A Message from the Director
Now Hiring: Serving Those Who Served
By WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos
The heartbeat of our State Veterans Homes are the members of the WDVA team who provide compassionate health care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even though the work is demanding, the satisfaction of Serving Those Who Served keeps our dedicated team inspired.
In many cases, our team members doing the day-to-day care for our residents are Certified Nursing Assistants and without them, we could not operate. It has become harder and harder to recruit and retain these caregivers and right now our Veterans Home in Port Orchard is feeling the biggest impact of this shortage with 19 open CNA positions.
We are making some important changes that will allow us to compete in what has turned into an extremely competitive labor market. First, we are working with the Washington Federation of State Employees, shop stewards, and homes leaders to address issues of work-life balance by offering alternating schedules that will allow staff to have rotating weekends off. We have also implemented a new policy of not requiring mandatory overtime within the first 60 days of being hired.
When it comes to offering competitive wages, Certified Nursing Assistants received a pay raise that started on July 1. We hope that the pay increase along with benefits such as health care, retirement and deferred compensation savings programs will make working for a State Veterans Home more attractive to CNAs in our communities!
Our hiring managers and HR professionals are working with 11 candidates right now to fill more than half of the open positions, but there is still more to do in that area. One improvement we made is offering an application kiosk and assistance in Building 10 at the Veterans Home to make it easier to apply for a job. And we are conducting an On-The-Spot Hiring Fair on July 9 from 9am to 4pm. If you or someone you know is a Certified Nursing Assistant looking for a career that allows you to give back to your community and provide compassionate care to Veterans, we want to interview you on July 9th!
To our residents, their families and our teams at the State Veterans Homes, thank you for your patience as we work through these hiring challenges and please continue to share your ideas, suggestions and comments!
Register Now for the 4th Annual
Serving Those Who Served Conference
For a more detailed look at the agenda, please contact Melissa Rhault at MelissaR@dva.wa.gov
Recognizing Employers Who Hire Veterans - 2019 YesVets Employer Recognition Ceremony
VIEW FULL AGENDA: YesVets.org/Schedule
For more information on this event, please contact GaryL@dva.wa.gov
Centennial Celebration at Port Orchard Veterans Home
Residents, staff and family members celebrated the 100th Birthday of Port Orchard Washington Veterans Home Resident and U.S. Navy Veteran, Stanley, during a ceremony held on May 24, 2019.
Along with numerous family members present, he also received a special letter from President Trump, Governor Inslee, Port Orchard Mayor and more. During the special celebration, root beer floats (his favorite dessert) were served alongside fresh veggies, shrimp, birthday cake and more.
We would like to thank everyone that made this historic event one that he will never forget
Learn more about the Washington Veterans Home in Port Orchard by visiting:
Seeking Funding for Veterans Memorials?
Spokane Veterans Home Celebrates Dad for Father's Day
The Spokane Veterans Home recently held their Annual Father’s Day Celebration and the local VFW came to support and make this function possible.
Spokane Veterans Home Residents also had a special visit from the Combat Vet Motorcycle Association, who attended to honor a specific veteran. Robert Hall was honored by the VFW for his service and they also honored him with a personalized shadow box containing all of the military service medals he was awarded during his service to our country.
It was an overall amazing day honoring "dad's" special day and we enjoyed the many family, friends and delicious food that was available during this special celebration. #WeLoveOurCommunity
Learn more about the Spokane Veterans Home by visiting:
Washington Soldiers Home Adaptive Gardening Program
Residents had the opportunity to soak up the sunshine as they carefully choose and planted their summer flowers and vegetables in the raised garden boxes at the Washington Soldiers Home.
We would like to send a special thank you to Northwest Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America (NWPVA) and all other donors for their donations of plants and contributions to the WSH Gardening Fund at Orting Floral and Greenhouse. #WeLoveOurCommunity
Learn more about the Washington Soldiers Home by visiting:
Now Hiring at Four Veterans Homes Across the State
Are you a CNA, RN or LPN looking for a career that allows you to give back to your community and provide compassionate care to Veterans? Contact Recruiters@dva.wa.gov for more information or visit: www.governmentjobs.com/careers/washington/?keywords=wdva
Help Serve Veterans on Your Campus
For more information, contact Jason Alves at JasonA@dva.wa.gov
Apply Now for Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC) Internships
Healing nature, healing themselves
The Veterans Conservation Corps Program
By providing various training and volunteer opportunities, the VCC helps to not only restore and protect Washington's natural resources, but also provides an environment for veterans to reach out to other veterans and learn more about their earned benefits and other available resources.
We recently sat down with a couple of veterans in the VCC program and picked their brain about their personal experiences as a VCC intern and/or coordinator.
Beau Gromley, Thurston County, SFC/E7 (USMC & US Army)
"This VCC program is designed for veterans that are not only dedicated to one another but are truly good stewards of the planet.
Entering into a VCC internship made it possible for me to complete my degree while designing and building an urban farm that supports veterans and their families transitioning out of the military.
The program is instrumental in integrating veterans within the local community and various important ecological projects throughout Washington. Being able to gain practical, hands-on experience and having the VCC/WDVA support network is a game-changer when it comes to setting yourself apart from the competition of finding employment.
I learned that for some, ‘dirt therapy' and/or providing peer-to-peer support in an agricultural setting is an extremely effective way to connect with veterans who otherwise may not make that connection.
The VCC is made up out of the type of people that go out of their way to make sure that you feel wanted, respected and valued.
Thinking back to my very first experience, I can remember that it was a beautiful clear morning, we had a small group of volunteers that showed up to help plant some native medicinal herbs in an herb garden and participate in what turned out to be a very beautiful and intimate ceremony. After the ceremony, a fellow veteran came up to me with tears in his eyes and thanked ME for doing this. I then told him that this was not me that did this, it was US. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE (Via Northwest Military)
To apply for any of the above and/or additional Veterans Conservation Corps Internships, contact Kim Pham at Kim@dva.wa.gov
WDVA Hot Jobs - APPLY NOW
Director of Nursing Services (Spokane)
More Info: Please visit Employment to see the opportunities that we have!
You can also contact a recruiter at Karimah.Ly@dva.wa.gov
Hired a Veteran? Sign Up Today at www.YesVets.org
After you’ve notified us that you’ve hired a veteran, we will contact you to arrange delivery of your YesVets decals, to be prominently and proudly displayed at your place of business.
Thank you for your support of those who served!
Visit www.YesVets.org for more information and to signup!
View our WDVA Calendar to stay updated with upcoming events to attend
July 2019 EVENTS
TO VIEW OUR JUNE CALENDAR, CLICK HERE
WDVA Web Calendar: www.dva.wa.gov/calendar
WDVA Facebook Calendar: www.facebook.com/WSDVA/Events