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Starting Your Career at the U.S. Department of Labor

A Reference Guide for College Students and College Placement Officers

VI. Special Federal Hiring Authorities

The following are examples of special hiring programs for which you may be eligible for Federal employment consideration.

DOL Pathways Student Internships

As a student, you may be eligible for a student internship in DOL's Pathways Programs, which provide, among other things, temporary and ongoing student intern opportunities. Student interns gain valuable work experiences and participate in training and career development opportunities during their internships. At the conclusion of the internship, a successful intern may be converted without competition to a permanent Federal competitive service appointment.

To be eligible for a student internship, you must:

  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis in degree-seeking program at a qualifying educational institution; and
  • Maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0-point scale

To demonstrate eligibility for a student internship, you must submit a copy of your current college transcript or other official documentation showing that you meet the eligibility criteria described above.

Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA)

The VEOA allows veterans' preference eligibles and other veterans who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions to apply and be considered for certain vacancies that are otherwise open only to status or reinstatement-eligible applicants outside of DOL.

To be eligible under VEOA, you must be one of the following:

  • A veterans' preference eligible; or
  • A veteran who was separated from the armed forces after substantially completing three or more years of continuous active service performed under honorable conditions.

To claim eligibility under VEOA, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

A copy of your DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," preferably the Member 4 copy. If you are claiming eligibility based on 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit a Standard Form 15 (SF-15), "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference."

Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA)

Under VRA, an agency may hire eligible veterans without competition up to the GS-11 grade level. Upon satisfactory completion of two years of service in a VRA appointment, the appointee must be converted to a permanent appointment in the Federal competitive appointment.

To be eligible for a VRA appointment, you must have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions and be one of the following:

  • A disabled veteran; or
  • In receipt of a campaign badge for service during a war or in a campaign or expedition; or
  • In receipt of an Armed Forces Service Medal for participation in a military operation; or
  • A recently-separated veteran, i.e., who was separated within the last three years).

To claim eligibility for a VRA appointment, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

A copy of your DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," preferably the Member 4 copy. If you are claiming eligibility based on 10-point veterans' preference, you must also submit a Standard Form 15 (SF-15), "Application for 10-Point Veterans' Preference."

Temporary or Term Appointment of 30% or More Disabled Veterans

Under this authority, an agency may appoint, without competition, an eligible disabled veteran to a term or temporary appointment in the Federal service. In appropriate circumstances, a person receiving a temporary or term appointment under this authority may be converted to a permanent competitive service appointment.

To be eligible for appointment under this authority, you must be a veteran who is either:

  • Retired from active military service with a disability rating of 30 percent or more; or
  • Rated by the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) as having a compensable, service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.

To claim eligibility for appointment under this authority, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

  • A copy of your DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," preferably the Member 4 copy and/or other official document showing that you retired from active military service with a disability of 30 percent or more; or
  • A certification by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ("VA letter") indicating that you have a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more.

Persons with Severe Physical or Mental Disabilities (Schedule A)

Under this authority, a person with severe physical or mental disabilities may be appointed without competition to an excepted service position on a temporary or non-temporary basis. Upon completion of two years of satisfactory service under a non-temporary Schedule A appointment, the appointee may be converted to a permanent appointment in the competitive service.

To be eligible for consideration under this authority, you must submit the following documentation with your application:

  • Proof of disability (i.e., a record, statement, or other appropriate documentation confirming a severe physical, mental, or psychiatric disability) issued by a licensed medical professional, a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any Federal or State agency that issues or provides disability benefits; and
  • A certification of job readiness from a licensed medical professional, a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any Federal or State agency that issues or provides disability benefits. Such document must certify that you are likely to succeed in performing the duties of the position for which you are applying.
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