RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Tuesday announced the start of an alternative hiring process for people with disabilities who are seeking state government jobs.

The process “embeds employment of individuals with differing abilities as part of standard hiring policy and the state work culture,” the governor’s office wrote in a news release Tuesday. The state is committed to giving equal employment opportunities to all residents, including those with differing abilities.

“My administration fully supports expanded economic and job opportunities for individuals living with disabilities. This is a significant step in the Commonwealth’s commitment to the overall goal of increasing employment opportunities for all Virginians,” said Youngkin.

Applicants with documented disabilities, which are certified by a Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) certified rehabilitation counselor, can be considered.

“This policy opens doors for job applicants with disabilities to seek state employment, paving the way for new career paths,” said DARS Commissioner Kathy Hayfield.

Approved applicants may receive priority consideration during recruiting.

Agencies are strongly encouraged to give a six-month provisional period for the new hires to ensure their accommodation needs are met.

“To bolster this initiative, DARS received a $9.2 million federal grant called ‘Pathways to Careers using Partnerships, Apprenticeships and Equity,’ that will serve at least 750 Virginians with disabilities to acquire skills-based training and registered apprenticeships in high-wage, high-demand fields, including STEM and state government,” said John Littel, secretary of Health and Human Resources.

Interested applicants can apply here. They must upload a Certificate of Disability with their employment application.

The DHRM website has more information at, including Frequently Asked Questions for Applicants.

Applicants can ask for a Certificate of Disability from DARS by calling 800-552-5019. Sign language users can use the videophone at 804-325-1316.