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VA Ramps Up Job Search for Injured Vets

WASHINGTON (Dec. 30, 2008) - 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.