A joint program between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Labor (DoL) has launched a program that focuses on retraining 99,000 Veterans for high-demand jobs.
The program included the launch of an online site on May 15, where unemployed Veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 may apply for new benefits to cover education costs for up to one year.
Eric K. Shinseki, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shared: “This important tool will help those who served our country receive the education and training they need to find meaningful employment in a high-demand field… Veterans are disciplined, hardworking, goal-oriented team members who can play a vital role in helping businesses and the economy grow.”
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, on the other hand, said: “Our veterans have made this nation stronger through their service, and they deserve our continued support,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This new program will help unemployed veterans expand their skills and compete for good jobs.”
Qualified Veterans may receive up to 12 months of assistance, equal to the full-time Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty rate, through the Veteran Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). The program is part of a provision of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.
Qualified Veterans are as follows:
• 35-60 years old, unemployed on the day of application, and not dishonorably discharged;
• Will atart education or training after July 1, 2012, in a VA-approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school leading to an associate degree, non-college degree or a certificate for a high-demand occupation as defined by the DOL;
• Not eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g. Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment);
• Not enrolled in a federal or state job training program within the last 180 days;
• Not receive VA compensation at the 100% rate due to individual unemployability (IU).