation (MBI). The incumbent will be subject to periodic reinvestigations. As a condition of employment, the requirements listed above must be met.

To prevent the transmission of disease out of biocontainment and retention of the position, the incumbent must meet the following medical standards in a pre-employment medical examination conducted after the receipt of a preliminary job offer and on a periodic basis:

  • Ability to shower out of biocontainment one or more times per day and:
  • Not have any skin condition which would prevent this;
  • Body piercings must be able to be removed prior to entry;
  • External medical assist devices must have the ability to be removed prior to entering biocontainment, and the individual must still be able to shower out safely without assistance.
  • Ability to follow instructions regarding decontamination from biocontainment.
  • Not have any medical condition which could create an unsafe environment for the individual or his/her co-workers, such as:
  • Insufficient control of a medical disorder which could result in sudden loss of consciousness;
  • Inadequate vision and hearing required for safety in a laboratory environment.

This position will support the operations and maintenance of biocontainment facilities and may require entry into biosafety level (BSL) 3, 3 enhanced and eAg environments.

This is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). Selectee must submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment and random testing thereafter. Final appointment and continued employment is conditional on negative results for illegal drug use.


In order to qualify for this position you must meet the following by the closing date of the vacancy announcement: September * 2018*

Qualifications will be determined under the Job Element Rating System X-118C, Qualifications Standard Handbook. While a specific length of time and experience is not required for most Wage Grade positions, you must show through experience and training that you possess the best qualified level of knowledge and skill necessary to perform the duties of this position. Qualification requirements emphasize the quality of experience, not necessarily the length. The responses to the questionnaire and your resume should be in significant detail to provide the person rating your application with a good understanding of your ability to do the job, technical knowledge, work, and training experience, etc.

Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Noncompetitive candidates and applicants under some special hiring authorities need to meet minimum qualifications to be referred.

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.

Physical Effort: *Work is performed on benches, supports, ladders, scaffolds, roof, on catwalks, in modules, manholes, ditches, around fixtures and piping which requires continuous standing, stooping, bending, climbing, working overhead in stretched, cramped and awkward positions, and holding welding torch and rod suspended for short intermittent periods of time; involves arm strain when required to weld in awkward positions. May lift and carry items up to 40 lb., and occasionally lift items weighing 75 lb. or more.*

Working Conditions:

Must be a licensed plumber. If not licensed with the state of Kansas must obtain license within six months of hiring.

Subject to fumes from welding, soldering and sparks, gases, and toxic fumes; injury and continuous exposure to hazards of cuts, bruises, noise, vibrations, burns, dust, dirt and danger from flying chips when using powered and hand tools; and falls when working on ladders and scaffolds. Performs work both indoors and outdoors under all weather conditions. Clothing changes are provided by NBAF while at duty station. May be required to shower prior to reporting to duty station in accordance with entrance/exit safety protocols for specific areas of the NBAF laboratories. May be required to wear a full face respirator when working in biological control areas. Restrictions of facial hair may be imposed for proper use of personal protective equipment.

You must currently hold and maintain a valid motor vehicle drivers license from one of the 50 states, D.C., or Puerto Rico. Maintenance of a state drivers license from one of the 50 states, D.C., or Puerto Rico, is a condition for continued employment. A driver's license is required in order to drive to the different facilities on the grounds to carry tools and equipment for the work of the job.

May be called in nights and weekends to make or assist in emergency repairs.

Additional information
  • This announcement may be used to fill multiple vacancies
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
  • Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
  • E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS E-VERIFY system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
  • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL or ICTAP eligibility see To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.

Additional Working Conditions: A baseline blood sample may be required for employees entering and working in the biocontainment facilities. For the health and safety of the incumbent and to prevent the spread of disease, immunization against diseases being studied at NBAF which are transmissible to humans may be required where the vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for safety and effectiveness under the provision of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as amended 21 USC 321-392. Where the vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for investigational purposes, the incumbent will be advised that such immunization is voluntary.

Due to the contagious nature to livestock of Foot-and-Mouth disease, and other diseases under study at NBAF, Biological Safety Regulations specify a personal quarantine for employees working in BSL-3, 3 enhanced, 3Ag and 4 biocontainment. As a condition for employment, all personnel entering the BSL-3 or higher biocontainment facilities at NBAF shall not be in contact with specific susceptible animals and their premises away from NBAF for a period of five (5) days after leaving bio-containment. Currently, restricted species are cattle, sheep, goats, deer, other ruminants, and swine. Contact with horses, birds (agricultural and pet birds) and rabbits are normally permitted, but restrictions may be placed on staff working with or near contagious agents affecting these species. Restricted livestock or other restricted animals may not be housed on the premises where the employee lives and where the quarantine cannot be enforced.

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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.

Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Managements (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of two or three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:

  • Ability to do the work of a Maintenance Mechanic (Lead) without more than normal supervision (Screen-out element)
  • Ability to lead the work of others
  • Knowledge of equipment assembly, installation, repair, etc.
  • Technical practices (theoretical, precise, artistic)
  • Knoweldge of materials
  • Ability to use and maintain tools and equipment, including measuring instruments.
  • Ability to interpret instructions, specifications, etc. (including blueprints)

Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Those determined to be in the best qualified category will be referred to the selecting official for consideration.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply Online" button to the right.

To view the application form, visit:;=79993260-D8FE-4F38-AA0E-A94A010C2FCB

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

Drug test required


  • Required Documents


Required Documents

The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 5) other qualifications.

  • If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.

  • If claiming veterans preference, you must submit a DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. 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. Veterans preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veterans preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.

  • If claiming 10-point veterans preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. 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 see

  • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.

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



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 Service offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at:

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


How to Apply

Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.

Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET 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 the Agency Contact to request this.

To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.

NOTE: You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g., all SF-50s) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.

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Agency contact information
Christine Isaac








USDA/ARS 5601 Sunnyside Ave Beltsville, MD, 20705 USA

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Next steps

Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account at check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

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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 For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 09/14/2018 to 10/05/2018

Service: Competitive

Pay scale & grade: WL 10

Salary: $27.23 to $31.76 per hour

Appointment type: Permanent

Work schedule: Full-Time