Sending Office: Honorable Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon
Sent By:
Natalia.Gandia@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague,

Please join me in supporting the Veterans Serving Veterans Act of 2018.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) suffers chronic staffing shortages that affect the quality and timeliness of services offered to veterans. The Veterans Serving Veterans Act directs the Secretary of the VA to establish a vacancy recruitment database
to facilitate the recruitment of certain members of the Armed Forces to satisfy occupational needs within the Department.

There are multiple positions within the VA that share the same skill sets within the Department of Defense (DOD) military occupational specialties. Additionally, employment after separation from the military is beneficial for veterans from both a financial
and psychological perspective. The database, known as the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs Recruitment Database, would provide the military occupational specialty or skill that corresponds to each vacant position, in consultation with the Secretary
of the Department of Defense, as well as each qualified members of the Armed Forces who may be recruited to fill the position prior to discharge and release from active duty. The Secretary shall them implement direct hiring and appointment procedures for vacant
positions listed in the database for qualified members of the Armed Forces who apply for these positions.

The Veterans Serving Veterans Act also requires the Secretary of the VA to implement a program to train and certify covered veterans to work as Intermediate Care Technicians (ICT) in the Department.  A “covered veteran” will be defined as a veteran who the
Secretary determines served as a basic health care technician while serving in the Armed Forces.

Thousands of former military health care providers from all branches of the Armed Services separate from the DOD. Yet, despite their training and experience, they do not possess a civilian certificate allowing them to continue in the occupations for which
they were trained. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has a shortage of clinical positions that could potentially be filled by these former service members and the VHA has instituted a pilot program to train and utilize these ICTs at VA facilities in
a variety of roles. Utilizing ICTs would reduce veteran unemployment and the shortage of clinicians within VHA. Veterans would benefit from having greater access to care and to be cared for by fellow veterans.

If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor, please contact Natalia Gandia via email at
natalia.gandia@mail.house.gov or 202-225-2615.

Sincerely,

Jenniffer González-Colón

Representative of Puerto Rico. At-Large

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Labor, Veterans

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