Every year, tens of thousands of health professions trainees (HPTs) work at VA, and nearly three-quarters of these student doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are ready to pursue a permanent career here.

Successful national placement events help make this possible, matching trainees with jobs at VA facilities across the nation.

“Think of this as eHarmony for VA,” said Jessica Pierce, portfolio manager for Workforce Recruitment & Retention Service at VA. “It’s an opportunity for these candidates to explore VA… and really determine if they want to start their career with VA.”

Job matching

Pierce answered questions about how the VA-Trainee Recruitment Events (VA-TRE) placement events work on VA’s weekly “Talk About It Tuesday” broadcast on LinkedIn. These events aim to recruit a portion of the over 22,000 HPTs who pursue clinical rotations, conduct research, or complete residencies and fellowships at VA each year.

“We want to keep them, and about 70% of HPTs surveyed want to stay with VA,” Pierce said.

Rather than applying for one position at a time on USAJobs, HPTs provide their CVs when registering for these focused recruitment events and are matched with up to five positions.

“It’s no longer trying to find a needle in a haystack,” Pierce explained.

They then have a chance to schedule meet-and-greet conversations at the matched facilities. Even if the jobs don’t pan out, it’s an excellent opportunity to network with staffers at facilities that consistently have new positions pop up.

“You’re no longer just a name on a list,” Pierce said.

Transforming health care

The HPT placement events are just one way Pierce has worked to bring positive change to VA in her 20-year career. She oversees many national initiatives and is a certified transformational coach, one of about 40 across VA.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with thousands and thousands of people across VA,” Pierce said. “I get to help coach them and, together, we get to help develop transformational change.”

She began her VA career as a student worker in accounts receivable and has served in various capacities, including as a compliance officer, research and development coordinator, program manager and now a national portfolio manager.

“I have had so many amazing opportunities and that’s something VA offers to everybody, not just me,” Pierce said.

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Published on Jan. 15, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 204


  1. Earlane W Young February 10, 2021 at 10:17 pm

    This is a great question. As I think about it, the VA would probably be run more efficiently. I would like to believe that when Veterans apply for service-connected benefits, the staff would be able to understand the many different situations and move forward. I do not believe that employees would be allowed to perform half-ass jobs and deny benefits based on what they do not see or understand. The millions of appeals would not be backed up due to the lack of processing. Veterans would be treated with more respect and actions taken immediately.

  2. Albert chafin January 29, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Where have profits been going to from canteen operation? Let’s concentrate more on vet health and forget running retail operations for someone’s pockets!

  3. Tom Westfield January 28, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Not too long ago 100% Disabled Veterans were given “Space Available” benefits but only of a seat that was available and only within the US and some of its’ possessions. Additionally the Veteran would be the only person allowed to fly. No spouses were permitted. This “half a glass” approach demeans Veterans. A Disabled Vet generally needs the assistance of their spouse in many instances, and should be permitted to go anywhere the Air Mobility Command flies to, including Europe. The main objector to this benefit has been the Retired Service Members associations who feel they served their 20 years (or more) and don’t want the seats grabbed by Disabled Vets. If that’s the case, make us in a separate boarding class; just as retirees can be bumped by persons with orders, we could be boarded after Retirees.

    I have seen numerous AMC flights take off with available seats that a Disabled Veteran could use but was not permitted to. The time to fix this is now as no trips to Europe appear to be happening in the near future with Covid.

  4. Rbebcca Henderson January 28, 2021 at 6:42 am

    I will believe his words when I see them in action. Never once has anyone in the past actually done anything for all Veterans. Never. We have always been pushed aside, pushed over, pushed back, pushed back more, and then abused in so many ways. I can say that I saw actual changes under the last admin. Now, let’s watch it go back to the way it was. Veterans dying on every hand due to lack of health care standards. They will cover it up or blame somebody else. You watch.
    They are passing out vaccines to anyone but veterans. Give me a break. I’m told I will be contacted when it’s my turn. The vaccines were to be deployed by May and now its pushed back, there is that word again, to November?

  5. Ronald Burris January 27, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    I wished that this new VA Sec would know more about the job than He does. One area that needs looking into is the way VA changed their timelines on processing claims and how they deny many Veterans claims more often in the last several years than probably in the past 10 years. VA is doing a disservice to the Veterans and they are putting impossible roadblocks in front of them to keep them from approving claims. That’s what a priority of the new VA Secretary should be. As I said, this person trying to become VA Secretary has little experience in dealing with the VA bureaucrats. The VA current leaders will continue to lie and get their way since this new VA Secretary doesn’t know what VA is ALL about. He will be asking the leaders that have been causing the problems, for their advise which is typical VA bureaucracy. President Trump stated that VA had a high percentage of positive feedback and performance in the 90’s. Well, I say those that did the survey probably had questions that hid the real questions that should have been asked for them to get a high rating. I know I will be trying to get in touch with the new VA Secretary once he is nominated so that the real VA problems can be investigated.

  6. alden r gagna January 27, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    ITS THE LAW!!!!
    PUSH THIS,,!!!!!!??????

  7. Bright January 20, 2021 at 1:08 am

    This is a very nice and insightful post

Comments are closed.

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