VRA Hiring process FYI-My experience

boondr

Penalty Vectorer
I thought I would share this with those of you who were curious as to the VRA process. I can't speak to the OTS/CTI process as I didn't go that route.


Sept-Dec '07 Multiple apps many redundant ones no response.

Jan. '08 Annoucement format changed, applied for both terminal and enroute. VRA apps have you select your geo prefs. (5) in the application.

Feb. 22nd Received email saying I was selected to interview for a VA terminal position, it also asked me to verify contact info. Recieved another email with huge packet of info to fill out.

March 11th Received another email same as the first.

March 12th After calling to see what that email was about received email notifying me someone would be notifying me of an interview.

March 17th recieved call from a manager at PCT and scheduled a interview for April 4th.

March 20th recieved email notifying me of the creation of the PEPCs and asking me to either select Fort Worth, Chicago or LA. I denied all and selected traditional method as I live in Va.

April 4th interviewed and was told I was recommended and would receive a TOL within a week.(Also tried to correct my last name as they had it spelled incorrectly at this point, this went on for 2 months, weird because it was correct in previous emails.)

April 15th recieved notification I was selected for interview for a position at ZDC(Washington ARTCC) and more of the PEPC info. I turned this down.

500 calls asking where my TOL was.

April 17th received another email about the enroute position. Once again turned it down.

April 22nd received email REQUIRING me to notify the FAA where I was in the hiring process.??????????? SHOULDN'T you people know? Also they sent it on an email which was CC'd to approx. 500 people, more on this later.

Started receiving countless emails from those on the CC list about looking for roommates.

May 5th received email from random FAA guy saying he saw my name on a list of people who have been sent a TOL. (Nope not yet) He wanted me to fill out some more paperwork.

May 6th-7th Via multiple phone calls chased down correct person ( about to go on vacation for 2 weeks) who was confused in why she hadn't sent my TOL yet.

May 12th received TOL for PCT(my #1 seed as I know a large majority of the airspace from my time in the service).

May 14th took drug test.

May 19th received another email from a random FAA guy asking if I was a former federal employee. Another massive CC list.

May 19th scheduled MMPI-2

May 20th received email from the last random guy complaining that too many people were emailing him questions and said not to send anymore. HAHAHAHA

May 23rd took physical, EKG said I was having a heart attack?????? I showed them my military records which showed I had taken 2 stress tests because this happened before. All is good.

22 yes 22 more emails regarding living arrangements from people trolling the CC lists.

May 26th took MMPI-2

Crickets

More Crickets and roommate offers

Crickets

July 7th received call notifying me of my Firm Offer. And selected Aug 11th class.

July 8th received email with Firm offer letter and MORE Paper work to fill out. All but 1 page was redundant. Aug 11th class date.

And here we are now waiting for a Fed-Ex package that I was told should be sent immediately after FOL and then was told by another person it wouldn't be sent until 2 weeks prior to school date. STUPID!


Ok you can wake up now, forgive the typos.
 

chichi

New Member
Thanks for posting that :)

You really had to reach new levels of patience with this process, huh? I'm glad everything is FINALLY done being worked out for you (knock on wood)... keep us updated on your experiences at OKC and PCT :nana2:
 

AFTOFAAATC

New Member
Boondr, I know exactly how you feel. Hold me....

Here is my circus.... I mean process.

Apr 21 Applied for VRA Terminal, VRA Center, and CTO announcements.

May 12 Received email from lady at OKC that looked like this:

Mr Ryan M. Last name:

Please indicate your interest by selecting only 1 location. You MUST reply
within 14 days from the date of this email message.

______I accept the position at ANC (Anchorage ATCT) and decline all other
positions that I've been selected.

______I accept the position at D01 (Denver TRACON) and decline all other
positions that I've been selected. I chose this one, I mean who wouldn't?!?!

______I accept the position at FCM (Flying Cloud ATCT) and decline all
other positions that I've been selected.

______I decline all of the above positions and will only accept a position
at ______________________________.

This was from the CTO announcement.

May 22 PEPC invite for LA. I chose the 18th.

May 27th and 28th Received all the documents to fill out and fax and confirmation email from PEPC.

Jun 11 Received an urgent final request email from individual at OKC asking for documents I had already faxed on May 27th.

June 12 Received start time for the PEPC. Finally....

Jun 18 PEPC. Went great and was an awesome experience. Sort of like MEPS but way better. They treat you like humans and not cattle. Received TOL and tentative class date of Jul 28. Happier than a pig in *expletive*. Was told should receive FOL with firm class date in two weeks and to call after three.

Here is where it goes downhill

Around Jun 26 Called HR guy in OKC to see if I could get an earlier date and low and behold, my security clearance was delayed because whoever does them was at a conference for a week. Awesome. Found out I was bumped from the Jul 27 class because of it and that I might get a class in Aug.

One week later... Called to see status of FOL, and was told that all classes had been filled for the fiscal year and that I would have to wait until the beginning of FY 09 to start school. Oh and there is no class schedule yet for FY 09 so I would have to wait for that. I wanted to pull my hair out, but seeing as how that is in short supply these days, kept my cool.

Everyday thereafter... Call and/or email to see what the "status" is. If I call, it never gets answered. If I email, I get short meaningless replies.

Today There is a message on the HR guys phone saying he will be out of the office until Aug 4 and to contact so and so for immediate assistance. Immediate to me means this. ImMEdiate. I will get my FOL if it is the last thing I do. I have accepted the fact that I have to wait forever to start, but I need that FOL to give me some solace.

And by the way, if you get picked up for TRACON only, the classes are far and few between and the class sizes are only for twelve people. At least that is what I was told.
 

diver191

New Member
boondr,

Unless you are very lucky, you will get the packet like 5 days before you go to the academy. that's what happened to myself, and everyone in my class from the sound of it. it sucks! especially since in the packet, it tells you where to go on the first day, what time, and has your travel authorization! i freaked out until i finally called them 7 days before i went and it had just been shipped, even though the letter was dated 2 weeks before then. crazy huh?
 

Tarheel

New Member
boondr,

Unless you are very lucky, you will get the packet like 5 days before you go to the academy. that's what happened to myself, and everyone in my class from the sound of it. it sucks! especially since in the packet, it tells you where to go on the first day, what time, and has your travel authorization! i freaked out until i finally called them 7 days before i went and it had just been shipped, even though the letter was dated 2 weeks before then. crazy huh?
I have a class date of Aug 22nd. I understant that I'm not supposed to make my own travel arrangements? I have to wait for the FedEx package????
 

diver191

New Member
Tarheel,

If your class is Aug 22, I would go to the website in your FOL with the housing info and call one of those places and get your reservation ASAP! They go really fast. It's somewhere like academy.faa.gov but cant remember exactly.
In the letter from Fedex, it says use American Express airlines and they will reimburse you, but you can use any airline and they reimburse you anyway since no one gets the letter in time to get their flight. They will pay up to the cost of the cheapest ticket from your address of record to OKC. Or if you drive they will pay 50.5 cents per mile. You just have to wait like 2-3 weeks to get the money back.
But I would go ahead and decide how you are going to get here since the FAA cant deliver the letter until a few days before you need to show up for whatever reason.
 

pm577

New Member
you mean American Airlines?

Are you guys buying round-trip, or one-way? Does OKC give you an exact completion date?
 

Tarheel

New Member
I've already got reservations for a FAA apartment/hotel. I still haven't decieded if I'm driving or flying. My friends that have been there already say you really need a car, so, we'll see. I just don't want to buy my ticket now and then the FAA say "you should have waited for the FedEx package and now we can't pay you back because you didn't follow FAA travel guidelines" or something like that.....
 

pm577

New Member
Somehow I doubt the FAA will pay 50 cents a miles for someone over 1000 miles away (although if they did, I would consider driving too)
 

Tarheel

New Member
Somehow I doubt the FAA will pay 50 cents a miles for someone over 1000 miles away (although if they did, I would consider driving too)
Yeah, I doubt it too. I heard the FAA will pay the round trip ticket or 50 cents a mile whichever is less....
 

diver191

New Member
The FAA will pay you whichever is cheaper, driving or flying. I came from Memphis, and they said a plane ticket would have been like $900, but it was only 500 miles or so, and they gave me $250ish for travel to OKC, even though I spent like 100-120 on gas. It's .50 cents per mile.
But I am goin straight to ATL after I leave in 2 weeks, and they are giving me $460 or so since its around 1000 miles or something like that. It's the travel dept giving out the money, and since it is the govt's and not theirs, they will give you as much as they can.

And the airline is American Express, thats what it says in the letter. It might not be an airline, but maybe some type of airline travel place, I ve no idea since I drove. The FAA will pay you one way or round trip, you tell them what you did when you get there. If you do the American Express thingy, you do one way, and if you use Delta, SWA, AAL, etc, you can do either and get refunded from what they said on day 1.

The FOL will say when your start date and end date is, and they say on it the day before and day afte are travel days to get there and back.

Hope that helps!
 

Sooner1ATC

New Member
I've already got reservations for a FAA apartment/hotel. I still haven't decieded if I'm driving or flying. My friends that have been there already say you really need a car, so, we'll see. I just don't want to buy my ticket now and then the FAA say "you should have waited for the FedEx package and now we can't pay you back because you didn't follow FAA travel guidelines" or something like that.....
You really do need a car in OKC to get around, Your friends are dead on..... Unless its just fast food and convenient stores you want to go to.
 
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