Over 27,000 veterans may be heading back to school under the Veteran Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) which is aimed at moving veterans out of the unemployment lines.
The program was introduced in May 15 and has since received an overwhelming response from out-of-work veterans hoping to acquire the necessary training and education they need to compete in the workforce. To date, about 13,083 applicants have already been approved and according to Randal Noller, VA spokesman, they will continue to promote the program until all 45,000 slots for the Fiscal Year 2012 are filled. There are 90,000 slots available through the end of the program, wherein 54,000 participants will be accepted from October 1, 2012 through March 31, 2014.
The VRAP is a first-come, first-serve program that qualifies unemployed (on the date of application) veterans aged between 35 and 60. Accepted participants may receive up to a year of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate. Qualified veterans must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high demand occupation.
“It’s a very new and very fast-moving program that we’re getting out there to help veterans as quickly as possible,” Noller said.