Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) for College Students with Disabilities

Woman sitting at deskThe Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) connects VA offices with highly motivated postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities for summer internships or permanent jobs. This program is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense. WRP has provided employment opportunities to over 5,500 students since 1995.

Eligibility Requirements

Program applicants must have a disability, be U.S. citizens, and be enrolled in and seeking a degree from an accredited institution of higher learning on a substantially full-time basis. Exceptions are made if the severity of the disability precludes the student from taking a substantially full-time course load. Otherwise, the applicant must have graduated within the past year, or must be enrolled in and seeking a degree from such an institution and be taking less than a substantially full-time course load in the enrollment period immediately prior to graduation. Read more about student eligibility requirements.

Qualifications

Schools participating in the WRP are accredited by one of the accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. These schools provide a one-day schedule of at least eight eligible students for a WRP recruiter to interview. WRP does not work directly with individual students but works through points of contact at these schools.

General Training and Developmental Experiences

This may vary by career field. Please contact the WRP Program Coordinator at wrp@dol.gov for more information.

Application Process

​​WRP recruiters from Federal agencies conduct personal interviews with interested students on college and university campuses across the country. The schedule of recruitment visits to schools is confirmed by early August and posted online under the Resources section of the WRP website.

Recruitment visits, which include 30-minute personal interviews with individual candidates, are conducted from September through November.

By early December, a database composed of student applications and profiles is made available to employers in the public and private sectors. Once the database is released, interested employers make direct contact with students about temporary and permanent job offers. The database is active for one year.

Program Information

Website: 
VA Diversity Programs:
http://www.diversity.va.gov/programs
/internship.aspx

Workforce Recruitment Program (ODEP information): 
http://www.dol.gov/odep/wrp/

Contact Information: 
If you are an eligible student, share information about WRP with your school's disability services or career services coordinator and ask him or her to contact the WRP Coordinator at:

Office of Disability Employment Policy
200 Constitution Avenue, NW Room S1303
Washington, D.C. 20210 
wrp@dol.gov 
Phone: 202-376-6200
http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs
/brochures/wrp1.html

FAQ

Program Size: 

VA's goal for FY 2013 was to hire approximately 40 WRP summer interns VA-wide. 

Government-wide, more than 2,000 students were selected to be part of WRP in 2012. During the summer of 2011 more than 500 students were reported as being hired – the majority in summer jobs. Students have been hired in over 40 different agencies and sub-agencies. 

Service Obligation: 
WRP interns are generally hired for the summer. Many resume their studies following their internship, while others have the opportunity to continue their service with VA in their current office or other vacant positions. If the student has a severe disability, he or she can be considered for full-time, permanent VA employment under the Schedule A hiring authority.

Current Career Fields:
WRP participants represent all academic disciplines and range from college freshmen to graduate and law students. Disciplines include: 

  • Accountant/Auditor 
  • Analyst 
  • Engineer 
  • Information Technology Specialist 
  • Investigator 
  • Lawyer 
  • Psychologist 
  • Public Affairs Specialist 
  • Scientist 
  • Technical Writer and Editor

After Program Completion

VA's goal is to convert 20 percent of employment-ready WRP interns to full-time, permanent employees, where vacancies exist.

WRP launches successful careers for many students with disabilities. The WRP also helps VA meet its goal to have one hire in 50 hires be a person with a targeted disability and supports the new Executive Order to increase the employment rate of people with disabilities.