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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Category: Social Services


(1) As a designated specialist, delivers direct core, intensive, and training services to WorkFirst (mandatory TANF) clients, NAFTA-TAA, WIA Title 1B, or other Worker Re-Training Program participants, or Corrections Clearinghouse incarcerated inmates or ex-offenders; OR (2) As a leadworker, delivers direct services to customers and staff.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This is the senior level, working independently as either a designated specialist or leadworker.

As a designated specialist, provides the entire range of employment & job training services with authority to approve training funds and authorize supportive services. The majority of time is spent: providing intensive services, determining eligibility for programs, administering and/or interpreting skill, interest, and aptitude tests, identifying and analyzing employment barriers with job seekers, developing individual written employment plans designated to resolve barriers to employment, and guiding, monitoring & motivating clients to follow through with approved plans.

As a leadworker, delivers direct services to customers and staff. The majority of time is spent: assisting supervisor with work assignments and scheduling, monitoring workload and assignments of lower level staff, providing technical assistance and staff training to lower level staff, coordinating programs at the local level, and resolving WorkSource system and customer complex issues.

Typical Work

Conducts intake interviews to determine client's eligibility for program and/or type of services; completes departmental intake and documentation processes for clients who have been determined to be eligible and referred by other sources;

Conducts individual assessment and evaluation of a client's overall employment and training needs through in-depth counseling sessions; identifies employment barriers;

Develops individualized written employability plans with clients, independently or in coordination with other service providers, that provides for needs such as occupational/aptitude testing, training, supportive services, health, and medical care;

Motivates clients to achieve educational and/or employment goals; updates and adjusts employability plans as necessary; negotiates and writes training contracts;

Provides follow-up counseling and assistance to clients who have been placed into a training activity or unsubsidized employment;

Establishes and maintains working relationships with educational and training institutions, employers, other public agencies, and community-based organizations; serves as a member of local area planning groups;

Develops curriculum and provides classroom instruction to incarcerated inmates and/or ex-offenders;

As certified teachers, provide individualized instruction and tutoring, and have responsibility for creating Education Planning Guides;

Provides staff training; coordinates staff schedules and assignments;

Authorizes, evaluates and monitors supportive service vouchers and training fund expenditures; manages program training budgets;

Negotiates and develops employment and/or training plans with customers; administers and interprets skill, interest, and aptitude tests; participates in case staffing;

Conducts 30-hour intensive, Job Club, and Returner Workshops for TANF Clients;

Conducts follow-up contacts with customers; provides input and implement strategies for corrective action plans;

Ensures nondiscrimination and equity in the delivery of services;

Performs other work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Department and partner programs & services; interviewing techniques & principles; agency policy & procedures; labor market trends, to include social & economic conditions; computer applications; legal & administrative basis for Departmental programs & services; basic supervisory theories and practices; basics of State Merit System Rules and Departmental directives; interest and skill test theory; and factors that commonly influence or motivate human behavior.

Ability to: Communicate effectively, orally and in writing, in both group and individual settings; conduct effective meetings & interviews; work in a team based environment; within a team, implement quality process initiatives by utilizing tools to ensure customer satisfaction; establish and maintain effective interpersonal relationships with customers, peers, management, partners, community based organizations, private employers, and other state & public agencies; perform skilled computer & internet operations; work with diverse populations; comprehend and interpret program provisions, regulations, and administrative policies and procedures; administer skill & interest tests; facilitate workshops; coach & mentor staff; effectively interpret test results; coordinate or direct the work of others; effectively negotiate; exercise judgment in evaluating situations and making decisions; work in a fast paced environment demonstrating flexibility and ability to adapt to change; and recruit & engage customers into a system that provides a multitude of services to meet their needs.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

One year as a WorkSource Specialist 3 or equivalent class within the Employment Security Department, or in another state’s Employment Security agency


Two years as a WorkSource Specialist 2 or equivalent class within the Employment Security Department, or in another state’s Employment Security agency.


A Bachelor's degree and three years of professional level experience in social or human resource services, public relations, or public contact work, such as: unemployment insurance, social services, human resource services, education, public relations, benefits programs, insurance claims, law enforcement, banking, and real estate.

A Master's degree will substitute for one year of the required professional experience.

Additional experience in social or human resource services, public relations, or public contact work will substitute, year for year, for education, but NOT for the three years of "professional" experience. 

College course work will substitute, year for year, for the required years of experience specified above.

Qualifying volunteer experience in the above defined areas of work is acceptable.

NOTE:  Some positions may require a current Washington State Teaching Certificate.

Class Specification History

New class: 11-13-89
Revised definition and distinguishing characteristics: 9-13-91
Revised title (formerly Job Service Specialist 4), definition, distinguishing characteristics, and minimum qualifications: 1-11-02
New class code: (formerly 30160) effective July 1, 2007

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