VA funds ideas to help disabled vets get jobs

Tuesday - 10/18/2011, 4:06pm EDT

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

The Department of Veterans Affairs named six winners in the VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) for innovations that will help disabled veterans find jobs.

VA will test the use of the ideas in the agency's Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program, according to a VA release.

Some of the winning ideas include:

  • A paid internship to help vets get private sector experience.
  • A mentorship program for vets from the employment community.
  • Online verification of VR&E status.
  • A pre-loaded debit card for educational supplies, such as books.

"Through the ingenuity of our employees and their deep understanding of what today's veterans need to gain good-paying jobs, we have a terrific set of innovations to pursue," said Allison A. Hickey, VA's under secretary for benefits, in a statement.

The VAi2 program was launched last year to identify and fund ideas that would improve VA services.