The competition, which aims to generate new ideas to help service-disabled veterans obtain meaningful employment, received more than 700 proposals submitted by department employees.
According to VA, peer review, enabled by crowd-sourcing technology and combined with input from internal and external reviewers, identified 12 finalists in this competition to improve vocational rehabilitation and employment VetSuccess services to veterans.
“This innovation competition underscores the commitment of VA employees to making a positive difference in the way this department serves veterans in the 21st century,“ said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “Our transformation relies heavily on the talent and expertise of our front-line employees to streamline operations, improve services and do what is best for veterans while protecting taxpayers' dollars.“
The VAi2 executive selection board will choose those innovations most suited for implementation following the presentations of the 12 finalists. Deputy Secretary of Veteran Affairs W. Scott Gould chairs the board, comprised of the under secretaries for benefits and health, and VA's chief information and technology officers.
“The competition highlights an important role for VA, which is to ensure that veterans with service-connected disabilities successfully transition from military to civilian employment, achieving maximum independence,“ said VA Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey. “I am very excited about these innovative proposals. They come straight from our employees who work with veterans every day.“