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Workforce Recruitment Program: Helping Job Seekers with Disabilities

Workforce Recruitment Program: Helping Job Seekers with Disabilities

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By Tiffany Sappington, GCDF
Career Coach, APUS

Are you ready to serve as an advocate for disability inclusion in the federal workforce? The federal government has a unique program designed to provide federal job opportunities for people with disabilities.

Start a management degree at American Public University.

The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) for individuals with disabilities is a recruitment and referral program coordinated by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Defense. It connects federal employers with highly motivated individuals who are eager to demonstrate their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.

The WRP provides an opportunity for candidates eligible under the Schedule A Hiring Authority to highlight their professional abilities and gain visibility to potential federal employers via the Workforce Recruitment Program database.

Qualifications for Participation in the Workforce Recruitment Program

To participate in the WRP this year, applicants must meet these qualifications:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be a person with a disability and be eligible for hiring under the Schedule A Hiring Authority
  • Be a current and full-time, degree-seeking post-secondary student OR have graduated from an institution on or after April 1, 2018

NOTE: You may participate in the Workforce Recruitment Program if you meet all other requirements for it, and you have a reduced course load due to a disability or have less than a full-time course load in the enrollment period immediately prior to graduation.

Required Steps to Register for the WRP

  1. AMU and APU current students and alumni must complete the WRP Request Form to express their interest in participation, then return it to Career Services.
  2. Students must visit wrp.gov to register for an account and complete an application. Once you’re notified that your registration has been approved, return to wrp.gov, click “New Student Application,” upload the required documentation and submit it. WRP will send a confirmation email once your application has been submitted.

NOTE: You must be able to provide a Schedule A letter to a potential employer if you’re approached about potential job opportunities. If you have not obtained a Schedule A letter, please reach out to your doctor, as the letter may take time to obtain.

Candidates who participated in the Workforce Recruitment Program last year and want to participate again this year must register for a new website account and complete the online application by the deadline. Student profiles do not carry over from the prior year.

What to Expect after Submitting the WRP Request Form

Once you submit the WRP Request Form, the AMU and APU WRP Coordinator will reach out to you with more information on what to expect. Completion and submission of necessary forms, a resume review and a mock interview will follow.

From late October to mid-November, you will also have the opportunity to meet with a volunteer WRP recruiter via phone or video for an optional informational interview, giving you the chance to inquire about the role of a federal employee. Your AMU and APU WRP Coordinator can help arrange the interview if you prefer.

What Are the Benefits of Applying to the Workforce Recruitment Program?

The Workforce Recruitment Program is both a career exploration and advancement opportunity. The program offers participants with disabilities a chance to showcase their professional skills and examine a workplace’s culture, while paving their own career pathway.

Employment opportunities can vary widely, ranging from human resources, administrative support, information technology, accounting, legal, health and human services, and research. No matter what your degree is in, the federal government can utilize your unique skillsets, knowledge base and passion. Applying to and being accepted into the Workforce Recruitment Program will ensure your name and resume are put before federal employers.

Another benefit of applying to the WRP is the opportunity to request an informational interview. Tiffany Jolliff, a program specialist for the U.S. Department of Labor, was selected for a WRP internship in college and had such an interview with a WRP recruiter. That eventually led to a full-time position with a nonprofit in D.C., and her interview with a WRP recruiter paved the way for a successful federal career.

While an informational interview is an optional benefit of applying to the WRP, speaking with a recruiter will help you to understand what it’s like to work for the federal government. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and secure a better understanding of the industry.

workforce recruitment program timeline Sappington

The Registration Window Is Open, So Apply Now!

While the WRP does not guarantee you a job, it is a fantastic way to showcase your knowledge, skills and abilities. Registration this year closes on October 14, and all application materials must be uploaded to the WRP site by October 15 at 11:59 pm PT. You will need time to get your registration approved, gather required documentation, and complete your application, so don’t delay!

You can visit the Student Success Center in the ecampus for additional resources related to disability accommodations at AMU and APU. If you have other questions about disability accommodations as a job-seeker, feel free to check out the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) for information on free services and resources.

For questions and assistance with completing the required steps for the Workforce Recruitment Program, email us at careerservices@apus.edu or call 877-755-2787.

About the Author

Tiffany Sappington earned an undergraduate degree in Paralegal Studies from Kent State University in Ohio. Immediately after graduation, she began working in various paralegal and business intake roles at large international corporate law firms. Tiffany is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) and currently serves as a Career Coach helping students interested in business, law, education, and human services-related careers.

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