From the daily archives: Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rooftop solar generation takes a giant leap forward as a consortium of leading companies — Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Prologis and NRG Energy — announce an offer of a conditional commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office to help finance the largest distributed rooftop solar generation project in the world. The loan guarantee supporting $1.4 billion of debt facilitates a total project size of about $2.6 billion, which is being financed entirely by the private sector over the next four years.

This distributed solar project will generate employment across 28 states and will create the equivalent of more than 10,000 full-year jobs. Once fully funded and completed, these installations are expected to provide approximately 733 megawatts (MW) of distributed solar energy, which is enough clean, renewable energy to power approximately 100,000 homes.

Having received this offer of a conditional commitment from the Department of Energy, the three firms are working to finalize the financing documentation for the distributed solar project and begin the first phase of installation. Of this first phase, 15 MW of solar capacity is ready immediately for construction and installation in Southern California, where the power generated will be sold to a local utility under long-term power purchase agreements that have been approved and executed. NRG Energy has committed to be the lead investor for the first phase of the project over the next 18 months.

BofA Merrill is acting as sole financial and structuring advisor and sole lender on this transaction, which is being executed under the Department of Energy’s Financial Institutions Partnership Program (FIPP). Through FIPP, the DOE will guarantee 80 percent of the $1.4 billion debt financing for this transaction.

“By harnessing the full capabilities of our platform we’re able to deliver this innovative transaction that brings together many parts of our Global Banking and Markets franchise,” said Tom Montag, president of Global Banking and Markets. “This important accomplishment transforms the dynamics of distributed solar generation, delivers a significant source of clean energy and creates thousands of jobs across the U.S.”

Prologis, the leading owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate, will provide site access to rooftops and will also act as developer, construction manager and program sponsor, in addition to making an equity investment. This effort is the most recent example of the company’s long-standing and industry-leading commitment to renewable energy.

“As one of the world’s largest owners of distribution facilities and an active solar industry participant, we’re pleased to be a partner in a project of this magnitude,” said Drew Torbin, vice president of Prologis Renewable Energy. “This project will add significant scale to the distributed solar market and provides economic and environmental benefit to our shareholders and customers.”

NRG Energy, one of the nation’s largest electric power companies and solar energy developers, in addition to funding the first phase of the project, has a right of first offer for the remainder (up to the program total of 733 MW) and will provide development resources and project expertise for the installations.

“NRG believes rooftop solar is a smart choice for industrial, commercial and residential property owners in markets around the country, and this program provides the commercial scale that will bring the benefits of solar power to customers across the country,” said Tom Doyle, president of NRG Solar, NRG’s solar subsidiary. “This program will nearly double the amount of grid-connected solar online in the United States today and make another positive contribution to cleaner air and a healthy environment.”

Within BofA Merrill, the transaction was led by the Cross Asset Solutions and Strategies group, a team established to leverage the bank’s entire platform and coordinate the vast resources of the firm from origination to execution, in partnership with the company’s Global Investment Banking and Global Leasing teams. In addition to demonstrating the strength of its Global Banking and Markets platform, this transaction also is a part of the company’s 10-year, $20 billion environmental business initiative, which focuses on addressing climate change by aligning its global financial products and services to help advance energy efficiency and low-carbon energy markets.

NRG Solar pursues a diverse, multi-technology approach to commercializing solar generation, including large-scale concentrated solar thermal and photovoltaic, and distributed solar. The company owns the largest solar photovoltaic plant currently operating in California and has more than 2,000 MW of solar projects under development or in construction across the United States.

About Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 58 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,800 retail banking offices and approximately 18,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock BAC +0.37% is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the marketing name for the global banking and global markets businesses of Bank of America Corporation. Lending, derivatives, and other commercial banking activities are performed globally by banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation, including Bank of America, N.A., member FDIC. Securities, strategic advisory, and other investment banking activities are performed globally by investment banking affiliates of Bank of America Corporation (“Investment Banking Affiliates”), including, in the United States, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, which is a registered broker-dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC, and, in other jurisdictions, a locally registered entity. Investment products offered by Investment Banking Affiliates: Are Not FDIC Insured * May Lose Value * Are Not Bank Guaranteed.

www.bankofamerica.com

About NRG

NRG Energy, Inc. is a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 Index company that owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. Headquartered in Princeton, NJ, the Company’s power plants provide 25,000 megawatts of generation capacity–enough to supply approximately 20 million homes. NRG’s retail businesses–Reliant Energy and Green Mountain Energy Company–serve nearly 1.9 million residential, business, commercial and industrial customers. With major investments in solar and wind power, as well as electric vehicle infrastructure, NRG is working to help America transition to a clean energy economy. More information is available at www.nrgenergy.com .

About Prologis

Prologis, Inc. is the leading owner, operator and developer of industrial real estate, focused on global and regional markets across the Americas, Europe and Asia. As of March 31, 2011, on a pro forma basis giving effect to the merger, Prologis owned or had investments in, on a consolidated basis or through unconsolidated joint ventures, properties and development projects expected to total more than 600 million square feet (55.7 million square meters) in 22 countries. The company leases modern distribution facilities to more than 4,500 customers, including manufacturers, retailers, transportation companies, third-party logistics providers and other enterprises.

Prologis Renewable Energy group was officially formed in 2009 to procure new business, manage installations and provide development services for renewable energy projects globally. The group currently has solar projects installed or under construction on 43 buildings throughout France, Germany, Japan, Spain and the United States, more than 60 megawatts of generating capacity. For more about Prologis Renewable Energy, please visit http://www.prologis.com/capital-deployment/renewable-energy.html .

This release does not constitute an offer of any securities or the solicitation to buy any securities.

SOURCE: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

NEW YORK, Jun 22, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE)

 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will be displaying the world’s only fully operational maritime variant MQ-9 Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), the Guardian, next week at the world’s largest aviation trade show in Paris.

The Department of Defense U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and the U.S. Embassy in Paris requested that the Guardian attend the air show. EUCOM is providing strategic airlift of the Guardian from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to Le Bourget, France, onboard a U.S. Air Force C-17.

On June 19, the air show will open to Congressional delegations. The trade show will be open to military and trade officials June 20. The show is open to the general public June 24 where more than 140 aircraft will be on display and 2,000 international exhibitors and 88 countries will be represented.

The Paris Air Show presents a special opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the UAS to support homeland security missions and reinforce industry and government awareness of the significant role CBP aviation plays in securing our nation.

The Guardian began operational testing and evaluation in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in February 2010 and began conducting missions in April.

CBP procured the remotely-piloted aircraft to enhance the agency’s long-range maritime surveillance, detection and targeting capabilities in the source and transit zones of the Eastern Pacific, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, as well as support anti-terror efforts along maritime smuggling routes.

Currently, CBP has five Predator B aircraft and two Guardian aircraft operating from strategic locations around the United States. Two additional Predator B aircraft are scheduled for delivery by December and third Guardian is scheduled for delivery in early 2012.

Since the inception of the CBP UAS program, the Office of Air and Marine has flown more than 10,000 hours, responding to requests for support from CBP ground agents and in support of CBP partners in disaster relief and emergency response, including various state governments and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This past spring, the agency was honored with a the Aviation Week and Space Technology Laureate Award, for innovation and pioneering work in successfully adopting a marine search radar to an unmanned aircraft.

For more information please visit the UAS Program website.
( Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program )

For b-roll footage, please visit the following DVIDS website. ( DVIDS )

 

Department: Department of Homeland Security
Agency: U. S. Customs and Border Protection
Job Announcement Number: CBPO 11-02L
CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION OFFICER FIELD OPERATIONS
Salary Range: $31,315.00 – $50,431.00 per year
Open Period: Jun 23, 2011 thru Jul 8, 2011
Series & Grade: GS-1895-05/07
Promotion Potential: GS-12
Position Information: Full Time Career/Career Conditional
Duty Locations: Many vacancies – Southwest United States which includes Laredo, El Paso, Fabens, Brownsville, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Pharr, Progresso, Presidio, Rio Grande City, and Roma , Texas; Andrade, Calexico, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, Tecate and San Bernadino California; and the states of Arizona and New Mexico. Few vacancies- Southeast United States- which includes the states of Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky.
CBP Securing America’s Borders
Whether on the frontlines or serving behind the scenes supporting our mission, the men and women of CBP are dedicated to keeping America safe. CBP counts on them. Our Nation counts on them. Can we count on you?
CBP Mission Statement: Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling.
DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS. Discover a challenging and rewarding career in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the sole organization responsible for securing the nation’s borders. At CBP, we:

Screen passengers, vehicles, and shipments entering our country

Seize illegal narcotics, vehicles, and agricultural products

Prevent unauthorized entry into the country

Rescue individuals who fall into dangerous conditions traversing our border
CBP Field Operations employees face unique challenges within CBP and play a vital role in protecting our Nation. A new video – Protecting America 24/7 – emphasizes the importance of CBP Field Operations’ frontline role in helping CBP accomplish its mission. Visit our website at:http://www.cbp.gov/ to watch this exciting new video.
For more information about CBP’s mission, activities, and careers, please visit our website at: http://www.cbp.gov/.
CBP encourages Women, Minorities and Veterans to apply with for an exciting career with Customs and Border Protection.
NOTE: This announcement will close at 11:59 EDT on the closing date, or on the day we have 40,000 applicants who have registered. We recommend that you register as soon as possible in order to receive consideration.
Applicants registering under this announcement will only be considered for the geographic regions listed in this announcement.
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU SHOULD KNOW
1) All applicants applying under this announcement must take and pass a written test. Only CBP Officer written test scores received after December 2010 are valid.
2) Applicants registering under this announcement will only be considered for the locations listed in this announcement.
3) Applicants may only take the CBP Officer written test once in a twelve month period.
4) During the registration process, you will be asked a series of questions regarding your education and/or experience for self certification of your eligibility for the grade 5 and/or grade 7 levels. Based on your responses to the questions, the automated test registration system will determine your grade eligibility. Your test results (grades for which you were found eligible) will be sent to you. You cannot be considered for the GS-7 grade unless you have been referred and subsequently selected for the position at that grade level.
5) If you have been tentatively selected for a CBP Officer position and you reapply under this announcement and subsequently are referred and selected for a position under a different geographic location, your new referral and selection will replace any existing CBP Officer selection for which you are currently in process.
E-Verify: CBP uses E-Verify to validate all newly hired applicants’ ability to work legally in the United States. To learn more about E-Verify, please follow this link: http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/e-ver-employee-rights.pdf
Qualifications
U.S. Citizen Residency in the US for the last three years Medical Exam, Physical Fitness and Drug Test Required Background Security Investigation
Relocation expenses not paid
Duties
U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The CBP Officer’s primary responsibility is:

To detect and prevent terrorists and weapons of mass destruction from entering the United States,

Facilitate the orderly flow of legitimate trade and travelers.

Enforcing laws related to revenue and trade, seizure of contraband, interdiction of agricultural pests and diseases,

Admissibility of persons.
Qualifications
Applicants may qualify for the CBP Officer position based on education, experience, or a combination of both. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for each grade level by the closing date of the vacancy announcement. An exception is made for those who are currently enrolled in college. They may complete the education-based qualification requirements within nine (9) months of the closing date of the announcement.
Experience Requirements for a GS-5 level: Applicants must have at least three (3) years of general experience that requires the ability to meet and deal with people and the ability to learn and apply a body of facts. Examples of such duties include explaining administrative requirements and procedures to others and screening forms to ensure that they are completed properly in accordance with requirements. Positions involving lead and supervisory duties or operating a business should also have provided the required knowledge, skills, and abilities. The performance of predominately typing, filing, copying, messenger duties, or other purely mechanistic tasks, is not creditable as general experience, nor is experience in trades, crafts, or equipment operator work.
Experience Requirements for a GS-7 level: Applicants must have one (1) year of specialized experience that entailed performance of substantive duties in inspections work at borders, seaports, airports or other ports of entry and/or work involving preliminary screening of persons for entry and immigration status, or compliance/regulatory work. Inspections experience must have demonstrated the ability to apply specialized knowledge of the laws, regulations, and procedures
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for importing and exporting merchandise to and from the United States and/or law enforcement work at the local, State or Federal levels, which included dealing with persons suspected of entering the United States illegally. Compliance/regulatory work experience must have demonstrated the ability to collect, develop, and evaluate facts, evidence, and pertinent data in assessing compliance with or violations of laws, rules or regulations. Specialized experience is generally gained in the performance of the duties of the following kinds of positions in the private/public sectors: Inspector, Auditor, Analyst, Examiner, Administrator, and Investigator as well as some Technicians and Assistants.
Education: If applicants do not have the work experience described above, four (4) years of study in any field leading to a bachelor’s degree in an accredited college or university can be substituted and is fully qualifying for the GS-5 level. For the GS-7 level, one (1) full academic year of graduate education, or a master’s or higher degree is qualifying, or meeting the provisions of Superior Academic Achievement (SAA). See http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/SEC-II/s2-e5.asp#e4f for information on SAA.
Education obtained from a foreign university or college is not creditable for qualification requirements unless it has been evaluated by a private foreign educational credential evaluation service (see http://www.naces.org/members.htm for a list of organizations that provide this evaluation service).
Combining qualifying experience and education: If you do not qualify based on experience or education alone, you may be able to qualify based on a combination of your experience and education. Follow the directions below in order to convert each to a percentage, and then add the percentages together to see if they total 100 percent. To determine your percentage of qualifying experience, you must divide your total number of months of qualifying experience by the required number of months of experience. The GS-5 level requires 36 months, and the GS-7 level requires 12 months of qualifying experience. To calculate your percentage of undergraduate education, divide your number of undergraduate semester hours by 120 or the number of quarter hours by 180. For GS-7, divide the number of graduate semester hours by 18, graduate quarter hours by 27, or by the school’s definition of one year of graduate study. Finally, add your percentages of education and experience. The two percentages must total at least 100 percent for you to qualify under the combination of experience and education.
Requirements
Age Requirement: In accordance with Public Law 110-161, this position is covered under special retirement provisions for Customs and Border Protection Officers; therefore, candidates must be referred for selection for this position before reaching their 37th birthday. This age restriction may not apply if you are serving or have served in a federal civilian (not military) law enforcement position covered by Title 5 U.S.C. 8336(c) or Title 5 U.S.C. 8412(d). The age restriction does not apply if you are a veterans’ preference eligible. Applicants claiming veterans’ preference will be required to provide proof of preference after they have been tentatively selected for the position of CBPO. Applicants who are still on active duty and therefore cannot obtain a DD214 can provide a statement of active service dates and a list of medals and awards they have received in lieu of their DD 214. Under the Isabella MSPB case, preference eligible veterans may apply without any age restriction. All applicants must be able to meet/pass all other pre-employment requirements.
Residency: If you are not currently a CBP employee, you must meet one or more of the following primary residency criteria for the last three years prior to applying to this announcement:
1. Resided in the United States or its protectorate or territories (excluding short trips abroad, such as vacations);
2. Worked for the United States government as an employee overseas in a federal or military capacity; or
3. Been a dependent of a United States federal or military employee serving overseas.
Exceptions may be granted to applicants if they can provide complete state-side coverage information required to make a suitability/security determination. Examples of state-side coverage information include: the state-side address of the company headquarters where the applicant’s personnel file is located, the state-side address of the Professor in charge of the applicant’s “Study Abroad” program, the church records for the applicant’s overseas church missions, and/or the state-side addresses of anyone who worked or studied with the applicant while overseas. If selected for a position, applicants must provide this information when filing their application for employment.
Firearms: CBP Officers must qualify in the use of firearms after appointment, and will be required to carry firearms in the performance of their duties.
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Mandatory Completion of Basic Training: CBP Officers must attend approximately 17-19 weeks of paid training (class varies in length) at the CBP Academy at FLETC. Your time at the Academy will be spent attending formalized classroom training and a rigorous participatory training program. If you are not already involved in a physical fitness program, you may wish to begin exercising now to prepare yourself for the physical demands and requirements of training. Candidates selected for duty locations in Puerto Rico; Miami, Florida; or along the Southwest Border may receive an additional 6 weeks of Spanish language training. Failure to successfully complete the training may be grounds for mandatory removal from the position. For more information on training at FLETC, please visit the web site at www.FLETC.gov/.
CBP Officers will be required to attend approximately one (1) month of pre-academy training at their respective duty station prior to attending the basic training at FLETC. Any relocation expenses to the duty station are at the expense of the applicant. Travel expenses for FLETC training will be at agency expense.
Language Ability: At some duty locations, the CBP Officers may be required to be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking a language other than English at the start of employment. For example, Spanish is required for duty locations along the Southwest Border, primarily in Southern California, New Mexico, Arizona, Western and Southwestern Texas, as well as Miami, Florida; and Puerto Rico. Should you be selected for a position in a duty location that requires proficiency in Spanish, you will be required to either pass a Spanish language proficiency examination or attend a 6-week long Spanish immersion class, which you must pass. The 6-week program may extend your initial basic training at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia. Other locations may also require fluency in Spanish or another language. During the registration process, you will be asked to identify any language(s) in which you are fluent.
Motor Vehicle Operation: CBP Officers must possess a valid automobile driver’s license at the time of appointment.
Proof of Veterans’ Preference: If you are tentatively selected and you claimed veterans’ preference, you will be required to submit proof of eligibility (DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge) with the required application forms. Applicants claiming 10-point preference must also submit Standard Form 15, as well as the proof requested on the back of the Form. For more information please visit http://www.opm.gov/veterans/html/vetguide.asp . For further information on whether you are eligible for veterans’ preference, please visit http://www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/vetpref/mservice.htm.
Selective Service Registration: Prior to appointment, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must certify that they have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law.
Background Investigation: These positions are categorized as “Critical-Sensitive.” Prior to appointment, tentative selectees must undergo and satisfactorily complete a background investigation, which includes but is not limited to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) name and fingerprint check and a background investigation. As part of the background investigation, you will be asked to submit a security questionnaire (SF-86). The questionnaire will ask questions regarding education, residences, past and current employers, police records, financial situation, drug and alcohol usage, etc. The background investigation will consist of, among other things, a personal interview, a check for past arrest records, a credit check, and interviews of employers and personal references. This inquiry will cover your activities during the past ten years. If your background includes past or present arrests, convictions, dismissals from previous jobs, outstanding debts and financial issues, excessive use of alcohol, violations of immigration laws, use of illegal drugs, and/or the sale and distribution of illegal drugs, you probably will be rated unsuitable for this position. A history of problems in any of these areas may result in your disqualification for this position.
Polygraph: The CBPO position is a polygraph designated position. There is a high probability that you will be subject to a polygraph examination. The results will be used to determine your suitability for the position.
Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: The CBP Officer is a weapon-carrying position. Any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence cannot lawfully possess a firearm or ammunition. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, you are not qualified for this position. You will be required to certify whether you have ever been convicted of such an offense. Providing false or fraudulent information is criminally punishable by fine or imprisonment (Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1001).
Drug Testing: Satisfactory completion of a drug test is a condition of employment into the position. We will schedule, provide, and pay for the drug test. Once employed, CBP Officers are subject to random and unannounced drug testing.
Physical and Medical Requirements: Because the duties of the position are of a strenuous nature and require a high degree of interaction and responsibility to the public, you must undergo and successfully pass our medical screening process. We will schedule, provide and pay for the required basic medical examination. If medical information is required
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beyond the pre-placement examination, it is provided at the applicant’s expense. Any medical or psychiatric condition resulting from an injury or disease may result in disqualification for appointment if the condition(s) would affect your ability to perform the essential functions of the position, please visit : http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/careers/customs_careers/officer/cass_faq.ctt/cass_q_a.pdf.
Physical Fitness Screening: Due to the strenuous nature of the CBP Officer duties and the associated training programs, fitness tests have been developed and will be used to screen candidates for entry-level CBP Officer positions. Candidates will be required to pass the pre-employment fitness test (PFT-1) early in the pre-employment process. The PFT-1 consists of a (1) push up test, (2) sit-up test, (3) side step test, (4) a lift/lower test (50 pounds), and (5) a 5-minute cardiovascular endurance step test. Approximately 30 days prior to your entrance on duty, you will be required to pass a 2nd pre-employment fitness exam (PFT-2). The PFT-2 consists of a: (1) 220 yard run, (2) sit-up test, (3) push-up test, and (4) 1.5 mile run. For more information, go to: www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/customs_careers/officer/cbp_officer/ . Once on board, employees will also be required to complete a physically rigorous training program conducted at the FLETC.
Environmental Conditions and Physical Demands: CBP Officers may be required to work out-of-doors, often under difficult weather conditions, including rain, cold, ice, heat, and humidity. They may also be required to work under difficult environmental conditions, including exposure to harmful substances, vehicle exhaust fumes, or working in confined areas. In some work environments, CBP Officers perform duties that may require running, climbing, driving vehicles, heavy lifting, or other physically demanding activities.
How to Apply
Step 1 – Internet registration. Apply at https://staffing.opm.gov/CBPO to register for the CBP Officer written test. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the entire registration process.
For Internet registration, your Social Security Number (SSN) is required under the authority of Executive Order 9397 to uniquely identify your record from other applicants’ records that may have the same name. As allowed by law or Presidential directive, your SSN is used to seek information about you from employers, schools, banks, and others who may know you. Failure to provide your SSN when you apply will result in your registration not being processed.
Based on your responses to questions, a determination will be made as to whether you meet the minimum qualifications for the position. You will be considered for the highest-grade level for which you are qualified at the time you register using the online application. If you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be provided the additional information and a location, date, and time for the written test. All qualifications will be verified if you are tentatively selected.
If you do not meet the minimum qualifications, you will be notified during the registration process and your registration will be discontinued.
Geographic Location Codes: During the registration process for the written test, candidates will be asked to enter one (1) geographic code where they would be willing to work. Please note, when selecting a code, the applicant must be willing to work at any duty location that falls within that code’s jurisdiction. If selected for a location, the applicant will be removed from the CBP Officer register. If you are offered a CBP Officer position within the geographic location that was listed on your tentative selection offer letter and you decline the offer, you will have to wait until the next open period to re-apply.
Step 2 – Written Test. Scheduling for the written test is done during the on-line registration process. As soon as you have registered and have been scheduled for the written test, you will be able to print your test admission notice which will contain the date, location, and time for the written test. This admission notice will also include the contact information for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). You must print or save your test admission notice when it appears on the screen.
You will be given a userid and password after you have successfully registered for the written test. If you need to reprint an admission notice, print the study guide, or reschedule yourself into another test session, you will need to go to https://usatestmanager.gov/ , log in using your userid and password, click on “Customs and Border Protection Officer” (listed below “Application”), and select the appropriate choice (Contact Information or Study Guide or Reschedule My Exam), to obtain this information and print it. Additionally, for those who forgot their userid/password, they would need to go to https://usatestmanager.gov/ and click on “Forgot Userid and Password.”
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Please note that the following business day after you successfully registered, OPM will send an email to you at the email address you gave in your registration, giving the test admission notice in text format rather than adobe acrobat format. OPM will also email you a reminder notice five (5) days before your test date. If you are unable to attend your scheduled test date and you are unable to reschedule your test date with OPM, you will need to wait for the next CBP Officer open period and re-register.
The test itself takes about five (5) hours and is comprised of three sections (a) Logical and Quantitative Reasoning Skills, (b) Writing Skills, and (c) an Assessment of Experience and Achievement. Applicants must obtain a combined minimum rating of at least 70 on sections (a), (b) and (c). Test scores are valid for one year. Applicants who take and fail the written test will not be able to retake the examination for 1 year; in addition, a CBP Officer announcement must be open to registration.
Test Preparation. We believe that proper test preparation is essential for the successful candidate and suggest that you take time to carefully read the study guide. If you want to get a head start, you may download the guide from our website at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/study_guides/guides_supervisory/entry_guide .
Your CBP Officer Test Admission Notice and government-issued picture ID are needed for taking the written test.
The Selection Process
Step 3 – Selection Process. If you pass the written test with a score of at least 70, your name will be placed in score order (with veterans preference points applied) on the CBP Officer register for use in making conditional selections for one year. Depending upon our hiring needs, geographic locations, and scores of applicants; selection certificates will be issued throughout the year for filling vacancies. Conditional offers of employment will then be issued via email, with a final offer contingent upon successful completion of the Video-Based Test/Interview and all other pre-employment requirements. Please be aware that there is no guarantee that everyone who passes the CBP Officer test will be given a job offer.
NOTE: The Minneapolis Hiring Center frequently uses email to communicate with applicants; therefore, it is important to ensure that your e-mail address and all other contact information are kept current. We also encourage applicants to check their email frequently (e.g., once a week) during the pre-employment process. If your email, mailing address of phone number(s) change, please notify the Minneapolis Hiring Center at deu.cbpo.nhc@dhs.gov.
Step 4 – Video-Based Test/Face-to-Face Interview: All candidates who pass the written test must take and pass a video-based test (VBT) and a face-to-face structured interview (SI). These two assessments, which form the VBT/Interview portion of the hiring process, are designed to measure competencies that are critical to success as a CBP Officer. Among these are the competencies of interpersonal skills, judgment/decision-making, cooperativeness/sensitivity to the needs of others, emotional maturity, and oral communication. The VBT takes about one-half hour and is evaluated by a team of CBP management officials. When you are administered the VBT, you will be filmed while responding to a set of videotaped scenarios. This film will be viewed and evaluated. The test is rated on a pass/fail basis. Therefore, you will need to receive a “pass” rating to continue on to the SI. The SI takes about forty-five minutes and will be rated on a pass/fail basis. Candidates must receive a “pass” in order to continue in the hiring process. Approximately six (6) weeks after you have been tentatively selected, you will receive a letter informing you of the date, time and location for your VBT/SI. Successful VBT results are valid for three (3) years. If you successfully completed the VBT within the past three (3) years, you will not be scheduled for another VBT; however you will be scheduled for the SI. During the registration for the written test, applicants will be asked to identify the city where they would like to take the VBT/SI. Applicants may choose the VBT/SI site closest to where they live. The applicant pays for any expenses they incur getting to the VBT/SI site. If you fail the VBT or the SI, you may not reapply for this position for one (1) year from the date of the VBT/SI.
Step 5 – Pre-employment Process. In addition to completing Step 4, you must also undergo a drug test, medical examination, fitness test, and background investigation. These will be scheduled and completed as soon as possible. You will also be asked to submit a resume in the English language.
Benefits
The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. These benefits include, but are not limited to: health care, life insurance, flexible spending and dependent care accounts, annual and sick leave, long-term care insurance, retirement savings plans and transit subsidies. For more information about these benefits, please visit http://www.usajobs.gov/EI/benefits.asp
7
Annual increases in salary [structured salary (step) increases, annual general pay increases and locality pay increases] are provided.
Uniform allowance – CBP Officers receive a uniform allowance to offset the cost of purchasing the required CBP Officer uniform.
Other Information
Overtime compensation – CBP Officers are required to work overtime, but receive overtime pay at premium rates.
Probationary Period: All employees new to the Federal government must serve a one-year probationary period during the first year of his/her initial permanent Federal appointment to determine fitness for continued employment. Current and former federal employees may also be required to serve or complete a probationary period in accordance with 5 CFR 315.801.
Direct Deposit: All agency employees are required to participate in Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer for salary payments.
Equal Employment Opportunity: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All candidates will be considered regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, protected genetic information, status as a parent, lawful political affiliation, marital status, physical/mental disability (if not a job factor), membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or any other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodations: CBP provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. If a reasonable accommodation is needed for any part of the registration and hiring process, applicants should contact the office scheduling them for that portion of the process.
DO NOT SUBMIT AN APPLICATION/RESUME UNDER THIS ANNOUNCEMENT UNTIL YOU ARE INSTRUCTED TO DO SO. Unsolicited applications/resumes will be returned.
Geographic Locations: Applicants applying to this announcement will only be considered for one of the geographic regions listed below. Positions may be filled at any CBP port of entry within the regions as listed. Please note, when selecting a code you must be willing to work at any duty location that falls within that code’s jurisdiction.
You will not be able to change your geographic location outside of those listed below. If you decline a tentative offer for the geographic region you have chosen, you will be removed from the inventory and you will need to reapply to an available vacancy announcement for further consideration.
901
Southwest – (to include but not limited to the following locations) Laredo, El Paso, Fabens, Brownsville, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Pharr, Progreso, Presidio, Rio Grande City, Roma, Texas; Andrade, Calexico, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, Tecate, and San Bernadino, California and the states of Arizona, and New Mexico
908
Southeast – States of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky.
We highly encourage applicants to email us with questions. For questions about this announcement, please contact:
Dept of Homeland Security
Email: deu.cbpo.nhc@dhs.gov
FAX: 612-727-2225
Phone: 612-467-7027 option 2 thru July 1, 2011. After July 5, 2011 please call 952-857-2927.

 

Calexico, Calif. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Calexico ports of entry seized $818,813 in undeclared U.S. currency and 155 pounds of hard narcotics in three unrelated incidents this week.

The first incident occurred at about 9:15 p.m. on Monday, June 20, at the Calexico East port of entry when a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen driving a white 2004 Toyota Tundra pick-up truck was escorted to secondary for further examination after a canine alerted to his vehicle.

An intensive inspection led officers to the discovery of 28 wrapped packages of heroin concealed between the dashboard and engine area of the truck. The weight of the heroin was 75 pounds with a street value of approximately $1,275,000.

The driver, a resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was arrested for the alleged narcotic smuggling attempt.

The second incident occurred the following day at about 12:40 p.m. at the Calexico downtown port of entry when officers with the port’s Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team were conducting inspections of outbound vehicles and stopped a 47-year-old male U.S. citizen driving a white 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser.

During the secondary inspection, an intensive examination that included the use of x-ray imaging system and a detector dog led officers to the discovery of 31 wrapped bundles of undeclared currency hidden inside a specially built compartment in the roof of the Cruiser. A total of $818,813 in U.S. currency was retrieved.

The driver, a resident of Imperial, California, was arrested for attempting to conceal currency with intent to evade reporting requirements.

The third incident occurred at about 5 a.m. this morning at the Calexico downtown port of entry when a canine team screening vehicles and travelers alerted to a grey 2006 Ford F-150 pick-up truck as the driver waited in line for inspection. The driver, a 26-year-old male U.S. citizen, and vehicle were escorted to secondary for further examination.

An intensive inspection that included utilization of an x-ray system, led officers to the discovery of 32 wrapped packages of cocaine concealed inside non-factory metal compartments in all four tires of the pick-up. The weight of the narcotic was 80 pounds with a street value of approximately $720,000.

CBP officers placed the driver, a resident of Heber, California, under arrest for the alleged importation of narcotics into the U.S.

In all three incidents, the drivers were turned over to the custody of U.S. Homeland Security Investigators and transported to the Imperial County Jail where they await arraignment.

CBP seized the narcotics, currency and vehicles.

 

Senator Had Previously Called for Release to Help Consumers and Protect the Economic Recovery

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) praised the announcement today by Energy Secretary Stephen Chu that the United States will release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in conjunction with the release of another 30 million barrels from member states of the International Energy Agency. Oil reserves will be offered on the world market over the next 30 days in an effort to address supply disruptions and high gas prices, which have hurt the economic recovery.

 

Senator Boxer said, “This decision will provide relief for consumers who are struggling with high prices at the pump. With the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at record levels and oil prices soaring because of unrest in the Middle East, it’s appropriate to take this step to protect our fragile economic recovery.”

 

Releasing reserves from SPR, which is currently at a historically high level of 727 million barrels, will help offset the disruptions in the oil supply caused by turmoil in the Middle East that have contributed to high oil prices.

 

In March, Senator Boxer joined with other Senators to call on President Obama to release oil from the SPR to address high gas prices and spur economic growth. The Senators’ letter is available here.

 
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