Who Is OIT?
VA’s IT Employees Reflect on the Meaning of Public Service at VA
When thinking about the Office of Information and Technology, most people think of network servers, laptops, and useful applications. But there is much more to OIT than just the technology. OIT is filled with dedicated professionals, most of whom are Veterans themselves, working hard every day to assist VA in delivering the very best services for America’s Veterans.
The following interviews with OIT professionals from VA facilities around the country showcase the impact OIT initiatives have on Veteran services as well as a few personal stories. They also show that working at OIT is not just about systems, software, hardware, and applications: Our employees feel a personal connection and commitment to our Nation’s Veterans that VA serves.
Barbara Romeo, an IT Specialist from the Orlando VA Medical Center, said “You get very close to the Veterans when you work with them in a place [like this]. When I see them in the hallway, I don’t ever pass a Veteran without smiling, or saying “Hi,” or thanking them for their service. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be here, so they are top of mind to all of us.”
“These are not just numbers,” said San Francisco-based IT Specialist Felicia Fisher, “these are real lives, real stories, real people. And we’ve just got to do the best we can every day for our Nation’s Veterans. It’s just the right thing to do.”
These stories also reflect OIT Executive in Charge Camilo Sandoval’s personal commitment to connecting OIT’s work to the real needs of America’s Veterans. “We are an organization committed to IT excellence, driven by our vision of a world-class IT organization that provides a seamless, unified Veteran experience through the delivery of state-of-the-art technology.”
Investing in Our People
We recognize our greatest asset is our people. So, in addition to our IT Modernization, we’re modernizing our workforce. Workforce development is critical in an IT world that’s continually evolving, and OIT’s 8,000 employees — a majority of whom are Veterans themselves — must have the necessary resources to continue their education and evolve their careers to keep pace in this shifting IT landscape. We must also work to recruit and retain the talent VA needs to drive exceptional customer service to our Veterans.
This year, we’ve:
- Awarded 100+ applications for the Student Loan Repayment Program, easing employees’ student loan debt they’ve incurred building the skills required for this new environment. They’ve invested in VA, so we’re investing in them.
- Implemented an OIT Human Capital Recruitment initiative that has shown immediate improvement in hiring trends through:
- LinkedIn Recruitment Initiative
- Resume Mining
- Talent Acquisition cell to broaden outreach
- Department of Labor Workforce Recruitment Program to attract Schedule A candidates and recent graduates
- OIT-wide Vets 2 Feds global recruitment
- OIT Info Security/Cyber Security Incentive Pay
- Established Human Capital Management as a customer-centric organization with a “Customer First: Process Improvement“ focus.
VA MOVES UP BEST PLACES TO WORK
THIS YEAR, VA MOVED UP 11 POSITIONS, FROM NUMBER 17 TO NUMBER 6, IN PARTNERSHIP FOR PUBLIC SERVICE’S BEST PLACES TO WORK IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INDEX.