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Program Offers Unemployed Vets Financial Help to Learn New Career Skills

Press Release

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today encouraged unemployed Nevada veterans to check their eligibility for a new program that will help pay the cost for job retraining and educational opportunities that enable vets to find new careers.

"I am proud to have voted for this job retraining program as part of the Vow to Hire Heroes Act we passed last year," said Berkley. "This program specifically targets unemployed veterans between 35 and 60 for job retraining and I would encourage Nevada vets to go on-line and to check their own eligibility. Those who qualify could receive up to 12 months of financial assistance that will help pay for new technical training, college courses and other expenses related to training for new careers."

The Veteran Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) allows qualifying veterans to receive up to 12 months of assistance. The program is open to unemployed veterans in Nevada and nationwide who are between 35 and 60 years of age. Benefits provided to veterans who qualify cover education costs for up to one year through a joint Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Labor (DOL) program that focuses on retraining vets for high-demand jobs. Payments are equal to the full-time Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty rate, which is currently $1,473 per month.

Veterans can apply on a first-come, first-serve basis for VRAP beginning May 15, 2012, for programs that begin on or after July 1, 2012. To complete an application, a veteran will need to know his or her direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), the name and location of his or her school, the program the veteran wishes to pursue, and the applicable high-demand occupation. The VRAP application can be accessed online at https://www.ebenefits.va.gov

To qualify veterans must:
Be 35-60 years old, unemployed on the day of application, and not dishonorably discharged;
Start education or training after July 1, 2012, in a VA-approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school leading to an associate degree, non-college degree or a certificate for a high-demand occupation as defined by the DOL;
Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g. Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment);
Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program within the last 180 days;
Not receive VA compensation at the 100% rate due to individual unemployability (IU)

Upon completion, the Labor Department will engage with participants within 30 days after their training to help them find good jobs that utilize their newly learned skills.


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