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SPWA Communications Consultant (Communications Consultant 4)

Per Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 21-14.2 (Download PDF reader), Washington State employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As a condition of employment, the successful candidate will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination as part of the hiring process, prior to their start date. Requests for medical and religious exemptions will be considered. If you have questions, please contact with “COVID-19 vaccination” in the subject line.  

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

The Hazardous Waste Toxics Reduction program within the Department of Ecology is looking to fill a SPWA Communications Consultant (Communications Consultant 4) position. 

This position is located in our Headquarters Office in Lacey, WA.

Upon hire, you must live within a commutable distance from the duty station.

In this position, you’ll work with multiple teams of subject matter experts to help them find ways to convey complex, highly technical, and scientific information and data to a diverse array of audiences. Information must be shared with key stakeholders within various industries as well as lawmakers, the media, and the public. Using your highly-developed communications skillset, you will:
  • Build partnerships and collaborative relationships by producing communications products such as blog posts, news releases, social media content, focus sheets, infographics, and more that help explain complicated material in simple ways. 
  • Collaborate directly with our program's scientists, as well as other communication team members, to produce and organize high quality publications that help the community understand how to manage and reduce their hazardous and dangerous waste. 
  • Interact with the media and provide interviews when necessary, as well as support the Communications Manager in their absence.

The mission of the HWTR Program is to protect Washington’s residents and environment by reducing the use of toxic chemicals, safely managing dangerous waste, preventing new contaminated sites, and cleaning up contamination. The HWTR vision is to be national leaders in minimizing and eliminating the impacts of toxic chemicals and hazardous waste.  

During Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery, employees are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. This position is not currently required to work in the office on a regular basis. Ecology is following current state guidance regarding mask requirements, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing. Looking ahead, Ecology has recently updated the agency policies on telework and flexible and compressed work schedules. Applicants with questions about position location options, telework, and flexible or compressed schedules are encouraged to reach out to the contact person listed below in “other information.” 
Application Timeline: This position will remain open until filled, with an initial screening date of October 20, 2022. In order to be considered for initial screening, please submit an application on or before October 19, 2022 The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

About the Department of Ecology
Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We are a culture that is invested in making a difference. Join a team that is highly effective and collaborative, with leadership that embraces the value of people.

Ecology cares deeply about employee wellness; we go beyond traditional benefits, proudly offering:

  • A healthy life/work balance by offering flexible schedules and telework options for most positions.
  • An Infants at Work Program that is based on the long-term health values of infant-parent bonding and breastfeeding newborns.
  • Continuous growth and development opportunities. 
  • A wellness program that offers education, fitness classes, and an agency-wide fondness for outdoor meetings.
  • Opportunities to serve your community and make an impact through meaningful work.

Our commitment to DEIR
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect (DEIR) are core values central to Ecology’s work. We strive to be a workplace where we are esteemed for sharing our authentic identities, while advancing our individual professional goals and collaborating to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment for current and future generations.
Diversity: We celebrate and appreciate diversity; our unique perspectives and abilities enrich us all and lead to innovative approaches and solutions.
Equity: We champion equity, recognizing that each of us need different things to thrive.
Inclusion: We intentionally create and hold space so that we all have meaningful opportunities to participate and contribute to Ecology’s work.
Respect: We treat each other with respect and dignity, acknowledging the inherent worth of our diverse perspectives and lived experiences, even in times of uncertainty and disagreement.
We believe that DEIR is both a goal and an action. We are on a journey, honoring our shared humanity and taking steps to demonstrate our commitment to a vision where each of us is heard, seen, and valued. 


Why is this position so amazing? The SPWA communications lead is responsible for strategizing and implementing communications and outreach approaches and tasks for one of the most forward-thinking, proactive programs in the country, with the ultimate goal of helping to eliminate the use of harmful chemicals before they’re used in consumer products. 
What does leading communications and outreach strategy mean? Leading communications and outreach strategy means planning, determining, and implementing the necessary communications, outreach, and stakeholder involvement activities for the SPWA effort and other initiatives in the Reducing Toxic Threats unit. That involves determining the effective points to consult stakeholders, the public, and community based organizations—when these groups can drive the decisions the team is making, and when their input can be used meaningfully—as well as ensuring all communications materials are clear, meet all necessary document accessibility standards, are completed on a deadline, are reviewed by the necessary team members, and are shared externally.
 What you will do: 
  • Maintain up-to-date and accurate web content, ensuring team reviews of content, and taking the necessary steps to post the web content.
  • Develop and distribute clear and understandable email notices to our various lists when strategic and necessary. 
  • Identify and foster creative content opportunities, such as social media content, blog posts, news releases, and other promotional materials.
  • Develop, distribute, and monitor public comment materials, such as eComments forms, public events webpages, State Register Notices, and other materials.
  • Edit technical and legislative reports for accuracy, clarity, organization, plain talk, and accessibility before publishing or distributing. 
  • Strategically determine the need to translate content or offer interpretation services at events, ensuring brief instructions for accessing translated content are available on all webpages and in all emails. 
  • Use services like Language Link and Ecology’s Multi-lingual Interpretation and Translation Team (MITT), and external providers like Dynamic Language to ensure audiences can access material in their preferred language.
  • Identify opportunities for strong creative campaigns and public education campaigns that advance the positioning of RTT programs and choosing the necessary mediums for those campaigns.
  • Find ways to fit engagement opportunities (such as webinars, comment periods, events, and tailored outreach asks) into larger program processes so the input and feedback can drive actions the team is taking.
Required Qualifications:
Experience for both required and desired qualifications can be gained through various combinations of formal professional employment, educational and volunteer experience. See below for how you may qualify.
A total of Seven (7) years of experience and/or education as described below:
Professional level Experience in: Writing/editing experience in communications, journalism, humanities, public relations, or a related field.
Experience must include the following:
  • creating written and visual content for publications, web, blogs, social media, or other outreach materials. 
Education: English, communications, journalism, humanities, public relations, or related field 
See chart below for a list of ways to qualify for this position: 
Possible Combinations.
College credit hours or degree.
Years of professional level experience – as listed above.
Combination 1
No college credit hours or degree
7 years of experience.
Combination 2
I have 30-59 semester or 45-89 quarter credits.
6 years of experience.
Combination 3
I have 60-89 semester or 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree).
5 years of experience.
Combination 4
I have 90-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits.
4 years of experience.
Combination 5 
A Bachelor's Degree or higher.
3 year of experience.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment: 
  • Must possess and maintain a valid State's drivers license 

Desired Qualifications:
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.

  • Experience editing scientific or other technical content into plain language. 
  • Experience with stakeholder involvement. 
  • Experience managing team projects from beginning to end. 
  • Experience planning and implementing a communications strategy.
  • Experience training or coaching others to write plainly and clearly for a variety of audiences.
Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.

Supplemental Information

Ecology seeks diverse applicants: We view diversity, equity, inclusion, and respect through a broad lens including race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, military background, language, education, life experience, physical disability, neurodiversity, and intersectional identities. Qualified candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Need an Accommodation in the application and/or screening process or this job announcement in an alternative format?

  • Please call: (360) 407-6186 or email: and we will be happy to assist.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing you can reach the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.
  • If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up on the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.
  • If you are reading this announcement in print format, please enter the following URL to your search engine to apply: 
Application Instructions:

It's in the applicant's best interest to submit all of the documents listed below. Applications without these documents may be declined.

  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in this position.
  • A resume outlining your experience and education (if applicable) as it relates to the minimum qualifications of this position.
  • Three professional references.

Please do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable. 
For Your Privacy:
When attaching documents to your application (such as Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):

  • Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc. 
  • Do not attach documents that are password-protected, as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded. 

Additional Application Instructions for Current Ecology Employees: 
Please make sure to answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

Application Attestation: 

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed. 

Other Information:
If you have specific questions about the position, please email Erich Ebel at: Please do not contact Erich to inquire about the status of your application.
To request the full position description: email

Why work for Ecology?

As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism, and accountability.

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment. A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping your health and financial security a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to life/work balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:

Student debt: how working for Ecology can help
The Department of Ecology is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Forgiveness Program (PSLF). See for more details.
To learn more about The Department of Ecology, please visit our website at and follow, like or visit us on LinkedInTwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.

Collective Bargaining: This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.  

Equal Opportunity Employer: The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans, military spouses or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.

Note: This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.