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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 355O
Category: Social Services

Class Series Concept

Positions in this class series function as cadre members of the 22-week residential phase of the Washington Youth Academy (WYA). The Washington Youth Academy operates under the authority and guidelines of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program. It is a voluntary program for at-risk youths, which includes a 22-week residential academy followed by a 12-month post-residential mentoring phase. The purpose of the program is to intervene in the lives of high school dropouts and give them a second chance to: (1) earn their high school diploma, (2) retrieve credits and return to high school, or (3) complete their GED requirements.

This class series provides quasi-military discipline and structure to Academy participants and is responsible for conducting and coordinating the day-to-day 24/7 activities of Academy participants during the residential phase of the Youth Academy program. Incumbents in this class series are members of the cadre team and have direct interaction with the Academy participants while ensuring their safety, security, and care. Direct interaction includes leading the participants through daily activities such as barracks inspection, physical fitness training, unit inspections, life skills, and community service. Cadre team members also transport Academy participants to community service and academic enrichment activities.


This is the first level, in-training classification of the series. As a member of the Washington Youth Academy cadre team, these positions have direct interaction with the Academy participants on a 24/7 basis during the 22-week residential phase. Direct interaction includes conducting barracks inspections, physical fitness training, and unit formations while ensuring the safety and welfare of Academy participants.

Work performed at this level is carefully screened for appropriateness of assignments and closely reviewed. This class is designed to provide training opportunities and experience to become a successful and fully qualified Youth Academy Residential Specialist. After successfully completing the training plan, as mandated by the Washington Military Department, incumbents automatically advance to the Youth Academy Residential Specialist 2 classification.

Typical Work

Provides quasi-military structure, discipline, and training of Academy participants on a 24/7 basis;

Participates in screening and interviewing applicants to the WYA and assists in selecting candidates who have the best chance of success in meeting their individual and program goals;

Assists in preparing the Academy facilities, supplies, and equipment to effectively and efficiently receive and in-process each new class;

As a member of a team implementing the Pre-Challenge curriculum (weeks 1 and 2) in accordance with program goals, identifies those Academy participants who are prepared mentally and physically and are truly committed to changing their lives;

Assists in ensuring that all daily and weekly academic, physical training, and personal development activities and requirements are completed and program goals are met;

Assists in implementing daily program activities to include conducting inspections and unit formations, reviewing/directing minor disciplinary actions involving Academy participants, rating Academy participants’ performance, etc;

Assists in the collection of Academy participant and program performance data for entry into the National Guard Bureau data bases and reporting system;

Assists in Advising Cadre Team Supervisor and/or Commandant of budget and resource requirements.

Legal Requirement(s)

A valid driver’s license is required.

A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with appropriate endorsements may be required.

Individuals working with at-risk youth in a residential setting must take and pass pre-employment and periodic drug tests as outlined by Agency policies and procedures.

Individuals working with at-risk youth in a residential setting must complete and pass pre-employment and periodic background checks as outlined by Agency policies and procedures.

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.

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

Desirable Qualifications

High school graduation or GED equivalent and one year of experience working with at-risk youth or related experience such as youth services, social services, military, education, or law enforcement.

Two years of college will substitute for the required one year of experience.

Class Specification History

New class adopted March 13, 2008, effective March 14, 2008.

Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.