Program Associate
Dakota County
 Saint Paul, MN

General Description


DEPARTMENT: Social Services and Employment & Economic Assistance (E&EA)

HOURS: Various

The majority of positions available are full-time (40 hours per week).

HIRING RANGE: $38,277.00- $43,062.00 /year (104 Grade Level)



CLOSE DATE: 4:30 p.m. on 11/25/2019

Come join us at Dakota County and “Be more“. Dakota County employs nearly 1800 skilled individuals whose talents and contributions makes Dakota County a premier place to live and work. The work County government does is unique. Dakota County offers important careers – the kind of careers that make a difference in people's lives. You will not be just another employee; you'll be a valued employee making a difference in the lives of Dakota County residents every single day. Will you be the next person to join us at Dakota County?

The position assists all levels of community program services and staff through skilled administrative and program functions.

Click here for information from our staff.

The current vacancy is in the Employment & Economic Assistance and is located at the Northern Service Center in West Saint Paul.

Minimum Qualifications

  • High School Diploma or GED AND one year of administrative experience in an office environment


Combination of education and experience to equal one year

  • Candidate must be proficient at keyboard skills including typing at least 35 WPM.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Associates Degree in Office Administration or closely related field
  • Experience in working with diverse populations and clients with limited English proficiency
  • Bilingual skills are desirable
  • Experience in Microsoft Outlook, Excel, and Word
  • Experience in electronic databases and records management systems

To be eligible for hire, an applicant must successfully complete a background check and meet the criminal history background criteria required to access certain networks/systems necessary to perform the essential functions of this position.

Duties & Responsibilities

These examples do not include all possible tasks in this work and do not limit the assignment of related tasks in any position of this classification. Regular attendance according to the position's management approved work schedule is required for all positions.

  • Provides administrative support to the departments or in support of programs, including but not limited to: organizing, preparing, and maintaining forms, documents and other program materials; maintaining office equipment, calling for maintenance; processing incoming and outgoing mail and faxes; photocopying documents and distributing to appropriate parties.
  • Performs receptionist duties including answering phones and directing calls to appropriate personnel, taking messages or providing general program information, reviewing forms for general program eligibility, and resolving customer concerns.
  • Serves as program or department liaison for community partners, customers, and clients in order to respond to inquiries or resolve service issues.
  • Researches and completes initial intake process by screening and registering applicants in multiple systems for eligibility programs.
  • Updates and maintains state and county systems and databases.
  • Creates and manages records according to state and county policies and procedures.
  • May assist/provide input to develop internal work methods and establish new procedures.
  • Utilizes Electronic Data Management system by scanning, indexing, and distributing documents.
  • Utilizes and implements appropriate security measures when handling confidential or sensitive materials, according to HIPAA and Data Practices guidelines.
  • Performs special projects in support of department programs.
  • Demonstrates a commitment to support cultural diversity County wide, actively supports the County's diversity initiatives, and works to address the needs of diverse and underserved communities.
  • Other duties as assigned.


Appendix 1: Social Services

Appendix 2: Employment & Economic Assistance


Essential Functions:

  • Prescreen clients in person or over the phone for services according to program criteria to provide program information and make appropriate referrals.
  • Maintains department files by preparing, scanning, indexing and purging following retention and destruction schedules.
  • Provides general office support that includes: scheduling meetings and conference rooms, processing and preparing incoming and outgoing mail, photocopying, scanning, faxing and distributing documents.
  • Provides orientation and training to new staff for various department functions.
  • Monitors and maintains inventory and supplies, including but not limited to, tracking purchase requests, purchase orders, and subsequent invoices.
  • Prepares and authorizes vendor payments in compliance with departmental budgets
  • Performs complex data entry that requires extensive knowledge of department programs and/or state system requirements.
  • Performs advanced word processing determining content and format, proofreading and editing of documents


Essential Functions:

  • Research client data in multiple state and county systems to assist customers for program support.
  • Respond to requests for program or client-specific information.
  • May calculate, prepare, and monitor invoices & payments for department expenses & accounts receivable, purchasing or track expenses.
  • May calculate and prepare payroll on an occasional or backup basis.
  • May provide orientation & training to new staff for various department functions.
  • Serve as a floater, covering support staff positions in the unit as necessary.
  • Receive incoming phone calls and provide specific program information to callers which may involve gathering information from computer systems.
  • Update, compile, and prepare statistical and technical reports.
  • Prescreen clients in person or over the phone for services according to program criteria to provide program information and make appropriate referrals.
  • Initiate and manage specific program transactions, which may include processing billings, issuing checks and cash handling while adhering to appropriate process and procedures.
  • Maintains program supply inventory to ensure supplies are available when needed.
  • Assess applicant needs against available community resources and assist with program application completion and submittal.
  • Prepare and authorize vendor payments, including auditing, adjusting and approving in compliance with program statutory requirements and County policies.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities and Work Environment

  • Knowledge of State, Federal and County guidelines for appropriate programs.
  • Knowledge of general office procedures, practices and equipment.
  • Effective verbal communication and written skills and general customer service skills.
  • Ability to work effectively with clients and staff from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Ability to operate phone systems.
  • Knowledge of productivity application software (Microsoft Office, etc.).
  • Knowledge of general math, bookkeeping and general office practices.
  • Ability to navigate county, state, and other electronic systems.
  • Ability to adhere to data practices guidelines.
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member.
  • Ability to demonstrate good detail orientation, logical thinking, and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of and respect for the diversity of customers, co-workers, and supervisors, including individuals with a disability or whose first language may be other than English.


The work is performed in a County office building. Some of the work is sedentary and may have extensive use of computer. Incumbents may need to lift up to twenty pounds on an occasional basis.

Dakota County welcomes and is inclusive of diverse people, backgrounds, and perspectives. The County aims to reflect the community and clients it serves, and fosters an equitable and respectful working environment where everyone is empowered to be their authentic selves.


The examination/selection process for this classification will consist of a rating of your training and experience from the application materials submitted. The top scoring candidates will be forwarded to the hiring department for further consideration.