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The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking help from community colleges to make military veterans aware of new job training benefits available to them.
With an unemployment rate of about 10 percent among post-9/11 military veterans, Congress last November passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which includes the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) for unemployed veterans age 35-60. Scheduled to start July 1, VRAP offers training assistance in high-demand occupations to 99,000 unemployed veterans over two years—45,000 from July 1-Sept. 30, and 54,000 next year.
Available slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The department will begin accepting applications May 15.
Eligible participants will receive up to 12 months of training assistance at the full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). The U.S. Department of Labor will offer employment assistance to all veterans who participate or apply to VRAP.
“Hundreds of community colleges offer the types of job-related training, certification and licensing programs that fit VRAP perfectly,” said Curtis Coy, VA’s deputy under secretary for economic opportunity.
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