Salary $4,188.00 - $5,494.00 Monthly


Location Thurston County – Olympia, WA


Job Type Full Time - Permanent


Department Dept. of Commerce


Job Number 2020-07897


Closing 12/14/2020 11:59 PM Pacific

This position is officially located in Olympia, but we are currently working teleworking due to Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. We are still moving forward with hiring and look forward to reviewing your cover letter and application.

Our ideal candidate is a team player, bringing self-awareness, a strong ability to collaborate and a desire to continually learn and help us make state government’s response to homelessness equitable and more effective. If you are interested in doing meaningful work with big impacts, we invite you to apply today.

The Housing Assistance Unit within the Community Services and Housing Division is recruiting for a Commerce Specialist 2 to coordinate a variety of activities related to the Balance of State Continuum of Care Program. These activities include coordinating funding applications, staffing regular Continuum of Care committee meetings, and providing technical assistance to Continuum of Care program providers.

The Housing Assistance Unit works with federal, tribal, state, local and nonprofit partners to achieve our vision of “No person left living outside.”  Our programs and services support homeless crisis response systems and programs that respond to the immediacy and urgency of homelessness to ensure that everyone has a safe and appropriate place to live.  Our work is guided by the following principles:

  • All people deserve a safe and appropriate place to live
  • Urgent and bold action is the appropriate response to people living outside
  • Interventions must be data-driven and evidence-based

To learn more about the Housing Assistance Unit visit our website, our State Homeless Housing Strategic Plan (Download PDF reader) and the Office of Homeless Youth Plan (Download PDF reader).
The Housing Assistance Unit is a great place to work! 

  • We are committed to diversity and inclusion.  We strive to hire and retain a diverse workforce that reflects the customers we serve.
  • We support a healthy work/life balance by offering flexible work schedules and mobile and telework options.
  • We are critical thinkers and continuous learners.  We do our best to challenge assumptions and eliminate barriers to equitable, high quality services.





  • Prepare, collect, review and submit information from providers to support the Continuum of Care’s funding applications by using information from e-snaps, SAGE, HUD Exchange, SAM and Grants.gov
  • Provide technical assistance to providers related to all aspects of the applications, including e-snaps, to help submit successful applications.
  • Manage and review provider applications in e-snaps for accuracy and quality and amend if necessary.
  • Use Annual Performance Review and Homeless Management Information System data to evaluate the Continuum of Care projects to help rank the projects in order of performance.
  • Develop and manage applicant supplemental questions and responses for HUD annual and special competitions posted on Survey Monkey. 
  • Provide technical assistance to providers to help them meet Continuum of Care program requirements and homelessness best practices
  • Ensure providers’ compliance with Continuum of Care program rules and homelessness best practices.
  • Research, analyze, and prepare and present the yearly “State of BoS CoC” report.
  • Manage updates and maintain BoS CoC online calendar in Google and any other calendars necessary for all competition deadlines.
  • Moderate and support Continuum of Care Steering Committee and subcommittee meetings for providers and other stakeholders by using GoTo Webinar, GoTo Meeting and/or SKYPE or ZOOM technology. 
  • Oversee at least 4 in-person annual steering committees by researching and renting venues, catering needs and logistics for steering committee members.
  • Manage and update committee contact lists in Excel and help create and send out agendas to committee members; help develop and put together subcommittee and ad-hoc committee agendas.
  • Update and maintain online subcommittee, steering committee calendars in Google 
  • Record notes of Continuum of Care Steering Committee meetings, including attendees and major decisions, and post to Box, which links to the Continuum of Care website
  • Provide technical support for all standing subcommittees, steering committee and ad-hoc subcommittees.



Required Qualifications: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree and two years of professional experience in community development and housing, particularly in a field aligned with ending homelessness and/or providing supportive services to homeless and low-income individuals using state and federal funding.
    • Additional years of professional experience in community development will substitute, year for year, for Bachelor’s degree.
    • A graduate or advanced degree in a relevant field will substitute for one year of the required years of professional experience in community development.

Of the two years of professional experience, any combination of all the following must be included:

  • Managing and understanding the principles, practices, and techniques of homelessness, housing and/or social service programs, including their application, intent, sources of funds, legislation, regulation, and reporting.
  • Analyzing and coordinating activities in government and/or non-profit agencies using a variety of techniques to provide effective technical assistance and resolve complex problems.
  • Experience using computer and applications such as Excel, Word, Access, web browsers, and other applications and databases, including particular knowledge and expertise in structured query language (SQL).
  • Experience analyzing data from large datasets by creating queries to extract counts and subsets of data based on multiple logical criteria linked via “AND” and “OR” operators, using tools such as structured query language (SQL) or equivalent tools that at least support “AND” and “OR” logic operators and communicating technical results and relevant meaning to a non-technical audience.
  • Demonstrated high-level interpersonal communication skills; two-way communication, information sharing and gathering, ability to maintain confidentiality and sound judgement regarding confidentiality of specific communications, and utilizing customer/employee/employer feedback.
  • Strong ability to meet budget, grant and reporting deadlines with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Strong understanding of state budgeting and legislative policies and practices and the ability to employ budget and fiscal management techniques.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Strong understanding of interpreting, writing and applying detailed policies and procedures.
  • Strong understanding of statistics, performance, and outcome measurement.
  • Strong ability to develop, organize, and conduct funding application and contracting processes, including writing and negotiating contracts and grants.



Supplemental Information

At Commerce, we’re a little different. But for you, it might just be the perfect fit.  We’re a state agency but operate like a business with the understanding we need to know our customer’s needs to fulfill them.  Our Olympia offices are open Monday through Friday (flexible schedules are available).    

Washington State offers commuting programs, including free, subsidized and reduced public transportation incentives.  There are approximately 370 employees in our agency. We are committed to our work and value balance in our personal lives. We hire people for a position and encourage them to train for growth opportunities.

If this sounds like a good fit for you and you meet the qualifications, we encourage you to apply today!
What we do:

We are the lead state agency charged with strengthening communities.  We administer a diverse portfolio of programs and services, and we support several state boards and commissions.

Our key customers include businesses, local governments and community-based organizations. We also play the crucial role of convening numerous local, state, regional and federal partners and stakeholders, public and private. Together we work to support the Governor’s priorities and achieve shared goals and objectives for the citizens of Washington.

This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

Where we work:

Commerce’s main office is located in Olympia; however we also have locations in downtown Seattle and Spokane.  


As the state’s capitol, Olympia is located off Interstate 5 at the south end of the Puget Sound roughly half-way between Seattle and Portland, and less than a two hour drive to the coast, temperate rainforest, mountains, urban city, or farmlands.  With year-round art festivals, parades, theater shows, concerts, and community events, Olympia and its surrounding cities have something for everyone. For parents, it boasts some of the best schools in the nation and the renowned HandsOn Children’s Museum.  Home to two universities (The Evergreen State College and Saint Martin’s University), Olympia residents also have the opportunity to pursue a degree while working!


Spokane is located in the heart of the Inland Northwest and is the second most populous city in Washington. The Spokane River runs through the city and beautiful Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane. An array of enjoyable outdoor activities are right out our back door; including ski resorts, white-water rafting, camping areas, hiking trails, lakes, and the Centennial trail. Amazed by the arts?  Show some love to your artistic side with a trip to the Spokane Region.  Broadway performances, intriguing art galleries, world-class museums and powerful stage performances are waiting to be discovered.


Being surrounded by greenery year round has earned the Seattle the nickname of the Emerald City. Seattle is an exciting urban city surrounded by unmatched natural beauty with a wide variety of outdoor attractions within the city such as Discovery Park and Olympic Sculpture Park. Feel like getting away from the city? Seattle is centrally located surrounded by the Puget Sound and miles of hiking trails within driving distance. Seattle is home to a variety of attractions to include the Seattle Art Museum, Pike Place Market, and historic Pioneer Square. Art and Culture more your style? Seattle is home to more than 100 theater companies, the Seattle Symphony, as well as museums and galleries. Sports enthusiast? Seattle is home to professional football, soccer and baseball teams as well as a variety of collegiate sports to choose from.

Additional Information:

The Washington State Department of Commerce complies with the employment eligibility verification requirements of the federal Form I-9. The selected candidate must be able to provide proof of identity and eligibility to work in the United States consistent with the requirements of that form on the first day of employment. 

The Washington State Department of Commerce 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 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, or interview process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call Human Resources at (360) 725-2652. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call through the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.



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