GILCHRIST CENTER OFFICE ASSISTANT
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is full performance level receptionist/office assistant/customer service work providing in-person and over-the-phone information and referrals to the general public about County Government and private services and programs available to the community. The work is performed on an intermittent basis, not to exceed 1,040 hours annually, or 20 hours per week. Employees in this class also provide administrative and programmatic support to the Center staff, including but not limited to such tasks as supporting Gilchrist Center staff on the implementation of the Center's multiple programs; creating flyers and other information for external and internal use including training materials for volunteers and staff; registering clients for programs and accepting program fees; requesting maintenance and phone services; recommending and, in the absence of Center staff, uses best judgment to making changes in room use and other unusual situations such as double-booking by mistake or urgent requests for room use from other agencies to better accommodate programs and clients; processing administrative/financial transactions; assisting with special events and projects; occasionally attending weekend or evening outreach events to provide information about the Center; communicating with prospective and existing volunteers and partner organizations; managing volunteer intake/interviews and databases; conducting research on best practices for new Gilchrist Center programs/services such as workforce development services; assisting with program coordination, e.g., coordinating dates/times and program content with partner agencies and/or volunteer instructors; contacting Community Use of Public Facilities personnel and other agencies to arrange event sites and programs at Gilchrist Center sites; organizing events with community partners related to the mission of the Center; marketing events and coordinating logistics.
The work involves identifying issues, answering questions and providing suggestions to clients as to how best the issue at hand can be resolved. Employees make inquiries to find services not currently offered by the Center. Contacts are with a wide variety of County Government employees at various levels, the general public, and with employees of public and private service agencies for the purpose of gathering resource information, identifying and resolving problems and/or making appropriate referrals. Public service and assistance is provided by employees in this class on demand for a short period of time and involves detailed questioning of the caller or visitor to determine the nature of assistance required.
An employee in this class, working under general supervision and often as the lone representative in the particular office, receives incoming telephone calls and walk-in visits from citizens, discusses issues, identifies problems, and researches various written information and referral materials/documents to provide necessary information and/or to make appropriate referrals. Work requires extensive knowledge of services offered by the County Government and other public agencies' organizations and operations, private and non-profit service groups, and community resources. The complexity of the work is derived from the employee's responsibility to regularly resolve challenges encountered with clients, who, in many instances are recently arrived immigrants and have many, complex challenges in their lives. Clients have different cultural backgrounds and speak different languages. These elements often make delivery of the information and referral work difficult and complicated. Often, employees in this class must research online to gather information to respond appropriately to the clients' issues. Some topics are personal (e.g., credentialing processes, immigration, marital and legal matters). These combined factors require employees in this class to exercise considerable judgment in deciding which questions to ask, and in making decisions on how best to respond to the caller or visitor. In the absence of career staff, employees in this class must make decisions whether to cancel scheduled classes or other activities (e.g., when an instructor does not come in; emergency situations such as loss of power, inclement weather). Guidelines used include County administrative policies, the Montgomery County Code, and Maryland laws and standards. The impact of work performed by employees in this class is realized by the immediate and prompt response to and resolution of clients' problems, issues and complaints. The work requires long periods of sitting, listening and talking. The work is evaluated by supervisory assessment of the appropriateness of services provided, the accuracy of information given and the overall results of assigned work.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Provides assistance to Gilchrist Center clients (callers and walk-in visitors) concerning available services and programs provided by public and private agencies.
Identifies issues, answers questions and provides suggestions to clients
Answers questions and provides suggestions to customers as to how best the clients' problems can be resolved or questions answered.
Publicizes the services of the Center for resident knowledge and provides training on community services to volunteers.
Performs accurate data collection, data entry, and data review for reports preparation.
Checks and responds to the Center's voice mail system in a timely manner.
Maintains office supplies and recommends the use and procurement of office supplies and equipment.
Makes inquiries and investigates to determine if unknown types of services are available.
Prepares informational materials in support of the information and referral services provided.
Performs follow-up and related duties as required.
Experience: Two (2) years of experience in a customer service environment providing direct customer service to the public.
Education: Completion of high school or High School Certificate of completion recognized in the State of Maryland.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Thorough knowledge of the services provided by Montgomery County Government and the local public and private human service agencies.
Knowledge of and the ability to operate a multi-button telephone, personal computer, photocopier, and other office automation equipment appropriate to the requirements of the position.
Ability to work effectively under minimal supervision.
Ability to communicate effectively to provide direct customer service assistance to residents with varying backgrounds and problems.
Ability to understand and evaluate the seriousness of the issue which has caused a resident to inquire about available services.
Ability to deal tactfully, effectively and equitably with people.
Ability to work some evenings and weekends.
MEDICAL PROTOCOL: Medical History Review
Class Established: January, 2013