The VA Acquisition Academy Acquisition Internship School’s Warriors to Workforce Program (W2W) is designed to prepare severely wounded Veterans for a successful transition into a career as a contract specialist (GS-1102). This training provides wounded veteran “interns” with the training and education to support a Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) Levels I and II, and prepares them to become trusted business partners capable of exercising sound business judgment to achieve best value solutions that serve the Veteran. The program leverages a training program that focuses on developing the mental and emotional strengths needed to success in their new endeavors.
Program Year One Interns are hired as GS-1106 procurement technicians at grade 5. In the first year of the program, interns complete the necessary College courses to satisfy the 24 hours of business credits required for entry into the contract specialist GS-1102 job series. In addition to earning the required College business credits, a very critical component of the W2W program is performance training and performance psychology—applications that have proven to be more effective than traditional training and development methods. This approach supports the evidence that under conditions of high stress and demand, the ability to manage mental, emotional and physiological responses is paramount to achieving extraordinary performance. The W2W curriculum provides a mental skills training component that focuses on developing mental and emotional strengths needed to succeed in this challenging career series. Additionally, year one of the program exposes the intern to contracting fundamentals. Program Years Two and Three Upon successful completion of the first year, interns convert to contract specialists in the Acquisition Intern Program. The curriculum is based on the 32 Federal Acquisition Institute-defined contracting workforce General Business and Technical Competencies found at www.fai.gov. If all aspects of the program are successfully completed, interns are eligible for the appropriate proficiency level I and II of Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C). Upon successful completion of the program, interns are strategically infused into the workforce to meet the needs of VA contracting organizations throughout the country.