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Employment Programs, Initiatives and Incentives
- The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) ensures that Veterans are able to compete for government positions that previously may have only been available to existing civil service employees
- The Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA) and 30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans programs allow eligible Veterans to fill certain positions without competition
- The Disabled Veterans Enrolled in VA Training Program allows eligible disabled Veterans to receive training or work experience at VA
- The Veterans Preference gives special consideration to eligible Veterans looking for Federal employment. Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both in hiring and in retention during reductions in force
- The Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) is an employment-oriented program that assists Veterans with service-connected disabilities by offering services and assistance to help them prepare for, find, and keep suitable employment. Suitable employment is work that is within the Veterans' physical, mental, and emotional capabilities and matches their patterns of skills, abilities, and interests.
For more information on the VR&E program, visit the Veterans Benefits Administration.
The Outstanding Scholar Program offers high-achievers appointments in covered occupations.
The Federal Career Intern Program is designed to attract exceptional individuals to the VA workforce who have diverse professional experiences, academic credentials, training, and competencies and to prepare them for a variety of occupations. Individuals are appointed to entry-level positions for a two-year internship. Upon successful completion of the internships, the interns may be eligible for permanent placement within VA.
The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF) is a two-year program, which enables students who complete a master's or doctoral-level degree to be appointed to Federal positions. PMFs are appointed at the GS-9 level and after successful completion of the first year they are eligible for promotion to GS-11. Upon completion of the two-year fellowship, PMFs are eligible for conversion to career or career-conditional appointment and are eligible for promotion to GS-12.
Individuals eligible to be reinstated must have held a career or career-conditional appointment at some time in the past. If so, there is no time limit on reinstatement eligibility for those who have Veterans' preference, or have acquired career tenure by completing three years of substantially continuous creditable service.
If you do not have Veterans' preference or did not acquire career tenure, you may be reinstated within three years after the date of your separation. Transfer eligibility allows current career and career-conditional employees to be appointed to VA jobs. Those eligible for transfer may be required to compete under the merit promotion program.
- The Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) authorizes VA to provide student loan reduction payments to employees with qualifying loans who are in health care positions providing direct patient care services and are in positions that are considered hard to recruit or retain. The loan must be for the health professional’s education that qualified the applicant for a specific position. Each Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facility determines which positions are hard to recruit and retain and when the facility will offer EDRP for these positions. EDRP is a recruitment and retention incentive only offered or approved for certain positions. Learn more
- The Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (EISP) authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to award scholarships to permanent full- and part-time Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employees pursuing degrees or training in health care disciplines for which recruitment and retention of qualified personnel is difficult. Learn more
- The National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI) is a scholarship awarded to permanent full- and part-time VA registered nurses seeking baccalaureate and advanced nursing degrees from an authorized, accredited education program. VA requires nurses to have BSN degrees to advance beyond the Nurse Level 1 position. NNEI scholarships may also be used to pursue other advanced degrees in related fields. (Note: NNEI is a policy-derived program that stems from the legislative authority of EISP.) Learn more
- The VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) is a program open to outstanding college nursing students who have completed their junior year. Through VALOR, they develop competency in clinical nursing by working at a VA health care facility.
For more information about any of these programs, please call the VHA Healthcare Retention & Recruitment Office (HRRO) at 1-844-456-5208.
Please contact your local VA medical center for the following locally administered programs:
- The Tuition Reimbursement Program is available to full-time VA employees who are enrolled in any accredited nursing degree program. This program also funds prerequisite courses required for acceptance into a degree program.
- The Tuition Support Program provides tuition for job-related courses for health care professionals in disciplines identified as VA shortage categories.
The Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) provides accommodation solutions to eliminate barriers to employment for people with visual, hearing, cognitive, communication, and dexterity disabilities.
In addition to CAP, VA supports the following Executive Orders (EOs) designed to benefit those with disabilities:
- EO 13078, Increasing Employment of Adults with Disabilities
- EO 13145, To Prohibit Discrimination in Federal Employment Based on Genetic Information
- EO 13163, Increasing the Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities to be Employed in the Federal Government
- EO 13164, Requiring Federal Agencies to Establish Procedures to Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation
- EO 13217, Community-Based Alternatives for Individuals with Disabilities
The Pathways Internship Program provides students with opportunities to explore careers in Federal government. This program is for current students, and replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). The new Internship Program provides students in high schools, colleges, trade schools and other qualifying educational institutions with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while completing their education. Through the Internship Program, students are able to gain valuable work experience for pay while enrolled at least half-time in school. Student Pathways internship opportunities are advertised and managed locally by each of the VA Medical Centers.
For more information on this program, please contact the Pathways coordinator at the local VA Medical Center. The coordinator may be located in either the Human Resources or the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office. Students can access http://www.opm.gov/hiringreform/pathways/ to obtain information about these programs, and may access https://www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads to view current vacancy announcements.
Begin your career or continue your professional progression by searching VA opportunities here.
Professionals may search VA job opportunities in the Job Search section of this website.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington DC 20420
Last updated June 3, 2015