As Silicon Valley companies continue to lay off tech workers, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) remains committed to hiring technology professionals for over 1,000 open positions.

U.S. employers added 223,000 jobs in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported on Jan. 6 – yet the tech industry is still cutting jobs. Just last week, Amazon announced its plans to cut about 18,000 roles, while Salesforce announced it will cut about 10 percent of its workforce.

Following the recent layoffs, VA Chief Information Officer (CIO) Kurt DelBene is encouraging those in the tech sector to consider pursuing a career at the VA.

“While today’s jobs report shows hiring still strong, the tech industry is still shedding jobs,” DelBene said in a Jan. 6 statement. “VA’s Office and Information and Technology (OIT) is hiring technology professionals looking for a solid career path doing what they love and supporting our Veterans. VA is the largest integrated healthcare and benefits organization in the United States, and OIT aims to be the best IT shop in government.”

“We’re hiring technology professionals for over 1,000 positions – including engineering leads, product managers, user-experience designers, and customer-support professionals,” he added. “Tech professionals who want to level up should join us on the frontlines of VA’s digital transformation.”

DelBene announced his plans to hire over 1,000 tech workers back in December, noting that the VA may soon be able to pay them a salary more comparable to private sector levels.

The CIO explained that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was nearing “final approval” on a government-wide Special Salary Rate (SSR), which would bump tech salaries up to be “more commensurate with what’s in the private sector.”

DelBene said the target for the final approval of the SSR is “very early in the new year,” and the VA was hoping for it to cross the finish line this month.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.