Rep. Takano Introduces Comprehensive Legislation to Streamline and Strengthen Hiring Practices at the VA

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), vice ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, introduced legislation today that would address chronic workforce shortages at the Department of Veterans Affairs by transforming VA’s ability to attract, hire, and retain talented workers. The Better Workforce for Veterans Act would support the VA’s efforts to build a workforce that is equipped to provide veterans the high-quality care they deserve.

The bill is a companion to legislation introduced last month by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the ranking member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. 

“The success of the Department of Veterans Affairs depends on its ability to fill roughly 50,000 vacant positions with talented and dedicated individuals,” said Rep. Takano. “This bill gives VA the tools it needs to attract workers that will bring a culture of excellence to every facility in every community across the country.”

The comprehensive legislation addresses several obstacles that prevent the department from filling open positions by:

  • Strengthening VA’s direct-hiring authority to streamline the process for hiring qualified candidates, particularly in rural areas;
  • Improving VA’s ability to attract college students and recent graduates through its Pathways Program, which is critical given that just 5 percent of VA employees are under the age of 30;
  • Establishing a database for vacant and hard-to-fill positions; and
  • Expediting hiring for leadership positions by making the application process more attractive to private sector employees.

The full legislative text of the Better Workforce for Veterans Act is available here.

Press Contact

Josh Weisz, 202-225-2305