Career Employment Specialist

North Santa Barbara County
Santa Maria, CA
Full Time
Jasmine Gaytan
$52,486.89 – $62,596.90 Annually
Plus bilingual allowance when applicable

The County of Santa Barbara offers generous benefits including some listed below:  

  • Vacation:  12 to 25 days per year depending on length of public employment.
  • Holidays:  13 days per year.
  • Sick Leave:  12 days sick leave per year.  Unlimited accumulation, one year of which can be converted to service credit upon retirement.
  • Health Plan:  Choice of medical and dental plans (with vision care).  County contributes toward the employee’s premium.
  • Retirement: The County offers a Defined Benefit Plan and voluntary contribution into a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. The County contributes 0.36% of base salary to a 401(a) Deferred Compensation Plan.
  • Life Insurance: $20,000 Term Life Insurance
    On-Site Employee Health Clinics in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria:  Provides services to eligible employees and their eligible dependents over age 5.

For more details, please visit: SEIU Local 721.  In addition, applicants from other public sector employers may qualify for:

  • Retirement reciprocity
  • Time and service credit towards an advanced vacation accrual rate

The Department of Social Services is accepting applications to fill three vacancies in Santa Maria. One vacancy is in the Welfare to Work program and two vacancies are in the Farmworker Resource Center program.

We are also accepting applications to establish an eligible list to fill future full-time, part-time, extra help (temporary) vacancies in Lompoc, Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara.  Please select all the location(s) and program(s) you are willing to accept employment for current and future vacancies.

PLEASE NOTE: This is an entry-level position within the Career Employment Specialist series. Candidates may be appointed at the Senior level, depending on the candidate’s qualifications and the needs of the department.


Under supervision, provides some or all of the following: direct or indirect client services in the areas of employment counseling, client needs assessment, vocational evaluation, employment preparation, training, and program development & management; referral to community resources and support services, program eligibility, and/or job development/placement; and performs related duties as required.

Welfare to Work Program:

The Welfare to Work (WTW) program provides assessment and case management services to assist CalWORKs adults in developing a plan and goals to obtain employment and achieve self-sufficiency.  WTW offers training in the skills today’s employers desire, and provides supportive services such as child care, transportation assistance and other work or training related support to address barriers to finding and keeping a job.  Job Club workshops help individuals hone job search and interview skills, improve their self-image and confidence, and provide insight regarding meeting employer expectations and keeping a job.

Farmworker Resource Center Program:

The Farmworker Resource Center (FRC) program primarily focuses on referring, linking, and coordinating farmworkers to resources, trusted community partners and County departments.  They will deal with labor intensive in-person relationships and community building activities as well as creating the array of tools and resources to market the services of the SBCFRC and its partners

Positions in the Farmworker Resource Center program will act as the frontline staff implementing services throughout the county utilizing the mobile Farmworker Resource Center van.  They will be responsible for referring, linking, and coordinating farmworkers to resources to trusted community partners and County departments.  Ideal candidates must be able to proficiently communicate by speaking in at least one Mexican Indigenous Language (example: Mixteco,Nahuatl, Purepecha) in order to reach individuals with Limited English Proficiency.  The ability to read and write in the indigenous language is highly desirable.

Candidates may be expected to:

  • Responsible for determining eligibility, appraisal, and assessment for the employment and training component of CalWORKs.
  • Provides employment and training services to virtually all able-bodied adult recipients of CalWORKs and approved volunteers.  May also provide these services to referred General Relief and/or select CalFresh recipients.
  • Responsible for maintaining a caseload that enables participants to achieve self-sufficiency through employment and/or training while working with participants on barrier removal, crisis intervention and stabilization services.
  • Is a compassionate worker that has cultural competency in working with a diverse population and is able to relate, understand and develop good rapport with participants in the program.
  • Offers training in the skills today’s employer desires; helps the client find a job; and provides transitional supportive services such as childcare, transportation and work or training-related expenses to overcome barriers to work.
  • Develops ongoing professional partnerships with the business community as well as community partner agencies, schools, colleges and universities and fully understands mutual effective collaboration.
  • Conducts individual or group program orientations, administers vocational assessment testing, facilitates individual or group job club workshops, and provides computer assistance to program participants so they successfully navigate various employment related programs.
  • May be assigned to job development duties that include identifying new and potential job placement sites in public, and for profit agencies and businesses.  Activities include participant placement in both subsidized and unsubsidized employment and/or work training sites; educating and training participating program employers and site supervisors about their program roles and responsibilities; may also be required to participate and represent program at regional job fairs and local employer event
Additionally, candidates that select Farmworker Resource Center may be expected to:
  • Provide services and leverage existing community resources in English, Spanish and indigenous languages.
  • Serve as liaisons for farmworkers, employers, and other representatives in the agricultural community.
  • Provide a closed-loop referrals, warm-handoffs, information, and direct assistance (when able).
  • Implement services throughout the county utilizing the mobile Farmworker Resource Center van.
  • Work outside in a variety of weather conditions and on weekends.

Examples of Duties

  1. Interviews, advises, and guides a diverse population of clients to ascertain employability; interprets and explains regulations, rules, policies, and procedures to clients; may determine client eligibility for services; apprises clients of their rights, benefits, responsibilities, and obligations under program participation; ensures that applications and other forms are completed accurately and thoroughly.
  2. Works in a team environment developing workforce projects that are implemented by contractors or partners; assists in the preparation of grant applications for funding of new workforce projects; performs program monitoring of sub-contractors; collecting data & reporting to the State or Federal government on program or project accomplishments; participates in the development of funding solicitations; participate in providing services to down-sizing or closing businesses; and, may perform business outreach and services on behalf of the countywide workforce development system.
  3. Assesses client’s education, work experience, skills, abilities, qualifications, and job interest; assesses client readiness for job referral, classroom training, on-the-job training, and/or support services; attempts to match clients with available employment, training, or other opportunities/services.
  4. Identifies problems/barriers that hinder employability; assists clients in resolving and mitigating barriers to employment by identifying the need for other services and benefits; counsels clients regarding recommended solutions and suggested supportive services; makes appropriate referrals to department, County, and other community resources; makes arrangements/referrals for a wide range of specialized and/or support services, which may include ESL courses, high school diploma or equivalency education, homeless mitigation, child care, substance abuse treatment/counseling, family crisis/domestic violence intervention, health care or mental health services, etc.
  5. Analyzes information obtained from interviews, tests, and other sources to develop short- and long-term client goals; develops and implements individual employment plans; ensures client conformance with program rules and regulations, department policies, and employment plans.
  6. Contacts public and private employers in order to develop on-the-job training and/or direct job placement sites for clients; maintains cooperative relationships with employers, academic and vocational training institutions, and support service and community resource agencies; identifies appropriate job placement/training opportunities for clients; maintains an awareness of local job market and opportunities to assist in providing guidance to clients; may arrange for employment interviews; attend job fairs, conduct special workshop, presentations, group orientations, or perform other training and outreach activities.
  7. Monitors and evaluates client’s progress through program components; monitors service providers through reports and site visits; resolves any problems or provides guidance and counseling; may make phone calls or conduct field visits to investigate clients’ progress in various programs designed to assist clients in preparing for and obtaining employment.
  8. Inputs necessary information into automated system(s); organizes cases; maintains and updates records on client employment, training, and follow-up activities; takes required action(s) established by regulations and/or department policy; prepares reports on client and program activities; and participates in training, pilot and other special projects, committees, and studies.

Employment Standards

  1. Completion of 12 semester units, 18 quarter units, or 12 continuing education credits in business administration, economics, behavioral sciences or related field, such as sociology, counseling, social work, psychology, vocational guidance, or other field related to the provision of employment services and two years of experience conducting interviews, handling a caseload, providing counseling, or direct public contact experience dealing with employment-related issues; OR,                                                                                                                                                                                                                
  2. Completion of 12 semester units, 18 quarter units, or 12 continuing education credits in business administration, economics, behavioral sciences or related field, such as sociology, counseling, social work, psychology, vocational guidance, or other field related to the provision of employment services and two years of experience equivalent to an Eligibility Worker with Santa Barbara County; OR                                                                                                                    
  3. A combination of training, education (completion of 12 semester units, 18 quarter units, or 12 continuing education credits in business administration, economics, behavioral sciences or related field, such as sociology, counseling, social work, psychology, vocational guidance, or other field related to the provision of employment services) and experience that is equivalent to the employment standards listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Additional Requirements:

  • Possession of a valid California Class C Driver’s License may be required.
  • Bilingual skills may also be required.
  • Incumbents may be required to perform civil defense duties and work outside normal business hours.
  • Working conditions may involve exposure to communicable diseases such as tuberculosis.
  • As a condition of employment, selectees must sign statements agreeing to comply with Section 1166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse reporting and Section 15630 of the California Penal Code relating to elder abuse reporting.

Knowledge of: general goals and purposes of public social services programs; techniques for interviewing and gathering information from varied population; arithmetic skills sufficient to interpret client income and expense information to identify general eligibility for services and benefits within program requirements; general office practices and procedures and record keeping methods; techniques for communicating with a variety of individuals from various socioeconomic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; employment interviewing and assessment methods; standard English usage and grammar; and basic computer applications related to an office work environment.

Ability to: learn the laws and regulations pertaining to assigned employment services program; read, apply, interpret, and explain State and Federal regulations, policies, and procedures governing assigned program area; learn community educational and vocational resources and other community social services resources; understand and apply vocational guidance, work-readiness appraisal, employment plan, assessment theory and concepts; learn to identify socioeconomic, physical, mental, behavioral, cultural, language, and other barriers to employment; learn to develop an approach to mitigate/reduce potential and real barriers to employment; learn customary practices used in employment training, job development, and job placement; learn techniques used in the development of basic employment plans; learn techniques of vocational evaluation and employment guidance; learn academic and vocational education or training programs for a wide variety of jobs; gather, record, and evaluate information; learn motivational techniques; draw logical conclusions and make appropriate recommendations, judgments, and decisions; make arithmetic calculations; communicate effectively verbally and in writing; organize and prioritize work assignments; maintain accurate and systematic records; prepare statistical and narrative reports; understand program objectives in relation to departmental goals; use automated technology to maintain records and files; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with other County employees, clients, employers, representatives from outside agencies, and the public; assess and manage difficult or hostile persons/situations and call for intervention when appropriate; maintain confidentiality of information; and learn basic case management techniques.


Supplemental Information

Application & Selection Process

1.    Review applications and supplemental questionnaire to determine those applicants who meet the employment standards.

2.    Supplemental Questionnaire Ranking: Responses to the required supplemental questionnaire will be evaluated and scored.  Candidates’ final score and rank on the eligibility list will be determined by their responses to the supplemental questionnaire

Applicants must receive a percentage score of at least 70 on the supplemental questionnaire ranking to be placed on an employment list. An adjustment may be made to raw scores based on factors listed in Civil Service Rule VI. Those candidates who are successful in the selection process will have their names placed on the employment list for a minimum of three months. At the time the employment list is established, all candidates will receive written notice of their score on the exam(s), rank on the employment list, and exact duration of the employment list.

Conditional Job Offer:  Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, candidate will be required to successfully complete a background check, which includes a conviction history check and satisfactory reference checks.  Appointee will be subject to a post-offer medical evaluation or examination and submit written documentation of their legal right to work in the United States.  The appointee must satisfactorily complete a one-year probationary period.

Recruiters will communicate with applicants by e-mail during each step in the recruitment process.  Applicants are reminded to check spam filters continuously during the Recruitment & Selection Process steps listed above to ensure they do not miss required deadlines.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS: The County of Santa Barbara is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to applicants.  Qualified individuals with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation during the application or selection process should contact the recruiter listed on the job posting.  We require verification of needed accommodation from a professional source, such as a Medical Provider or a learning institution.

Disaster Service Worker: Pursuant to Governmental Code section 3100, all employees with the County of Santa Barbara are declared to be disaster service workers subject to such disaster service.  Activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law.

COVID-19 Vaccination Verification and Testing: This position may be subject to State Health Officer Orders (SHOOs) or County policy regarding vaccine verification and/or testing.  Please contact the hiring department for more information.

Statement of Commitment: The County of Santa Barbara is dedicated to cultivating and sustaining an environment that exhibits equity and inclusion everywhere and at all levels of our organization.  The County believes equity is a fundamental principle that must be imbedded in policies, institutional practices and systems.  The County recognizes the negative impacts of systemic racism and is committed to eliminating the barriers affecting our Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian community members, as well as people of other diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.  We envision a world where society and its systems (e.g. education, criminal justice, and health care, housing the economy) are just, fair, and inclusive, enabling all people to participate and reach their full potential.

We celebrate community and employee diversity, strive for inclusion and belonging, and promote empowered participation.  We aspire to build a workforce that is reflective of these values and the communities we serve.  We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and will resolutely uphold federal, California state law and/or Santa Barbara County ordinances.

We believe equity and inclusion are vital to fulfill the County’s mission and to embody a culture of “One County, One Future.” Expanding the full range of employee talent allows the County to deliver our best to all our community members.

We believe in the dignity and humanity of all people.  We strive for a healthy and prosperous society that promotes all people having equitable access and opportunity.

APPLICATION AND SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONNAIRE DEADLINE:  Wednesday 3/08/23, 4:59 P.M., postmarks not accepted.  Applications and job bulletins can be obtained 24 hours a day at www.sbcountyjobs.com.

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