The national Department of Veterans Affairs is on a torrid hiring pace, a pace reflected locally, as well.
The Veterans Health Administration increased its total workforce by 13,627, representing growth of 3.6%, between October 2022 and April 2023, the highest growth rate for VHA in more than 20 years, the VA said Monday. (The federal government’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1.)
The Veteran Benefits Administration hired 4,120 employees during the same time period, the highest growth rate for VBA in 15 years, the VA also said.
VHA now has 393,500 employees, and VBA now has more than 28,000 employees for the first time, the VA said.
Locally, the Dayton VA has hired 231 full-time people so far for fiscal year 2023, from Oct. 1, 2022 until today.
That represents 12.5% growth from last year’s hiring pace, a spokeswoman for the Dayton VA said Monday.
The Dayton VA has 2,251 full-time employees.
This hiring push is coming at a time when the VA is working to meet the requirements of the PACT Act, the largest expansion of veterans’ care and benefits in generations.
The act makes it easier for veterans who were exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange or other chemicals to be diagnosed and receive medical care.
“At VA, we’re hiring and retaining the best, most talented, and dedicated employees in health care — because veterans deserve to be treated by the very best,” VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement. “With this hiring push, we’re bringing on new people with one goal in mind: providing world-class care to every veteran who entrusts us with their health.”
Last year, the VA processed a record number of veterans benefit claims, delivering more than $112 billion to veterans, the department said.
So far, the department is 15% ahead of that record pace in 2023.
Also last year, the VA saw more than 91 million outpatient visits for the 9 million veterans enrolled in VA health care.
In total, VHA said it aims to hire a record 52,000 new employees in fiscal year 2023 to meet increasing demand from veterans.