— VA is trying to fill a massage therapist job gap by hiring a group of educators to help them create the first-ever massage therapy school.
A program called “Massage Therapy Academy” was started last year at VA, the agency’s Department of Health Care Management.
The VA says it is the first time a VA program has hired more than one employee to do the same job.
“We have a lot of talented people and we want to hire them, but we have a shortage of staff,” said Donna Naylor, a VA spokeswoman.
“So it’s about finding a way to fill the gap.”
The program was created by former VA employee, Barbara Cottone.
She said she has been teaching massage therapy for 30 years.
VA said the new staff members are working at two VA medical centers, but they will work at all VA medical facilities, including hospitals.
They will be trained in the massage therapy industry, including how to prepare massage therapy equipment, how to make the equipment work and the importance of being in the field when training is completed.
It is not the first VA program to hire teachers for massage therapy, but it is a first, the VA said.
The VA says more than 1,400 people have applied to be massage therapists in the past six years.
That number includes more than 30 people who are licensed and have had their license renewed, and others who have applied, said Cottones spokeswoman Naylor.
But for those who haven’t gotten a license yet, the government says there is another option.