VA employees pitch ways to help veterans find work

Monday - 8/15/2011, 6:50pm EDT

By Emily Kopp
Reporter
Federal News Radio

The Department of Veterans Affairs has named a dozen employees as finalists in a contest to come up with ways to improve the agency's VetSuccess job program.

The top ideas came from VA workers across the country. They ranged from improving services for troops returning with brain injuries or mental illnesses to providing debit cards so veterans can buy books and supplies.

Employees submitted more than 700 ideas to improve the VetSuccess program, which offers services including career counseling, education, training, financial assistance and health care to returning veterans. Colleagues in the regional offices voted for their favorites, which a review panel then whittled down to the list of 12.

Now a board headed by Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Scott Gould and made up of the under secretaries for benefits and health, and the chief information and technology officers, will choose the ideas that VA will eventually implement.

VA asked employees to focus their ideas on ways to increase the number of veterans who find jobs, streamline administrative work, reduce application processing time and make it easier for veterans to get services and training.

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