Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Nearly 18,000 slots empty in veterans retraining program

Katherine Jacobsen (KUT News) reports  on the Austin parade and job fair this Saturday: "The parade starts on Saturday at 9 a.m. concluding with a ceremony at 11 a.m. on the Texas Capitol steps.  The Job and Resource Fair starts at 11:30 a.m. at the Capitol Extension."  Andrea Murad (Fox Business) offers tips for veterans looking for employment

If you are a veteran, do you meet the following criteria:

  • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Are unemployed on the date of application
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

If you meet that criteria, you can apply to the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).  Senator Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, proposed and championed the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 adn it is now the law.  As part of that legislation, twelve months of training assistance is available to those who meet the above qualifications.  The program has 45,000 slots and, currently, only 27,080 spots are filled.

May 31st the House Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on the legislation and how aspects of it were going including VRAP.  The VA's Allison Hickey noted:

VA and the Department of Labor collaboratively developed the VRAP application process and the requirements for the information technology system changes to support this process.  To efficiently leverage existing systems, VA modifided its application for VA education benefits for use by the VRAP applicatns.  The VRAP application is available online at, a web site developed specifically for portions of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.  This site can be accessed through eBenefits, the GI Bill web site, DoL web sites and numerous other web sites.  Additionally, Veterans can visit their local DoL One-Stop Career Center locations for application assistance.  Applications can be submitted through VA's Veterans Online Application web site.  To be eliglbe for participation, DoL must determine that the applicant is unemployed, not enrolled in any federal or state job-training program and is between the ages of 35 aand 60.  VA verifies the applicant's veteran status and type of discharge, and confirms that the applicant has no other VA education benefits available for use, and is not in receipt of compensation for a service-connected disability rated totally disabling by reason of unemployability.  After eligibility has been established, the applicant identifies his or her intended high-demand occupation category and applicable training institution.  Information about the high-demand occupations, identified by DoL, is availabe on VA's VOW to Hire Heroes web site as well as DoL's web site.

What will VRAP do?  It will provide training for "high demand occupations" as explained in [PDF format warning] this VA report.  There are far too many jobs to list then all but, if accepted in the program, you can be trained to be a loan officer, to be a retail buyer, a claims adguster, a real estate appraiser,  a substance abuse counselor, a paralegal, a computer support specialist, a preschool teacher, a coach, an umpire, a referee, an engineering technician, a registered nurse, a choreographer, a photorgrapher, a police officer, a criminal investigator, a firefighter, a pest control worker, an actor, a pharmacy technician, a barber, a hair dresser or hair stylist, a manicurist, a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, a bookeeper, an accountant, a sheet metal worker, a police/fire/ambulance dispatcher, a legal secretary, an airline pilot, an air traffic controller, a flight attendant, railroad conductor,  an ambulance driver and much more.  The program isn't about forcing you down a path but about training and certifying you in a "high demand occupation" that you have an interest in.   And that long list of possible training?  Again, that is not the full list.  It's not even a fourth of what's available.  Click on the link to review all that is offered.

Again, there are a little less than 18,000 spots open.  The program's actually already started (July 1st).  Those slots need to be filled.  If you qualify, you should consider applying:

We are accepting VRAP applications now. Please visit eBenefits to apply. Remember, to complete the application, you will need to know your direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), the name and location of your school, the program you wish to pursue, and the applicable high demand occupation.
Watch for our VRAP public service announcement (PSA) courtesy of CBS on these programs and dates or watch the VRAP PSA now.

The slots need to be filled.  If you qualify, they're going on a first-come-first-serve basis.

The following community sites updated last night:

Kat's "Kat's Korner: Demos, live and what the fans want" went up earlier this morning.  I have another entry to write and Isaiah's latest comic will follow that.  And, at their sites, Mike and Marcia will be posting tonight.

Cindy Sheehan has a special Fourth of July Soapbox on Community Progressive Radio  that's just starting on as I type. If you miss it, besides being in her archives, it will air again this Sunday.  Her guest is Dennis Trainor, Jr. who has made American Autumn, an Occudoc.

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