VA Acquisition Academy Expands the Warriors to Workforce Program
The VA Acquisition Academy (VAAA) is expanding its Warriors to Workforce (W2W) Program to help fill future VA job openings, and as a result is accepting resumes through June for the September 2019 class. Located in Frederick, Maryland, W2W is an internship program that prepares returning service-connected disabled Veterans for federal contracting careers.
“W2W is a successful program,” said VA Acquisition Academy Chancellor Ruby B. Harvey. “Since its establishment in December 2011, we have administered one class of 24 Veterans each year. This year, we expanded the program by hiring 42 Veterans, and next year we will hire even more with three 20-Veteran classes.”
The W2W Program first hires participants as GS-5 federal employees and includes four important learning components:
Peak Performance Training,
and Mission Service.
The Business Education component helps participants obtain the 24 college-level business credits required for the Contract Specialist career field from an accredited academic institution.
After successful completion of the W2W Program, participants transition into the two-year Acquisition Intern Program (AIP), and receive additional classroom and on-the-job training. Participants then sign a required mobility agreement for permanent placement based on agency needs, and a Continuing Service Agreement committing to work at VA for three years upon graduation.
VAAA Chancellor Ruby B. Harvey administers the oath of office to the newest Warriors to Workforce interns.
“Veterans have a close connection to the mission of serving Veterans,” said Acquisition Internship School Vice-Chancellor Stephanie Belella. “As contracting specialists, they are responsible for buying and managing the goods and services needed to care for our Veterans. Above all, this allows them to continue serving.”
Veterans in the program said the program changed their lives, provided stability, and gave them an opportunity to apply their military experience to a career field. Many graduates have since earned advanced degrees and are now leaders in the federal government. A total of 150 wounded warriors have completed the W2W program, with 42 active interns. Among the participants, Veterans have nine Bronze Stars, 30 Purple Hearts, 91 Combat Action Ribbons, and completed 294 deployments — including 188 to Iraq and 106 to Afghanistan.