By PRNewswire-USNewswireJanuary 6, 2009
WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Thirty percent of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are veterans -- the second highest ranking among cabinet departments after the Department of Defense -- and nearly 8 percent of VA employees are service-connected disabled veterans. But the VA intends to increase the number of disabled veterans who obtain employment in its workforce.
"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 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 Defense Department 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 Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiment and the Army's Warrior Transition Units.