The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private-sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to demonstrate their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.
Candidates apply to the WRP each fall through participating campuses and receive informational interviews with federal employees who serve as volunteer recruiters. Candidates represent all majors, and range from college freshmen to graduate- and law-school students. Information from candidates is compiled in a searchable database that is available through this website to employers.
WRP is recognized by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) as a model strategy in its guidance to federal agencies regarding the recruitment and hiring of people with disabilities. Since the program's expansion in 1995, thousands of students and recent graduates have received temporary and permanent employment opportunities through the WRP.
- Find an internship or permanent position at federal agencies
- Explore careers in the federal service
- Gain interviewing experience
- Improve your resume
- Market your abilities to a wide variety of potential employers all over the United States
WRP is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense's Diversity Management Operations Center (DMOC).
Eligibility to Participate in the WRP
To participate in the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP), individuals applying in the fall of 2023 for the 2024 database must:
- Be a person with a disability and eligible for hiring under the Schedule A Hiring Authority for persons with disabilities.
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Be a current, full-time, degree-seeking, post-secondary student OR have graduated from such an institution on or after April 1, 2021.
- Students may also participate if they meet all of the other requirements for the program but are taking a reduced course load due to a disability or if they are taking less than a full-time load in the term/enrollment period immediately prior to graduation because they do not need a full course load to graduate.
- Again, WRP also allows recent graduates who have graduated within two and a half years of the December release of the database to participate, so those that graduated/had a degree conferred from a postsecondary program in April 2021 or more recently are eligible. Individuals who graduated prior to April 2021 are not eligible to participate this year.
WRP Student Eligibility Questions
Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
There is no minimum GPA; however, candidates should make sure that their GPA accurately reflects what is listed on their transcript and that it is their most recent GPA. If the candidate is a first-semester freshmen or transfer student and does not yet have a GPA, they can list the most recent GPA they achieved at their previous school.
Process of verification that candidates have a disability if they are not registered with Disability Resources at SOU.
The candidate must self-certify that they are eligible for the program when they register for WRP as part of the Student Agreement Form that they complete. We do not ask for additional documents to verify that the candidate has a disability. As a School Coordinator, however, you are free to ask that the students fulfill requirements before you approve them to participate. You can ask that the candidate provide you with a note or contact person from the Disability Services Office or other licensed medical professional to confirm that they are a person with a disability. Since we don't ask for any documentation, we rely on the policies and procedures of each school to ensure that all candidates meet the requirements of the program.
When the candidate signs up, they have to certify that they are indeed a person with a disability. We can't control whether candidates are being truthful. But, if we were to find out that the candidate is not a person with a disability, we would remove them from the database immediately. Furthermore, the WRP database is promoted to federal employers as the largest Schedule A database available, so students who cannot provide proof of Schedule A eligibility (the Schedule A letter) at the time of an offer of employment will not be hired.
It is recommended that the School Coordinator initially approve the candidate if they are trying to apply. If there is a question of disability eligibility, the School Coordinator could email the candidate asking them to send a confirmation email stating that they are indeed a person with a disability. The School Coordinator doesn't have to request any documentation from these candidates, but ask the candidates one more time to ensure they are a person with a disability.
As part of the WRP registration process, students must complete an agreement form which includes the following statement: "I certify that I am a person with an intellectual, severe physical, or psychiatric disability that qualifies me for the federal Schedule A hiring authority.” Candidates must check a box next to this statement prior to completing a registration for WRP. Candidates who cannot certify these requirements are told to consult their WRP School Coordinator. If a candidate comes to you with questions about their eligibility for WRP and you need help answering them, please email email@example.com.
Why is U.S. citizenship a requirement?
WRP School Coordinators don't have to ask for verification that the candidate is a U.S. Citizen per our rule or guidance. Prior to creating a student registration, students must certify that they are indeed a U.S. Citizen. WRP cannot control whether candidates are being truthful. But, if WRP staff were to find out that a candidate is not a U.S. Citizen, staff would remove them from the database immediately.
It is recommended that the School Coordinator initially approve the candidate if they are trying to apply. If there is a question of citizenship or other eligibility for WRP, the School Coordinator can remind the candidate of all the WRP eligibility requirements and ask them to confirm that they meet all the WRP eligibility criteria. The School Coordinator does not need to request any documentation from candidates regarding citizenship, but can ask the candidate to confirm by email that they meet the eligibility.
U.S. citizenship is a requirement to participate in WRP because WRP primarily provides candidates with Federal Government opportunities. In almost all cases, you must be a U.S. citizen or national (residents of American Samoa and Swains Island) to work for the Federal Government. Please go to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management or USAJobs for more information.
Can a candidate who has a criminal record still participate in WRP?
Yes, candidates with a criminal record can participate, but the School Coordinator should let the candidate know that many of the positions (since they are with the government and specifically with the Department of Defense and Department of State) might be contingent upon the candidate passing a security clearance. If asked by an employer, the candidate must be honest and up front about their record. If a candidate is interviewed and an offer is made, the candidate has an obligation to ask whether or not they will be subjected to a security clearance. If so, the candidate needs to follow up with a question regarding whether or not the crime that they committed will allow them to pass the security clearance.
If the employer expresses concerns about a candidate's ability to pass the security clearance process, then the candidate should be cautious to accept the tentative offer. It isn't fair for a candidate to lead on a prospective employer if the candidate knows that they cannot pass the security clearance process. A security clearance is very expensive and time consuming. The candidate needs to do what is right for all interested parties.
Here are some dates to have in mind:
- August 21, 2023 – Student and recent graduate registration opens
- October 12, 2023 – Student and recent graduate registration closes
- October 16, 2023 – Student and recent graduate application deadline
- October 18, 2023 – Deadline for Coordinators to submit WRP interview accommodation request forms
- October 20, 2023 – Recruiters matched with schools. School Coordinators and Recruiters receive assignments and should contact each other.
- October 23 - November 15, 2023– Scheduling and informational interview period
- December 11, 2023 (tentative) – WRP applications are made available to federal employers for one year
Registration, Application & Informational Interview Process
1. From August 21 until October 12, you can access wrp.gov and click on the “Student Registration” button. You will need to:
- Agree to the website Rules of Behavior
- Complete an agreement form stating you meet the WRP eligibility requirements and agree to share your application with WRP employers
- Complete the registration form
2. SOU's WRP School Coordinators will receive an email when you have submitted your registration. The Coordinator will create your account or will reject each student's registration. You will not have a WRP.gov account and cannot start your application until we approve it.
3. As soon as your account is created you will receive an email with your log-in information. If rejected, you will receive a confirmation email that your registration has been rejected.
4. Once you have an account, you will need to submit a WRP application on or before October 16. To do this, you must complete all the required fields, upload your resume and transcript (official or unofficial), and click “submit application”. Cover letters and letters of recommendation are optional.
Please take the following considerations when uploading your documents:
- Resume and transcript (official or unofficial) are required (mandatory).
- Resume should be provided in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) file.
- Can upload up to 6 documents. Other optional documents can include cover letter, recommendation letters, writing sample, additional resumé, etc.
- Files cannot be larger than 1 MB.
- Students should not upload disability documentation or documents that contain their social security number or copies of identification records (e.g. driver's license, birth certificate).
The WRP requires that students and recent graduates who apply confirm that they are people with disabilities who are eligible under the Schedule A Hiring Authority. For this purpose, please read carefully all the information related to the Schedule A Hiring Authority. Not necessarily you have to upload this letter into your application, but it is encouraged to have it ahead of time just in case an interested employer makes an offer.
5. As soon as the registration and the application period ends (by October 16th), between October and November we will be in contact with our candidates to schedule the informational interviews alongside the assigned WRP recruiter.
Please, remember that if you need further assistance to build up your resume or would like to practice an interview you can let us know to coordinate these services with our Office of Career Connections (OCC). Access the OCC website to see all the resources available to improve your chances to be more successful during your job search preparation.
Take a look at their website and start planning your future. There are a variety of ways to connect with the Career Connections team; both in-person and remotely. Reach out to the team at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. Students can also schedule through their Navigate app or reach out via Google Hangouts from their SOU account. The OCC is located at the Stevenson Union, Room 312, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd. Ashland, OR 97520 or you can also reach out to them at 541-552-6131.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: How does the WRP work?
A: Every year, WRP staff approach more than 300 colleges and universities to participate in the WRP recruitment process for the year. WRP School Coordinators at these schools conduct outreach to their eligible students and encourage them to apply to participate in the WRP. School Coordinators must be college staff are usually from the career or disability services office. Candidates that are approved by the School Coordinators and completed the application by the deadline are given the opportunity to have an elective informational interview with a trained volunteer WRP Recruiter from a federal agency.
Q: What is the process for the candidates?
A: Candidates can start to register in late August by going to wrp.gov, clicking on the Student Registration button, filling out the basic information, and pressing “Submit.” Candidates cannot complete the second part of their application until the School Coordinator at the school at which they plan to participate approves their account. Once the School Coordinator approves them, the candidates will get an automatically generated email with their username and temporary password.
Once the candidates are working on their application, they and the School Coordinator can see everything that the candidates need to complete and upload. The School Coordinator and the candidate have similar capabilities to update the candidates' applications. If the candidate completes the application before the deadline in October, then that individual will be included in the WRP database when it is published to employers in December. About a week after the deadline, the candidate should work with the School Coordinator to schedule an informational interview with the WRP Recruiter. Candidates are not required to participate in the informational interview, but if they elect to have an interview, they must be prepared and on time for it. Interviews take place remotely and are conducted by telephone unless an accommodation is needed. After interviews occur, the database of completed candidate applications is published each December and is available to employers for the following calendar year.
Q: What is the Schedule A Hiring Authority?
A: WRP describes that one avenue available for individuals with disabilities is the Schedule A Hiring Authority for people with disabilities, or Schedule A for short. Federal agencies may use Schedule A to hire qualified individuals with disabilities into positions non-competitively without going through the often lengthy traditional hiring process. This means people with disabilities may be hired for the position without competing with the general public as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for Schedule A and are qualified for the positions you are seeking or being considered for. For more details about the Schedule A and to get a sample of the letter you may access to Schedule A Hiring Authority.
Q: What agencies hire from the WRP Database?
A: The agencies that hire from the WRP database change and vary from year to year. Here is a list of agencies who have hired WRP candidates in the past. Federal agencies who employed WRP candidates include the Departments of Defense, Labor, Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, State, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Social Security Administration; the Federal Housing Finance Agency; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Candidates have worked in more than 38 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and as civilian employees on military bases in Germany, Italy, and South Korea.
Q: What sort of jobs will the candidates be assigned?
A: Candidates are not interviewing for specific positions at specific agencies. They have the opportunity to have an elective informational interview with a federal recruiter to learn about federal service and discuss their career path. Candidates are not placed into jobs; they are simply applying to be part of a database of postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities that is made available to federal employers directly and to the private sector through a contractor. Employers will then reach out to candidates directly if they are interested in interviewing or hiring them for a specific position. Candidates should be aware that WRP is not a guarantee of employment and not everyone who participates in WRP is contacted by employers.
Q: Are all WRP opportunities paid?
A: While most WRP opportunities are paid, please note that there are some cases and agencies who may reach out to current students about unpaid opportunities. In those cases, the candidate may be asked if they are interested and able to do the internship for school credit. Like with all opportunities, the candidate is welcome to decline if they are not in a position to take an unpaid internship position.