Position Description

Maintenance Mechanic
Job Category Fulltime Regular
ExemptOvertimeEligible Overtime Eligible
Benefits Eligible Benefit Based
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Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

LIGO Laboratory (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) seeks a highly motivated and skilled Skilled Maintenance Mechanic to join its team. LIGO Laboratory is a National Science Foundation major facility dedicated to observing the newly discovered gravitational-wave universe. Jointly operated by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the LIGO Laboratory operates world-leading observatories near Richland, WA and Baton Rouge, LA as well as R&D centers on the Caltech and MIT campuses. The LIGO Laboratory’s mission spans a broad and vibrant array of activities related to gravitational-wave physics and astronomy, including detector operations, R&D toward detector improvements, gravitational-wave astrophysics, observatory operations, and education and public outreach.

For more information, please visit the Laboratory website at http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/LA.

This position is located in Livingston, LA.

Life at LIGO Livingston as a Caltech Employee
LIGO’s observatory in rural Livingston Parish, Louisiana, is an approximately 35-minute commute from Baton Rouge, LA., and is about 1 hour 20 minutes from New Orleans. Caltech employs a staff of 42 at the Livingston observatory. Caltech has an extraordinary science impact across many fields. Its small size creates a community where innovation and collaboration are the norm. Caltech manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, the leading US center for the robotic exploration of the Solar System. Caltech also operates large-scale research facilities such as the Palomar and Keck Observatories.

South Louisiana enjoys a friendly and unique blend of cultures, food, art, music and festivals—including Mardi Gras each spring. Baton Rouge, the State capital, hosts Louisiana State University. New Orleans, founded in 1718, is one of the most distinctive and well-known cities in the Americas, and is considered the birthplace of jazz. The region along the Mississippi River, which flows through both cities, includes a significant petrochemical industry base and several high- volume shipping ports. Area rivers, lakes and the Gulf of Mexico provide opportunities for recreation and fishing.

People choose to work at LIGO for many reasons, often with fulfilling, long-term careers. LIGO is a family-friendly laboratory and strives to ensure everyone is able to achieve the work-life balance they desire. Employees have access to a wide range of benefits including a child-care assistance program. Caltech’s benefits program offers a quality, competitive benefits package that is affordable for you and the Institute. The program provides a strong base of coverage for you and your dependents, and the ability to choose the plan and the level of coverage that best meet your needs. We also offer a 403(b) defined contribution plan to eligible staff as well as a Voluntary Retirement Savings (TDA) Plan.

Caltech HR diversity page: https://hr.caltech.edu/careers/2commitment-diversity

Caltech and LIGO Laboratory’s goal is to build a world-class, diverse workforce and support an inclusive environment that encourages professional development and offers top-notch benefits. Our talented staff, who work at the Caltech campus, or one of our Observatories, come from a variety of fields. Positions include scientists, engineers, information technology staff, outreach professionals, managers, writers, business professionals, and administrative staff. We are deeply committed to encouraging people of all backgrounds to apply for these opportunities. Our experience has demonstrated that the broader the styles, characteristics, backgrounds, and abilities of our staff—in other words, the more diverse our team is—the greater potential we have for success. Caltech is an equal opportunity employer.

LIGO Laboratory is committed to being a welcoming place for everyone regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.

Job Duties

This position will be a part of the Facilities Group maintenance staff and report to the Facilities Team Lead. The maintenance staff is responsible for all of the day to day maintenance and repair of the entire Observatory and support buildings. This position requires an understanding of and compliance with cleanroom protocols and laser safety procedures. The successful candidate will work under general supervision and will be required to use a variety of tools and techniques of facilities maintenance services to work on semi-routine assignments where good judgment is required to properly maintain the LIGO buildings and site and ensure that they are in proper working order and safe.

The work location is at the LIGO Livingston Observatory, near Livingston, Louisiana.

Job Duties

  • Perform routine support and maintenance functions including, but not limited to, minor plumbing, electrical, HVAC and chilled water systems.
  • Diagnose and repair various facilities equipment.
  • Applies basic skills in mechanical maintenance and selects from standard procedures, techniques, tools, materials, and equipment appropriate to accomplish tasks.
  • Provide troubleshooting and rapid, on-call response to facilities equipment failures.
  • Communicating clearly, in both written and verbal form with co-workers, and via computerized maintenance management interfaces.

Basic Qualifications

  • High School/GED or Trade School diploma with a minimum of 3-5 years of full time, general maintenance experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience carrying out maintenance of chilled water systems.
  • Knowledge of maintenance and repair methods, tools and equipment in any of the following areas, as required: plumbing, electricity, HVAC, locks, carpentry, painting and general maintenance.
  • Experience working on job site(s) that employ formal safety procedures and a strong safety culture.
  • Flexible schedule to accommodate after hours and weekend emergencies. Able to work independently in those situations.
  • Experience in industrial and construction environments involving work at height, climbing ladders, moderate lifting, working near operating machinery, exposure to noise, and wearing appropriate personal protection devices.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license at the time of employment and be able to maintain it throughout the course of employment.
  • Extensive mobility as well as the ability to kneel, crouch, crawl and climb to reach items in need of repair. Must be able to stand for long periods of time (up to 8 hours per day) and to perform the following physical activities: bending, climbing step ladders and stairs, lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling, stooping and kneeling.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Have received OSHA-certified training for one or more of these: fire safety & evacuation, personal protective equipment, fall protection, lock out/tag out, hot work, blood borne pathogens, ladder safety, electrical safety, hazard communications, back safety, environmental health and safety; and/or Certified to use heavy machinery such as a fork truck, scissor lift, scaffolding, manlift and overhead cranes.
  • HVAC Certification
  • Experience operating and maintaining vacuum or ultra-high-vacuum (UHV) systems and equipment, such as pumps, instrumentation, leak detectors, purge/vent system, bake ovens, and large gate valves.
  • Experience executing routine system performance checks and calibration of vacuum instrumentation and equipment.
  • Experience performing engineering calculations and analysis applied to vacuum or HVAC.
  • Experience in planning and scheduling work tasks.
  • Experience working in clean rooms, and/or following clean room protocols.
  • Experience working in an academic or laboratory setting.
  • Experience working in a diverse team from a broad range of backgrounds and areas of expertise.

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter

COVID-19 Vaccine Required for All Employees

Caltech has implemented a mandatory vaccination policy effective October 15, 2021, requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees (with Institute-approved exemptions for religious or medical contraindications only). At present, an individual is deemed “fully vaccinated” when that person has received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson). As a condition of employment, employees must submit official COVID-19 vaccine documentation. More information may be found here.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Caltech is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.

To read more Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) go to eeoc_self_print_poster.pdf.

Disability Accommodations

If you would like to request an accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or otherwise participating in the employee selection process, please direct your inquiries to Caltech Recruiting at employment@caltech.edu

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