The Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Wounded Veterans Internship Program was launched in September 2006 with the support of the Federal Highway Administration. The program is an initiative to assist veterans with the transition from military to full-time civilian employment. The program focuses on disabled veterans that have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq who are unable to return to a former job due to physical or emotional disabilities or because the position is no longer available.
VDOT was the first transportation department in the nation to create such a program and has served as a model for other states across the country. The program allows veterans to revamp previous job skills or develop new skills.
VDOT works with many veteran service organizations to implement the program, which attempts to locate internships near the participant’s home and rehabilitation facility.
Internship placement depends on aptitudes and interests, and could be in areas such as planning, finance, project management, security, procurement, quality control, information systems, engineering, civil rights, and human resources.
Internships last from 12 to 18 months, depending on the needs of the veterans and the VDOT office where they are placed. Veterans are compensated at an hourly rate determined by the skill sets involved and the position where the intern is placed. Placement depends upon the veteran’s aptitudes, interests and the needs of the department.
The program has been very successful in providing transitions for wounded veterans seeking to return to the workforce. Veterans in the program can compete for full-time VDOT jobs, or they can be introduced to jobs in the private sector or another government agency.
For more information about the program and how to apply click here.