VR&E - Non-Paid Work Experience

The Department of Veterans Affairs Non-Paid Work Experience (NPWE) program provides eligible Veterans and Servicemembers the opportunity to obtain training and practical job experience concurrently.  This program is ideal for Veterans or Servicemembers who have a clearly established career goal, and who learn easily in a hands-on environment.  This program is also well suited to Veterans or Servicemembers who are having difficulties obtaining employment due to lack of work experience.  NPWE programs may be established in federal, state, or local (e.g. city, town, school district) government agencies only.  The employer may hire the Veteran or Servicemember at any point during the NPWE.

Steps to Setting up a NPWE program

  • The employer provides a training outline to identify tools, equipment, uniforms and/or supplies required of all employees that the Veteran or Servicemember will need prior to entering training
  • The employer, with assistance from the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) or Employment Coordinator (EC), identifies specific job objectives for the Veteran to accomplish during the NPWE.  The employer indicates the length of time it should take the Veteran to accomplish each objective
  • The employer signs the form designation of Certifying Officials.  On this form, the employer lists staff who he/she authorizes to sign any documents relating to the NPWE
  • The employer signs a Veterans Administration Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal Opportunity Laws
  • The employer completes the Monthly Record of Training and Wages form for each Veteran and submit to the VRC or EC every month

Benefits to the Employer 

  • The employer interviews the Veteran or Servicemember prior to the NPWE
  • The employer incurs no cost
  • The NPWE participant does not count toward the number of full-time employees (FTE) 
  • Federal employers may use Special Hiring Authorities to directly hire NPWE participants without a competitive recruitment
  • VA refers qualified Veterans or Servicemembers to the employer 
  • Employer has the VA support during the NPWE to assist with Veteran or Servicemember training related needs
  • The employer does not pay a salary to the Veteran.  The VA provides a monthly subsistence allowance paid directly to the Veteran

When an employer participates in a NPWE the VA VRC and/or the Employment Coordinator will assist in completing all required forms.  Therefore, the burden does not fall solely on the employer, reducing the amount of time it takes to complete the paperwork for the NPWE.

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