Vocational Rehabilitation Services in VA Portland | VA Portland Health Care

Walk-in employment services

Vancouver VA Campus, 1601 E Fourth Plain Blvd, 98661, Bldg. 18 (main entrance)

  • Thursday – 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC), in downtown Portland, 308 SW first Ave., 97204

  • Thursday – 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Portland VA Medical Center, Bldg 104, P3 Level, 3710 SW US Veterans Hospital Road, 97239 (go to the “MHICM / PRRC, Footsteps to Recovery” office area).

How to access VHA Voc. Rehabilitation services

The VHA Voc Rehab (TSES) consultation submitted by a primary care provider (PCP), licensed provider or prescriber (psychiatrist, APRN, PA) or accessible through a walk-in clinic.

The program is for Veterans whose lives have been disrupted by a coexisting mental illness or physical disability who would benefit from a supportive, stable and structured approach to achieving their work-related goals.

VHA Voc. Rehabilitation uses treatment in the workplace to facilitate and enhance employment potential and to provide a continuum of professional skill development. Veterans work with clinical staff to overcome barriers to job search.

360-696-4061, ext. 34130 or 31274

Vocational rehabilitation specialist (VRS)

Upon admission to the program, Veterans are assigned to an RSV who will assist them with job search, career assessment, community referrals, and provide follow-up support (if required).

VHA Voc Rehab helps improve skills, including:

  • Communication
  • Computer literacy / application skills
  • Working with others
  • Work in a structured environment
  • Responsibility & independence
  • Practical skills

Processing components

  • Transition work (TW)
  • Support employment (SE)
  • Community Based Employment Services (CBES)


Upon receipt of a consultation, the Veteran will be contacted to contact their physician and complete a medical clearance form. Once completed, the veteran will be scheduled for an initial evaluation by Voc. Rehabilitation staff.

After screening and assessment, the Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRS) will discuss program options with the veteran. Veterans may be referred to other programs (ie VR&E, community employment programs) if another program is more appropriate.

Enrollment decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Program eligibility

  • Veteran must be eligible for VA services
  • The veteran must be motivated to take up a competitive job
  • Medical clearance will be obtained prior to registration with CWT
  • To enroll in the SE program, the veteran must have a diagnosis of severe mental illness (SMI)

Transition work (CWT-TW)

Transition Work (TW) is a clinical vocational rehabilitation program that operates at a VA medical center and / or local community industry. Participants are paired with real work assignments for a limited time. However, participants are not considered employees and do not receive traditional benefits.

During TW programs, veterans:

  • Be introduced to the process / program
  • Complete a professional assessment
  • Develop a treatment plan
  • Identify short and long term career goals
  • Discover personal and professional strengths and obstacles
  • Learn the job search process, including search techniques, job preparation, and participating in mock interviews
  • Complete a Job Development Profile (i.e. resume, cover letter, driver’s license, transcripts, etc.)
  • Be placed on assignment or off duty

The transition internship includes:

  • Occupational therapy mission up to 6 months (extensions beyond 6 months are very rare and are done on a case-by-case basis)
  • Work assignments starting around 20 hours per week
  • Compensation allowance based on the region’s minimum wage.
  • Weekly case management sessions
  • Weekly site visits

After graduating from TW, veterans will have developed the skills to move forward in securing competitive employment.

Assisted Employment (ES)

Supported Employment (SE) provides clinical support to Veterans in competitive full-time or part-time employment. The goal is to help Veterans with psychosis or other serious mental illness access meaningful competitive employment. These services are generally terminated once a Veteran can maintain their employment independently.

The Community Employment Services Program (CBES) helps veterans engaged in VA mental health seek competitive employment in the community. The program aims to build the confidence and self-esteem of Veterans by helping them:

  • Professional appraisals
  • Career exploration and development of employment goals
  • Help with job search and job development
  • Help with resumes, job applications and cover letters
  • Building maintenance skills
  • Referrals to additional VA and community services and resources

Course for veterans

Open to all veterans registered for health care.
To register: contact the VA Portland Community Employment Coordinator @ [email protected], 503-360-4049.

Veterans Interview Preparation Workshop (online)

4th Friday of each month at 10 a.m.

  • Prepare for interviews and understand employers’ expectations
  • Interview formats and styles
  • Discuss answers to difficult questions
  • Make a good first impression

CV and cover letter workshop (online)

2nd Friday of each month at 10 a.m.

  • No CV? How to start
  • Career exploration
  • Resume formats and styles
  • Preparation of the cover letter
  • Keep a job search journal

US Jobs Workshop / Federal Applications (Online)

3rd Thursday of each month at 2 p.m.

• Two-factor authorization
• Create an account and create a profile
• Hiring paths and preference of veterans
• Prepare a main curriculum vitae
• Overview of the evaluation questionnaire
• Selective and qualitative factors

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