By Dept. of VA Public AffairsJanuary 5, 2009
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 5, 2008) - The Department of Veterans Affairs will be increasing the number of disabled veterans positions in its workforce in 2009.
Thirty percent of VA employees are veterans and nearly eight percent of those employees are service-connected disabled veterans.
"I am proud of this effort," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. "VA knows the true quality of our men and women, and we should be a leader in employing them."
Peake said all severely injured veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be contacted by VA's Veterans Employment Coordination Service to determine their interest in and qualifications for VA jobs. So far, that office has identified 2,300 severely injured veterans of those wars, of whom 600 have expressed interest in VA employment.
The coordination service was established a year ago to recruit veterans into VA, especially those seriously injured in the current wars. It has nine regional coordinators working with local facility human resources offices across the country not only to reach out to potential job candidates but to ensure that local managers know about special authorities available to hire veterans.
For example, qualified disabled veterans rated by the DOD or VA as having a 30 percent or more service-connected disability can be hired non-competitively.
"Our team is spreading the message that VA is hiring, and we want to hire disabled veterans," said Dennis O. May, director of VA's Veterans Employment Coordination Service.
VA coordinators participate in military career fairs and transition briefings, and partner with veterans organizations, the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service, as well as VA's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service, the Army's Warrior Transition Units and the Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiment.