Warriors to Workforce (W2W) Frequently Asked Questions - Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)
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Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA)

 

Warriors to Workforce (W2W) Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Contract Specialist?
  2. What kind of work does a Contract Specialist do at VA?
  3. What skills do I need to be successful as a Contract Specialist?
  4. What are the qualifications for the W2W program?
  5. What are the options for those with 24 Business Credits or possess a bachelor’s degree?
  6. Is the W2W Intern Program only for service-connected Veterans?
  7. How do I apply for the W2W program?
  8. When does the W2W Program start and how long is it?
  9. Where can I find information on my Post 09/11 GI Bill Benefits?
  10. Can I use my Post 09/11 GI Benefits during the W2W Intern Program?
  11. Where do I apply for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services?
  12. Why apply for the VA W2W Internship Program?
  13. How will eligible candidates be selected?
  14. What resume format is required for Program consideration?
  15. Where would I report for work?
  16. Does the VAAA pay for relocation expenses to Frederick, MD?
  17. Will the VAAA provide housing during the program?
  18. Will the VA pay for my relocation expenses to the location of my permanent job placement?
  19. Are participants allowed to go to medical appointments during work hours?
  20. What is a Mobility Statement?
  21. What is a Continuing Service Agreement (CSA)?

1.  What is a Contract Specialist?

Contract Specialists are buyers for the U.S. Government.  They participate in decisions about how to fulfill agency missions, plan for the purchase of goods and services from the private sector, and negotiate, award, and manage contracts.  Their work is diverse, challenging, and meaningful.  Contract Specialists contribute at varying levels of skill and expertise and there is considerable opportunity for growth and increased responsibility for those who excel and are passionate about their careers.

2.  What kind of work does a Contract Specialist do at VA?

Federal acquisition professionals, including Contract Specialists, make strategic and innovative business decisions to help the United States acquire the vital goods and services to help the VA meet our mission of serving Veterans.  Contract Specialists act as business partners to operations to plan for and acquire a wide range of goods and services.

3.  What skills do I need to be successful as a Contract Specialist?

This career field requires a combination of soft skills and professional disciplines:  Critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, oral and written communication, negotiating, risk management, customer service, financial management, accounting, record keeping, regulatory knowledge, research, marketing, and many others.

4.  What are the qualifications for the W2W program?

  • Candidates for the program must have a high school diploma (or equivalent) with little to no post-secondary education (i.e. have not earned a bachelor’s degree and has taken less than six business credits).
  • Candidates must be eligible for hire under the Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA) Authority External link to a government website.
  • If you have too many business credits, or already have a degree and are interested in our Acquisition Intern Program (AIP), please visit our website.

5.  What are the options for those with 24 Business Credits or possess a bachelor’s degree?

Candidates who have completed their Bachelor’s Degree or who have completed a minimum of 24 college-level business courses are eligible to apply directly for Contract Specialist positions on USA Jobs, and can also apply for the Acquisition Intern Program (AIP). For more information about the AIP, please see the Acquisition Internship website.

6.  Is the W2W Intern Program only for service-connected Veterans?

The W2W Program is intended to assist Veterans with service-connected disabilities as well as a son, daughter, or spouse of a Veteran who died or is permanently and totally disabled as the result of a service-connected disability.  The disability must arise out of active service in the Armed Forces.

Eligibility requirements can be found at http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/other_programs/dea.html.

7.  How do I apply for the W2W program?

Send us your resume in an email to VAAAW2W@va.gov.

8.  When does the W2W Program start and how long is it?

The W2W Program convenes annually in early September.  The W2W Program is approximately one year long, but those who successfully complete it will matriculate to the two-year Acquisition Intern Program (AIP).

9.  Where can I find information on my Post 09/11 GI Bill Benefits?

Visit the VBA Education and Training website or call 888-442-4551 (Toll Free).

10. Can I use my Post 09/11 GI Benefits during the W2W Intern Program?

You are eligible for GI Bill benefits throughout the program.  If found entitled you will be placed in Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services and you will receive the Post 09/11 BAH rate for the Frederick, MD area.

11. Where do I apply for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services?

Veterans who have a VA service-connected disability rating are eligible for VR&E services. To find more information visit the VR&E website.

12. Why apply for the VA W2W Internship Program?

The W2W Program prepares interns for a long-term professional career in government acquisitions.  The VA’s mission resonates with most Veterans, as they are able to continue to serve our nation by serving fellow Veterans.

Participants are hired as full-time Federal employees with all associated benefits, including:

  • Paid leave
  • Paid Federal holidays
  • Competitive compensation packages
  • Health care benefits
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Retirement programs

Participants in the three-year paid internship program start at a GS-5. Upon successfully completing the first year, participants may be non-competitively converted to a GS-7. If the participant successfully completes year two they may be promoted to a GS-9. All promotions are based on performance and conduct.

13. How will eligible candidates be selected?

Once eligibility is established, candidates will undergo a multi-level interview process.

14. What resume format is required for Program consideration?

Candidates must use a professional format or the USAJOBS Federal Resume Format.

15. Where would I report for work?

The first year involves classroom training in Frederick, MD, and a standard work day is 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET. During the second and third year of the program, 30% of the time is spent in the classroom and 70% of the time is spent traveling to a contracting field office to gain hands-on experience via on-the-job training (OJT). Interns will travel on TDY orders when they perform official travel outside of the local travel area of their official duty station.

16. Does the VAAA pay for relocation expenses to Frederick, MD for the first year of training?

No.

17. Will the VA provide housing during the program?

No. Participants are hired as full-time federal employees and as such, are responsible for their own housing. There are many options available in Frederick MD.

18. Will the VA pay for my relocation expenses to the location of my permanent job placement?

Yes, relocation expenses will be paid if you are successful in the program and once your Permanent Change of Duty Station is determined.

19. Are interns allowed to go to medical appointments during work hours?

Yes, we support and accommodate all of the intern’s medical appointments. There are nearby VA Medical facilities (VAMC Martinsburg and FT Detrick CBOC) and an onsite Telehealth room.

20. What is a Mobility Statement?

This a requirement for all VA interns to sign that they AGREE to be mobile and are willing to accept an assignment and relocation (at government expense and in accordance with applicable regulations) to any VA Acquisition Organization where their services are needed.

21. What is a Continuing Service Agreement (CSA)?

Interns will be required to sign a CSA requiring them to serve the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a period of 36 months upon completion of the internship program. The purpose of the Warriors to Workforce/Acquisition Intern Program Continuing Service Agreement (CSA) is to prevent VA from losing valuable trained resources prematurely. The Government Employees Training Act (GETA), codified at 5 U.S.C. 4108, provides agency heads authority to determine the conditions for requiring CSAs.

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