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Unemployed veterans can benefit from job training through VRAP


Monday, June 04, 2012
Unemployed veterans may be eligible to receive help paying for college through the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), a component of  the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which was recently signed into law by President Barack Obama.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), VRAP is designed to provide out-of-work veterans between the ages of 35 and 60 with up to 12 months of training assistance at community or technical colleges.

VRAP, which is set to begin on July 1, is open to veterans who are: unemployed on the date they apply; ineligible for the Montgomery GI Bill or any other VA education benefit programs; not enrolled in a federal or state job training program; and not expected to receive VA compensation. Applicants cannot have received any type of dishonorable discharge. In addition, those who are deemed eligible for VRAP benefits must be enrolled in a VA-approved associate’s degree, non-college degree or certificate program at a community or technical college after July 1, 2012.

Between July 1 and September 30, 2012, VRAP will be limited to 45,000 individuals, with an additional 54,000 unemployed veterans eligible to enroll from October 1, 2012 through March 31, 2014. Individuals may receive up to 12 months of financial assistance equal to what Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program participants earn under their monthly full-time payment rate, currently $1,473.

The current state of the economy, coupled with the high volume of soldiers who have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan, makes this an ideal time for a program of this nature. In fact, in a recent press release, the VA stated that since the program was announced on May 31, VRAP has received more than 12,000 online applications.

"VA is committed to supporting veterans as they seek employment," said Eric K. Shinseki, secretary of veterans affairs. "This initiative will help provide education and training so that Veterans have an opportunity to find meaningful employment in a high-demand field. We will continue to build on the success of our initial outreach efforts to Veterans."

Overall, the VA’s goal is to equip 99,000 veterans with the skills they need to land high-demand jobs over the next two years. VRAP participants will prepare for professions in a wide range of fields including architecture and engineering, business and financial operations, health care support and construction.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800789364-ADNFCR

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