The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), together with the Department of Labor (DOL), unveiled a new training assistance program for veterans on July 1, 2012. The program, Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), is part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 passed by Congress and signed by the President into law. The program offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans.
Unlike the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the benefits will be paid directly to qualified veterans for expenses, such as tuition, fees and books, if they are enrolled in a VA-approved program offered at community colleges and technical schools. Their program must lead to an Associates Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate and cover training in a high demand occupation. VRAP training assistance can't be combined with other Federal or state job training programs.
VRAP limits program participation to veterans who are at least 35 and no older than 60. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of all unemployed veterans fall in that age range.
Upon completion of their training program, veterans will be provided with employment assistance through their Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVER) – a no-cost DOL service that can be accessed at either of the two SLATE Career Center locations.
Currently, VA is accepting only electronic applications from qualified participants. However, LVERs stationed at SLATE Career Centers will be able to guide veterans through the online application process and answer any questions concerning VRAP. Also, those who don't qualify for VRAP can gain access to many other training and employment services, including On-The-Job training (OJT) available to veterans. For more details, please contact Martin Payne, SLATE LVER, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on VOW, VRAP, an FAQ, and other resources, please visit the VA web page.
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