The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes that a robust equal opportunity recruitment program is critical to achieving our mission to serve our Veterans. VA managers are committed to diversity within VA as demonstrated by integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence (I CARE) values, which are evident at every level of the Department. To fulfill the VA’s vision “to provide Veterans the world-class benefits and services they have earned—and to do so by adhering to the highest standards of compassion, commitment, excellence, professionalism, integrity, accountability, and stewardship,” VA continued its efforts to build and maintain a diverse, high-performing workforce that reflects our Nation and the Veterans we serve. VA is committed to providing equal employment opportunities for all as demonstrated by the fiscal year (FY) 2011 accomplishments listed below in the areas of recruitment, career development, and accountability.
As the second largest Cabinet level agency, as of September 30, 2011, VA employs 315,116 (permanent and temporary) individuals and provides health care, benefits, and memorial services to approximately 25 million Veterans; including 1,840,380 (8.1 percent) women Veterans and 4,685,009 (19.1 percent) minority Veterans. VA provides these services through three major organizational subcomponents: the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), through a system of 21 Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISNs) with 152 medical centers, 941 outpatient clinics, 134 community living centers, and 93 domiciliary rehabilitation home-care programs; the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), through 4 Areas with 58 regional offices managing compensation and pension, education home loans, vocational rehabilitation, and life insurance programs; and the National Cemetery Administration (NCA), consisting of 131 cemeteries offering burials, headstones and markers, burial flags, and Presidential Memorial Certificates to Veterans and their families. The VA Central Office (VACO) is the National headquarters office comprised of 12 Staff Organizations and 7 Staff Offices, reporting to the Secretary of VA.
As of September 30, 2011, there were 294,733 permanently employed individuals in VA, including 261,385 (88.7%) in VHA, 19,751 (6.7%) in VBA, 1,598 (0.5%) in NCA, and 11,999 (4.1%) in VACO. For this same period, there were 173,607 (59.5%) women, including 10,466 (3.6%) Hispanic women, 104,868 (35.9%) White women, 42,819 (14.7%) African American women, 11,574 (4%) Asian women, 336 (0.1%) Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander women, and 1,971 (0.7%) American Indian/Alaska Native women. There were also 115,324 (39.5%) minorities, including 19,247 (6.6%) Hispanics; 66,864 (22.9%) African Americans; 17,666 (6.1%) Asians; 524 (0.2%) Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders; and 3,190 (1.1%) American Indians/Alaska Natives.
From FY 2010 to FY 2011, VA employment increased by 2.7 percent, with the number of both women and minorities increasing as well. There were marked increases (higher than total VA net change) in the employment of African Americans, Asians, Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders, and American Indian/Alaska Native women. VA remains at CLF parity for VA-specific occupations for all groups, with the exception of White women, Hispanic women, and people with targeted disabilities.
Overall Accomplishments The below FEORP accomplishments’ summary also includes outcomes for initiatives to reach, recruit, develop, and retain people with disabilities, since women and minorities are represented in that community.
Internal EEO and Diversity & Inclusion Accomplishments:
Implemented VA's 1st Mandatory EEO, Diversity, and Conflict Mgt Training for Managers & Supervisors; trained 26,875 supervisors for 98% completion rate.
Developed new consolidated Mandatory Workplace Harassment/No FEAR Training for all employees.
Trained over 4,000 employees in diversity and inclusion training face to face, including over 2,000 hiring managers and HR staff in disability employment.
Implemented new VA-wide Reasonable Accommodation (RA) Procedures and VA's 1st centralized RA Case Tracking System to ensure timely compliance with EEOC regulations.
Implemented VA's 1st Centralized RA Fund to fund 207 accommodations at no cost to the host organization (considered a best practice govt-wide).
Developed and implemented new VA-wide Mandatory EEO, D&I Performance Element for all SES and managers/supervisors.
Added new employee protections (sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status) to SecVA's EEO and Diversity Policy Statement.
Created VA's 1st National Diversity Internship Program under a blanket contracting vehicle that funded over 100 diverse students internships, including over 20 from Puerto Rico, at lower costs. This program created a diverse pipeline for VA employment and saved VA hundreds of thousands of dollars by providing staffing resources to organizations unable to hire due to budget constraints;
Converted 40% of the employment ready diverse interns to full time VA employment;
Created VA's 1st Centralized Workforce Recruitment Program to centrally fund interns with disabilities and place them in temporary FTEs pending graduation.
Procured customized contract to obtain registers of candidates with disabilities qualified for VA jobs and eligible for immediate hire under Schedule A.
Outreach, Recruitment, and Retention strategies contributed to the increase in VA's employment of people with targeted disabilities to 1.98% of the permanent VA workforce, almost twice the government average, reversing a decade long decline and nearly meeting the Secretary's 2% hiring goal for this group;
Developed and implemented an innovative “Diversity and Inclusion Index” to measure VA's workforce diversity and organizational inclusion efficiently; VA's diversity index increased from 74% in 2008 to 96% in 2011, after 8 yrs of flat progress.
VA External Recognition for EEO and Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives/Outcomes:
Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities (HACU) named VA Federal Partner of the Year
HBCUConnect ranked VA #7 in hiring Historically Black College and University student interns
DiversityInc named VA as one of top 5 Federal Agencies for diversity
Partnership for Public Service named VA Best Federal Agency for Employees starting their careers/under 30
Latinos for Hire Magazine named VA Best Federal Agency
Careers and the Disabled Magazine named VA#1 Federal Agency
Cited by OPM as one of only 4 Cabinet departments that making great strides in the employment of Hispanics, a chronically underrepresented group in the federal workforce.
Saw increase in VA's inclusion scores in the 2011 Federal Employment Viewpoint Survey
Department of Veterans Affairs’
Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program
Fiscal Year 2011
VA continues to analyze workforce trends and projections, determine skill gaps and needs, devise succession planning strategies to attract a more diverse workforce, and to ensure VA is people centric, results driven, and forward looking.
VA continues to facilitate a learning environment where employees understand the concept that a diverse workforce is a strength for the entire organization.
VA managers continue to work with their Human Resources (HR), Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) counterparts, and hiring officials to conduct barrier analysis to identify and remove barriers to equal employment opportunities for women and minorities.
As a strategic workforce retention tool, VA encourages use of both flexible work schedules and telework options, as demonstrated by VA Directive 5011.
Through the Human Capital Investment Plan (HCIP) initiative, VACO maintained a $1 million centralized fund for the National Diversity Internship Program (NDIP), VHA continued its $500K HACU centralized fund, and VBA used $122K to sponsor 167 students with diverse backgrounds recruited from major and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), as a strategy to build a diverse applicant pool for VA critical occupations.
The Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Diversity, and Inclusion Critical Performance Element for All VA Senior Executive Service (SES) Members, Managers, and Supervisors provided an accountability tool for all VA managers during the FY 2011 performance cycle.
The VA Diversity Council continues to meet to discuss and address issues affecting targeted outreach, recruitment, development, and retention of diverse staff.
VA continues to promote strategic recruitment outreach in an effort to maintain a competent, committed, diverse, and inclusive workforce. In FY 2011, VACO Staff Offices participated in seven outreach and recruitment events that targeted minorities and women; leveraged diversity-focused internship programs to reach, identify and sponsor student interns; and marketed career opportunities to broad audiences.
VHA continues to analyze workforce trends and projections, determine skill gaps and needs, and devise succession planning strategies to attract a more diverse workforce, and to ensure that VHA is people centric, results driven, and forward looking.
By the end of FY 2017, 40% of the current full- and part-time workforce will become eligible for regular retirement with 21.2% projected to actually retire. Based on these projections, VHA anticipates the need to hire an average of 27,000 employees annually.
VHA continues to provide training to its employees to promote the concept that a diverse workforce is strength for the entire organization by leveraging the value of understanding differences, identifying an organization’s culture, and cross-cultural communication.
To deliver patient centered care, VHA employees must be sensitive to potential disparities in care and skilled in areas of cultural competence, including ethnic, generational, and military service-related aspects of care.
In FY 2011, VHA EEO Managers continued to work with their HR counterparts to conduct barrier analysis to determine and remove barriers for equal employment opportunities for women and minorities. As a result of this analysis, programs were identified to address upward mobility opportunities for women and minorities.
VHA’s Workforce Succession Strategic Plan encompasses a comprehensive analysis of the total workforce, leadership positions, program office considerations, and top occupations, as well as an array of strategies (i.e. employee development, leadership development and succession programs, organizational health assessments and initiatives, and recruitment and retention strategies), and was recognized by VA and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as a federal best practice.
The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) provided opportunities for students to gain Federal work experience while pursing their studies. This program continued to be utilized under a cooperative education agreement with Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI), Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU). Upward mobility and career-ladder positions were utilized as internal recruitment tools for lower-grade employees to compete for positions with targeted grade levels.
VBA’s diverse workforce can be attributed to its outreach and targeted recruitment strategies, maintaining and establishing new partnerships with various organizations, special activities and the training provided senior executives, managers and supervisors. During fiscal year 2011, VBA continued to utilize the following recruitment strategies: 1) Advertise job vacancies in bilingual communities, 2) Utilize the services of City and State Employment Offices, 3) Participated in job fairs to identify under-represented group members and provide hiring information to these prospects, 4) Participated in job fairs and college job fairs to encourage minority applicants to submit applications for employment, 5) Maintained contact with College Career Counselors, and 6) Utilized Student Employment Program to recruit minority students.
Hispanic Women have demonstrated a steady increase in the permanent workforce; participation rates increased from FY07 (1.62%) to FY11 (1.81%).
The proportion of minorities in grade levels GS 9-15 increased slightly in FY11.
Based on anecdotal information, NCA efforts to diversify leadership in FY11 has resulted in an increase in women in the Senior Executive Service, moving from 20% in FY10 to 25% in FY11.
A review of the Voluntary Retirement Projected Losses Report FY11-FY18 indicates that 430 (26.9%) of all NCA employees are eligible or projected for retirement.
Hispanic Workforce Planning:
VA has hired a full-time headquarters EEO Specialist/Special Emphasis Program Manager to administer the Hispanic Employment Program and an EEO Specialist/Hispanic Employment Program Coordinator who focuses on the Hispanic Employment Program.
In FY 2011, VHA designated a Hispanic Employment Program Manager (HEPM) at each of its 152 Medical Centers.
VHA established the National Directory of HEPMs to be a catalyst to enhance awareness, understanding, professional development, and management of Hispanic employment in VHA as an essential corporate business structure workforce succession strategy.
VBA did outreach to colleges and universities with high Hispanic enrollment, utilized the student employment program, advertised in local newspapers, and participated in job fairs to identify Hispanic populations and resources and recruit Hispanics.
Recruitment and Community Outreach:
The Merit Promotion Program continues to be the most effective method for internal advancement of minorities and women.
VA continues to utilize special employment programs, which help to facilitate the hiring of minorities and women. Human Resources staff guides management in the use of programs and special hiring authorities, including the National Diversity Internship Program (NDIP), Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP), Veterans Employment Opportunity (VEOA), Presidential Management Fellow (PMF), and Student Educational Employment Program (SEEP), which also contains the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP), and the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP).
This year, VA continued outreach and recruitment efforts by sponsoring approximately 167 interns (approximately $1.5 million dollars) Department-wide through its partnership with National Internship Programs that target college students from diverse backgrounds. This targeted outreach/recruitment initiative will aid VA’s efforts to build a diverse applicant pipeline, maximizing our potential to reach the best and the brightest, future leaders. The programs included: American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS), Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Association Federal Equal Opportunity (NAFEO), The Washington Center (TWC), Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS), International Leadership Foundation (ILF), Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), and Minority Access, Inc. (MA), along with one new organization, Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS). VA is establishing a data system or method that will enable the Department to better track how many of the interns who are ready for full-time employment are hired.
VA continues to recruit applicants from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Asian American/Native American pacific Islander Servicing Institutions (AANAPISIs) utilizing the SEEP and partnering with colleges, universities, state agencies, and community associations to increase the representation of women and minorities in the workforce.
VA recruitment strategies included: Advertised job vacancies in bilingual communities; utilized the services of city and state employment offices; participated in job fairs that targeted outreach to groups with less than expected participation rates and provided hiring information to these prospects; organized minority serving clubs to promote and advertise job fairs to encourage minority applicants to submit applications for employment; maintained contact with college career counselors; utilized outreach efforts through the minority concentrated communities; continued to contact local colleges and universities to encourage minorities and women to consider employment with the Federal government; attended military job fairs; attended college university career fairs; and continued posting job vacancies on-line at the local level.
VA participated in the following National conferences in an effort to strengthen our partnership with various affinity organizations: Blacks In Government (BIG), Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO), National Image, Inc., League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), National Urban League, Federally Employed Women (FEW), Indiana Black Expo (IBE), National Association for Advancement for Colored People (NAACP), Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE), National Organization for Mexican American Rights (NOMAR), and National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN).
VA established a Strategic Communications & Outreach Service (SCOS) in the Office of Human Resources to support the strategic transformation of VA by developing and implementing state of the art marketing and outreach strategies that will enhance VA’s image as an “Employer of Choice”.
As a part of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) “For the People” Jobs Initiative, VA organizations, specifically SCOS, VHA, and ODI, participated in 6 job fairs Nation-wide.
VACO’s HR, EEO, and ODI offices worked together to identify specific colleges, universities and other entities to conduct recruitment.
As a vehicle to increase awareness and cultural sensitivity within VACO, the Office of Human Resources Management, under the auspice of the Special Emphasis Programs Managers (SEPMs), managed an active program dedicated towards educating managers and employees of its diverse culture. The SEPMs conducted special observance events in an effort to educate the VA populace on its diverse culture and their valuable contribution to workplace.
VACO’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion continued to administer its National Diversity Internship Program Centralized fund, an initiative established as part of the Human Capital Investment Plan. The fund allowed VA to sponsor 109 summer interns who were identified through organizations that target outreach to college students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Additionally, to effectively and efficiently manage the fund, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) established a first-ever Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract. The IDIQ enables VA to utilize the diverse services of nine vendors to identify students qualified to meet VA’s workforce needs, in broad and specialized areas, to include: healthcare, science and technology, business administration, and research.
ODI, in collaboration with local VHA Medical centers, participated in Federally Employed Women (FEW), Blacks in Government, Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE), Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), Asian American Government Executives (AAGEN), Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL), Congressional Black Caucus, and Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) career fairs and hiring events.
ODI partnered with the new OHRM Strategic Communications Office to identify local and regional Affinity Group conferences to address the lack of corporate, integrated strategic recruitment and retention.
Partnered with and utilized nine VA medical Centers HR Staff support during and as part of our outreach events to increase awareness of the VA as a prospective employer, promote the use of special hiring authorities, internship programs, and to increase diversity of employment pipeline.
VHA continued to use statistical data from the VHA Support Service Center (VSSC) system to monitor, review, and evaluate the effectiveness of the FEORP at all three levels of the organization (VHA, VISN, and Facility).
VHA’s Health Care Retention & Recruitment Office (HRRO) employs various community outreach strategies by providing information to educational institutions and underrepresented communities to sustain and enhance workforce diversity that is vital recruit, hire, and retain the best qualified candidates.
Each medical center has multiple Special Emphasis Program (SEP) Managers that work directly with their EEO and Diversity Program Managers to develop and maintain long-term partnerships with academia, professional associations, and minority serving organizations to address cultural concerns that may impact employment, and articulate management’s message related to the recruitment of high quality candidates.
VHA continues to promote the use of the VA National Database for Interns (VANDI), which links VA management officials with participants of the various internship programs who may be eligible for employment. VANDI currently has over 2,000 profiles in its database.
National recruitment events, including exhibitions at professional conferences, professional associations, career fairs and trade show exhibits continue to be an important method for diversity recruitment. These events were held in FY 2011 in conjunction with the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA); American Psychiatric Association (APA); American College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP); American College of Surgeons (ACS); American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA); American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP); Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE); HACU International; NHMA; LULAC National Conference; NAHN National Conference; and 4 Latinos for Hire events.
VHA published vacancy announcements in national print media targeting diverse populations, including: NHMA, Association of American Indian Physicians, Chinese American Medical Society, Interamerican College of Physicians and Surgeons, Hispanic Nurses Association, News Journal of the Association of Black Psychologists, SHPE, Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, GI Jobs, and Winds of Change.
VHA utilizes social media, such as Facebook and Twitter to increase awareness.
In FY 2011, VHA utilized the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program to bring onboard 45 Fellows from a variety of academic disciplines
and career paths.
VBA continued to maintain partnerships with community agencies, professional organizations, colleges, universities and other recruitment sources to improve the diversity of qualified applicants for job categories where women and minorities are underrepresented, including: Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP), Army, Navy, and Marines, Reserves Centers, Blacks in Government (BIG), Federally Employed Women (FEW), Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Internship Program (NAFEO), Washington Internships for Native Students Program (WINS), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Veterans (NAACP), National Multicultural Job Expo at Texas State University, and the Baylor University Job Fair.
VBA continued to cultivate and develop the next generation leaders in the workplace through the Summer Internship Program. VBA sponsored eleven (11) participants in the Summer Internship Program in 2011. Of these 11 participants, two (2) interns were under the HACU Program, six (6) under the NAFEO Program, and three (3) interns were under the MA Program. VBA invested $122,644.00 in stipends for the 2011 Summer Internship Program that directly benefited women and minority students.
NCA has employed several targeted outreach/recruitment initiatives to address less-than-expected participation rates, and to strengthen its retention program.
In FY 2011, NCA appointed its first full-time Special Emphasis Program Manager/National Minority Veterans Program Coordinator.
NCA attended over 70 outreach events, including: BIG National conference, FEW National conference, 3 American GI Forum events, NOMAR National conference, Veterans Roundtable for Faith-Based Leaders, Heroes & Heritage Program/Career Fair, Suncoast Workforce Job Fair, Veterans Opportunity Expo, LULAC National Women’s Conference, National Image Inc. National Training Conference, FAPAC National conference, SAIGE National Conference, LULAC National Convention/Expo/Career Fair, National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Mid-Year Conference, Washington Women Veterans Summit, Indiana Black Expo, Summit on Women Veterans, NAACP National Convention, National Urban League Expo/Career Fair, Gold Star Wives of America, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Disabled American Veterans, Congressional Black Caucus Convention, Virginia Tribes Event, and the Federal Hispanic Women’s Executive Conference.
Through a very active Minority Veterans Program, NCA is not only able to reach out to Veterans about their benefits, but they are also able to discuss career opportunities in NCA. In FY10, NCA reached over 272, 896 Veterans, 47% (128,261) of whom are minority Veterans.
NCA has expanded its outreach efforts to both schools and underrepresented communities. NCA has been working with the Students with Disability Program as well as with the Wounded Warrior Program.
NCA, in collaboration with the VA Strategic Communications & Outreach Service in the Office of Human Resources, is developing a memorandum of understanding with schools with Horticultural programs.
NCA continues to train regional staff in understanding and addressing demographic statistical data. In FY11, the NCA EEO Office conducted five (5) regional-level training in understanding MD-715 data, including detailed workforce analysis. The meetings were conducted through Live Meetings.
Hispanic Recruitment and Community Outreach:
ODI, in collaboration with VHA Medical Facilities, participated in the following outreach employment and retention opportunities to Hispanics via Affinity Groups annual conferences: 1) United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) National Conference, 2) League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Women’s National Conference, 3) LULAC Annual Training Conference, 4) National Image Inc., National Conference, 5) Federal Hispanic Women’s Executive Career Enhancement (IALPAE, Inc.), and the Federal Hispanic Career Advancement Summit (FAFHCAS) National Conference.
In order to reach Hispanic candidates, VHA is spending 15% of its broadcast dollars on Spanish speaking network and cable channels.
In an effort to reach a large number of professionally trained Hispanic students, VA partnered with the HACU. HACU’s internationally recognized award winning Hispanic National Internship Program (HNIP) provides opportunities for students to gain professional work experience at VA that will enable them to make more educated career choices and supplement their academic study with practical work experience. VA’s sponsored a total of 80 HACU interns; 31 were sponsored by VACO/ODI for assignments Department-wide; VHA/HRRO sponsored 47 for VHA Central Office and VHA field facilities, and VBA sponsored 2 for VBA offices.
VHA’s HRRO sent $1,283,590 of funding to medical centers for Student Education and Employment Program (SEEP) students. This fiscal year there were 195 SEEP students and 35 ($223,300 in funding) of those students attended HSI.
VHA continues to nurture an established relationship with the organization Latinos
for Hire, which is integrated into the overall media plan for VHA to outreach to the Hispanic communities. Spanish speaking television commercials were included
in Univision, Telemundo, Galavision, and Telefutura. A special edition of the VHA
Vehicle wrap that was installed for the Puerto Rico VAMC that included Spanish
for “Apply Today”. HRRO’s recruiting events were aimed towards diversity and
minority outreach. HRRO maintained a national recruitment calendar and arranged
for subject matter experts to attend events to further improve diversity outreach
VHA participated in various Hispanic recruitment events, including: 3 Latinos for Hire events, NHMA Conference, NAHN Annual Conference, HACU International Conference, Hispanic higher education community, SHPE Conference, and the LULAC National conference.VBA has established partnerships with HACU National Internship Program, SAFHCAS, Minority Access, Incorporated (MA), and Career Internship Program to promote Hispanic college students.
The VBA Buffalo Regional Office mails letters twice a year to 22 Hispanic businesses to promote hiring opportunities.
Career Development Opportunities:
The VA Diversity Council continues to meet to discuss and address diversity outreach, recruitment and retention efforts.
All VA administrations participated in the development of the MyCareer@VA system, managed by VALU. This system assists employees in mapping their career through identifying the steps needed to qualify for positions both internal and external to their current occupational family.
VA promoted participation in management, leadership, and career development programs by overseeing a range of workforce development programs that provide career advancement opportunities to VA employees at every level of the organization.
The VA Learning University (VALU) launched the new Talent Management System (TMS) to replace old learning system.
VALU continued to provide both on-site and online courses to help employees advance their professional development.
ODI provided on-site training on affirmative employment and MD-715, including workforce analysis to VA EEO Managers and staff to help identify and develop strategies to address triggers and barriers to EEO, specifically as they relate to recruitment, advancement, and retention.
ODI presented VA Forums at FEW, BIG, LULAC, FAPAC, SAIGE, and other National affinity group conferences and training programs to provide employees with up-to-date information about the VA workforce and expand VA employee knowledge of diversity and other initiatives throughout VA.
ODI managed and maintained the annual Secretary's Diversity and Inclusion Awards program, which recognized people and programs that have excelled in promoting or have made significant contributions to the EEO Program, diversity, and the VA.
Conducted seven pre-conference forums/workshops to market MY VA Career, in an effort to bridge REG gaps and grade disparities in the workforce, and to increase awareness and foster application of groups with less than expected participation rates in leadership development programs.
In partnership with the National Association on Mexican American Rights (NOMAR), DEOMI, and VHA, and the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers (NCHEPM), hosted a two-day pre-conference training forum during NOMAR National Conference to train HEPMS in roles, responsibilities, and techniques of the HEPM role.
In FY 2011, VHA continued to promote the participation in management, leadership, and career development by overseeing a range of workforce development programs that provide career advancement opportunities to VHA employees at every level of the organization.
The VHA Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability, Development (LEAD) Program extends the Executive Career Field Candidate Development Program (ECFCDP) concept down through the organization to ensure that VHA has a diverse cadre of leaders prepared to assume roles of greater responsibility from entry-level positions to the top of mid-management ranks at the local, VISN, and national levels.
The Office of Academic Affiliations with VHA has affiliation agreements with 112 allopathic and 15 osteopathic medical schools for physician education, and in 40 other health professions represented by affiliations agreements with more than 1,200 colleges and universities.
In FY 2010, 115,300, 28,130 paid and 87,170 without compensation (WOC) interns/residents received all, or part of their clinical training in VA health care facilities in affiliation with over 1,200 institutions of higher education.
The VHA Office of Research and Development (ORD) is committed to the development of a diverse workforce through expansion of their pool of applicants through organizations such as NOMAR and the Hispanic War Veterans of America.
The VHA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SESCDP) is an OPM approved CDP that offers individuals a structured approach to prepare for SES.
The Leadership VA (LVA) program identifies fine leadership talent; expands the participants' leadership skills and provide opportunities to come acquainted with VA's top leaders; develop a keener insight into the internal and external forces which affect VA; provide for an exchange of information and viewpoints which will broaden personal and professional perspectives and lay a foundation for a network of VA leaders who share a deep commitment to VA and public service.
VHA’s Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability, Development (LEAD) program is an integrated process of identifying, assessing, and developing high potential leaders. In FY 2011, there were 1,288 Facility LEAD participants, 67.6% women and 33.1% minorities.
The Health Care Leadership Development Program (HCLDP) provides focused leadership training and experiences for high potential employees from the middle management ranks of GS-13, 14, 15, and Title 38 equivalents who do not currently hold a pentad executive position. In FY 2011, there were 58 VHA employees actively in the HCLDP program, 38.3% women and 26.7% minorities.
The Executive Career Field Candidate Development Program (ECFCDP) provides developmental opportunities for the preparation in applying for executive vacancies. There were 49 VHA employees actively enrolled in the FY 2010 ECFCDP class, 56.8% women and 18.9% minorities.
The Graduate Healthcare Administration Training Program (GHATP) consists of three development programs that are designed to prepare today’s promising candidates
to become tomorrow’s VHA administration leaders by providing career development opportunities to highly qualified individuals. There were 75 VHA employees actively enrolled in FY 2010, 60.6% women and 39.4% minorities.
The Technical Career Field (TCF) program is used to develop employees in fields where full-time training in VHA procedures and regulations is required. There were 285 VHA employees actively enrolled in FY 2010, 46.1% women and 38% minorities.
The Employee Incentive Scholarship Program (EISP) authorizes award scholarships to employees pursing degrees or training in health care disciplines for which recruitment and retention of qualified personnel is difficult. In FY 2011, the total number of participants receiving EISP scholarships were 3,155, which totaled $31,023,478.
The National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI) is a component of the EISP, which provides scholarships to registered nurses. In FY 2011, 2,573 NNEI scholarships were awarded, which totaled $18,073,768.
The VA Nursing Education for Employees Program (VANEEP)is another component of EISP, which provides VA facilities replacement salary dollars for scholarship participants to accelerate their degree completion by attending school full time. In FY 2011, 315 VANEEP scholarships were awarded, which totaled $11,064,058.
The Education Debt Reduction Program (EDRP) enhances recruitment and retention of health professionals that are required to meet VHA staffing needs. In FY 2011, 257 EDRP applications were approved with a value of $7,970,596; 3302 active EDRP awards were managed with value of $18,878,841.
The VA Learning Opportunity Residency (VALOR) Program is a VA-sponsored honors program for junior and senior year students in Nursing, Pharmacy and Medical Technology Programs. In FY 2011, 46 awards were received by VHA employees who attended HSI, which totaled $284,003.
A variety of other training and career development opportunities were offered to VBA employees that included: Introduction to Leadership (ILT) Training, Division Leadership Management Training (DLMT), Assistant Director Development Program (ADDP), Leadership Development Program (LDP), Leadership Coaching Program (LCP), Presidential Fellows Program (PMF) and the Senior Executive Series Career Development Program (SESCDP).
VBA also continued its internal recruitment initiatives through employee development and career planning programs such as the Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD) Program. Of the thirty-five (35) candidates in the FY 2011 program, there were 7 White women, 15 White men, 6 African American women, 2 African American men, 2 Asian women, 1 Hispanic woman, and 2 Hispanic men.
In an effort to increase women and minorities in leadership positions, NCA established a Cemetery Director Intern program which has proven to be a successful tool to assist women and minorities with advancing into leadership positions. The 2010 -2011 graduating class consisted of 2 African American women, 1 African American man, 1 Asian Pacific Islander woman, and 3 White men.
Ninety percent (90%) of our SES leadership team, consisting of 5 White men, 1 Hispanic man, 1 White woman, and 1 Black woman has participated in Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity, & Conflict Management Training for SES Members and Equivalents.
NCA continues to conduct supervisory training to help develop core supervisory skills which enables supervisors to management more effectively. In FY 2011 2 supervisory sessions were held training forty (40) supervisors.
In FY 2011 NCA started a new training program for Cemetery Caretakers. As of September 2011, 58 supervisory employees have completed the course.
During FY 2011, NCA received 5 new Senior Executive Service positions, 2 women were appointed.
Hispanic Career Development Opportunities:
44 of the colleges and universities affiliated with VHA facilities are HSIs. These affiliations resulted in 1,438 paid and 5,547 WOC students from these HSIs receiving part of their required clinical education in a VA facility in FY 2010. The total dollar support for students at HSIs for FY 2010 was $56,624,170.
2 Hispanic women and 1 Hispanic man participated in the VHA FY 2011 SESCDP program.
1 Hispanic man was selected to participate in the FY 2011 VHA LVA program.
In FY 2011, there were 1,288 VHA Facility LEAD participants, 2.4% Hispanic men and 3.9% Hispanic women. There were also 653 VISN LEAD participants, 2.9% Hispanic men and 5.0% Hispanic women.
In FY 2011, there were 58 VHA employees actively in the HCLDP program, 3.3% Hispanic men and 1.7% Hispanic women.
There were 49 VHA employees actively enrolled in the FY 2011 ECFCDP class, 2.7% Hispanic women and no Hispanic men.
There were 75 participants in the VHA GHATP program during FY 2011, 1.4% Hispanic women and no Hispanic men.
There were 285 VHA employees actively enrolled in the TCF program during FY 2011, 3.9% Hispanic men and 2.5% Hispanic women.
In FY 2011, the total number of participants receiving EISP scholarships were 3,155, which totaled $31,023,478. Of those, 88 (2.9%) were awarded to VHA Employees who attended Hispanic Serving Institutions, which totaled $1,222,332.
In FY 2011, 2,573 NNEI scholarships were awarded, which totaled $18,073,768. Of those, 53 (2.1%) were awarded to VHA Employees who attended Hispanic Serving Institutions, which totaled $335,938.
In FY 2011, 315 VANEEP scholarships were awarded, which totaled $11,064,058 Of these, 27 (8.6%) were awarded to VHA Employees who attended Hispanic Serving Institutions, which totaled $846,189.
In FY 2011, there were 228 active EDRP participants who attended HACU affiliated schools.
In FY 2011, 46 VALOR awards were received by VHA employees who attended HSIs, which totaled $284,003.
In FY 2011, VBA had 13 Hispanic employees in Introduction to Leadership (ILT) Training, 2 Hispanic employees in Division Leadership Management Training (DLMT), 2 Hispanic employees in Leadership Development Program (LDP), and 3 Hispanic employees in the Leadership Coaching Program (LCP).
In FY 2011, the President of the United States appointed Steve L. Muro, the first Hispanic American Under Secretary of Memorial Affairs.
The top NCA executive leader, Mr. Muro, served as a keynote speaker at 2 Hispanic events, the Federal Hispanic Women’s Executive Career Enhancement Conference and the Empowering Future Leaders through Interagency Collaboration Meeting.
All VA career development programs have a mentor component, which allows the participants to receive individual coaching, mentoring, and career guidance.
The VACO Leadership Development Mentoring Program (LDMP) is a career development tool that allows participants to gain skills in leadership, conflict resolution, communications, problem solving, and diversity.
The VHA Mentor Certification Program provides structured training to ensure that VHA is equipped with skilled certified mentors, coaches and preceptors. The program also encourages informal mentoring by providing a national list of certified mentors that mentees may contact to inquire about their mentoring needs. As of September 30, 2011, the program certified 1,561 mentors at the resident level and 1,293 mentors at the fellow level, a total of 2,144 VHA mentors.
All VBA training and career development programs have a mentor component in order for the participants to receive individual coaching, mentoring, and career guidance.
NCA continues to conduct formal mentoring through the Cemetery Director Intern program, providing mentees an opportunity to expand their knowledge of leadership skills and management practices with an experienced individual. Upon graduation from the Cemetery Intern Program, all graduates are assigned mentors to provide guidance on duty requirements specific to their assignments.
Hispanics employees who are in the career development programs receive are enrolled in the mentoring programs mentioned above.